• BMW i3 front 3/4

  • BMW i3 front 3/4

  • BMW i3 side

  • BMW i3 front

  • BMW i3 side

  • BMW i3 rear 3/4

  • BMW i8 and BMW i3

  • BMW i3 front 3/4

  • BMW i3

  • BMW i3 charging

  • BMW i3 rear

  • BMW i3 doors open

  • BMW i3 side

  • BMW i3 front 3/4

  • BMW i3 interior

  • BMW i3 cabin

  • BMW i3 seats

  • BMW i3 interior

  • BMW i3 hatch

  • BMW i3 seat material

  • BMW i3 seat detail

  • BMW i3 dash detail

  • BMW i3 seats

Looks like Britain is not an outlier. Last month, we learned that around 6,000 people in the UK had let BMW know they were interested in the upcoming i3 electric vehicle (also available as a plug-in hybrid). Not a small number, and the overall picture looks good for BMW's first real plug-in vehicle offering (after the Mini E and ActiveE pilot programs). We have now learned from BMW's Ian Robertson that there are 100,000 people around the world who have made reservations for the i3, and a "significant number" of them have made deposits.

The comments come from Robertson's interview with Automotive News Europe, which reports Robertson saying, "We are confident that with the i3 and i8 we will shift the [customer demand] needle because we will shape some of this technology." 100,000 interested buyers and plug-in confidence from BMW? Quite a different tone from last year, when BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said that governments need to pony up more plug-in vehicle support or EVs just won't be popular.

One of the reasons that Robertson is now singing a positive tone about EVs is because he's proud of what his company has accomplished so far and because future developments will bring even more progress. "In the next three to four years we'll see more development of the batteries than we have in the last 100," he told ANE.

We will finally get to see the production version of the i3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. The car goes on sale in Europe at the end of the year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      CarNutMike
      • 2 Years Ago
      "We have now learned from BMW's Ian Robertson that there are 100,000 people around the world who have made reservations for the i3, and a "significant number" of them have made deposits." An i3 "reservation" does not require money to change hands.
      KBelasco
      • 2 Years Ago
      As true with BMW in the recent decade, they have manufactured and "sold" the carriage prior to figuring out the hoarse. Being on the inside of BMW, you'd think they'd want to full develop a beta-test vehicle prior to the release. They have learned nothing from the Mini-E and BMW Active-E, thank you for making my job harder each and every day.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KBelasco
        What was / is wrong with the Mini-E and Active E?
        Aaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KBelasco
        "...thank you for making my job harder each and every day." What job is that?
        Hello, Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KBelasco
        Apparently, they have learned quite a bit from the Mini-E and Active-E. The relative failures of those cars has, seemingly, provided BMW with a much better sense of what will work in the marketplace and what will not. 100K deposits on an unseen product is nothing to sneeze at.
        Rob Mahrt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KBelasco
        Yes, please BMW, keep beta testing vehicles for the next 4 years so you can make sure to have the car that passes the most consumer lab tests while the rest of us wait for a decent EV released across the US that isn't the Leaf.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      100,000 orders? Really? I'm not so sure I believe that. EVs won't sell. EVs won't sell. EVs won't sell. EVs won't sell. . . . hey, we have 100,000 order for our EV!
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I'd imagine they'd be very happy with a 40-50% purchase rate.
          Aaron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I wonder what the "interest" vs. "purchase/lease" rate on the LEAF was.
          Rich
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Realistically is more of the 15-20% margin I feel.
        knightrider_6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Read again. That's not 100,000 orders! 100,000 people have "expressed interest". Very very few of them have actually put down the payment for pre-orders.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @knightrider_6
          " 100,000 people around the world who have made reservations for the i3" It says 'made reservations' earlier . . . I agree that is not really a full order but it is more than just 'expressed interest'.
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice "photo" gallery. I've photoshopped my **** into a bunch of pictures with fashion models, but that didn't happen either.
      no1bondfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      BMWs tend to be really good looking cars. I don't know why they've decided that ugly is the way to go on this thing. Didn't Tesla show that efficient cars don't have to look like toys?
      sp33dklz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck selling one parked next to an M3/4.
        Rob Mahrt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sp33dklz
        At a 40% discount and a lower cost of ownership... Yes, I am sure people would buy an i3 sitting next to an M3.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Totally different demographic, in terms of what they want out of their car. OTOH, I could see many people buying the M for the weekend, and the i for the weekday...
          Rich
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yeah, one is white and a moron... one is Arab and a moron.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am the 3rd person to put down a deposit for an i3 at my local BMW dealership. Every other "I" dealer I spoke to had deposits covering ALL of their 2013 allocation. 47 dealers x (at least 3) deposits = 150 firmish orders I would think. Not bad considering we don't know how much it is.
        Sherry Hitch
        • 2 Years Ago
        Dylan. I can see what your saying... Carlos`s comment is unbelievable... on sunday I bought themselves a Land Rover Defender after making $7725 this-last/5 weeks and even more than ten-grand lass-month. without a doubt its the easiest-work Ive had. I started this 7-months ago and almost immediately began to bring home minimum $74, per-hr. I went to this web-site, ---------> Rich6.comREAL
          Rob Mahrt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sherry Hitch
          Yea, what Sherry said. Her job is so great and makes her so much money, FROM HOME! That her comments don't even have to make sense.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ greg Good for you !
      Rob Mahrt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, after reading more I agree, "reservation" is not what is happening here, "interest" is much a much better word.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is always interesting to see how leaving out a word or two will completely change the story. From the original: "BMW has about 100,000 reservations from around the world from people who want to TEST its first electric vehicle, sales boss Ian Robertson said," (emphasis added) Being on a list to get a TEST DRIVE is a long ways from a sales reservation. Heck, I'm on that list to get email updates. But without any pricing information, EPA numbers, options list, etc I certainly wouldn't say I have a reservation to buy one. As for people already having a deposit down, that must be in Europe where the BMW guy was talking, because from what I understand, there is no official BMW USA list you can get on and put a deposit down for one. Maybe there are individual dealerships that are taking deposits for their future allocations? If anyone knows of a way to get on an official BMW USA wait list and put down a deposit, please post.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      "In the next three to four years we'll see more development of the batteries than we have in the last 100," ! "100,000 people around the world who have made reservations for the i3, and a "significant number" of them have made deposits." Wow, these are really big statements from the spokesperson of a highly respected Auto-manufacturer. BMW's Ian Robertson's must either be in possession of very solid information, or he's playing a practical joke on behalf of a German manufacturer, not noted for it's sense of humour ! The BMW badge, and build quality, should provide enough incentive to buyers to pay a premium for this vehicle, and secure a market bridge head for other EV makers to exploit. Carlos Ghosn must be eager to witness the impact of the i3 on the market .. Although the BMW i3 is a competitor, it could be the vehicle to kick start EV acceptance in Europe, and re-ignite interest in the Renault Zoe. I hope Ian Robertson was sober when he made those predictions, and he's proved right ! The entry of a volume selling BMW EV, is a long awaited dream.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        @ Rich, BMW delivered 448,200 vehicles to customers worldwide in the period from January to March, an increase of 5.3% over the same period a year earlier, at a profit of $21.6 million. (And this in the middle of recession) Yeah, I guess on your planet, that makes BMW very unsuccessful !
        Rich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Quality? What 'effing' planet are you from? BMW is the single most recalled vehicle manufacturer in ALL automotive history, BAR NONE!
          Hello, Brian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rich
          If you ignore the facts, what you say could be true. Toyota, Honda and Ford have each recalled more cars than BMW has manufactured for the past two years.
      knightrider_6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey look! You can fit a wheelchair in it.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmm, the way that is worded, with massive improvement in battery technology expected by BMW in the next 3-4 years, it sounds as though they reckon they will be able to pop in batteries giving really good range into the i3 at that point, which explains why they have just gone for an optional bolt-on range extender with limited performance, as that wouldn't be needed in future. It would also mean pretty much 'Game Over' for ICE cars.
        sp33dklz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Far from game over for the ICE. There are multiple fuels available for the ICE (as there are for batteries - I'm fully aware), but the infrastructure is already in place. The EV will contine to be circus show car until we actually start running out of fuel. "Game Over"... I think not.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sp33dklz
          There is really only 1 main fuel . . . . oil. It is the source for both gas & diesel. OK, we can do some biofuels but we'll never be able to make much of them because if we did then we would starve since we need that land for food crops.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sp33dklz
          @ Spec I think sp33dklz is trying to say that there are various types of petroleum based energy, including NG derivatives that can be used in ICE engines, and that depletion is far less likely than previously believed. If the rationale for EV's was solely an answer to oil depletion, that's a reasonable conclusion . EV's are currently limited to urban environments, or those first world nations with highly developed Electric infrastructure. As better batteries, (or more advanced ESD's) steadily increase the ability of EV's to deliver superior performance and convenience to motorists, ICE technology will continue to retreat to those markets where it still retains an advantage. 'Game over', is a little overly optimistic !
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sp33dklz
          ICE vehicles would continue to sell, and in substantial numbers. But the writing would be clearly on the wall. Not many cites would chose to have countless ICE cars belching fumes given a realistic alternative, nor would any sane driver put up with the comparatively harsh noise and vibration if they could go electric at reasonable cost and with good range. As for other fuels etc, an internal combustion engine is just a noisy and inefficient way of burning them compared to a fuel cell, which combine superbly with batteries.
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