Before Expanding The BMW i Range, Sales Must Be Analized

BMW is not preparing an imminent expansion of the i range, announces Harald Krueger, head of the Bavarian company’s production department, according to Automotive News. The German company will begin an analysis of sales on its electric vehicles in order to to be able to assess the success of this product before discussing a potential expansion of the range.

Until now, those from BMW were surprised by the number of orders received for the i3. It recorded more than 11,000 orders at the global level, from where a waiting list of about six months resulted. In the United States alone, BMW has seen 1,200 orders for the car, Ian Robertson, said BMW sales chief. The car will go on sale on Asian markets, including China and Japan, by the middle of the year. The questions on expanding the i range are legitimate, since the Germans have already registered all alphanumeric names with i followed by a figure up to i9.

“We need to see how demand for the cars develops,” Krueger said.
He did not have details about when will a decision be taken in this regard, but certainly it will come after the i3 model will be launched in major markets like the United States and China.

In addition to being the first series electric vehicle bearing the BMW logo, the i3 is the first production car that uses carbon fiber reinforced plastic bodywork. To ensure the production capacity needed for this special material, in the past BMW had signed a partnership with SGL Carbon, a specialized provider from the United States. The share of the daily BMW i3 production is still a mystery, the BMW representatives avoid provide detailed figures on this.

When questioned whether BMW would sell carbon fiber to other carmakers, Krueger said: “We want to make our own use of the capacity for now.” However, the i range is an BMW experiment, which the Germans could expand to more markets, if it considers that it could be successful.

In spring, the i range will expand with the addition of the i8 hybrid supercar, which was exhibited at the Salon in Frankfurt in autumn. In 100 percent electric mode, the BMW i8 is capable of reaching 120 km / h, and the autonomy range shall amount to 35 kilometers.

The BMW i8 has a mass of about 1490 kg and requires 4.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to100 km / h. The maximum speed of the hybrid sports car is 250 km / h, electronically limited to preserve autonomy. The average consumption of the standard NEDC cycle is 2.5 liters per 100 km, while emissions are 59 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

In the past, Roland Kowalski, responsible for the BMW i3, said that the range will include models numbered i1 to i9 and almost every niche is covered, except for SUVs. The explanation comes in the form of Project I, which has a philosophy focused on urban areas where smaller models are needed, which can be easily maneuvered in tight spaces.

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