BMW Considers Upping i3 Production
The 2014 BMW i3, BMW’s first all-electric production car, doesn’t go on sale in the U.S. until early next year, but BMW executives are already considering plans to increase production in light of higher than expected orders.
As Automotive News reported, the German automaker has received more than 8,000 i3 reservations from customers across Europe, ahead of the car’s official sales debut there next month. While it isn’t clear if the reservations are for the all-electric i3, or the range-extended i3-REX model, one thing is clear: the BMW i3 has been well received in Europe.
The 8,000 reservations already taken for the all-new EV are just 2,000 cars shy of the total production volume BMW had planned for the car’s first full year of production. It's premature to know if U.S. buyers will be equally enthusiastic.
BMW’s Chief Financial Officer Friedrick Elchiner indicated that the automaker will revise its earlier production plans—to avoid losing potential customers and to gain a larger section of the EV market. Eichiner said BMW would “adjust capacity to demand,” ensuring that “if demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.”
With an expected range of 100 or so miles per charge, a 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, a 126 kilowatt electric motor and a 0-60 time of under 7 seconds, the BMW i3 should provide buyers with a sporty, fun drive.
As well as being BMW’s first production plug-in car, the BMW i3 is also the world’s first production electric car to make use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) in its construction, making it far lighter than a car built using traditional metal construction techniques.
The BMW i3 is also the first plug-in car to be offered either as a pure electric car, or with the option of adding a small range-extending gas-powered engine. While the availability of the range-extender could break down barriers to sales, that feature pushes the price price from an already steep $42,200 to beyond $46,000.
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.