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BMW's new i3 electric car to start at $42,225

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BMW says its i3 will have a range of 130 to 160 kilometres.

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BMW says its i3 will have a range of 130 to 160 kilometres.

BMW says its i3 electric car will start at $42,225 when it goes on sale in the U.S. the second quarter next year.

The car will be shown publicly for the first time in simultaneous unveilings July 29 in New York, London and Beijing. Concept versions have been on display at auto shows since 2011.

BMW intends to make "i" the sub-brand designation for its electrified cars.

BMW says the i3's electric motor will deliver 170 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque and have a range of 130 to 160 kilometres from its 22-kilowatt-hour (kwh) lithium-ion battery.

Smaller outside than the 3-series gasoline cars, but as roomy inside, the automaker says, it will have a turning circle diameter of 32.3 feet, BMW says -- about five feet tighter than a mid-size family car, making the i3 a good candidate for parking and manoeuvering in crowded areas.

The car will have a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic passenger compartment, mounted on an aluminum chassis. Carbon fibre is used for race-car bodies because it's lightweight. More commonly, it's used for fishing rods and other sporting gear.

BMW gives no recharging time on conventional charging systems, but says the new "DC Combo" setups that should be on the market later this year will refill a fully drained battery to 80 per cent charge in 20 minutes.

GM and BMW have jointly tested the combo chargers to be sure they can keep the 20-minute promise.

 

-- USA Today

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2013 B5

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