BMW Sells 11,024 i3s In U.S. In First Full Year – Good For 4th Best Overall

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 27

The BMW i3 (shown here in limited Shadow Sport Edition), Took Home 4th Place For Top Selling Plug-Ins For The US

The BMW i3 (shown here in limited Shadow Sport Edition), Took Home 4th Place For Top Selling Plug-Ins For The US

Some BMW i3s Head Out For Delivery

Some BMW i3s Head Out For Delivery

BMW is proudly reporting that in it’s first full year on the U.S. market, i3 sales totaled 11,024 units, putting it in 4th place overall among plug-ins sold in the U.S.

BMW notes that the i3 accounts for approximately 1 out of every 100 BMW’s sold globally and adds that the i3 is BMW’s best-selling car in Norway.

In 2014, with only 8 months of sales in the U.S., BMW sold 6,092 i3s.

BMW i3 sales have fluctuated significantly in the U.S., with the lowest monthly total coming in May of 2014 at 336 units and the highest sales posted in September 2015 at 1,710 units.

Here is how BMW faired in the overall US sales picture:

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers - *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

2015 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers – *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals, ** Fiat/Hyundai Does Not Report Sales Directly, Estimate Based on State/Rebate Data

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27 responses to "BMW Sells 11,024 i3s In U.S. In First Full Year – Good For 4th Best Overall"

  1. David Murray says:

    Well, at least their number matches InsideEV’s own charts.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      That sounds like a good thing to have happen, (=

  2. SparkEV says:

    How do they break down by Rex vs BEV?

    1. jelloslug says:

      From what I understand it’s about 55% REX 45% BEV

      1. Dan says:

        In many metro areas, the BEV is higher. Closer to 60% BEV from what the dealer I talked to said.

        1. GRA says:

          That’s sure not the ratio I’m seeing here in the S.F. Bay Area, where it runs something like 3:1 REx/non-REx, albeit in a totally un-scientific survey.

  3. ct200h says:

    I think they might have a short model year for 2016 , then the 2017 this fall? BMW is saying 50% more range. that should help things along. For me I like the i3 enough but would prefer 4 conventional doors. something like an X1 body but built like an i3 CFRP etc.

    1. David Murray says:

      I find it hard to believe 50% more range. It seems most manufacturers are now able to get 30% more range just from better chemistry. I would think 50% would require a larger pack. Still.. lets look at the numbers:

      For the BEV version:
      30% more range would be 105 miles.
      50% more range would be 122 miles.

      For the Rex:
      30% more range would be 99 miles.
      50% more range would be 114 miles.

      Honestly, if I had the Rex version, the currently available 76 miles would be plenty for me. My Volt only has 38 miles and I rarely use the range extender. But if they could seriously get 122 miles on the BEV, I might not need the range extender!

      1. kdawg says:

        They better be working on getting the range to at least 200 miles. The i3 already costs more than other comparable plug-ins, and if the range ends up 1/2 the Bolt’s range, I don’t see it competing well. (Except for people who need a BMW badge on their car)

        1. jelloslug says:

          With a 120 mile pack BMW will market the REX version as a 200 mile car.

          1. Stimpy says:

            They may, but I’m an existing i3 REx owner and I’ll happily take the 200 mi AER vs 120 + REx even at the same price.

            Add in the fact that the Bolt will be significantly cheaper even before you tack on the cost of the REx option, and yeah, I’d say that’s going to be a tough sell for BMW!

            1. David Murray says:

              I’m the opposite. I’d rather have the Rex, even if it means a sacrifice of EV range. I prefer the flexibility to use different fuels.

        2. Dan says:

          Do people stop buying an ICE car because it has a 10 gallon tank and every one else has a 17 gallon tank? There’s far more to car ownership than range.

          1. Stimpy says:

            No because unlike with EVs, there’s a quick way to refuel a gas car every couple miles at most in 95% of the US (and most other countries).

            Thus range is VERY important. The best and most convenient option for those with a private garage is to exclusively charge at home. More AER makes that far easier even on busy days.

        3. alohart says:

          … or people who plan to keep their EV’s for a long time, live in a rust-prone environment, and want something other than a steel-bodied car, or who really prefer a well-balanced rear wheel drive car, or who want the most efficient EV. I have never owned a BMW and would have preferred that Honda build a car like the i3 (less expensive, more reliable), but BMW is the only manufacturer who has built an EV with features that I appreciate (Tesla’s EV’s are way too large, heavy, and expensive).

          1. kdawg says:

            I do live in a rust-prone environment (though that’s more of a 1980’s thing), and you don’t want rear-wheel drive here. Note, the Bolt EV is made with aluminum body panels.

            ““We saved just shy of 50lbs by using all aluminum enclosures (all the exterior body panels are aluminum). The underbody is 95% high strength steel or advanced high strength steel, some of it is the first time it’s been used in production so far. The upper body, not counting the exterior panels is about 80% high strength steel, so there is a lot of advanced materials in there, but we didn’t use carbon fiber anywhere I can think of.” – Josh Tavel, Bolt Chief Engineer

  4. ggpa says:

    This is an amazing statement “BMW notes that the i3 accounts for approximately 1 out of every 10 BMW’s sold globally”

    I am curious how many i3 sales go to previous BMW customers and how many are conquests.

    1. jelloslug says:

      From what I have read something like 80% of the i3 owners are new to BMW.

  5. ct200h says:

    I was just looking at automotive news , about half way down the frt page, story says half more range.

  6. ct200h says:

    I think they are going from 60ah cells to 94ah, same physical size?

    1. That’s the speculation. However nobody really knows for certain and BMW isn’t going to say for at least a couple months as to not completely crush the 2016 MY sales. A lot of what people are assuming (50% more range) is based on what some journalists have predicted, and I’m probably as guilty as anybody because I’ve been speculating that they will be using the 94ah cells. If they do, it’s entirely possible the 2017 i3 BEV will be EPA rated at about 125 miles per charge. BMW could use the same modules and pack, and simply swap out the cells to the new higher density ones (they are the same physical size as the current 60ah cells) and the i3 would then have a 33.6kWh pack.

      1. jelloslug says:

        If what everyone assumes is true, I wonder if BMW will offer an upgrade path for the older cars.

        1. vdiv says:

          Unfortunately the answer to that question with Nissan was apparently no, because it allegedly creates “regulatory hurdles” that the manufacturer is not willing to deal with. Even Tesla backed out of replacing the battery with a higher capacity one. Not future-proofing electric cars is probably the easiest way to kill their residual values.

  7. pjwood1 says:

    Tesla struggled with 60kwh, ~200 miles. BMW has great efficiency, but may need to amp up further. In Tesla’s case, you can map out your charging, and that still didn’t cut it. A 50% increase, to ~33kwh, would still be a nice change.

  8. Phr3d says:

    too lazy to think up a college cheer, but it ends with:

    UPGRADE! UPGRADE!

  9. DP says:

    Not sure if it has been misquoted but I think BMW meant 1 out of 100 cars sold globally. BMW has in the order to 2m sales per year and the i3 did not sell 200k last year.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Dp, Yes, that is definitely a mis-quote, it should be 1 in 100. Thanks, fixed!