BMW unveils its ultra-light electric i3 car [photos]

BMW i3 launch

BMW unveiled their much-awaited electric i3 2014 at launch events in New York, London and Beijing on Monday morning, saying the car is a response to global trends of urbanization, and the need for decreased carbon emissions, and more sustainable transportation.

The car is important for BMW because it’s one of the first electric cars built from the ground up (not a traditional car stuffed with batteries), showing that BMW has put considerable time and money into making the car. Tesla’s Model S is one of the other electric cars that have been designed to be EVs from the beginning.

With a range of 80 to 100 miles, the i3 could be a competitor to Nissan’s LEAF, but it’s also super light, and BMW used carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for the car’s body. The i3 2014 also has an optional range extender engine (like GM’s Volt) and it costs around $40K — so competitively priced.

The only bad news is that you can’t get the car in the U.S. until 2014. It’s also focused on the “urban mobility market” which is still a little new to Americans.

I watched the event remotely live and these are a combo of photos from the live video and official photos from BMW:

BMW i3 launch live

The unveiling:

BMW i3 launch

The car unveiled:

BMW i3 launch

Side angle:

BMW i3 launch

The back angle:

BMW i3

The front:

BMW i3

The other side:

BMW i3

Official shots:

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 1.45.22 PM

An official shot in a “mega-city”:

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 1.45.34 PM

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