Cars BMW-i3-inside

Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


BMW i3 Electric Car Already Has 100,000 Reservations

June 14th, 2013 by  

Update June 15: Readers tell us that the price of the BMW i3 starts at €40,000 (~$53,000). I’m also told that the “reservations” are actually just reservations to test drive the vehicle, which makes more sense but wasn’t clear from our source.

Original Article: Last month, we featured an infographic showing that the Tesla Model S was outselling non-electric luxury brand competitors by BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. Notably, none of these companies have an electric car on the market yet. While Mercedes is working on an electric vehicle option (the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive), Audi has scrapped its plans for developing an electric Audi R8 e-tron. BMW will be the first to bring one to mass market, the BMW i3 (followed by the BMW i8). If BMW’s numbers are correct, it looks like the BMW i3 will come off the tracks strong. Here’s more info from EV Obsession:

BMW has been slow to the electric vehicle game. Or maybe it has just been timing itself carefully. The BMW i3, which I featured back in March and which is scheduled to hit European markets at the end of the year, already has over 100,000 reservations, according to BMW’s Ian Robertson.

Notably, those include reservations with and without deposits. But nonetheless…. And Robertson says a “significant number” of them have actually made deposits.

As I wrote back in March, the i3 is a beauty. And, clearly, coming from a trusted, high-quality brand doesn’t hurt.

BMW i3 home

BMW i3 inside

Robertson, who was interviewed by Automotive News Europe (subscription required), also emphasized that BMW has been pushing the electric vehicle envelope while developing the i3 and i8 (which will be a bit more pricey and will come to market a bit later).

“We are confident that with the i3 and i8 we will shift the [customer demand] needle because we will shape some of this technology,” Robertson noted.

Well, we’ll see. In either case, though, it looks like BMW is likely to see good sales of the i3 (as far as we can tell at this point). I wonder if it will eat into Tesla’s pie a bit.

BMW i3 hot

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

  • h3ll

    how narrow are the tires?

  • Roger

    The car looks like an angry piglet.

  • arne-nl

    If the 40 k price tag is accurate, it should not be overinterpreted.

    Pricing is done by the marketing guys & gals that try to maximize profits. They know there are a bundle of people out there with too much money and a dislike for the LEAF. They’ll buy it at any price, so setting a high introduction price is a means for BMW to maximise profits on those early adopters. All introductions happen like that: first fleece the early adopters, then go after the mainstream buyers.

    Plus, a high price makes sure only people that *really* want it will buy one. They are the tech savvy, environmentally aware, more informed consumers that are less likely to be disappointed. Disappointed customers is a bad thing. Avoid it at all costs.

    Lastly, there is still a risk involved in bringing an EV to market. Recalling 5,000 i3’s is a less costly and will generate a less bad press than recalling 100,000.

  • josetony

    I have to admit that It is a beautiful car. The problem is the price. 40,000 euros is over $50,000. So I doubt that 100,000 reservations is an accurate statement. But if by december they decide to sell it for 32,000 euros Then I would say 200,000 people will be interested right away. The Nissan leaf is more affordable at the present time. The only thing I don’t like about the Leaf is the awful design. It looks like a giant fish on wheels.

    • hmm, i love the Leaf design. for looks alone, it’s my favorite EV. do also love the i3, Fiat 500e, and Model S.

    • tibi stibi

      usually the price in euro’s is the same as in dollars. the currancy differency is about the same as the tax difference 😉

  • Mohan Raj

    100,000 that’s great. But what will be the price. I think i3 also has a plug in option for another $4K where BMW will fit a 2 cylinder motor cycle engine.

    If some car can make a big hit, it will push every one into the game.

    • i didn’t think the price was available yet, but people here are quoting 40,000 Euros

  • Marion Meads

    was wondering about the final MSRP and how the specs compared to a Tesla.

    • Runar Botnen Totland

      Specs like a Leaf, and price around 40k Euro

      • Shiggity

        The EU puts huge tarriffs on everything unfortunately. A BMW electric car sold in Germany is *perfect* for that market.

        We’ll see if they can do anything evolutionary with all of their solar power and soon to be cheap EVs.

      • arne-nl

        Interesting! Do you have a source for that?

      • Runar Botnen Totland


        40k euro is an estimate inc. Vat and fees in Germany. Information from BMW marketing director in Norway.

      • JS

        Not sure how you can say, “specs like a leaf”. The i3 will have an aluminium chassis and a carbon fibre body. Thats no leaf.
        Also, I tried to put a deposit on one in Sydney, Oz, but they wouldn’t accept it as they said they haven’t yet committed to importing it into Oz as yet.

        • Runar Botnen Totland

          Range, size, performance pretty much like leaf. A bit quicker 0-60 in 8-9sec, leaf need 11is it? Otherwise, not that huge a difference.

  • Ross

    I think it is 100,000 requests for a test drive. They sure aren’t just shoehorning an electric motor and battery into a 3-series chassis.

    • Runar Botnen Totland

      Yes, it is 100k test drive requests, not order reservations. A huge difference.;-) and this is a Nissan leaf competitor, NOT tesla model s.

      • hmm, that was not clear at all… ok, will update.

        as far as which car it’s competing with, you’ve got two ways of looking at it: price similar to a Model S and ‘luxury’ brand, specs similar to a Nissan Leaf.

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