Due to early demand for BMW i3 electric vehicle, the Munich-based automaker is considering a production increase.
According to Bloomberg, over 8,000 customers have reserved a BMW i3 which sells in the U.S. for $41,350, before any tax reductions. The i3 will go on sale in Germany for 34,950 euros ($47,440) on Nov. 16, followed by the U.S., China and Japan in the first half of next year. The U.S. market will receive the BMW i3 in early 2014.
“If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more,” Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said at a press conference in Amsterdam. BMW expects to sell more than 10,000 of the i3 next year and “will adjust capacity according to demand.”
The rollout of the i3 will go ahead as planned next month and won’t be impacted by issues that typically affect the ramp up of a new model, he said.
The BMW i3 features a large number of technological innovations – such as a carbon-fibre passenger cell and a chassis made of aluminum – and sets new standards in the field of lightweight construction. With a curb weight of 1,195 kilograms, it is lighter than most vehicles in the compact segment, yet offers significantly more space for up to four occupants.
BMWBLOG TEST DRIVE: BMW i3
Its low weight contributes to the agility and dynamic performance of the BMW i3. The car’s electric drive-train generates output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton meters, which is immediately available from a standing start. The BMW i3 sprints from 0 to 60 km/h in 3.7 seconds and from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h for efficiency reasons.
In order to reduce range anxiety, a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline- powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels. The Range Extender adds roughly 330 lbs. to the vehicle curb weight and has a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons.