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First Look: BMW i3 and i8 Electric Concept Cars

Maker also announces ParkAtMyHouse smartphone app.

by on Jul.29, 2011

CEO Norbert Reithofer unveils the new BMW i3 and i9 battery cars - which will make a public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW has finally taken the wraps off two concept cars that signal the strategy of its long-anticipated electric car sub-brand, BMW i.  The prototypes, which are set to make their formal public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, show the Bavarian maker positioning itself as the environmentally friendly leader in the competitive luxury car market.

During a Frankfurt news conference, BMW officials not only revealed both the BMW i3 and i8 concepts but also announced their investment in a new service called Parkatmyhouse.  Using the Internet or a smartphone app, the service would permit homeowners and other individuals to rent out their parking spaces on a short or long-term basis.

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Declaring the upcoming launch of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 a “milestone,” the German automaker’s Chairman Norbert Reithofer said the goal is to “offer customers purpose-built electric-drive cars,” rather than simply stuffing a battery-based drivetrain under the hood of a conventional automobile.

The potential advantage is that a dedicated battery-electric vehicle can be designed to minimize aerodynamic drag, reduce mass and improve weight balance to maximize performance and handling – critical attributes of the BMW brand.

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