BMW is revving the electrical vehicle engine with its new i-series releases in the U.S. and the recent announcement of its partnership with SolarCity, which will help i3 and i8 buyers become more sustainable with a discount on solar systems.
The i3 is entering the U.S. market now and the i8 is expected to be available in 2015. While BMW is relatively new to the electric vehicle scene, the luxury vehicle manufacturer is turning heads with its latest models.
The BMW i3 is a fully electric city car with a maximum range of 125 miles. It’s selling for about $45,000, but offers all the luxury of a BMW, including sleek design and leather seats combined with sustainable touches like a recycled plastic interior. It takes about eight hours to fully charge, although BMW is selling rapid charging stations to i-series buyers. And now the company has partnered with SolarCity to offer buyers solar-powered EV charging stations.
BMW i-series buyers will qualify for a 10-percent discount on home solar installations in the 14 states where SolarCity does business. The 10-percent discount can even apply to SolarCity’s no upfront payment options that lock in solar rates for 20 years.
“With help from SolarCity, BMW i-series customers will have the opportunity to maximize the commitment to sustainability,” said Rob Healey, BMW’s EV Infrastructure Manager. “This reinforces the entire concept behind the BMW i3, which is engineered and produced by the most sustainable manufacturing process in the automotive industry.”
He added that electric-vehicle buyers aren’t just interested in driving green cars, they’re making a lifestyle choice and it’s not exclusive to their cars. Many EV buyers want to live more sustainably in all areas of their lives. Installing rooftop solar arrays at their homes can help them achieve that.
“This partnership makes the more sustainable fuel option—emissions-free solar electricity—also the more affordable one,” stated SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “By making renewable energy far more accessible and affordable for its customers, BMW is helping to bring clean transportation into the mainstream.”
BMW is not the first auto manufacturer SolarCity has teamed up with. The company is also working with Tesla, Honda and Ford.