PHOTO CAPTION: BMW i3 will likely be followed by a larger model, possibly dubbed the i5.

BMW Preparing Special Edition i3 for Its 'Electronauts'

BMW Active E 'Electronauts' will get the first of the specially upgraded i3 electric cars off the production line.

Published: 17-Jan-2014

Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW, is excited these days. He's got a lot to sort out as the company's first large-scale production electric vehicle, the i3. Extending Electronaut leases, arranging tens of thousands of EV test drives and making sure there will be enough of the little city cars in the US when customer deliveries will start in May.

Oh, and he's already working on the next BMW EV, which we think is likely to be the i5.

During the Detroit Auto Show this week, Harb declined to name the model (surprise) but he did tell AutoblogGreen, "You can probably take an educated guess at the next thought process, something a little bigger, maybe a little more range, relative to the i3. We've got everything trademarked and we're exploring the best, next iteration. It is coming. It's in development now." An i5 has been rumored for years, but Harb said he's flying to Munich next week to "start the discussions further" on BMW's next-gen EVs.


BWM i3 carbon fiber body shell

BMW and Toyota will also jointly develop lightweight carbon fiber technologies for vehicle bodies.

BMW i3 on display at 2013 North American International Auto Show.

Test drive of BMW's i3 finds it is 'shaping up to be a breakthrough electric car. It delivers dynamic thrills like no electric car before it. '

BMW i3 electric car.

The automaker found that range was only a problem with about 10 percent of daily trips, so it is planning to make available its conventional cars as temporary loaners for customers who buy the i3 electric car


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