BMW launches i3 output in Germany

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BMW launched production in Germany on Wednesday of its Project i cars, the first large-scale test of whether building light vehicles out of carbon fiber and plastic instead of steel can speed the commercialization and adoption of electric vehicles. With the $2.7 billion program -- the $41,350 all-electric i3 city car, the $135,000 i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and future models -- BMW is aiming to become the first high-volume maker of ultralight vehicles.

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The front and rear passenger doors sit open on a BMW i3 battery-powered car assembled this week at BMW's factory in Leipzig, Germany.