After the recent "we never said we were really going to do plug-ins" news from Audi, rumors are floating around that BMW may delay or even discontinue many of its plug-in "i" line of vehicles because of concerns over lack of demand, Automobile is reporting.
The German automaker had originally planned for annual sales of many tens of thousands of i3 battery-electric vehicles after its 2013 launch (some said 30,000 a year, others 100,000) and about 10,000 annual units of its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car starting in 2014, according to the publication.
BMW executives are now talking about shelving plans for both vehicles because the governments in many countries where the models will be sold are pulling back on plug-in incentives. To further complicate matters, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure isn't as far along as expected. Automobile adds that BMW also put plans for the i1 city car and i5 van on hold.
BMW late last year said it planned to start selling the i3 in 2013 and that it would bring out the i8 – whose prototype was featured in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" with Tom Cruise – the following year. Earlier this year, BMW started leasing models of the ActiveE, the precursor to the i3, to customers in some U.S. markets for $499 a month.