A New Electric Charge From BMW

Competition for Tesla

The electric car movement is growing.

Teslas are selling like crazy, and Nissan Leafs are still, well, selling.

Into the mix: A new BMW, the i3, coming this spring.

The i3 will sell for something near $40,000 (there will be an electric discount, but also options that can boost the price), with a range said to be around 80-100 miles per charge. Less like a Tesla Model S (which is a lot more expensive), and more like a Nissan Leaf (which costs less).

The new Bimmer was unveiled in New York Monday morning by company CEO Norbert Reithofer, who says the light aluminum used to make the car will help with speed and range. Reithofer, in an early morning interview, cited sales of electric cars by companies like Tesla as proof that Americans are ready to buy.

While purists are already saying the new design is un-BMW like, we won't know until the spring release if the i3 will sell. Outside of, say, Los Gatos, electric sales are pretty slow, but Tesla owners tend to be very happy, so word of mouth may help.

Scott charges up on Twitter: @scottbudman

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