Nearly 40 years after it built its first battery car – a one-off that paced the marathon during the 1972 Munich Olympics – BMW is charging back into the world of electrification. But this time it hopes to make a serious business case with its new brand-within-a-brand, dubbed BMW i.
The first of the maker’s new models are getting their initial public preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week with sales of the i3 city car set to begin in 2013. The second model, the larger and more sporty i8, will launch a year later, according to BMW officials.
“If the planet is to survive we must be more careful with our resources,” declared CEO Norbert Reithofer, who added that it “is technically feasible” today to produce competitive battery cars and plug-in hybrids.