As BMW Prices The i3 In Canada At $44,950, We Look At Plug-In Pricing Premiums To The North

JUL 24 2013 BY JAY COLE 17

BMW Prices The i3 In Canada From $44,950

BMW Prices The i3 In Canada From $44,950 (pic via

Shortly after BMW USA priced the all new i3 from $41,350, BMW Canada followed suit by announcing a starting price of $44,950 north of the border.

They also added that the plug-in will travel electrically “beyond a range of 150 kilometres (93 miles)” and “will be available to customers in Canada in the first half of 2014.”

And yes, we did contact BMW Canada’s Director of Corporate Communications, Frank Strebe to ask if they had a price on the i3 with the range extender option added in…they did not.

Other Than A Little Worldwide Meltdown In 2008, Canadian-US Dollar Parity Has Existed Over The Last 6 Years

Other Than A Little Worldwide Meltdown In 2008, Canadian-US Dollar Parity Has Existed Over The Last 6 Years

Now that we have gotten the specific pricing on the i3 out of the way, lets get to second topic at hand whenever a new electric vehicle gets priced in Canada.

Why is it so much more versus the US price?

Well, a little over a decade ago, when it cost Canadians about $1.60+ to buy a single American dollar, new car prices were are actually a bit cheaper on average in Canada than in the US  (factoring in the exchange rates).

This pricing reality was mostly due to the fact an automaker could still only sell at a car at the price a market will bear.

However, as the currency recovered to par between the turn of the new millennium to 2007, and through to today (except for a little worldwide financial crisis you might recall in the fall of 2008), automakers seemed to play on the past Canadian reality of “sticker prices are simply much higher in Canada than the US.”  And a lot of gouging ensued.

Best "Currency Deal" In Canada Is The Ford Fusion Energi

Best “Currency Deal” In Canada Is The Ford Fusion Energi

But slowly over the past half-decade (as the currency flat-lined), OEMs started to ‘get reasonable’ with their MSRP mark-ups…but some variance still exists.

In truth, when accounting for regulatory issues and duties (and sometimes transportation when the vehicle’s country of origin is the US), automakers need to make about 6-7% more on a car sold in Canada than in the US to achieve a margin parity north and south of the border.

Often, this deficit is made up almost completely on the bump in the ‘destination’ charges.


So, without further adieu, lets check out who is selling cars on the cheap, and who is adding some price premiums in Canada…and remember, with the Canadian dollar closing at an even 97 cents to the USD recently, a number right around 9% is considered ‘even money’:

         Brand                         US Pricing                            CDN Pricing                                +/-

  1. Ford Fusion Energi$40,290 ($39,495 + $795) vs $40,448 ($38,899 + $1,550)       +0.3%
  2. Ford Focus Electric (’13) – $39,995 ($39,200 +$795) vs $42,749 ($41,199+$1,550)  +6.9%
  3. Chevrolet Volt – $39,985 ($39,135 + $850) vs $43,550 ($42,000 + $1,550)                 +8.9%
  4. Smart ED – $25,750 ($25,000 +$750)  vs  $28,285 ($26,990 + $1,295)                        +9.8%
  5. BMW i3  – $42,300 ($41,350+ $925) vs $47,045 ($44,950 + $2,095)                           +11.2%
  6. Tesla Model S (60kWh) – $69,900 (incl dest) vs $77,800 (incl dest)                            +11.3%
  7. Mitsubishi i-MiEV  (’12) – $30,825 ($29,975+$850) vs $34,698 ($32,998+$1,700)     +12.5%
  8. Nissan LEAF – $29,650 ($28,800 + $850) vs $33,688 ($31,698 + $1,990)                  +13.6%
  9. Toyota Prius Plug-In – $32,795 ($32,000 + $795) vs $37,320 ($35,700 + $1,620)     +13.8%
  10. Ford C-Max Energi$33,745 ($32,950 + $795) vs $38,549 ($36,999 + $1,550)       +14.2%

(Note: original 2013 model year starting MSRP taken on base model unless otherwise noted)

Canadian Ford C-Max Hybrid Finishes Last In Price Competitiveness With Its US Counterpart

Canadian Ford C-Max Hybrid Finishes Last In Price Competitiveness With Its US Counterpart


As a refresher, here are the top 5 selling plug-in cars in Canada for the first 6 months of the year:

  1. Chevrolet Volt471
  2. Tesla Model S –  320 (est +/- 30)
  3. Nissan LEAF248
  4. Toyota Prius Plug-In148
  5. Mitsubishi i-MiEV92

Conclusion:  While it is nice to see that no models are priced extremely out of line, there is still a 14% price fluctuation between EVs as they cross the border.

Categories: BMW, Sales


Leave a Reply

17 Comments on "As BMW Prices The i3 In Canada At $44,950, We Look At Plug-In Pricing Premiums To The North"

newest oldest most voted

Why is the LEAF missing from the “Brand / US Pricing / CDN Pricing” table? The Ford numbers were interesting. Nice to see GM at ‘even money’.

…whoops, it was there before we “sorted” it


I don’t know if this applies to cars, but whenever we build equipment for Canada, we always have an adder for all the Canadian hoopla we have to go through.

For the Ford vehicles the pricing is a bit high when not taking massive $3k to $7k+ incentives to balance posted CA pricing with the US based on the Ford Canada website. No one ever pays the ‘original MSRP in Canada.

C-MAX Energi – Starting at $33,854 + $1,678 Fees = $35,532

Fusion Energi – Starting at $35,570 + $1,678 Fees = $37,248

Focus Electric – Starting at $37,692 + $1,678 Fees = $39,370

So the C-MAX would not finish last with competitiveness with it’s US Counterpart.

FYI….Ford is the #1 Selling Brand in Canada.

Indeed. Intentionally left it as an “original” MSRP thing, otherwise it is all over the map month to month trying to calculate who is running what on sale

For example….the Focus Electric in the US is also $4,000 cheaper now, as well as in Canada (Ford Canada is running a “employee pricing event”)… so these new sales skew everything, and it will probably change again a month from now

Current example:
US Focus Electric – Starting at $35,200 + $795 Fees = $35,995
CDNFocus Electric – Starting at $37,692 + $1,678 Fees = $39,370

It is actually a little worse spread now at +9.3% as compared to the original comparison at +6.9%

…best/fairest illustrative method I could think of

I think higher delivery charges makes sense – cars have to travel further (though in some cases not by much – but when you average it out, it is further). Once we consider that, the premium is lesser – may be < 10%.

Yes, but the Leaf delivery charge was $1990(2011 & 2012) when it was made in Japan. Now that’s its made in the US and it’s still the same price???

When it’s 60 minutes from Bellingham to Vancouver, $1140.00 is quite a difference when you consider that they are not imported one at a time but in volume!

So for CDN buyers a bonus $3K hit on MSRP and $1140.00 on delivery!

In the same logic a BMW i3 should thuis be cheaper in Brussels then in LA.
Let’s find out.

Hey Jay,

You should do a comparison on the lease rates for these EVs.

That 14% price fluctuation will skyrocket!!! Lots of 6 thru 9 percents!

You really have to take into account import duties in your comparison. Many of the US car makers have little or no duty due to NAFTA, but Tesla DOES have duties since the Model S isn’t 55% manufactured in the US solely due to the battery cells. So Tesla’s premium is mostly due to duties.

Further to that as a point of reference. Tesla pays 6.1% duties and fees to get a car into Canada. Depending on origin OEMs can pay as little as around 2% all-in.

Conversely, some other plug-ins on this list travel 6,000+ miles via boat and multiple rail rides to get to Canada, while others only travel a fraction of that direct, and for much less per mile.

Mitsubishi sells slightly different models in the U.S. and in Canada. I believe the base Canadian model includes some features that are extra-cost options on the base U.S. model (e.g., DC quick charging port, cold-weather package, fog lights – not sure about the details). This is probably true for other EV’s, so the higher Canadian MSRP’s could be partially due to more standard features.

There is actually a few extras on the i-MiEV sold in Canada…although most came with the model year upgrade (2013), which the US never got…only a handful of 2012s left, although Mitsu told us directly that there will be another model year released in the US.

On the flip side of that coin, Mitsubishi Canada also increased the price by $1,000 for 2013 in Canada…that is when they actually had them to sell…their website no longer references the 2013 model directly and the link goes to a 404 page (perhaps they are re-working it for MY 2014)

…seems like their is always chaos and confusion with Mitsu

Remember that in Canada we pay taxes on top of the price (+15% in Quebec, +13% in Ontario). So, the price of the LEAF for example starts from $38,863.31 in Quebec (taxes and fees included).

Two days ago I spoke to Nissan’s dealer regarding the LEAF 2013. They told me that the price calculator is still not accurate (especially for leasing). They will need about 2 month. Waiting time to get a LEAF is about 3 month once pre-ordered.

I wonder what a US price list versus a Europe price (say Brussels) would give?