BMW confirms new EV brand coming 2013

BMW has unveiled a new brand for its electric vehicles, confirming the first models at a press conference February 21.

BMW i was announced in BMW's home town of Munich with the promise that the first two models would be launched from 2013, with the names i3 and i8.

The i3 concept was previously referred to as the Mega City Vehicle and has been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, according to BMW, making use of an aluminium chassis and lightweight carbon-fiber reinforced plastic.

The automaker says that this construction cancels out practically all the weight added by the vehicle's lithium-ion batteries, resulting in "superior driving dynamics and a significantly increased range."

Details are still sketchy about the first "i" vehicles, with BMW keen to initially familiarize customers with the brand - a new website has been launched, along with a social media push on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

However, the Mega City Vehicle, unveiled last year, was reported to be a hatchback model which would offer a range of about 160 km and a top speed of around 150 km/h, at a price of between $30,000 and $40,000 after government incentives.

As to be expected, this puts it firmly in the "premium" segment, where it will compete with new arrivals from the likes of the Audi e-tron and Saab's all-electric 9-3 ePower.

http://www.bmw-i.com/en_ww/

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