Brazil is a long way from the US, and the price of the BMW i3 in that South American country is even further away from what Americans pay for the same electric vehicle. But that hasn't stopped a few wealthy Brazilians from taking the plunge.
The BMW i3 REx – i.e., the one with the gas-powered range-extender – is the first mass-produced vehicle of its kind to be imported to Brazil (there are a few Nissan Leaf vehicles in fleet use), and those intrepid buyers are forking over about $100,000 to own the vehicle, according to Just-Auto. The country's first 100 i3's were recently received in Sao Paolo, and about 30 of them have been sold. That pricetag is a wee bit higher than in the US, where the i3 starts under $42,000. BMW did open a $261-million factory in Brazil this year, but the i3 continues to be produced exclusively in Germany.
It's not just fancy new plug-in cars and World Cup tickets that cost a lot in Brazil. The Volkswagen Golf, which retails for less than $18,000 in the States, costs about $23,000 in Brazil and the Economist ran a series of articles last year explaining how currency changes have resulted in the dollar-to-Brazilian real exchange rate surging in recent years.