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Automakers Talk Optimistically About Electric Cars in Geneva

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.”

BMW says it can make about 70 i3s a day at its plant in Leipzig, and will continue to ramp up production.


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