According to BMW sales boss Ian Robertson, BMW has about 100,000 reservations from around the world from people who want to test the upcoming BMW i3 electric vehicle.
Based on those figures, Robertson believes the i3 will be a game-changer in the sector.
“We are confident that with the i3 and i8 we will shift the [customer demand] needle because we will shape some of this technology” in the EV sector, Robertson said at the Automotive News Europe Congress.
The i3 in production form will be unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September with deliveries beginning this fall.
BMW has yet to reveal the exact price of the i3, but Robertson says it would be in the same range as the 3 Series, so in Germany that translates anywhere from 28,000 euros to 38,800 euros, a fairly wide range.
But is BMW taking a huge risk in the EV segment? Robertson says that the “i” electric program has a long-term vision. “It is an investment in a future agenda, and it’s an agenda where we think zero-emission vehicles have a very, very key part to play,” says Robertson.
Since some of the success of electric vehicles is directly related to battery technology and innovation, there are valid concerns around future EV cars.
“In the next three to four years we’ll see more development of the batteries than we have in the last 100,” he said, adding that the prospects for lithium air batteries are particularly positive because they charge faster and provide a range more in line with what people believe they need.
Stay tuned in the next months for the debut of the BMW i3.[Source: Automotive News]