BMW Enters Holding Pattern On EVs To Gauge Demand

bmw-i3-bmw-i8It has taken BMW nearly half a decade to bring its initial electric car concepts into production, and at least in Germany, demand is already strong. Before BMW adds any more cars to its i-line of electrified vehicles, the German company wants to see how the world reacts to its take on green cars.

Despite reported production delays, the first BMW i3 and BMW i8 vehicles are making their way to dealerships and buyers. BMW has reportedly said that demand for both vehicles is strong, and the initial allotment of i8s may already be spoken for. Yet despite registering the i1 through i9 trademarks, executives have decided to go into a holding pattern to see just how strong demand is beyond eager early adopters.

While there is naturally plenty of room for the i-brand to grow beyond a compact urban commuter and a high-performance sports car, BMW has already spent some $2.7 billion developing its dual green cars and the i brand itself. That’s a lot of spent capital, reportedly more than the $1 billion Nissan spent to develop the Leaf, and there’s a reason for that. Whereas the Nissan Leaf is based on an existing platform (the Nissan Versa), BMW developed not one, but two brand new platforms for the i3 and i8. Add in the additional cost of developing two mostly carbon fiber vehicles and the associated technologies, and you quickly work your way up to that $2.7 billion price tag.

While all this development has given these two electric/hybrid vehicles better performance than their peers, and a higher price tag too. There’s a lot of sunken cost into these two vehicles, and BMW needs to make that money back in order to justify more cars, including a mid-size or full-size sedan to compete with Tesla, which has its crosshairs on the German luxury brand. Meanwhile, BMW has its own Active E testers that are quite popular with customers wanting a mid-size EV.

With a reported 11,000 orders on the books and a six month delay for the BMW i3, things are certainly off to a good start. But Bimmer will have to sell a lot more electrics cars than that to make back the billions they’ve already invested.

Source: The Truth About Cars

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.