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BMW Launches Electric Vehicle Sub-Brand

BMW concept EVs

BMW is getting serious about catering to the electric vehicle market. For evidence, look no further than the car giant's new green-focused BMW i sub-brand, which will roll out a line of EVs starting in 2013.

The BMW i brand spawned from project i, a BMW think tank launched in 2007 to explore ways that the company could get involved in the growing sustainability sector. "The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility," said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, in a statement. "BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility—all with a focus on sustainability."

BMW i new logo

First up for BMW i: the urban-minded, four-seater BMW i3 (formerly known as the Megacity Vehicle), and the the BMW i8 sportscar, based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept vehicle. Both cars are based on BMW's aluminum and carbon-fiber LifeDrive architecture platform.

Neither of these vehicles are new to electric vehicle enthusiasts—BMW has been showing off concept versions of them for the past few years—but the decision to lump them into a special sub-brand (complete with a new logo) is a clever way to highlight the company's commitment to EVs.

(Read more about why BMW chose to go with an EV sub-brand on Co.Design).

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Ariel Schwartz can be reached by email.