GERMAN luxury car maker BMW is targeting a “meaningful” chunk of the electric car market after yesterday unveiling its battery-powered i3 model.
The company already sees good sales potential for its first all-electric vehicle in affluent urban regions of Asia, California and Europe, said sales chief Ian Robertson.
Some 92,000 people have expressed an interest online in test-driving the i3. Robertson added: “We’re not entering to be a niche player; we’re targeting meaningful sales.”
BMW expects the global electric car market to grow to between 150,000 and 160,000 vehicles this year, compared with 7,000 in 2010.
The car maker remained tight-lipped over its sales or production goals for the four-seater i3, which is due to be followed early next year by a battery-powered i8 sports car. While the i3’s €34,950 (£30,181) cost is well above the conventional BMW 3-Series saloon’s entry level list price, the vehicle qualifies for tax breaks and generous upfront government incentives in markets such as Britain and the United States.
The company does not yet have plans for models after the i3 and i8, Robertson said.