BMW i3 beats Sales forecast
Love it or hate it, the BMW i3 is one of the most ideal city EVs we’ve driven in a while. But, make no mistake. This isn’t your typical BMW, ready to carve canyons and duke it on race tracks. It’s a city car and at that, it does what it was designed to do very well. Any references to another type of car would be unfair. The BMW i3 is meant for city dwellers and urbanites, period.
Not only is BMW eager to remind you it is doing well, but that it also sold more than a million vehicles in the first half of 2014 for the first time ever. To be a little clearer, this includes the many brands under the company, such as MINI, Rolls-Royce and of course the amazing BMW Motorcycles.
BMW i3, pushing along bottom line sales
The new iDrive division, which is BMW’s plug-in electric cars, including the i8 and i3 helped BMW reach 1,241 BMW i3’s delivered to its customers worldwide, in June. That means this year total sales have been 5,396. Not bad for BMW’s first EV and for its first half of a year. The electric i3 went on sale in Germany, as well as several other European countries in November 2013, but unlike in the U.S., sales took up fairly well. According to our friends at GreenCarCongress, the i3 was the top-selling plug-in car in Germany during the first quarter of 2014, a country not known for its EV affection. The overall picture saw an increase of 6.9% over the same period last year to 954,501 cars. Sales in June reached an all-time high of a 4.8% delivery increase with a total of 193,342 vehicles sold that month.
Stay tuned for a Deutsch Land Radio interview of Nicolas Zart about the state of EVs in the U.S. and Germany.
Starting sales in May, the BMW i3 made its US debut with a modest 336 sales. This picked up somewhat in June with 358. According to Harald Krueger, BMW’s production chief: “The US will be the largest market for the i3”. BMW hopes to build about 20,000 units this years if it sustains this current production.
I interviewed Benoit Jacobs, head designer at the iDrive department for BMW. His talk was frank and candid. I discovered a hidden character at BMW, a playful and learned to respect the i3 and i8 for many reasons, short of the obvious aesthetic ones. Both cars were designed from a desire to achieve static aerodynamic. To quote Benoit: “I didn’t want anything electronic or electric spoilers. I didn’t want anything breaking down the road”, a testament to engineering and design vision. Judging by the stunning BMW i8, we can: Mission accomplished.