EV Popularity: Tesla, BMW On Top

3 years ago by Mark Kane 17

Model S & BMW i8

Model S & BMW i8

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

According to brandchannel, Tesla and BMW lead the EV popularity contest, while some other brands lag behind. Here is how the article starts:

“Electric-vehicle brands are rapidly bifurcating into haves and have-nots. There are Tesla and BMW, which seem to be the biggest “haves” at the moment in terms of sales, brand appeal, buzz and a future. And then there are Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Nissan Leaf and the others that are becoming the resigned “have-nots.”

The article is stating that General Motors loses with slightly declining Chevrolet Volt sales this year and low Cadillac ELR sales.

Nissan LEAF got hit by brandchannel too, despite sales increasing by 35% this year.  Brandchannel says that, like with the Volt sales, LEAF sales are still is lower than initially projected in 2010.

Well, BMW sold some 5,400 i3 in the first half of the year, which is comparable with Nissan LEAF sales in July (yes…it takes BMW 6 months to sell as many i3s as Nissan does LEAF in one month).  However, for some odd reason it seems that brandchannel believe that this i3 result is better than LEAF.  Or, at least it views i3 popularity as being higher than the LEAF.  Popularity must not be linked to actual sales?

“BMW has been stoking excitement for its all-electric i3 small sedan since debuting it last year and introducing it to the US market this spring, but it delivered just 5,400 i3s globally during the first two quarters of this year. “Based on the rave reviews the BMW i3 has been given by major news outlets, celebrities and advocates alike, we’ll admit we’re a little surprised by just how few BMW i3s were sold globally” in that period, wrote the green-car blog TransportEvolved.com.

Meanwhile, BMW’s Tesla S fighter, the i8 plug-in hybrid, was a quick seller to high-end customers in Europe, but BMW is now saying that, in the US, i8 is only “on the horizon.”

According to an earlier article in Forbes, Tesla is #1 in social mentions, but Nissan and BMW are not far behind.

Source: brandchannel

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17 responses to "EV Popularity: Tesla, BMW On Top"

  1. Rob Stark says:

    Well, “sales” of the LEAF tend to be highly subsidized leases. i3s are sold or leased at standard industry rates.

    While LEAF sells at a tick over 25% capacity it appears i3s sell at 100% capacity.

    In general when your production line runs at less than 60% capacity you lose money and when you run at 100% capacity you make money hand over fist.

    Using standard industry sales mixes, a $29K car is supposed to sell a lot more units than a $42k car although at reduced margins.

    In other words i3 is doing much better in its segment than the LEAF in its segment.

    1. Disappointed says:

      I Love Inside EV’s
      I visit this site several times each day.

      I have in the past suggested that there appears to be “Partiality” to BMW. I was assured that that is not in fact true.

      This article’s publication is soooo lacking in credentials and supporting facts that today, I suggest that the BMW logo should appear on the masthead as a sponsor.
      Here is “Brandchannels” self proclaimed best articles for the past week: http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2014/09/05/140905-Top-10-Stories-Of-The-Week.aspx

      The only thing lacking more credibility than
      “Brandchannel” is the response by Rob Stark, who has discovered “facts” and drawn conclusions that have escaped all other observers.

      I am delighted to find articles of interest even on “Slow News Days”.
      If BMW is a paying sponsor of this site I would be happy to offer my applause for their generous contribution and accept their daliy dominance of the news. But, if as you suggest, they are not than I am baffled by the constant promotion.

      1. mutle says:

        Maybe, just maybe, InsideEVs publishes whatever stories they come across, and because two BMW EVs launched in recent months (one did just this last month), and a lot of the recent articles on IEV were reviews of these cars.

        Considering the age of the LEAF and Volt there are still a lot of articles written on those cars. However you can’t reasonably expect more reviews of those cars instead of the newcomers now, can you?

        And just take a look at how many articles there are on Tesla each day…

      2. Mikael says:

        I don’t know what you want. Both the original article and the article here points out that the BMW isn’t selling as much as the buzz would make you think.
        That is poking a hole in the balloon. Unless you think that all publicity is good publicity that is.

        And you will have to get used to it. BMW is one of the top seller globally (the i3 is the 7th best selling EV in the world so far in 2014), they are the only traditional car brand to put in a whole subdivision just for EV’s, putting lots of money and development into it and actually talking about it and promoting it – which in itself creates buss and news.

      3. Dan says:

        I thought this article was sufficiently skeptical of the brandchannel article claims.

  2. Mike says:

    There’s this thing called the “internet”, and it’s used to provide “information”, sometimes to “car buyers”.

    Both the Volt and the Leaf will soon have revised, and many think “improved” hybrid models out in about 1/2 a year. For many buyers, that’s sufficient reason to “wait” for those new models before purchase.

    Apparently, this is a known business condition, except that “brandchannel” doesn’t know it.

  3. JRMW says:

    The EV world is peculiar in that it is so small that we end up comparing cars that have no business being compared.

    In the ICE world we would never compare a high end Mercedes with a BMW 3 series with a Nissan Versa. A buyer would never go to those three dealerships when shopping.

    But there are so few EV cars that an EV buyer does look at Tesla vs i3 vs Leaf. Thus we have to compare them.

    I’m having HUGE difficulty choosing. The ONLY reason why I am passing on the i3 is the rear wheel drive. FWD and price are why I’m passing on the Tesla. I hate the look of the Leaf (but know that others love it). Thus I’m waiting for the MB b-class and the eGolf.

    It’s a weird world out there! Luckily in 5 years we will have far more options so that we’ll compare Nissan and Honda and Toyota EVs, and compare BMW with MB and Audi EVs.

  4. JRMW says:

    A second point and I think topical:
    the use of RWD is one major impediment to i3 and Tesla sales. I brought this up and was told that with EVs its different.

    So I’ve scoured the Tesla Forums and also YouTube videos and even on the Tesla forum the winter driving results are mixed at best.
    the YouTube videos show people getting stuck and having to back up in minimal amounts of snow. There are videos of Tesla’s swerving on the highway.

    So tesla is “ok” in the snow. Im not paying $70k-100k for “ok”.

    The first AWD SUV or CUV to hit America will be a HUGE success. (RAV4 doesn’t count as Toyota refused to sell them)

    1. Rob Stark says:

      Compare Tesla Model S RWD with Nissan LEAF FWD in snow. Model S performance is not “mixed at best.”

      Just looking at Model S in Norwegian winter and comparing that with summer traction is comparing apples and watermelons.

      Without the weight of an ICE over the front wheels the traction in snow is no better for FWD BEV car.

      Of course AWD will do much better.

      1. Rob Stark says:

        As you may know Tesla Model X is coming with AWD standard. And it will almost certainly be offered in the Model S by the end of next year.

        1. JRMW says:

          Yes, I know the X is coming out next winter. But a $80-150k CUV simply isn’t affordable for most Americans.

          Tesla S performance in winter IS mixed at best. It is better than ICE RWD cars. Perhaps the same or slightly better than some ICE FWD cars. And a huge step backwards compared to AWD vehicles.

          Yes, the Tesla RWD is beats the LEAF in winter driving. Not saying much. The problem is convincing people in the Snow Belt that a RWD really can work. We’ve heard these claims by BMW and Mercedes for DECADES. And this is why Audi is by far the #1 luxury car seller in MN. AWD.

          My point wasn’t to knock Tesla. They went after and nailed the high performance Luxury Sedan market for temperate climates. I give them an A++.

          The LEAF went after and nailed (for the 2011 time frame) the environmentally conscious hatchback city runner market for temperate climates. A+

          And the Volt went after and nailed the middle of the road approach. A+
          (would have been A+++ with 60 mile range)

          None of them come within 1000 light years of winter life. Paying $120k for a sedan that does a little better than a LEAF in snow? Uh. no. LEAF range drops to the 40’s in winter OR you drive with no heat. In 25 degree below weather? Uh. No. Volts ICE engine on whenever below 15 degrees, making it just a hybrid? Uh, no.

          The X (and future AWD S) will give Tesla a MAJOR boost.

          And the first manufacturer that can come up with a somewhat reasonably priced AWD option will be a smashing success. C’mon Outlander or the Qashqai EV or PHEV! (I’ll buy one on day ONE).

          Especially if they can come up with EITHER the magic 150 to 200 mile BEV OR a PHEV with 60 miles of electric range.

          1. Dan says:

            What’s the significance of 60 mile range on a Volt? No matter what range it has, there will always be people that need just 10 more miles.

            The existing Volt battery capacity is a sweet spot for:

            – meeting the range needs of average American commuters (Volt drivers currently travel 80% of commute miles on battery)
            – having enough total battery capacity to power full performance throughout AER
            – being able to achieve both of the above while remaining within the 20-80% SOC window, for maximum battery life
            – and importantly, *keeping costs as low as possible*

            1. JRMW says:

              I agree with you here.

              The 60 miles is arbitrary but not pulled from a hat.

              I chose it because, as people say, most people drive under 30-40 miles in a day. This works for people in Southern states and Summer everywhere.

              But in the winter the Volt range drops precipitously. Dropping from 30+ to 20 something mile range in winter is a pain for many commuters.
              Dropping from 60 to 40 miles electric range in winter is completely doable for most commuters again.

              People aren’t buying the Volt to drive an ICE. They’re buying it to drive electric AND to have a cushion “just in case”.
              so the ICE should come on “just in case” and not “most of the time”

              As I said: the Volt got an A+ in 2011 given its range. A+ is not shabby!

              60 miles (in 2011) would have been an A+++

              But in 2014 with the BMW REx doing 70+ miles electric?
              40 mile range is a C-.

              2015 Volt needs Increased range (or an increased range option)

              1. Dan says:

                I would say a 40 mile AER volt with an MSRP that starts with the number 2 would be an A+++. But that’s me.

                1. JRMW says:

                  Haha!
                  Yes, that would also be an A+++++

                  the balance of affordability with performance.
                  as they say, different strokes for different blokes.

                  I can’t wait for the time when people have more options and configurations
                  -AWD, RWD, FWD
                  -20, 40, 60, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400+ mile ranges
                  -BEV and PHEV
                  -economical, midrange, and luxury

                  It’s crazy that a guy like me is looking at a Leaf, a Volt, and a Tesla X! those 3 products couldn’t be more different.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “RAV4 doesn’t count as Toyota refused to sell them”

      It also doesn’t count since it is NOT 4WD/AWD.

      It is FWD only.

  5. pete g says:

    Today cars rated on Buzz, cup holders tomorrow.