BMW’s electrification strategy is already proving an early success, as the German automaker reportedly has 10,000 global pre-orders for its electric i3 city car. Reuters reports that the first batch of BMW i3 hatchbacks was delivered in Germany last week.
The BMW i3 will be followed in the middle of next year by the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. It, too, has attracted a large number of customers, as BMW global sales chief Ian Robertson told Reuters that the company has already sold out the entire first year of i8 production. Robertson did not specify how many cars were planned for the i8’s first year, but it’s nonetheless an impressive feat given that the BMW i8 is an expensive proposition. In the U.S., a 2014 BMW i8 will cost $136,625 after taxes and destination fees. The BMW i3 costs $42,275, after destination, in the U.S.
BMW also already has plans for another electric car, according to a new report from BMW Blog. Mini brand manager Peter Schwarzbauer told BMW Blog that Mini is investigating launching an all-electric version of the new Cooper hatchback. Such a move isn’t without precedent, as Mini previously leased a small fleet of experimental electric hatchbacks called the Mini E; lessons from those cars helped inform modern-day electrics like the BMW i3.
Schwarzbauer told reporters that launching an electric Mini, “fits perfectly with the brand, and I am convinced that we will offer a suitable solution.” He reportedly suggested that the larger, next-generation Mini Clubman might also be a candidate for the EV treatment.
Earlier this year, we reported that Schwarzbauer told reports that Mini would add electrified models in the future. “There will be electrification within the Mini brand, including a plug-in hybrid for certain,” he told Automotive News Europe in October. A plug-in hybrid Mini could adapt the electric powertrain from the BMW i3, along with its 650-cc range-extending gasoline engine. At that time, Schwarzbauer said that an all-electric Mini was less likely than a plug-in hybrid.