2015 BMW i3 Gets $1,000 Price Increase, Now Comes Standard With CCS Fast Charge, Heated Seats


The BMW i3 soldiers on into its second year of availability in the U.S. with only two notable changes: CCS fast charge is now standard and base MSRP is up by ~$1,000.

The Model Year 2014 BMW i3 BEV had a base MSRP of $41,350.  For 2015, with the addition of standard CCS fast charge ($700 option in 2014), the base MSRP for the i3 BEV jumps to $42,400.

Similarly, the price of the BMW i3 REX jumps up by more than $1,000 too.  For 2015, the base MSRP for the i3 REx increases from $45,200 to $46,250.

The “World” prices have decreased.  Tera World (top trim) is now a $2,500 option, compared to $2,700 for 2014.

BMW has wisely made heated seats standard for 2015 too.

So, minor changes for 2015 bring price increases to the i3, but useful features have been added.  Basically a wash, but no price drop as we’ve seen with most other plug-in vehicles in their second year on the market.

You can build your own 2015 BMW i3 here.

2015 BMW i3 REx

2015 BMW i3 REx

Hat tip to Michael Beinenson!

Category: BMW

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47 responses to "2015 BMW i3 Gets $1,000 Price Increase, Now Comes Standard With CCS Fast Charge, Heated Seats"
  1. David Murray says:

    That kinda sucks, really. I was hoping the price might go down a bit.

    I understand that DC fast charge should be a standard on just about any BEV. (Take note, Ford) but if I were buying the Rex (which I WOULD be, if I got an i3) then I would prefer not to pay for the DC fast charge as I’d probably rarely or never use it.

    1. David says:

      I thought about it when I was purchasing my Leaf and I figured it would be better to have the CCS and not need it then to need it and not have one. So I took it with one. Quick charges just started popping up on my charge map recently too so its a good thing.

  2. kdawg says:

    They’re going the wrong direction.

    1. Sivad says:

      Especially if they’re not offering a 150 mile AER with that price increase.

    2. Lensman says:

      kdawg said:

      “They’re going the wrong direction.”

      No kidding. How about at least an option for a gas-powered range extender with a gas tank bigger than a thimble, and how about letting the driver chose when to use, or not use, the extender?

      In other words… how about offering American car buyers the option of getting the same advantages that European buyers of the i3 get?

      Sure, I understand the REx option on the American i3 was crippled to earn BMW more carbon credits. But couldn’t they have at least offered the -option- of upgrading to a non-crippled version for the same amount of money BMW would lose by not getting those carbon credits?

  3. Brian says:

    This makes sense to me. The i3 is selling well (I would expect any BMW to sell in lower quantity than a Nissan). I wonder if the carbon fiber production is holding them up? Basically they want to get more profit out of each unit sold. Which implies they are selling as many units as they can build.

    As for the REx with CCS – I love it! Those who buy the REx may not use CCS in the near future, but if there were chargers 5 years from now, and they were cost competitive with gasoline, you might find yourself using it more as a BEV than an EREV. In this way, the i3 REx (+CCS) is an even better transition to all-electric transportation than the Volt EREV (with no quick charging option).

    1. Alonso Perez says:

      But the Euro lost 15% of its value against the dollar in the past year. Most of the car is made in Germany, at least half by value.

      BMW is getting greedy. At the very least they should have held the price.

      1. liberty says:

        The most expensive raw material is carbon fiber and they get it from washington state. Weak Euro probably means weaker demand in Europe and bmw says they need 20,000 sales /year to make it profitable.

        In reality for the bev version the price increase is really a forced option that bmw wants you to take. They want to see if they have enough aer miles if you also are quick charging. On the rex version though forcing customers to take the quick charge option doesn’t make much sense.

    2. CAB says:

      Ironically Brian the “selling well” coincided with the better lease deals and discounted pricing. It seems pretty common to now see folks reporting deals of $5k-$7K off sticker price. Indeed, in the Ft. Worth area the BMW dealer there has been advertising $4500 off sticker for a couple of months straight now on all their i3s (including those “in transit”).

    3. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Actually, this just shows why i3 REx (BEVx)is different from Volt (EREV).

      Volt is designed that it can be driven across the country on gas. i3 REx is really designed to allow you to get home on a medium size drive or limp to the next charging station.

      Nobody wants to stop for 30 mins for every 1 hr of drive or stop by for 5 mins to fill up for every 1.5 hours of driving… That is where Volt is designed for.

  4. Taser54 says:

    This bodes well for a big push from BMW for CCS.

  5. Goaterguy says:

    Now if we could do something about the 30mph top speed running on the range extender… Priorities BMW, priorities!

    1. scottf200 says:

      I think that have been various reports of 70 mph on flat being sustainable and 65 on any modest hilly areas.

      1. David Murray says:

        Yes, he’s probably one of those people blowing the issue out of proportion when climbing mountain passes with the Rex. I drove the i3 on range extender for 30 miles on the highway at 70 mph with no issues at all.

        1. Goaterguy says:

          Or maybe I am one of those people who actually read long term reviews on vehicles from reputable publications and discuss actual problems from real vehicles without being a “insert brand here” nutswinger…

        2. Goaterguy says:

          A quote from the review:
          “I was just beginning the long climb on California Highway 154 through the San Marcos Pass to an elevation of about 2,000 feet. At first the i3 climbed easily. But after about seven miles of steady climbing, my speed began to drop. By the time I reached the pass I was going only 30 mph with my foot to the floor. Apparently, I was in danger of overrunning the ability of the gasoline range extender to charge the battery.”

          1. Prad Bitt says:

            This quote is very different from your first affirmation.

    2. Nick says:

      Just needs a hold mode.

      1. Goaterguy says:

        True, but instead, it got a plug and heated seats for $1,000. That’s why I mentioned the priorities.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          The lack of a hold mode is a regulatory issue, not a priorities issue. It already exists on European versions.

  6. vdiv says:

    How about a battery and fuel tank capacities increase? The ELR was slammed for having the Volt drivetrain at a huge premium, but the i3 gets a pass with an 80-mile range.

    Come on BMW! Give us a 150 electric /150 extended miles! You can do it! CFRP can help 🙂

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      That would be i3 v2.0 coming in 2017/18. Not soon enough, but that is when the party begins for all the manufacturers.

  7. vdiv says:

    How about a battery and a fuel tank capacities increase? The ELR was slammed for having the Volt drivetrain at a huge premium, but the i3 gets a pass with an 80-mile range.

    Come on BMW! Give us a 150 electric /150 extended miles! You can do it! CFRP can help 🙂

  8. ELROY says:

    You are not going to be limited to 30mph unless you attack an extended uphill grade on 0 charge. Otherwise you can cruise over 70mph on the Rex with a depleted battery on level hwy. The i3 has won just about every comparison test it has been in. It is immensely quicker than all the cars in its class with similar battery size, and the most efficient as well. Even a B class or Rav4 with their big batteries is no match for overall range convenience with no DC quick charge and range extenders that the i3 has.

    1. kdawg says:

      The i3 Rex beats the Volt Gen2 in EV range, but loses in all the following:

      Total Range
      Power in CS mode
      MPG in CS mode
      Looks (subjective)

      1. Brian says:

        The i3 also beats the Volt Gen 2 in performance. It is not unusual for a higher performance car to demand a price premium.

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          It doesn’t beat either Volt in performance while in CS mode.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            Oh, and even on battery, it loses to Gen2 Volt in 0-30.

            1. Peder says:

              just for clarification the i3 does 0-60 in 6.5 seconds. It also has a very short stopping distance.

        2. kdawg says:

          I wouldn’t call ~1/2 second, 7.9 vs 8.4, a “high performance premium”.

          A 6% improvement for 35% price increase. And if you are in CS mode in the i3, you won’t be accelerating like that anymore.

      2. ziv says:

        This sounds crazy, but after seeing the Bolt in burnt orange, the i3 looks better than it used to. Still like the Volt (Gen I and Gen II) better than either of them, but the i3 stinks less now.

        1. kdawg says:

          I still can’t get past the i3’s two-tone.

  9. Aaron says:

    …and still no heated steering wheel.

  10. Zim says:

    Cool car — when it’s 25k instead of 50k I’ll consider it.

  11. Mikael says:

    Great news. Fast charging should be standard in every BEV, EREV and long range PHEV.

    1. Brian says:

      Agreed. Even the Volt 2.0 is almost getting to the point where a standard QC port may make sense. In quantity, I can’t believe that this would cost the manufacturer anywhere near $700/car.

  12. kubel says:

    Raising the price on a <100 mile EV. Wrong direction, BMW.

    $35,000 with a range extender and I'll bite.

  13. Victor says:

    Knowing what I know about the BMW i3 Rex. I couldn’t figure out why People would buy this car. I read recently of someone who bought the BMW i8. What he said spoke volumes as to why the BMW i3 will sell regardless of the price. This is what he said. “Before I attempt to rationalize the decision, let me say there is no rational reason”. If the decision to buy the car is not based on rational thought, it will sell.

  14. Speculawyer says:

    Awesome at making CCS standard!

    $1000 price hike? Ugh.

    The car desperate still needs a larger battery option.

    1. Peder says:

      last year, the CSS was $750 and the heated seats were $350 as I recall, so a wash price wise unless you did not want either option.

  15. EV says:

    not worth it

  16. My3rdBMW says:

    Does anyone commenting here actually own a BMW i3? I do. I bought it new off the lot in southern California at the end of December. I have a 2014 BEV, Mega trim level with 20″ alloys, in Laurel Grey.

    I’ve put 900 miles on it, mostly driving to/from home/office.

    This is my third BMW after a 325 coupe and a 325i wagon. I also own a Prius. I’ve owned two Acuras and a Lexus hybrid also.

    By far, this is the BEST car I’ve ever owned. It is incredibly quiet, smooth, and peaceful (that’s the best way to describe it). The car is also surprisingly quick, even on the freeway passing at 60 MPH. The interior surprises everyone and the build quality is superior to every EV except maybe Tesla.

    Do I wish it could drive 150 miles on a single charge? Sure. Is it *necessary*? No. Is this car the future?


    1. Lensman says:

      Thanks, My3rdBMW, for your comment. I don’t own an i3, but your comment is one of many from happy i3 owners.

      Let’s remember that “One size does NOT fit all” when it comes to cars. Those who buy an i3 to be a “city car” or commuter car probably will be quite pleased with their purchase. Let’s keep in mind that the REx is only an option, and that the i3 is designed to work without that. Sure, the EV range can’t compete with the Model S, but then it wasn’t intended to. The Model S is aimed at those who want to be able to drive long distances in a BEV; the i3 is not.

      From what I’ve read, those who use the i3 for what it was designed– that is, a city car or commuter car, with about the same range as the Leaf– will generally be happy with it. Those who buy it with the crippled REx range extender, with the plan to drive it longer distances, are much more likely to be unhappy at the car’s limitations.

    2. Goaterguy says:

      Lensman couldn’t have said it better. I don’t think anyone here has complained about the good qualities My3rdBMW mentioned. The issue I originally commented on is directly related to the inadequacy of the RX option as explained by Edmunds on an i3 that they bought.

  17. Phr3d says:

    Goaterguy, the 6% SOC requirement was based upon uhmm, ‘input’ from California, as Edmunds knew. The ‘crippling’ can be overcome with a firmware fix, and there is a ‘beta’ for the SOC limitation running now.

    The ‘crippling’ situation is -bad-, but far from common, and can be easily addressed by a tech-nerd, and with luck, easily addressed by a service visit in the near future (unless you live in California, where you will need to contact your CARB board and make them see reality).

  18. Ofset says:

    No CHAdeMO, no care!!!!! Come on people.. This is Blueray vs. HDDVD all over again.

    When will these other EV companies understand??

  19. Cartman says:

    I chose a BEV i3 over a Tesla for a number of reasons. Price was not a primary deciding factor but for the cost the interior of the Tesla is horrible. The i3 is a much nicer car if range is not an issue.