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2015 BMW i3 Begins Production

BMW’s first-ever electric car will arrive in the U.S. early next year.

The 2015 BMW i3 electric car will be arriving in the U.S. early next year, and the car has officially begun production at BMW's Leipzig assembly plant according to a release from the German automaker. This i3, which fits into BMW's new eco-minded "i" sub-brand along with the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, features many advanced materials and production processes that BMW says make for a more sustainable production process.

The 2015 BMW i3 will start at $42,275 when it goes on sale in the U.S. next year. The standard i3 is powered by a 170 hp electric motor with between 80 and 100 miles of driving range. The standard lithium-ion battery pack is mounted in the rear, and a two-cylinder range extender gasoline engine will be optional for approximately $4000 extra. In Europe, deliveries of the 2015 BMW i3 will start in November.

BMW says the assembly of the 2015 BMW i3 is revolutionary due to the high-tech materials used on the car such as lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic which has never been used on a mass-production car before. The material itself is actually produced in the U.S. at a plant in Washington that is powered by hydroelectric power.

BMW has made a large investment in the Leipzig, Germany, plant for the production of i models, with an emphasis placed on sustainability and low energy use. For instance, the electricity for the plant is sourced from wind turbines, and the plant requires 50 percent less energy and 70 percent less water for the production process overall. The 2015 BMW i8 plug-in hybrid will also be produced at the Leipzig plant.

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