Coaches like to say that there's no "i" in team. At least one BMW executive is saying the company's not sure if there are any more "i"s in its near future. BMW executive Harald Krueger indicated that the German automaker is holding back on any i-project plans besides the i3 city car and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car until the company gets a better idea of how those models are selling, Reuters says. Bimmer has spent about $2.7 billion on the plug-in sub-brand and says it's taken more than 11,000 orders for the i3 since the model was first shown off at German dealerships last fall.

Additionally, BMW has no plans to make the i3 in China (BMW makes versions of its 3- and 5-series sedans there). As we all know, should the brand expand, BMW has already trademarked the "i" badge from i1 through i9.

There are a lot of mixed messages on the BMW i project front. For example, early indications are that i3 demand has been higher expected. BMW North America chief Ludwig Willisch indicated earlier this month that US demand for the electric city car, at least for the near future, will likely to outstrip supply. Bimmer dealers in the US will start getting the $41,350 i3 in May. Additionally, fellow BMW executive Jacob Harb said the company was already starting to work on its next EV, to be larger than the i3, though he didn't give many details and was later somewhat refuted by another BMW spokesman. So stay tuned.


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  • 26 Comments
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      Of course they are conflicted. I'm not sure they really realized when they started the parallel i product line that only one of the product lines would survive. Since all cars of the near future will be electric that means they will either have to continue the i branch and let the old naming convention die out or the i has to be retracted and the others go electric. Countries like Norway have already shown that it's only a matter of a few good available models and they will change over to electric drive completely. So BMW is going to keep making overweight ICE cars with piss poor aero? I think not. That's what happens when you refuse to think and you oppose progress. You end up with some lame horses in your staple and the reputation to match. Tesla lead, the others followed. How you like dem apples.
      xxricefarmerxx
      • 10 Months Ago
      the range is insulting... come on, once you run out of electric it can only go about 60 miles between gas fill ups.. thats not gonna work, even the volt does better when its on gas..
        rubley00
        • 10 Months Ago
        @xxricefarmerxx
        The i3 is actually different, it can't run indefinitely on gas like a Volt. The engine can only charge the battery, its not enough power to drive the car.
          methos1999
          • 10 Months Ago
          @rubley00
          Which to me makes no sense - so essentially the i3 is like the worst of the leaf and the volt combined (limited range + high price). Oh and let's not forget the i3 is no beauty queen and doesn't even give the "ultimate driving machine" experience. Yeah not a fan.
          Smoking_dude
          • 10 Months Ago
          @rubley00
          of course it can. but it is a range extender to get you home. the car will keep driving if you keep the tank full of petrol. it has not enough power to do 120 mph on the left lane. it provides energy for the el. motor and charges the battery if possible. but it can also be activated at a soc of 80% so ay one drives the i3 uses both the kwhs out of the battery and the engine. you might not like it but then dont spread BS
          Samuel H
          • 10 Months Ago
          @rubley00
          No it can't. On the interstate, you'd have to find a gas station every hour which is annoying and inconvenient. And when running solely on the Rex, it doesn't have as much power as with a fully charged battery. It's not meant for traveling. The range extender is like a limp mode to be used to get to the next charger. The i3 also uses the non-existent SAE combo standard. Then there is the fact the it's SO UGLY!!!! The interior looks great though.
        Joeviocoe
        • 10 Months Ago
        @xxricefarmerxx
        We are so close to a true PHEV-80... not quite there yet.
      jeff
      • 10 Months Ago
      The mixed messages kind of indicate that a significant part of BMW management really wants to kill off the EV cars.....
        • 10 Months Ago
        @jeff
        Very likely. Expect that across major, mainstream car brands
      Ryan
      • 10 Months Ago
      The i8 just looks like the best EV yet.
      Smoking_dude
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is the typical anti EV-BS. BMW built several plants or bought them to make the i3, i8 and even the i5 and i1. There is the sgl carbon in the us and the BRAND NEW plant in Leipzig, Germany. BMW does not do this to waste money or to cancel it off. The plant is full of the latest robots which operate highly automated. also bmw investet tons of money in making something completely new. it is not only an ev but the main frame is made out of carbon. this required completely new machinery, robots, training of the workers. all that because they have no plan? I think reuters has no idea. they planned it through (repairability, supply chain.) the robots automatically drive though the plant to deliver parts to other robots. just to give up? the i5 is comming soon. with more range and a beefier range extender. also there are rumors about a i1 car. look to the netherlands and the sales already started there. of course as this is all new it will take a while for the sales to take of. compare it to the leaf (100,000 sold) the media was ranting on it too. slow sales booo. bad car.
      Levine Levine
      • 10 Months Ago
      Too late, BMW. Tesla got your "i" market in its pocket. You should have started hybrid and EV production earlier, but you decided to squeeze much money out your ICE "ultimate driving machine." For your stubbornness and short-sightedness, you'll now be relegated to the back of the pack of "could've, should've, would've."
      2 wheeled menace
      • 10 Months Ago
      Don't try too hard. You might have some success and make a lot of money. Might actually amortize the carbon fiber plant you just spent a bunch of money building.
      Scott
      • 10 Months Ago
      they keep making these like the i3, their decision will be made for them and people will migrate to tesla in droves as their capacity increases. as their share decreases, they will end up making the 3 or 4 a plug in.
        archos
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Scott
        What are you groaning about? The i3 is already almost sold out before it hits the lot. Like someone else said I wouldn't put much credibility in this Reuters article.
      Grendal
      • 10 Months Ago
      BMW. Playing the hokey pokey with electric cars.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Just remember that Reuters is insanely anti-EV, so it very well could have warped the message.
        archos
        • 10 Months Ago
        Could have been? We already see how I3 sales are going (better than expected) and they're already starting to work on future projects. Doesn't make sense they would invest almost $3Billion, build a new carbon fiber plant, and start work on the next i model if they weren't fully committed. I'd call the Reuters article misinformation since it doesn't match up with the facts.
      rubley00
      • 10 Months Ago
      I was disappointed to see that a well equipped i3 is $51k
        purrpullberra
        • 10 Months Ago
        @rubley00
        Accidental-1. Sorry. Imagine if Tesla still sold a $50k version of the ModelS. Who would buy the i3 for the same money?
          danfred311
          • 10 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          There was never a 50k$ Model S. It was 57k$ and that would exclude you from the supercharger network and that's without whatever expensive 'options' you will need to make it work in practice. A base i3 is 41k$. rubley is talking out of his rear although if it is compared to a car with access to the supercharger network you can say that makes up for the range extender so the price of the i3 would be 45k$ to compare with. But the cheapest such Tesla is in the 70s.
        Rotation
        • 10 Months Ago
        @rubley00
        It's a BMW.
      thecommentator2013
      • 10 Months Ago
      At least the i3 makes some kind of sense whereas the i8 is just a showcase for a few select and won't have any impact on EV-isation to the real world. BMW answers a question nobody asked.
        GoodCheer
        • 10 Months Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        "won't have any impact on EV-isation" Do you think the Tesla Roadster was likewise an insignificant bit of fluff? Engineers all too often ignore the social and psychological aspects of engineering design.
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