The two BMW i models will be the BMW i3 and BMW i8.

The BMW i3 – previously known as the Megacity Vehicle – will be BMW’s first series-produced car for urban areas to be driven by electric power alone.

The BMW i8 is based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Its plug-in hybrid drive is designed to combine the sporting ability of a high-performance vehicle with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car.

Both models are based on a construction concept known as LifeDrive architecture. An aluminium chassis houses the powertrain and the passenger cell consists of high-strength, lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).

“Both cars have been designed specifically for their respective alternative drive systems," explains Klaus Draeger, BMW Board member responsible for development. "We used the innovative architecture and CFRP to cancel out practically all of the extra weight added by the batteries. For our customers this means superior driving dynamics combined with significantly increased range using electric power.”

Like the BMW i3, the BMW i8 will also be manufactured at BMW’s Leipzig plant. Around €400 million will be invested in new plant facilities and some 800 jobs will be created up to 2013. Development and production synergies will be achieved through both vehicles using the same component sets for the electric motors, power electronics, and high-voltage lithium-ion batteries.