Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the largest premium carmaker in the world on Wednesday said it has a list of almost 100,000 people interested in testing the upcoming i3 electric vehicle.
With such high level of interest, BMW expects i3 to be game-changer in the sector, even if the new all-electric vehicle will be priced between 28,800 and 38,800 euros.
“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, Robertson said at the Automotive News Europe Congress
The i3, unveiled for the first time as a concept vehicle at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show will go on sale before the end of the year and will be the first model in the new “i” brand portfolio from BMW. On the same time, the German automaker is working on the i8 two-seat supercar, a vehicle that might hit the market somewhere in 2014.
BMW sales boss Ian Robertson said that even the sector is somehow in the “red-area”, (mostly after U.S. based Fisker Automotive and Better Place recently filled for U.S. bankruptcy protection) i3 and i8 vehicles will be profitable during their life cycles.
However, for the moment the industry is still at its beginnings as most of the buyers are reticent on paying more than $30,000 for an electric vehicle. Also, the re-charging infrastructure is moving slow. According to Open Charge Map, the global public registry of electric vehicle charging locations, there are only 655 charging locations in Germany, and 502 in Austria.
Norway, the world’s leader in electric car ownership per capita has 4,029 locations. In the United States there are 5642 places, of which 3,990 are located in California.