BMW’s New Electric Vehicle to Cost 27% More Than 3-Series

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will offer the i3, the luxury-car maker’s first electric vehicle, starting at $41,350 in the U.S., 27 percent more than the base version of the best-selling 3-Series sedan.

The car will cost 34,950 euros ($46,000) in Germany, where it will be available as of November, the Munich-based company said in a statement today. Buyers in the U.S. will also have to pay a $925 transport fee for the car.

BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury vehicles, will show the model for the first time on July 29 at simultaneous events in New York, London and Beijing. BMW has invested 600 million euros in production facilities for the car, including building a new factory in Moses Lake, Washington, that makes carbon fiber for the passenger cell.

By designing the vehicle specifically for electric power, BMW is seeking to gain an edge over fellow German carmakers. Currently, an electric version of Daimler AG’s Smart two-seater is the only available battery-powered vehicle from a German manufacturer. Volkswagen AG plans to start marketing the E-Golf hatchback by the end of the year.

BMW will offer additional services such as at-home charging stations and car sharing to ease concerns about the limited range of the vehicle. The company plans to sell the i3 through the Internet, sales people that visit customers in their homes and through select dealers.

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