Bmw hopes that the big investment in production of EVs will pay off in the race with Audi

Article by Christian A., on August 3, 2011

In Frankfurt last Friday, BMW presented for the first time its concept versions of the i3 electric city car and the i8 hybrid supercar. As part of a plan to fend off Audi, BMW’s new electric-powered city car features a lounge feel with bench seats, leather that’s a naturally tanned "mocha brown,” as well as the use of hemp fibers in the floor covering. According to CEO Norbert Reithofer, the i8 is priced higher than 100,000 euros ($143,000). These models will anchor BMW's new "i" sub-brand.

Development chief Klaus Draeger said that most of the current electric vehicles are so-called conversions of traditional vehicles and that there are always compromises when undertaking conversions.

Draeger said that what BMW aimed for was to offer e-mobility “without compromise." BMW expects that its investment amounting to 530 million euros ($756 million) to establish production of the vehicles will pay off in the race with Audi, which did better than Mercedes-Benz this year.

Audi aims to beat BMW and become the luxury-car leader by 2015. Sales chief Ian Robertson said that initial volumes for the models may reach the "tens of thousands," with the possibility that it will increase rapidly depending on market and regulatory developments.

Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisberg- Essen, said that if this project succeeds, BMW will get an edge in terms of innovation and Audi will find itself in a “difficult situation.”

BMW's two electric cars use a carbon-fiber frame and an aluminum underbody to reduce their weight and to cut battery costs. For this project, BMW has invested in a new carbon-fiber factory in the U.S. and a 400 million-euro expansion of its plant in Leipzig, Germany. The i3 will start selling in 2013, while the i8 will follow in 2014.

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Audi will be offering something exciting for its United Kingdom market. The company announced that it will be adding new features as standard to the A4 range. It also confirmed...
by - May 24, 2017
You guys are probably aware of the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan. Knowing this, you would expect that both companies will come up with something impressive. Sources say that the...
by - May 24, 2017
Amongst all sports cars on the planet, which one is the world’s best-selling model? Would you have guessed that it is the Ford Mustang? According to IHS Markit’s global automotive...
by - May 24, 2017
It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. It’s Kris Singh’s blue carbon flying machine! Time stood still for a few minutes after the extremely rare Pagani Huayra BC Macchina...
by - May 24, 2017
If you’re selling some of the most expensive and most exclusive cars in the world, perhaps it would be a great idea to commission an ultra-rare work from the same...
by - May 24, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries