GenIII needs to get into gear. BMW is pushing the i3 in Europe

GenIII needs to get into gear. BMW is pushing the i3 in Europe

Just received an email from BMW, they are starting to push the BMW i3 and stated they will deliver in 2013.
They are offering an online pre-reservation for a production slot (learned from Tesla?).

For me this is no alternative to the Model S, but might be for the GenIII, is Tesla loosing their head-start?

hsadler | February 28, 2013

Yes, got that email last year. Stated range was 100 miles at 45 mph. Told them our commute is 125 miles per day. They replied that we had "Range Anxiety". Wanted us to try it out anyway.

Have been Bimmer people for quite awhile. Funny that their new Series 3, 5, and 7 Hybrids get worse mileage than their non-Hybrids.

Our current 5 is a great car to drive, but have to question a company that tends to be arrogant - especially toward their faithful customers.

For us, Tesla has come along at an ideal moment.

kenliles | February 28, 2013

still my vote would be high priority on Gen III, but it's gott use the latest battery tech etc. and really blow the lid off the market and be ready for high volume production. Tall order, so my 2c is do it right first.
Hoping for a 3 year time frame (instead of delays to 5)

jeroens | February 28, 2013

Also received the into before but was surprised to see the pre-order online mail and the push that you can still get it delivered this year (and get the tax benefit). Main question is what will it costs...

Flaninacupboard | February 28, 2013

Estimate I saw was £38k ($57.6k). Much rather have an S thanks!!

jeroens | February 28, 2013

Me too but this would be more the mass market product tesla is after with the Geniii
If it would be around 40,000 euro than they could sell quite a lot especially in Norway and the Netherlands.

The range would fit most commuters and alternativly they offer a range extender and BMW is a very strong brand.

I want Tesla to succeed just hope the Geniii gets here quick enough.

TeslaModelSOwner | February 28, 2013

the i3 is not compelling by any means. Better to take a little bit of extra time then put out something so sub-optimal.

i3 is just a fancy leaf

Bubba2000 | February 28, 2013

The i3 is a glorified golf cart. 100 miles at 45 mph? In reality about 75 miles at 45 mph. No good for the highway and forget the Autobahn. Meh!

N8Tyler | February 28, 2013

An article about CA permitting EV to drive in carpool lane had the i3 listed as an EV with a 2Gal gas tank for reserve, enabling the car to actually travel around 300 miles (just not all on electricity). Has anyone else heard this or is the i3 a full EV?

negarholger | February 28, 2013

@N8Tyler - not clear yet. It can have a small ICE, but maybe as an option. The rule that it counts a full EV in CA the ICE must have a shorter range then battery... so maybe 50-75 miles on gas.

shop | February 28, 2013

At that range and that small size, doesn't look like a gen III competitor to me.

jeroens | February 28, 2013

Full EV there is à range extender option (adding a silent engine which generated power/charges) according to their website

jat | February 28, 2013

The i3 is a nice competitor to the LEAF, Ford eFocus (if they ever start really selling it), etc, but it is very expensive compared to them. It really isn't much cheaper than a 40kWh Model S, which is a lot more car with more range.

So actually, it seems like they had to get it out now before the Model S is available in Europe and before a GenIII exists.

@nnt - £38000 for the base model is not $30-50k. I'm not sure what exchange rate you are using, but can I buy some GBP from you with USD at your rate? :)

Brian H | February 28, 2013

When the GenIII hits the market, so will a lot of used i3s.

hsadler | February 28, 2013


Misunderstood your last...

Your brother is a BMW sales man or was told by a BMW salesman?

teddyg | February 28, 2013

I had overheard Elon in the Q3 conference call answering a question about Gen III and sounded like their goal for Gen III is a 200 mile range which will allow it to have a big enough capacity to allow for safe supercharging.
My guess is their goal is 200 mile range, supercharging capable, seats 5, for $35,000 (after Gov incentives)...hopefully selling in 2016 but probably 1H 2017...all just guesswork though...last conference call was the first one that Gen III wasn't mentioned at all...not sure if that is good? :-(

jbunn | February 28, 2013

N8Tyler, The i3 is an electric. The i8 is a hybrid.

Both kind of cool looking. The i3, I would agree is targeting people that would consider a Leaf. Looks like a really good urban runabout. Short enough to park, bubble shaped, so it's got lots of interior space. The i3 has some of the engineering that makes the Tesla S superior - battery pack under the floor, motor between the rear wheels, ect.

I'm not too worried about this. I feel that a rising tide lifts all boats. As more electrics come out and are perceived as serious transportation, more people will switch. Based on my month, and 1800 miles, I would never consider going back to an ICE. Eventualy when we have many choices, people will select cars based on design cues, features, performance, ect just like we pick from BMW, Audi, Volvo, and MB today.

sftesla | March 1, 2013

We have a Mitsubishi i as our other electric car and the i3 would be competitive with that car. The BMW will probably have nicer finishes, but it looks a little bigger and will also cost a lot more. For a city errand car, I would take the smallest thing that's practical because its easier to maneuver and park. That's why I take the Mitsubishi instead of the Tesla for quick trips in-town.

Superliner | March 1, 2013

40-50K for 75-100 miles in an econobox won't cut it. As has been said elsewhere in this thread It's a glorified Leaf / Focus. The 75-100 mile thing seems like where the manufacturers want to take the affordable BEV and force us to wear the shoe even if it does not fit. Then say the BEV failed because no one bought them.

Fact is Many would LOVE to buy a BEV but 40K for a 75 mile car?? (Ford Focus) REALLY!!

Gen III Needs to be <30K with a "REAL WORLD RANGE" of minimum 150 miles "hopefully 200 miles" then watch them sell!!

Timo | March 4, 2013

I do believe that GenIII "affordable car" will have enough range to use SC network.

It shouldn't be that hard to achieve, just make it small and light enough that it doesn't need as much batteries to achieve that range (and less batteries = less weight).

Considering that Model S 85kWh battery pack contains roughly 8000 46g batteries that's only 368kg. 1700 kg is rest of the car. If you cut that "rest of the car" to lets say 1200 kg that's about 70% of batteries required for same range ~258kg for total car weight of 1400 vs 2000kg. That alone drops battery price (assuming same $400/kwh as now) to roughly $25000 for 250 mile version. For 150 mile version drop about 2/3 off the battery price tag (yet less batteries = less weight = more range / kWh).

And that is just assuming that battery price stays same as it is now. It is decreasing about 8% / year though, so by the time GenIII affordable car is finished it should be no problem whatsoever to create car that can go 300 miles with one charge and cost less than $50k. It would just not be quite so "premium" as Model S is.

ArieK | March 5, 2013

People, please don't underestimate BMW and their i3. Sure it won't compare if you park it next to a model S, but it's not supposed to. GenIII won't get a 300+ HP motor either ( non-perf) so the 170 HP that the i3 get's is not too bad either. Let's hope Tesla keeps up the good work and is working hard to deliver the next homerun.

It seems the first magazines are getting testdrives and liking what they see so far:
" The i3 was praised by Car for its cabin roominess, handling, ride and acceleration. The 170-horsepower EV went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds and "feels faster" than a Mini Cooper S, Car said, adding that the i3 was "shaping up to be a breakthrough electric car."

peahl | March 5, 2013

I am one of the 700 testdrivers that lease the BMW ActiveE in the US (that will be followed by the i3) and as much as I would buy the ActiveE (100% BMW 100% Electric) as my commuter car, what is not possible (they offer just an expensive lease offer that will end March 2014), I will not buy the i3 even when offering to be the first ones that can buy it, solely because of it looks. It just does not look anymore like a BMW. That is why I am happy with my Model S, it looks like a great car and until now is a great car.

Timo | March 7, 2013

@ArielK, who says that GenIII won't get 300+HP motor? Easiest for Tesla would be to use same motor for GenIII as they use for Model S. Motor is not expensive part. Power comes from battery, if GenIII has large battery it can get same output as Model S. If not then it is less. Evident by performance in 40kWh and 60kWh versions.