As consumers clamor for its i3 EV, BMW may ramp up to make more

bmw i3 isnt sale yet now can configure just one want 2014 exterior right
With a body that only a mother could love, the i3 pre-orders are out pacing even Bimmer's highest hopes.

The i3 electric city car is BMW’s big gamble and, for the moment, it seems to be paying off.

Early demand for the car has been high, and BMW is thinking about increasing production, Bloomberg reports.

With a month to go before the i3 hits European showrooms, BMW has already taken over 8,000 reservations for the pint-sized EV.

“If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more,” BMW chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner told Bloomberg at a press conference in Amsterdam.

BMW hopes to sell more than 10,000 i3s next year, but will “adjust capacity according to demand,” he said.

That’s good news for a company that has staked its reputation – and a considerable amount of money – on a radically new car.

Unlike other large carmakers, which so far have primarily based their electric cars on existing platforms, BMW decided to build the i3 from scratch. With its carbon fiber-reinforced plastic crash structure and separate aluminum chassis, the i3 has very little in common with most BMW cars.

According to Automotive News (sub. required), BMW has invested at least $2.7 billion in i3 development.

If the i3 proves to be a sales success, it may indicate that electric cars have reached a tipping point.

One of the major drawbacks to current EVs is range anxiety, and with an estimated range of 80 to 100 miles, the i3 doesn’t dramatically improve on existing cars like the Nissan Leaf. For significantly better range, drivers still have to step up to a Tesla Model S.

To deal with range anxiety, BMW will offer the i3 with a range-extending gasoline engine (although it doesn’t think most customers will partake) and offering to arrange loaner cars for longer trips.

Whether the early enthusiasm for the i3 stems from consumers who firmly believe the i3 has adequate range, or from people who are just enamored with the car’s newness, is unclear.

Like many other green cars, the i3 is different, and thus fashionable. BMW hopes its unique exterior and interior styling will reboot people’s idea of what a luxury car can be; for now, consumers seem to be buying into the novelty.

We’re eager to see if that novelty holds as the i3 enters the real world. Production has already begun; the i3 will arrive in U.S. showrooms next spring.


Road Rave: Taking the guesswork out of public EV charging stations

Public EV charging stations are in their wild west phase: there are many different companies, variable charging speeds, and different formats. Chargeway wants to make it all easy, and put every charging station on a free app. It just might…

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.