By Justin King
Friday, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:03 pm
 
BMW has reported difficulty keeping up with demand for the i3, forcing new buyers to wait at least six months for delivery. The company claims to have received approximately 11,000 orders globally for its new electric car, including 1,200 orders from the US market alone.

Sales head Ian Robertson told Automobilwoche that 80 percent of i3 purchases are from customers who are new to the brand or buying their first car.

The i3 has already arrived in Europe, launched late last year, before heading to the US and other markets sometime this spring. The company's flagship hybrid supercar, the i8, isn't expected until the middle of the year.

With a $41,350 starting price in the US, the i3 will be available in an all-electric configuration with 100 miles of range or, for longer drives, it can be equipped with an optional two-cylinder gasoline engine.

Other automakers entering the EV and hybrid markets have met mixed success. Newcomer Tesla reported 2013 sales of 22,300 Model S sedans, while the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf achieved slightly better results. GM initially hoped to sell 45,000 Volts per year.

A BMW executive recently suggested the company would proceed into the market cautiously, waiting to gauge demand for the i3 and i8 before considering a third i-series model.