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Plugging Into BMW’s Electric Concept

Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant navigates the New York International Auto Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor Wednesday and Thursday before the show’s public opening on Friday, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.

Auto show “concept cars” are usually code for “you’ll never drive anything remotely like this,” but BMW says its two new electric concepts will be on the road as early as next fall.

The compact i3 will look very similar to the “quite futuristic” concept version currently on display, minus the see-through doors, says Richard Steinberg, manager of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW Group. The sportier i8, due out in early 2014, however, gets to keep its futuristic gull-wing doors.

BMW is one of a number of manufacturers advancing electric models at the show, says Alec Gutierrez, a senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. But electric vehicles “are still priced out of reach for a lot of consumers at this point,” he says, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Steinberg says pricing on the i3 and i8 has yet to be set, and will likely be competitive with other electrics on the market.

Neither car is meant for long distances. The i3 has roughly an 80-mile range between charges; twice that if the buyer opts for an extender option that incorporates a small gas motor. “It’s not designed for you to drive from here to Boston,” says Steinberg.


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    • I am somewhat skcaeitpl regarding the 268,000 jobs created. Considering that this number is derived from some weird calculation that could be skewed by whatever percentage that seems appropriate, I am appalled that people rely on it.Is there no accurate method of counting the new jobs…?Thanks for this blog, it is a gold mine of information

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    • Worthy article with caavet that onen cannot take his downpayment or any percentage of it, and pop it into an 8% account. No such thing. Maybe 5%. 8% doubles every 9 years. 5% doubles every 14. Not counting for now the substantial hit of paying taxes on all that interest during a 30 year run up, the 80k deposit placed instead in the bank at 5% will grow to about $350k- way less after taxes paid each year of run up. At 8% 80k will grown in 30 years to 700k or so, save that lots will be lost to taxes along the way. I suppose a tax free Muni Bond could help with the taxes, but i fear that Municipalities will be going BK due to the bubble effect, so they are not wholly safe.Still, the principles you outline are sound and worth hearing.e.d. Rate this comment: 0 0

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