BMW i3 EV to launch in Europe

The new BMW i3 is set to become the most expensive electric vehicle (EV) in Europe, with a price of €40.000 (£34,000). The company said it will launch the i3 - its first ever EV - in Germany towards the end of next year.

The i3 will have an aluminium chassis and a plastic body that is carbon fibre reinforced. The lithium-ion battery will be supplied by Samsung SDI, which is based in South Korea.

Glen Schmidt, head of steering government affairs for BMW, said: "The i3 is reinventing BMW to have the right solutions for sustainable mobility. It is still BMW and still fun to drive. It is also very much for our volume growth strategy."

Mr Schmidt explained that the aim is to attract existing BMW customers as well as many others who genuinely care about environmental sustainability and have the money to buy the car.

The 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show was the event that officially launched the BMW i3 coupe. This model is different from the regular version, with an altered frontage, new back end and doors that have been restyled.

Technical communications spokesman BMW i, Manuel Sattig, said: "Bringing more sophisticated, more premium products into the market will help make electric mobility a unique and worldwide success.