BMW i3 waiting list five months... for a test drive

4 Dec, 2013 9:11am Steve Fowler

Groundbreaking EV in such high demand, BMW struggling to keep up with demand for demonstrations

The BMW i3 electric car is in huge demand with over 10,000 orders already taken around the world. But the demand from potential customers wanting test drives is even bigger, with over 100,000 registered for i3 test drives.

BMW i3

Speaking to Auto Express, BMW Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Ian Robertson, said: “We have waiting lists into months for test drives. These cars need to be charged between each test, which takes some time. Dealers are working hard to satisfy the demand.”
In the UK there are 6,500 on the i3 test drive waiting list, with 1,500 of those having an appointment confirmed. Since the i3’s launch on November 16, nearly 1000 people have taken test drives at the rate of around 300 per week across the 47 BMW dealers selling i3s. At that rate it could be five months before someone putting their name down today will get to drive the car.
BMW is hoping to get more people through the test drives as soon as possible, but then they’ll have to wait at least six months before they can take delivery of an i3. A BMW spokesperson told us: “Order the range extender version today and delivery could be in June next year. It’ll be a little bit longer for a full EV with delivery probably next October.”
Ian Robertson provided more bad news for anyone hoping to buy BMW’s new £100,000 i8 electric supercar – the wait will stretch into 2015.  The lightweight model uses a combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motors to get from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds, yet return average economy figures of 113mpg and CO2 output of just 59g/km. But Robertson said, “We have advanced i8 orders for the whole of 2014 production.”