With demand for its i3 EV surpassing BMW’s expectations, the company’s chief financial officer, Friedrich Eichiner, said that the company is considering increasing production of the electric car. Though retail deliveries will not start until next month, over 8,000 orders have been booked so far. Originally, BMW hoped to sell about 10,000 i3s in 2014, but if demand stays high, the company “will adjust capacity according to demand,” Eichiner said at an Amsterdam press conference yesterday. “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.”
At a cost of 34,950 euros in Germany and $41,350 in the United States, the i3 goes on sale in it home market on November 16th, and sometime in the first half of 2014 in the American, Chinese and Japanese markets. The rollout of the new EV will continue as planned, Eichiner said, and that the launch will not be affected by normal rollout issues, a reference to a report in Germany over the weekend that BMW is having production issues with the EV’s advanced carbon fiber structure.
The Wirtschaftswoche publication reported a 10 day production halt for the i3 due to problems bonding the composite material. BMW has a dedicated plant in North America for producing carbon fiber components for the i3 and the upcoming i8 electric sports car.