BMW i3 “Reservations” Grow to 100,000; “Significant” Number of Deposits Taken

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 22

BMW i3 "Waiting List" Surpasses 100,000

BMW i3 “Waiting List” Surpasses 100,000

100,000 are Eager to Test Drive This Electric Bimmer

100,000 are Eager to Test Drive This Electric Bimmer

BMW sales boss Ian Robertson sure is keen on discussing the high level of interest in the German automaker’s upcoming i3 electric vehicle.

Robertson, who recently spoke at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Paris, says interest in the i3 is incredibly high with nearly 100,000 individuals lining up to test out BMW’s first production electric vehicle.

Automotive News Europe refers to this 100,000 figure as “reservations,” but we know that’s not the case.  What Robertson is saying here is that 100,000 individuals have expressed interest in the i3.  This, of course, does not equate to reservations.

However, according to Automotive News Europe, Robertson did add that BMW has taken a “significant number of deposits” for the i3 and, based on these perceived levels of high interest, Robertson feels the i3 will be a game-changer in the electric vehicle segment.  Official order books for the i3 are to open in late July.

Quoting Robertson:

The i3...Is It the Ultimate Urban Electric Machine?

The i3…Is It the Ultimate Urban Electric Machine?

“We are confident that with the i3 and i8 we will shift the needle because we will shape some of this technology.”

It’s widely believed that the production version of the BMW i3 will make its worldwide debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

The i3 will go on sale in Europe first (launch date set for November 16) before heading to the US at the end of this year.

As for pricing, BMW is still not ready to disclose that piece of the puzzle, but most of the educated guesses out there peg the pure electric version at a base MSRP of approximately $45,000, with the range-extender option adding $4,000 to that price tag.  As with all BMWs, an extensive list of options will quickly drive up the out-the-door price.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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22 responses to "BMW i3 “Reservations” Grow to 100,000; “Significant” Number of Deposits Taken"

  1. I imagine the 100,000 figure may come from the number of people that went to the BMW i website and signed up for information. There are a few European countries where BMW has allowed people to reserve a place in line for an i3, but that’s without any word on pricing or even a hard launch date. I would imagine after the i3 is introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and the details are announced then they will actually begin taking formal reservations.

  2. Suprise Cat says:

    The i3 production capacity will be 1200 units per month, which already shows how many sales they expect for the first year.

    1. That isn’t correct. I suppose it’s possible that for the first couple months they may be limited to ~1,200 units as they ramp up to full production but they have the capacity to build as many as needed. Most reports have BMW execs quoting that they expect to sell 30,000 per year so they will obviously have the capacity to make at least that many.

      1. evnow says:

        While I’m sure they will ramp up to more than 1,200 a month, obviously they will have some capacity constraints (usually battery packs).

        The problem everyone has is – to figure out what the medium / long term demand is. You don’t want to size the factory depending on initial demand – since that can be high for highly anticipated cars, then tapering off once waitlist is satisfied. This is a common problem even for electronics – esp. game consoles.

  3. kdawg says:

    “As for pricing, BMW is still not ready to disclose that piece of the puzzle, but most of the educated guesses out there peg the pure electric version at a base MSRP of approximately $45,000, with the range-extender option adding $4,000 to that price tag. As with all BMWs, an extensive list of options will quickly drive up the out-the-door price.”
    ———————

    Yikes! Hopefully there are some German incentives to knock this price back down.

    I think I would like the looks of the i3 if it was just 1 color. I do like the suicide doors.

  4. Nelson says:

    Unless priced right, I don’t think the BMW i3 stands a chance against the Tesla Model S when deliveries begin in Europe.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. Alaa says:

      I agree with you and if you add the free supercharging that takes less time than filling a gas tank, then Tesla wins hands down.

      1. IDK says:

        I also agree. BMW will need to be careful with their pricing. Plus the Model S will soon be delivering over in Europe. Once the word gets out how good the Model S is…BMW might see sales going down.

        1. JP says:

          I would agree and disagree. This looks like a smaller car; and Tesla’s cheaper is $60K.

          Tesla’s free super charge is a marketing gimmick (hey, I like it); but how many road trips do you really take? To charge the 85kw ($80K car) Tesla, you need $8.50 (at 10cents/kwh); I doubt the free charge will make someone that is willing to spend over $50K in a car tilt the scale in favor of one car over the other.

          Yes; BMW does have to watch the pricing; BUT in Europe Tesla will be ripped apart with import fees, taxes, etc. Someone from Europe please correct me if I am wrong.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            The price in Brussels for the base 85 KWh Model S is 83150 €, included VAT, so that is, at present exchange rate of 1,334417 $ for 1 €, a dollar price of 110957 $.

            That is much more expensive then in the US.

            Appart from that BMW is also surfing on an established brand image that is very effective on a relatively conservative buying public compared to the US.

            Actually I think that the arrival of the Model S in Europe will both cost BMW on its standard thermal car models and benefit BMW by validating its BMW i3 proposal and appeal.

            On the other end the Model S will have a devastating effect on Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes and other high end cars manufacturers that have no alternative EV at all to offer.

          2. Darius says:

            Imported from US cars shall pay 10% extra as import duty. Other taxes are just regular taxes applied to the goods and services. Individuals are eligible to VAT. Company normaly deducting VAT. It works this way: in the end of each month evry company is reporting how much VAT was received and how much paid and difference shall be paid or received from TAX office.
            Everything in EU is indicated with VAT which varies from country to country but not much. In general VAT is 21%. In some countries population has reduced VAT for food or other basic services.

            In US you have sales tax. I do not know how it works.

            I would say that 10% import duty looks not so nise
            I do not know what import duty in US is for Europien cars and how all this corresponds to WTO?

  5. GeorgeS says:

    If you guys remember Lyle had a list of people interested in the Volt……how many were on the list??? I can’t remember. was it 20,000 or 50,000?

    Anyway, like Eric says, this 100,000 number really doesn’t mean much.

    I’m still interested in the i3. It is definitely unique. No one has done an entire body in composite and nobody has done a bare essential series range extender.

    We had a great discussion last weekend about making the Volt a pure series machine as a way to get the cost down. In that article I proposed that GM ditch the expensive 4ET50 transmission and go with the Spark EV coaxial gearbox married to an aluminum block 3 cylinder driving a generator.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      The list was about 49,400 when Lyle (and myself to some extent) stopped writing at GMV. That being said, there was probably 5,000 or so that were duplicate/not valid sign-ups.

      Hard to peg-down the follow-through precisely, given the odd/limited initial roll-out on the Volt over the first 15-16 months or so, I’d say the follow-through was about 10% over that time ~ 4,500 sales. Using the same metrics, you could ballpark BMW’s 100K interest translating to about 9,000 sales over the first year.

      1. evnow says:

        That 10% sound about right. I estimate the same follow up rate for Nissan “hand raisers” as well.

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          There could be a slight difference here because the i3 is eliminating the range anxiety that comes with pure a pure EV. This makes it come in line with more potential buyers, so it could translate into a bigger fraction buying.

      2. Acevolt says:

        I was on that list and bought a Volt!

        1. kdawg says:

          I wasn’t on the list and bought a Volt 🙂

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          I wanted a Volt, but the seat four only, and our family extension with the birth of a twin, decided otherwise.

  6. DHouk says:

    In 2011, there were 40,000 names on the pre-order list for the Prius Plug-In. After the final specs and pricing were released, only about 2000 cars were actually pre-ordered.

    1. IDK says:

      Another example of the manufacturers missing the mark. GM missed it with the price of the Volt. Toyota missed it with the lack of EV range in the Prius Plug-In.

  7. MrEnergyCzar says:

    When the motorcycle generator kicks in after the battery runs out, do you full drive ability like in the Volt or what happens?

    MrEnergyCzar

  8. Warren says:

    Has anybody else noticed that all the ads for this car show one guy, or one gal cruising around, trying to get noticed? My question is, “Why make a four passenger commuter car, out of carbon fiber and magnesium, when the appeal is to singles?” They could have built a sexy two seater that weighed the same or less, out of steel and plastic, same performance, and range, for much less money?