BMW opens ‘i’ Store in London as dark clouds hang over electric mobility


Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!

BMW has been known to create exclusive showroom for specific purposes.

BMW store

While we are still wondering why Apple has summoned its lawyers to sue BMW for using the ‘i’ trademark, the Bavarian giant has unveiled and ‘i’ Store in London to showcase its range of electric cars that BMW has planned for the future.

The store has been strategically opened in Park Lane in the heart of the London. The BMW iStore will give prospective customers opportunity to learn more about future mobility and get close to the electric and plug-in hybrid developed by BMW. BMW is looking to capitalize on the massive crowd that will show up in London for the Olympics and proliferate the awareness of the ‘i’ brand

Unfortunately, all is not well as it seems. Dark clouds are hovering over the ‘i’ brand and BMW seems like having second thoughts about the same. The reason for these second thoughts –

  • A dull consumer response
  • Lack on interest in electric cars
  • Green car incentives falling prey to tumbling economies
  • Inadequate infrastructure for supporting electric vehicles
  • The multiplicity of governments involved
  • There are billions of dollars at stake

But BMW is still convinced that Project ‘i’ will eventually pay off. However, the company is not willing to risk it all. Team leader Ulrich Kranz and new research and development chief Herbert Diess are discussing contingency plans in case things don’t work out.

For now, the i3 hatchback is slated for launch in 2013 followed by the i8 coupe heading to showrooms in 2014.

Sadly, the proposed i1 intra-city car and the i5 eco-van have been shelved.

[Source: &]

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