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BMW is experiencing strong early demand for the i3 EV

Back in July BMW officially announced the starting price for the all-electric i3 EV at $41,350. BMW CFO Fredrick Eichner has now announced that customers have reserved over 8,000 of the little electric vehicles ahead of the official launch in Europe next month.

Eichner said, "If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more."

BMW has plans to sell 10,000 i3 units next year and previously announced that it would adjust build capacity according to market demand. High initial demand for the i3 is good news for the electric vehicle market overall since demand for electric vehicles continues to be very low compared to traditional and hybrid vehicles.

The BMW i3 will sell for €34,950 in Germany with the cars rolling into dealerships on November 16. BMW plans to launch in the U.S., China, and Japan in the first half of 2014.
 
Eichner added, "Demand in China and North America continues to be strong. It makes sense for us to think about expanding production capacity in North America."

One of the biggest reasons that many consumers continue to avoid electric vehicles is range anxiety. Owners of electric vehicles fear not having a car to go on longer distance trips. BMW is getting around that concern by offering a $3,950 gasoline engine/generator option that recharges the onboard battery pack.

Source: Detroit News



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Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By Nutzo on 10/15/2013 10:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
BMW is getting around that concern by offering a $3,950 gasoline engine/generator option that allows the vehicle to operate similarly to the Chevrolet Volt.


Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid.

The Volt has a transmission that connects the ICE directly to the wheels. Also, the ICE can sometimes be used to assist the electric motors under heavy acceleration. When the battery runs low, the Volts switched to running directly off the ICE, like a traditional Hybrid.

The BMW is an electric car. There is no transmission between the optional engine/generator and the tires. The ICE is only be used to charge the batteries, although I wonder if the charge rate is high enough to keep the car running at highway speeds.
This is the first production serial hybrid I’ve seen, so it will be interesting to see how well it works.




RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/15/2013 10:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, the article has been updated.


RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/15/2013 12:03:21 PM , Rating: 5
The thing is still the butt-fugliest Beemer I've ever seen in my life.


RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By superstition on 10/15/2013 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
I was just going to post the same thing.

This has to be one of the ugliest vehicles ever. The evil groundhog with big wheels look that's so in today makes me lol.


By Souka on 10/15/2013 3:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
same was said about the Prius

Well, many still do... but they're selling.


By Manch on 10/15/2013 4:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it will look better in Sonic blue?


RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By Manch on 10/15/2013 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Is BMW recycling Dodge calibers for this? That's what it reminds me of.


By inperfectdarkness on 10/16/2013 2:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
nitros...but yes, that's what I thought too.


By troysavary on 10/15/2013 1:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like the offspring of the unholy union between an Aztek and a Prius.


By eldakka on 10/15/2013 11:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I quite like it.

Maybe I'm just sick and twisted?

Nah, remove the 'maybe'.


RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/15/2013 2:03:38 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt can be either depending on what's more efficient. It can be a serial hybrid or parallel hybrid. Common sense tells you it's more efficient to directly convert the engine power to the wheels instead of converting it twice over so this actually helps with fuel economy. Still a lot of folks misunderstand this only happens when you run out of battery power first!

The BMW i3 has an "extender" engine. The engine doesn't produce enough power to sustain the battery on long highway runs. BMW's already stated the engine is for last resort really and not meant for continuous use. This means at some point you'll need to stop to charge the car (or stop to let the gas engine charge the car I guess.) Unlike the Volt where as long as you keep fueling up the tank, it will go non-stop across the country. I sure hope the folks who pre-ordered the i3 understand that or they're in for a nasty surprise.


RE: Wrong, the Volt is not a serial hybrid
By Mint on 10/15/2013 4:04:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The BMW i3 has an "extender" engine. The engine doesn't produce enough power to sustain the battery on long highway runs.
It absolutely has enough power for long highway runs. It won't work for long uphill runs, but a car like the i3 only needs ~15-20kW at 65 mph. Passing power can be obtained by buffering maybe 10% charge in the battery.

If it needed more power than that on the highway, it wouldn't be able to get up to 100 miles of range (1.5+ hours of driving) from a 22kWh battery.


By tng on 10/15/2013 5:36:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It absolutely has enough power for long highway runs.
Most people probably wont use it on the highway anyhow. Having the insurance that it can recharge itself is great, but I see allot of these as urban vehicles for hipsters who want to hug a tree and have a BMW...


By foxalopex on 10/16/2013 11:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
Statement from BMW themselves: "The range extender is not intended for daily use. It's for situations when the driver needs to extend the range of the vehicle to reach the next charging station. Therefore, the i3 probably won't be the choice for customers with a need for an extended range."

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1082814_bmw-i3...

Basically as some sites point out the gas engine is like an emergency reserve can of gas in the i3 so you hopefully don't get stranded somewhere. It isn't meant to do 1000 mile cross-country trips. Even BMW says that's not what it should be used for. Only the Volt can accomplish this in a reasonable way. Besides, the fact the i3 has a 2.3 gallon gas tank should be a hint that it's not meant to be normally used!


180km is not enough
By tayb on 10/15/2013 5:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
180km is still not enough for serious adoption. 600km drops all my range concerns and gives this car mass market appeal. At 180km I would need to have a second car for longer trips.




RE: 180km is not enough
By tng on 10/15/2013 5:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At 180km I would need to have a second car for longer trips.
With that range, I would need a second car to get to work!

Like you, still waiting for the 300 mile range that is <$40K.


RE: 180km is not enough
By flyingpants1 on 10/15/2013 7:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like you, still waiting for the 300 mile range that is <$40K.


That is called the Chevrolet Volt, it can do 380 miles. It's actually pretty good. For most people commutes are <40 miles, and most of their driving (11,000+ miles per year) would be be electric only. Some Chevrolet Volt drivers burn only about 1 tank of gasoline per year.


RE: 180km is not enough
By tng on 10/22/2013 12:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is called the Chevrolet Volt, it can do 380 miles.
OK... Still waiting for something that can do 300 miles, <$40K and not made by GM.


RE: 180km is not enough
By Mint on 10/15/2013 10:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need a second car with the i3. You only need the $4k range extender option.

It has an annoyingly small 2.5 gallon gas tank, but it'll take you 150km between refueling trips.


RE: 180km is not enough
By foxalopex on 10/16/2013 11:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
It'd be nice if folks did a little research before commenting. BMW has stated at the i3's release that the gas engine is suppose to be only used in emergencies. It is like your reserve gas can. It is NOT meant for daily use. The small gas tank should give you a hint. It's basically an EV car with an emergency gas engine. The Volt on the other hand is built to run on gas on the highway. It's actually a tiny bit faster at accelerating with the engine on.


RE: 180km is not enough
By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2013 1:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one that thinks it's crazy a car can be viewed as "efficient" when it's lugging around an entire propulsion system that the manufacturer claims you should, for all intents and purposes, hardly ever use? It's not like they are throwing that ICE in for free, you're paying for it.

Something is just so fundamentally off with that approach. Which is why hybrids and other plug-ins are viewed as stopgap technologies.


I saw one of these tooling around
By bill.rookard on 10/15/2013 12:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
and.... I'm underwhelmed. While I don't know how the vehicle actually drives (these are supposed to be the Ultimate Driving Machines after all), it's not really the best looking vehicle on the road with its proportions and dimensions. It strikes me much like the Pontiac Aztek: Competent machine, but wouldn't be seen dead in one.




RE: I saw one of these tooling around
By BabelHuber on 10/15/2013 4:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
According to the review of a German news site, the handling is even superiour to a Tesla Model S.

The review is not very good, though - just like you'd expect from a news magazine.

Here is the link to the original article:

http://www.focus.de/auto/fahrberichte/tid-34017/fa...


RE: I saw one of these tooling around
By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2013 1:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to the review of a German news site, the handling is even superiour to a Tesla Model S.


That just reeks of misplaced German pride, that statement.

And that's ME saying that, the "Tesla hater" of DT...


RE: I saw one of these tooling around
By BabelHuber on 10/16/2013 2:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have any source which disagrees with the test result?

I already stated that one should take this with a grain of salt, but OTOH I have not seen any other review yet.

So I would be careful with such claims until we have other sources.

After all, it is not really unrealistic to assume that driving pleasure is one goal at BMW when a new car is developed...


By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2013 6:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
"The review is not very good, though"

These are your own words, yes?


RE: I saw one of these tooling around
By Keeir on 10/17/2013 6:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/15/2014-bmw-i3-rev...

The i3 probably fits in tighter spaces and is easier on city driving.

True "sports" handling is apparently lacking according to most sources on the pre-production units


Dont think so stupidly BMW
By Dr of crap on 10/15/2013 11:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yea at first it will sell big, until the ones that want such a thing is depleted. AND that is in Europe, not the US. I can't speak for other countries, but the US buying public has a VERY SMALL section that will go for this kind of thing, very small. And since you are late to the party, you wont have that big a piece of the pie!

This is just a PR move to get people to "jump on the band wagon"!




RE: Dont think so stupidly BMW
By Flunk on 10/15/2013 1:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
They could sell thousands in Europe, the difference in the price of gas over there makes this a much more attractive option. You could save a lot by buying one of these.


RE: Dont think so stupidly BMW
By foxalopex on 10/15/2013 2:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Cars at times are like clothes. Sometimes it's just the label that makes it expensive. And surprisingly they still sell. I suspect the anandtech crowd is more bang for the buck kinda folks mostly so completely different way of thinking.


RE: Dont think so stupidly BMW
By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2013 1:06:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I suspect the anandtech crowd is more bang for the buck kinda folks mostly so completely different way of thinking.


Hell yes! That's why we drive Subaru - The official vehicle of Daily Tech.

(because Reclaimer said so)


RE: Dont think so stupidly BMW
By Mint on 10/15/2013 4:11:03 PM , Rating: 3
They targeted 10,000 cars per year worldwide. You could triple that and it's still a "VERY SMALL section".

It's a BMW and has a range extender, taking away all the negatives of an EV. The i3 will do just fine. I wish the front end looks weren't so goofy, but if the Prius can sell 200k/yr, then that shouldn't be a limiting factor.


Interesting development on DailyTech
By topkill on 10/17/2013 2:46:32 PM , Rating: 2
It used to be that if anyone mentioned an electric vehicle, there was nothing but outright venom and hatred about the whole subject. Now something like this comes up and there's actually a reasonable discussion about the vehicle and it's possible uses or market.

Nice to see something evolve to a constructive discussion.




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