PHOTO CAPTION: Renault sells its ZOE electric car at a competitive price, while charging a monthly lease on the battery pack.

BMW Executives Optimistic on Electric Car Prospects, Renault Less Sanquine

BMW executives are pleased with preorders for their i3 electric cars, while Renault is considering lowering the monthly lease rate on its battery packs for low mileage drivers.

Published: 09-Mar-2014

Automakers do not talk about electric cars with quite the same bravado they did a few years ago. But judging from the talk at the Geneva Motor Show this year, at least some remain bullish on the future of plug-in vehicles.

Norbert Reithofer, the chief executive of BMW, said in Geneva this week that initial orders were strong for the company’s i3 battery-powered sedan, which is already available in Europe and will be in American and Asian dealerships by mid-year.

BMW has not yet disclosed detailed sales figures for the i3, but, Mr. Reithofer told a small group of journalists in Geneva, “I am optimistic, really optimistic.” He also added, “At the moment it looks like the challenge will be that we have more orders than production capacity.”


Zinoro badge. Car will debut in November 2013.

The Zinoro brand is owned by BMW's local partnership with Brilliance Auto, and the electric cars will be built at the joint venture: the first model to be revealed in November at Guangzhou auto show.

BMW i3 electric car can be charged by sunlight.

BMW has not yet said in which markets the SOLARWATT systems will be available, nor has it indicated costs.

Nissan LEAF now assembled in Tennessee, as well as its battery pack.

Dave Herron delves into the long, often carbon intensive supply chain to build electric cars, finding as companies localize sourcing, the footprint improves.


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