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BMW will start selling its i3 battery-powered car in China and Singapore next year

German luxury automaker BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday, July 29, 2013. BMW will start to sell its new battery-powered i3 compact car next year in China - a market that it predicts will become the top
German luxury automaker BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday, July 29, 2013. BMW will start to sell its new battery-powered i3 compact car next year in China - a market that it predicts will become the top markets for electric vehicles. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
German luxury automaker BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday, July 29, 2013. BMW will start to sell its new battery-powered i3 compact car next year in China - a market that it predicts will become the top
German luxury automaker BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday, July 29, 2013. BMW will start to sell its new battery-powered i3 compact car next year in China - a market that it predicts will become the top markets for electric vehicles. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

German luxury automaker BMW will start to sell its new battery-powered i3 compact car next year in China - a market that it predicts will become the top markets for electric vehicles.

Speaking at an interview with Bloomberg Television in Beijing on July 29, BMW's production chief Harald Krueger said he believes China will be, like the US, one of the core markets for electric cars.

"I'm very optimistic on China in principle because China is a market for e-mobility," Mr Krueger said.

The i3, which has a high-voltage battery that can keep the car running about 120km to 160km on a single charge, will be targeted at families and commutes, he added.

The automaker launched the car simultaneously in New York, London and Beijing on Monday.

Germany and other European markets will be the first to get the i3 in November this year. It will go on sale in the US, China and Japan market in 2014.

In Singapore, the i3 will arrive by the middle of next year. BMW agent Performance Motors has been appointed sole dealer of the car.

According to Bloomberg, Mr Liu Chuanzhi, chairman of Legend Holdings, a Chinese investment company, will be the first customer in China to own an i3.

He had placed an order for the car while attending the automaker's event on Monday in Beijing.