When Mercedes’ EV sub-brand is launched, it will enter a far more established market than BMW before it.

When the BMW i sub-brand was revealed in 2011, EVs were gaining pace but still lacked the presence they have today. It was a world before Tesla went mainstream with its revolutionary Model S, which brought EVs into a new sector and enticed a far broader audience.

So how successful has BMW’s i brand been? The numbers aren’t huge. In July this year, BMW i3 sales were up 33.7%, with 2358 delivered globally in the month. The i8 has even lower sales, but what that lacks in volume it makes up for in credibility.

But the new i3 94Ah, with plenty more miles of range, should bolster those sales considerably in the coming months and 7000 orders have already been taken. Indeed, BMW claims it is three times the number of orders received for the first-gen i3 during the equivalent launch period.

It’s a very different audience that Mercedes will address with an electric SUV concept at this year’s Paris motor show, but with most of the German premium brands primed to announce similarsized EVs, there’s every expectation that this mix of bulk and electric power will be a winning formula for consumers as EVs slowly become the norm.

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