While the reasons behind stock-price movements are often a mystery and difficult to pinpoint, Arndt Ellinghorst, head of automotive research for brokerage house International Strategy & Investment, certainly subscribes to the theory that BMW's big investment in its i sub-brand is causing some investors to get squeamish. In an interview with Bloomberg Television cited by PlugInCars.com, Ellinghorst calls BMW's investment a "huge bet," and while he views the commitment as a great way to address the challenge of meeting more stringent European emissions standards, he notes that German consumers tend to be very committed to the traditional internal combustion engine and are wary of EVs.
Still, Bimmer has high hopes for both its i sub-brand and the i3, which makes its European debut this month and starts US sales next year. As of mid-October, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that more than 8,000 i3s have been pre-ordered, accounting for 80 percent of the units BMW planned on producing next year. The i3 will be priced at about $41,000, while the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar, which also debuts next year in the US, checks in at about $136,000.