The BMW i3 is a B-class, high-roof hatchback manufactured and marketed by BMW with an electric powertrain using rear wheel drive via a single-speed transmission and an underfloor Li-ion battery pack and an optional range-extending gasoline engine. The i3 was BMW's first mass-produced zero emissions vehicle and was launched as part of BMW's electric vehicle BMW i sub-brand.
Styled by Richard Kim, the i3 uses a single five-door configuration with bodywork consisting of a passenger module of high strength, ultra-lightweight CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) glued to a lower aluminium module holding the chassis, battery, drive system and powertrain. The bodywork features two smaller clamshell rear-hinged rear doors. The i3 debuted as a concept at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany, and production began in July 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.
The i3 ranked third among all-electric cars sold worldwide from 2014 to 2016. Global sales since inception totaled more than 133,000 units through the end of 2018. The U.S. is its best-selling market with over 37,000 units sold through 2018.
The BMW i3 has won two World Car of the Year Awards, selected as 2014 World Green Car of the Year and also as 2014 World Car Design of the Year. The i3 received an iF Product Design Gold Award, and won both UK Car of the Year 2014 and Best Supermini of 2014 in the first UK Car of the Year Awards.