Farewell, BMW i3: how EV changed the face of motoring

We take one last look at pioneering city car which forged the i-brand template a decade ago

The year is 2013 and the BMW i3 has just been launched.

Cast your mind back: the world was mercifully free of Covid, we were still three years away from teenagers TikToking, Prince Harry was mates with his brother and no one had yet thought that chucking a bucket of iced water over your head would lead to millions in charity donations.

It feels like a lifetime ago, and in car terms it was. Nine years is a life cycle and a half in most model runs, yet here we are today, still looking at a new i3 and still marvelling at it. And mourning it, because production will end in July.
BMW i3 and i3S 120Ah (Image: BMW Group)

BMW i3 and i3S 120Ah (Image: BMW Group)

It has been tipped as a future classic, no less than in our recent Autocar-Beaulieu Future Classics competition, and little wonder. There were other EVs before the i3 (heck, BMW itself had one with the Mini E trial fleet), but the i3 is the one that felt – and still feels – like it defined an era. A movement, even.

Why? I think it’s due to the integrity of the idea: the i3 was born electric.

Read more: Autocar

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