The BMW i3, previously Mega City Vehicle (MCV), is a five-door urban electric car developed by the German manufacturer BMW. The i3 is part of BMW’s “Project i” and was launched as a new brand, BMW i.The i3 is BMW’s first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle due to its electric powertrain, and BMW is the first company to launch a volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer to improve the vehicle’s energy consumption.
The BMW i3’s official range is 130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and up to 200 km (120 mi) in the most efficient driving mode. Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cycle the official range is 130 km (81 mi) with combined fuel economy of 124 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent —MPGe— (1.90 L/100 km; 149 mpg imp). BMW is offering a range extender (“REx”) option powered by a 647 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine with a small fuel tank that engages when the battery level drops to a pre-specified point, acting purely as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range to between 260 to 290 km (160 to 180 mi) in everyday driving conditions. Under EPA testing cycle, the i3 REx total range is 240 km (150 mi). As of June 2015, the BMW i3 is the most fuel efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all years regardless of fuel type, and the i3 REx is the most efficient EPA-certified current year vehicle with a gasoline engine.
The i3 concept car was unveiled at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany. and the production version was unveiled in July 2013. Mass production of the i3 began in September 2013 and retail deliveries started in Europe in November 2013. Deliveries in the U.S. began in May 2014. Pricing in the United States starts at US$42,275 before any government incentives, and the range extender option costs an additional US$3,850. Prices in Germany start from €34,950 (US$46,400). Pricing in the UK starts at £30,680 (US$47,195) before the applicable government grant. The i3 ranked third among all-electric cars sold worldwide in 2014, and sixth among 2014’s top 10 global best selling plug-in electric cars. Global i3 sales passed the 25,000 unit milestone in May 2015.
Among other awards and recognition, the BMW i3 won two World Car of the Year Awards selected as 2014 World Green Car of the Year and also as 2014 World Car Design of the Year. The i3 was also given an iF Product Design Gold Award, and, in the first UK Car of the Year Awards, it won in two categories: UK Car of the Year 2014 and Best Supermini of 2014.