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New BMW Electric Car Has 8,000 Pre-Orders Before Debut: How Many Electric Vehicles Have Sold Worldwide In Latest Resurgence Of EV Interest?

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW) says that a month before its i3 goes on sale in Europe it has more than 8,000 pre-orders for its first mass-produced electric vehicle, a five-door compact with a standard range of about 90 miles that starts at $41,350.

BMW Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner told Bloomberg in Frankfurt that if demand continues it will need to invest to boost capacity. The company had aimed to sell at least 10,000 i3s next year in an increasingly crowded market for EV minis.

All-electric cars have popped in and out of automotive history going all the way back to the beginning. They fell back into vogue in the early 70s during U.S. gasoline shortages amid the Arab oil embargo against the US. But the cars failed the range test (they were basically glorified golf carts) and never caught on. Now, innovations in battery technology have delivered a recent revival of EV interest. Certainly more passenger-car EVs have been sold in recent years than have ever been sold, and so it’s possible that after a century of starts and stops, EVs might finally carve out a niche for themselves—especially for urban, commercial and public transportation needs.
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