This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

BMW i3 Enters the Electric Scrum


In a sense, though, BMW's intention here is not to provide a high volume model.

The electric vehicle with an ultra-light carbon fiber body with aluminum frame reinforcement is really still a work in progress, according to Brett Smith, an industry analyst at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"In many ways, the i3 is sort of like the Volt in that it is a fully functional, user-ready prototype," he said. "It's a real production car: in a sense it is not an experiment, but it is experimental."

The point here, according to Smith, is for BMW to put its green foot forward and brand itself as innovative and of the future regarding alternative, electric mobility.

"[The i3] pushes the discussion further in that direction," he said. "It's intended to be a statement in so many different ways."

And that statement can be made by selling a couple thousand units, with no need to move massive numbers off the lots.

That's fortunate, given that the price point north of $40,000 may be a stretch for most consumers.

"For a micro car, that's really pushing people's imagination," Smith said.

Of course, not everyone agrees it's so outlandish.

"Once the [tax] incentives available are factored in, we think the price point is actually attractive and this may drive sales ahead of current expectations," said Paul Newton, research manager of the automotive group at IHS Global Insight. "Overall, initial entry costs and practicality remain significant barriers to widespread adoption, but things will grow, albeit slowly."

Tech Appeal

People don't necessarily care if the future has arrived yet--they just want to be a part of it.

The EV market may still be in embryonic form and working through the growing pains, but the early adopters will buy for the same reason they went out to snag the first iPad.

"It's a badge of honor," Smith said.

The car has coach doors, bench seats and a floor absent a divider hump to make the teensy vehicle more fluid in terms of entering and exiting. The car has the classic look with the Hofmeister kink (that low forward bend in the C-pillar), but it has outwardly modern flare with LED BMW kidneys and U-shaped tail lights to complement the carbon fiber body.
2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.01 0.00%
FB $99.75 0.00%
GOOG $682.74 0.00%
TSLA $147.99 0.00%
YHOO $27.05 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,027.05 -177.92 -1.10%
S&P 500 1,853.44 -26.61 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,283.7530 -79.3910 -1.82%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs