When we saw the BMW i3 at the Cenex LCV event this year, it is fair to say we were impressed. Before seeing the car in the flesh (or carbon-fiber reinforced plastic as it is with this car) we had our concerns about its looks putting people off. We were wrong and happily ate our words.
It seems that we weren’t the only ones impressed with the car as pre-orders for the i3 have outstripped all expected demand. With more than 8,000 i3s on order, and BMW only expecting to sell 10,000 next year, it seems that they are having to re-think their plans a bit.
‘If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more,’ said Friedrich Eichiner, BMW’s Chief Financial Officer at a press conference in Amsterdam.
The BMW i3 has not only been designed to be as energy efficient in its use as possible, using technologies such as the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic to reduce the overall weight of the car, but the whole production of the car has been thought about too.
For example, the bodywork will be made at a new manufacturing plant built in Moses Lake, Washington, where it gets most of its energy from hydro-electric power.
The i3 can be bought as a pure electric car or as a range-extended electric car. The latter including a small two-cylinder engine that provides power to the battery to effectively double the range of the car. At Transport Evolved we would like to know the split between the two options in the 8,000 plus pre-orders.
With E2’s survey finding that consumers are less confident to buy electric cars now when compared to last year, the news that BMW is considering upping production of their first publicly available electrically powered car is positive for the industry.
Do you have an i3 on order? Have you got the range entender? Is the i3 becoming the car to have? Let us know below.
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