BMW increases i3 production 43%, Tesla fans sneer

BMW i3 photo
CC BY 2.0 M 93

Scrolling through my newsfeed this evening, I came across a wonderfully encouraging headline from Bloomberg: BMW lifts i3 electric car production on higher demand:

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, has increased production of the i3 electric city car 43 percent to meet demand that has exceeded the carmaker’s initial expectations.The premium manufacturer in recent weeks has raised daily output to 100 vehicles from 70 previously at the factory in Leipzig, Germany, where the model is assembled, Harald Krueger, BMW production chief, said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. BMW has already built more than 5,000 i3s since the start of the year, Krueger said. The current production rate translates to about 20,000 vehicles for the full year, almost twice as much as BMW’s initial sales forecast.

How nice, I thought, we are finally seeing mainstream automakers beginning to take cleaner, more efficient vehicle production seriously—and better than that, as shown when Mike previously reported on better-than-expected sales for the i3, we're seeing consumers buying them. Yes, these are still very small numbers compared to all global car sales. But they are a start, and they are growing faster than analysts had projected.

Electric car advocates should be delighted.

Scroll down to the comments section in the same Bloomberg piece, however, and you see "Team Tesla" advocates bitching about the car's styling compared to the Model S, and BMW fans bashing Elon Musk and telling him to keep his job at PayPal.

I mean, really? These folks are comparing cars that aren't even remotely close to the same price bracket.

As the recent IPCC report shows, we need all hands on deck if we're going to slow climate change and avert potential energy crises. And that means we need BMW, Tesla, and just about everyone else to get their act together and get serious about clean tech. That doesn't mean we can't criticize products, concepts and ideas we see as flawed, but it would be nice if we could do so without being so damned combative.

I am reminded, a little, of other squabbles in the green movement. It's legitimate to worry about too much focus on electric cars, and not enough focus on sensible planning, walkable communities, car sharing and the like. But as Lloyd said, it's not this or that it's this and that.

We need protected bike lanes. We need solar-assisted trikes. We need innovative car clubs. We need telecommuting. We need walkable cities. And we need a hell of a lot more choices of cleaner cars on the market.

And that means we need BMW i3s and Teslas alike. Can't we all be on the same team?

Tags: BMW | Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles

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