Optimistic Prospects for i3
Potential sales and market are looking good for BMW’s first electric vehicle as they have about 100,000 deposits already made for the vehicle around the world.
Ian Robertson, sales boss for BMW, thinks that this new electric vehicle will be a game changer for the sector. He says, “We are confident that with the i3 and i8 we will shift the [customer demand] needle because we will shape some of this technology” in the EV sector.”
The salable form of the i3 compact car will be on display at the Frankfurt auto show in September and will then go to the marketplace by the end of the year. Robertson believes that the big difference between the i3 and all the rest is that the i3 was developed as an EV from the start, as opposed to dropping an electronic powertrain into an already existing vehicle.
While other luxury plug-in hybrid makers like Fisker Automotive and charging infrastructure supplier, Better Place, have faced many difficulties with this technology, Robertson remains optimistic that the i3 and the i8 will be profitable.
Robertson said, when asked if BMW was taking a big risk by entering this segment: “It is an investment in a future agenda, and it’s an agenda where we think zero-emission vehicles have a very, very key part to play.”
He also thinks that the future looks favorable due to the enormous amount of research and development going into EVs, predominantly with regard to the batteries and their range.
“In the next three to four years we’ll see more development of the batteries than we have in the last 100,” he said, fanning the flames that the lithium air batteries are especially going to be different because they will charge quicker and provide a larger driving range.
Stay tuned to Bill Jacobs BMW for more information about the impending release of the i3!