BMW To Start Taking i3 Orders In The United States In November

4 years ago by Jay Cole 28

An i3 Rolls Off The Line At BMW's Leipzig Facility, Headed To A German Customer In November

An i3 Rolls Off The Line (all automated of course) At BMW’s Leipzig Facility, Headed To A German Customer In November

Earlier this week we learned that BMW was considering more production capacity for the i3, as the German auto maker had received more than 8,000 pre-orders for the car – not including the upcoming demand in the US.

First Deliveries To The US Won't Happen Until "The Spring," But You Can Order Your Own i3 Next Month!

First Deliveries To The US Won’t Happen Until “The Spring,” But You Can Order Your Own i3 Next Month!

But what of US ordering?

Currently orders are being taken throughout Europe with the first consumer deliveries scheduled for November 16th in Germany.  BMW has priced the i3 in the US from $41,350 in “all-electric” trim version, and from $45,200 with the range extender option.

Now comes word from Jacob Harb, who is the Head of Electric Vehicle Operations at BMW USA, on when order books will open for US customers.

 “We’ll take orders in November and deliveries will start in the Spring”

Now the only question left is “will you being signing up for a plug-in BMW?” 

(Well, that and what the heck is the actual EPA range rating on the i3)

Tags: , , , , ,

28 responses to "BMW To Start Taking i3 Orders In The United States In November"

  1. “(Well, that and what the heck is the actual EPA range rating on the i3)”
    Guess away! I say EPA=87mpc

    1. Bret says:

      I am also wondering what the EPA range will be and why it hasn’t been announced yet. I’m hoping for at least 90 miles of range, which would be around 111 miles in Eco Pro+ mode. That is a lot more range than the LEAF and much more suitable for my situation.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Still 1.5 years left on Volt lease so plenty of time to decide. I’m anxious to see what Tesla Model E has in store.

  3. James says:

    Will i3 rope in new customers to EVs or skim the top-earners from the Nissan LEAF crowd?

    Another interesting observation will be if Volt sales will take a hit from folks who buy into
    the 2 cyl ReX version?

    How many will be conquest drivers or BMW owners with green-guilt and a need for a second
    car?

    Hmmm….Verrrry interesting.

    When a buyer buys something he/she knows they paid too much for and it underdelivers,
    there is always buyers remorse mixed with some positive reviews like, “Oh it’s working
    out great for us!”…. But IMHO the inherent flaws in BMWs EV approach will be glaring
    and in not too long this will become a flop for the company.

    1. James says:

      I remember walking up to Highlander Hybrid owners in the supermarket parking
      lot and asking them how they liked their SUV. I knew at the time they were selling
      for $40,000 and I’d purchased our Prius with all bells and whistles with maintenance
      program for 3 years for mid-high twenties. “Wellll…we were expecting better
      mileage”, one woman said, “We really like the car, but we may not have bought
      the hybrid if we could do it all over again!”…. Good for her honesty, but I could see
      in her eyes a look of disappointment. Maybe her salesman had told her to expect
      40 mpg…?

      Same with i3. There’s a ton of hype, and a LOT of talk about light weight and new
      kinds of materials. There’s a flashy futuristic interior and yet – it basically has the
      utility of a LEAF with annoying suicide doors. It is quicker, yes – but is racing what
      we do in an EV, or will that just mean less AER?

      Will it make sense for people for $45,000+?

      1. Brian says:

        I hear a lot of complaints about the suicide doors (or maybe just a few loud people?). Suicide doors are a style feature that mostly falls into the “love it or hate it” category. I think they’re different and cool. Plus, that huge uninterrupted opening in the car can be incredibly functional. Who cares if you can’t open them without opening the front door? Not this guy.

        1. Nate says:

          Seems like the Suicide doors would make it easier to buckle our child in that is in the front facing position, but make it harder to help for the one that younger one that rides rear facing. Maybe it doesn’t matter much if they open wide enough. I’m not in the market now, but if I was we’d want to test this out before buying. As it turns out by the time our Volt lease is up, the youngest one will be riding front facing.

    2. Maks says:

      BMW i3 is not a second car (with ReX) !

      1. james says:

        It’s going to be interesting for sure to see what
        kind performance we’ll see while i3 is in range-extended mode. We already know you won’t have Volt-like range or power. Just how much less range and power is yet to be known.
        I would in no way place a pre-order without this information.

        If you can’t safely keep up with traffic on hilly terrain or drive more than an hour without filling up and/or plugging in for 3 hours, i3
        becomes much less functional and versatile
        than a Volt or C-Max/Fusion Energi.

        1. james says:

          So basically an 80 mile EV with a limp home mode. Worth $45,000 to ya?

          1. Airton says:

            I just turned in my Volt (3 year lease is up) I’ve always said my next EV will have a bigger battery and smaller or no ICE.

            The BMW i3/Rex looks to be the logical replacement for me and I would not call it a limp home mode that’s wrong.

            1. James says:

              If it’s not limp home mode, then what is it? If you have to
              pull off the freeway every hour or so to fill it with gas on a long trip until you stop for the night and hopefully have charging opportunity available where you stay – Then this makes i3 NOT a car practical for long-distance travel, like the Volt is. It’s such a tiny gas tank and an engine that seems very small to be adequate on freeway onramps and
              terrain where there will be hills.

              As I’ve said – we won’t know 2 cyl ReX performance until
              more detailed, unbiased tests surface.

              Just sayin’….

              1. evnow says:

                The problem with i3 is
                – price/range
                – small tank

                Price is a function of the brand – and small tank of regulation. Unfortunately people expect longer range with premium price. I can’t find a good reason to pay 3x my Leaf’s lease for i3.

                1. danwat1234 says:

                  Small tank? Just carry a 5 gallon gas can in the back when you are going on long trips, problem solved!

              2. evnow says:

                BTW, James, 25 kW along with the battery buffer is plenty good for all but the big & long mountain passes. Do the calculations.

    3. Bret says:

      “Will i3 rope in new customers to EVs or skim the top-earners from the Nissan LEAF crowd?”

      I suspect some of each. First, there are the Germans and many other Europeans who have turned their noses up at Japanese and American EVs, but seem to be jumping on the i3. Then, there are the low-end luxury drivers, who wouldn’t be caught dead in a LEAF. Finally, there are people like me who just want more range in a pure BEV than the LEAF, but can’t afford a Model S. Between all of these different types of potential customers, the i3 seems like it will sell pretty well and expand the market for EVs overall.

  4. Brian says:

    No plug-in BMW for me – too pricey and too small.

    I will wager a guess that the range will be 90 miles.

    1. TWS says:

      I’ll wager someone will break 140 on a single charge (sans REx).

      1. james says:

        What’ll you wager, guys? I’m in.

        Hypermilers may, like with Tesla, go to extremes to prove a point, but what matters is
        daily practical performance. Aren’t testers in Europe already saying 83 practical miles?

  5. Josh says:

    My LEAF lease is up in June, so the timing is good. If I can reliably take trips to Austin in it, I will consider it if I can stretch the budget. I am a little worried the pricing will stack so high that I would end up in used Model S territory. In that case, the Model S would win hands down.

    1. james says:

      If you buy one, Josh, you can be our Guinea Pig.

      1. Josh says:

        I would say Tom is the official guinea pig on this one. I will be looking forward to his reports in advance of me looking to purchase.

        1. I’ll be happy to report in on it. I expect to be amongst the first group in the US to get one so I’ll certainly do a lot of posting about the good and the not so good. As I did with the MINI-E and ActiveE I’ll also let people take it for a drive if they want to stop by in NJ.

  6. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    When they have a 40kWh or better battery pack in a midsized sedan, wagon or CUV I’ll be interested. I want at least 40″ of available legroom in both front and rear/2nd row seats.

  7. James says:

    I like it now, but it took me a while to get used to the looks. I’m considering cutting my Volt lease short and getting one. I want more electric range, and with their loaner program I don’t need the gas backup. I really hate the range extending engine on the Volt, so I really don’t want another one.

  8. James says:

    There will be cases where certain individuals have driving needs, say
    a 100-110 mile commute wherein say a LEAF or FocusEV will not
    reliably cover that distance without range anxiety ( especially in Winter ).

    This person ( I’ve heard from a couple ) who can charge for 3 hours at
    work on Lvl 2 and then head for home would be adequately serviced by
    this car and save a lot on gas. This route ideally would be flat as not to
    tax the 2 cylinder ReX or hold up traffic. I really don’t believe “zippy” will
    be a word owners use to describe performance in ReX mode.

    Still, with all that said – I believe the Volt to be a better tool to meet the
    needs in that particular scenario. Volt is much less expensive now, and
    better deals will still be to come, just watch.

    OK, so you need 5 seating positions – that is the only clincher there
    where I can see true justification for this vehicle at that cost*.

    *Other than, “I just think it’s neato, I have other cars and I love stuff
    made in Germany”…

    1. James says:

      Orrr – “I can afford it – It’s a BEE EM DBL UUU, and yours is not! – PPPPPBBBT! ”

      🙂

  9. danwat1234 says:

    Since the i3 is supposed to be a bit lighter than a Leaf, and a lot less than a Volt and much much less than a Model S, it should easily get 120MPGe if not closer to 130MPGe. Who know what the range will be and what the SOC ranges are available for the battery.