The introduction of the new “i” sub-brand for BMW’s upcoming pure electric, plug-in hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles was only the beginning as the Bavarian carmaker is taking the project to a whole new level with the opening of the first dedicated i Store worldwide in London’s Park Lane.
BMW Group Board Member, Ian Robertson, commented: “BMW i Park Lane marks a completely new approach. Situated next to BMW Park Lane and MINI Park Lane, it gives people a perfect opportunity to learn more about electromobility and get close to our future electric and plug-in hybrid BMW i vehicles. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to electromobility.”
The BMW i Park Lane showroom will officially open its doors to the public on July 25 and will be followed by more dedicated i stores in select cities around the world.
The German carmaker noted that aside from the special i Stores, select BMW dealers will also sell the new i models. The company expects more than 10 per cent of its European dealers to represent BMW i from the launch of the sub-brand in 2013, focusing primarily on vehicle availability and the range of services on offer to customers.
BMW said that for the most part, a standard service can be carried out within the existing BMW Service network, though the company pointed out that the bespoke elements of the carbon-fibre Life module and servicing of the high-voltage battery under warranty will be taken care of by experts at the selected BMW i partners.
The Bavarian brand added that it will support i model customers with a four-pillar package that includes the following:
- Assistance Services – Customers will be able to rely on services such as ConnectedDrive e-remote apps and future roadside services such as mobile recharging equipment
- Public charging – BMW i will partner with public charging providers in all countries where BMW i models are introduced
- Home charging with the BMW i Wallbox
- Flexible mobility solutions – Customers sometimes have mobility requirements which cannot be completely met by the range of an electric car. In such cases, BMW i will offer mobility options that enable longer distances to be covered – for example, through the loan on such occasions of a BMW powered by a conventional,
fuel-efficient combustion engine.
The first production models of the BMW sub-brand will be the i3 supermini that will go on sale in late 2013 followed by the i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe in 2014.