While BMW continues to grab the attention of electric vehicle enthusiasts around the world, the much heralded launch of the 2014 BMW i3 EV has been somewhat overshadowed with images leaked to Dutch website Autoblog.nl. The full set of the images are available at the Autoblog.nl website, giving a little more depth than the image we have added above. BMW will be furious that the launch has been overshadowed, pencilled in for 29 July, it does build up anticipation for the launch event. As you'll see from the picture, the 2014 BMW i3 EV bears a very close resemblance to the BMW i3 Concept Coupe although many experts believe there will be significant technological and operational improvements.
Managing the media
Sometimes you get the impression that pictures of new electric vehicles are leaked to the Internet deliberately ahead of a major event but this does not seem to be the case with the 2014 BMW i3 EV. The company has battled very hard to keep even the launch date under wraps, having only revealed it earlier this month, and there will be an internal investigation to see exactly how the leak occurred and how these images managed to make their way onto the Internet.
Thankfully, for BMW at least, no further details about the vehicle itself have been released and we wait with anticipation for further information. The design of the 2014 BMW i3 EV is eye-catching, the compact nature of the vehicle is perfect for the EV market, yet it still bears the style and resemblance of a traditional BMW.
Perfect timing by BMW?
Over the last couple of months there is no doubt that interest in electric vehicles has improved dramatically, just in time for the release of an array of new vehicles. We had news that pure EV vehicles are now outselling their hybrid counterparts, Renault-Nissan sold its 100,000th electric vehicle and the electric charging network continues to roll out across the globe.
It would be foolish to suggest that electric vehicles are now on the verge of breaking into the mass market but it would also be foolish to suggest they are not dangerously close. The industry has had many ups and downs over the last 100 years or so, although finally, and we should only whisper this, it seems as though we are on the verge of something special. When we see top of the range car manufacturers such as BMW making a big play for the industry perhaps this is a sign of things to come?
The scene is primed for a very high profile launch of the 2014 BMW i3 EV on 29 July and we can only hope and pray that BMW does not disappoint. Anticipation has now reached fever pitch, EV enthusiasts are now looking towards this special day and it could turn out to be yet another turning point in the onward rise of electric vehicles.
Whether images of the 2014 BMW i3 EV were leaked anonymously or deliberately is neither here nor there in the long run. The fact is that the vehicle is nearly upon us and early indications are that BMW will not disappoint with regards to new technology and functionality. As the onward momentum continues to build, 2013 could be "the year" of the electric vehicle despite the disastrous start to the year with a string of negative press stories.