By the end of the decade, BMW hopes to sell 100,000 of its ‘i’ line of electric vehicles, and the German automaker is certainly off to a strong start. With a backlog of orders for both the BMW i3 and i8, the goal of 100,000 EVs is probably on the conservative side.
Sources say that initial orders for the BMW i3 topped 11,000 units before production even began, and the demand for the $136,000 BMW i8 apparently exceeded planned initial production. These cars are hot to trot, and it’s no wonder why; EV and BMW enthusiasts alike have been teased by these vehicles for years, and anticipation has just about boiled over.
It’s easy to see why. While the BMW i3 definitely has some funky looks, its loaded with the kind of high-tech gadgetry hipsters prematurely climax over. The body is made from lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber, BMW claims a real-world driving range of about 100 miles, and an optional range extender doubles the driving distance. Also, rear-wheel drive + hot laps makes this look like the most fun you can have in an electric car that isn’t a Tesla, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
If BMW really can build and sell 100,000 EVs a year by 2020, it could put Bimmer among the world’s leading producer of EVs, and one of the cleanest-burning brands in the world. With the EU’s emissions restrictions only getting stricter, EVs will play an important role in helping automakers meet government-set mandates.
Though just the first step towards a global EV empire, BMW has had arguably the smoothest electric vehicle launch yet, though it was by no means perfect. There’s still a lot of money to be invested in BMW’s next electric effort, which in my mind is already taking shape.
Source: Automotive News