Print 33 comment(s) - last by tng.. on Oct 22 at 12:32 PM

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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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
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
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."

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!

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