Statement: Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG World premiere BMW i3 New York City, 29th July 2013, 8:20 a.m.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Innovation drives change.

And truly revolutionary innovations can even transform society. There is a powerful idea behind them – and a strong desire to create something better for tomorrow.

This is why we are here today. We are at the starting-blocks of a new era — the era of sustainable mobility.

Welcome to New York City, America’s premier megacity with over 8.3 million residents.

I am delighted to present – for the first time – the BMW i3.

Big changes start small. Looking back in history, we can find many examples of this. Today, the BMW i3 marks the beginning of a new mobility age. To put this into perspective, take a look at the mobile phone in your pocket. We had more than one hundred years of landline telephones. Then came the mobile phone and it completely changed how we interact with our world. The mobile phone opened up business opportunities that no one would have believed possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The car industry has waited well over a century for its own revolution. Today the wait is over. What the mobile phone did for communication, electric mobility will do for individual mobility.

The BMW i3 is more than an evolutionary step —it is a great leap forward. From sketch to street, the i3 is unique in every respect. With the intention of creating a truly sustainable car, we conducted research in megacities around the world.

This included:
  • Millions of test miles with our retro-fitted electric cars, MINI E and BMW ActiveE,
  • Years of research in collaboration with Megacity experts around the world, and
  • Thousands of hours talking with customers.
From the start, we redesigned our entire development and production processes. The BMW i3 is purpose-built around an electric powertrain to serve the needs of our megacity customers.

The BMW i3 is Born Electric.

This is premium at its very best.

With every step of the way from development, to production, to after-sales, the BMW i3 sets new benchmarks in sustainable mobility. In the brand-new architecture, we use carbon fibre for the passenger cell — a first in high-volume car production. Our expertise in manufacturing with this material makes the passenger cell extremely strong and light weight. We produce the carbon fibre material using hydroelectric power. And we build the BMW i3 using wind power.

This is an industry first.

Our innovative production methods are also unique.

Carbon fibre components are bonded together in a fully automated process. The bonding techniques we have developed in-house are setting new industry standards.

The innovations of the BMW i3 go beyond R&D and production to include customer experience.

We will support all of our BMW i3 customers with a comprehensive set of premium service offerings. This approach, “360 Degree Electric”, will make BMW i3 driving enjoyable and easy. Adding to the BMW i3’s relaxing experience is the open interior with its lounge atmosphere.

And of course, the BMW i3 will share one dynamic quality with every other BMW on the road: It will be an Ultimate Driving Machine.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In response to global trends such as urbanization and increasing carbon emissions, sustainability is an important part of a modern, urban lifestyle. The BMW i3 is the perfect solution to the mobility needs of people here in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed the remainder of his term to making New York City the greenest city on earth by supporting several citywide programs. Foremost, he seeks to improve and expand sustainable transportation infrastructure. We support with Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to connect public parking spots in NYC for electric vehicle charging – up to 20 percent over the next seven years. This promotes not only sustainable mobility solutions, but also cost savings.

Charging your electric car costs up to 30 percent less than the average of what you now pay at the pump.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The car has existed for nearly 130 years.

Today marks a shift — a change — in the future of mobility.

The BMW Group is proud to be driving this change.

Today, the BMW i3 begins a new era:

The era of true sustainable mobility.

Thank you.