BMW Electrified Vehicles Sales Now At 5.5% Of Total YTD U.S. Sales

4 months ago by Mark Kane 31

BMW i + BMW iPerformance + MINI PHEV sales in the U.S. – October 2017

Plug-in electric vehicle offerings have become a more and more vital component of the BMW Group in the U.S. since the introduction of the i3 in May 2014.

BMW i3s

Currently BMW Group offers six plug-in BMWs and one MINI. Only one of those models is all-electric (i3) and the rest are plug-in hybrids.

List of plug-ins:

  • BMW i3
  • BMW i8
  • BMW 330e
  • BMW 530e
  • BMW 740e
  • BMW X5 xDrive 40e
  • MINI Countryman PHEV

BMW boasts that so far this year, plug-ins account for 5.5% of the company’s total sales in the U.S. – 15,595 out of 281,839.

In recent months, sales are now even approaching an 8% share. In October, 2,045 units translated in a 7.6% share (the second highest result to date).

BMW notes that the 530e now takes a fifth of of all 5 Series sales, as Bernhard Kuhnt, President and CEO, BMW of North America noted:

“Electrified vehicles also showed strong momentum last month, with nearly 20% of all 5 Series sold as plug-in hybrids.

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31 responses to "BMW Electrified Vehicles Sales Now At 5.5% Of Total YTD U.S. Sales"

  1. Viktor says:

    Really nice numbers even if I had hope that BMW would offer more BEV. Do you have any similler numbers for BMW world sales?

    1. Yogurt says:

      BMW plugin sales are a little stronger in the EU than the US and way stronger in Norway…
      There is an EV sales blog that lists worldwide sales and sales for countries…

  2. wavelet says:

    Idle boast, given that only one of the vehicles (i3) has AER sufficient for most commutes, and that one isn’t selling very well due to the high price.

    1. Dan says:

      The average commute is about 20 miles round trip. Two thirds of commutes are 30 miles or less.

      What definition of “most” are you using?

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Use heat and you might not get 10.

        BMW is doing a great job keeping adequate electric power and range out of its customers hands. Most profitable way to go.

        1. Dan says:

          You clearly don’t own one. How would you know? Even my first gen i3 with the smaller battery is an absolute delight to drive. I would rather stop driving altogether than drive a face lifted mini van like those model X that occasionally lumbers into town.

          1. unlucky says:

            They’re not talking about the i3, they’re talking about other vehicles BMW offers, their PHEVs with around 0-16 miles AER.

        2. menorman says:

          Admittedly, the AER of many of the PHEVs isn’t much, but it is something and gets people turned on to the idea of having more electric in their life.

      2. WARREN says:

        Some people just don’t get it. BMW has one of the best BEVS on the market (RWD, nimble, high quality interior materials, sophisticated suspension, innovative CFRP construction ), and offer customer’s a wide choice of hybrids, all with plug in capability. Nothing wrong with that. A 5 series customer isn’t going to be cross shopping a Chevy Volt anyways. The interior of the 5 series is light years ahead of e even the Model S in creature comforts. A BEV X3 is already in development as is the inextra coupe. And even though the Volt is a best seller in the states, in some worldwide markets the i3 has even outsold the Volt.

        1. unlucky says:

          Pet hair glued to plastic isn’t high quality interior materials. The Ford Focus Electric has a higher quality feel to its interior than the i3.

          1. Warren says:

            Wrong again. They intentionally used special sustainable Kenaf plant fibers. Far cry from pet hair that you described. My Ford Focus EV was nicely equipped by didn’t hold a candle to the i3 in fun to drive, interior room, or reliability quotients. After the Leaf and Focus, it has been all i3 BMWs for me. While the Focus was a technically a lemon law vehicle, none of my i3’s had any problems whatsoever. However, I just got a brand new 2017 irex for the first time.

            Reportedly 90% of all i3 problems involve the range extender, and are usually check engine light related. But being that I will rarely use gas, I am not too concerned about it.

            The i3s is going to be a special car. For the same price as a “M” sport package on the gas BMWs, you get more HP, higher redline, lower sport suspension, wider tires an wheels, different bumper covers, different motor controller…its a huge bargain. At higher speeds, it will be putting out approximately 30hp more than the standard i3, and has a higher motor redline even.

            1. unlucky says:

              Yes. You call it sustainable plant fibers glued to hard plastic. I call it pet hair glued to hard plastic.

              Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Just because BMW selected them specifically doesn’t mean they feel high quality.

              I’m not sure how you decided to switch from how quality the interior feels to interior space, but the Focus Electric has more interior room than the i3 where there are figures to compare.

              i3 legroom front/rear: 40.5/31.9
              FFE legroom front/rear: 41.9/33.2

              i3 shoulder room front/rear: 53.6/49.2
              FFE legroom front/rear: 55.6/53.7

              BMW doesn’t list hiproom at all nor rear headroom so I can’t compare those.

              The i3S is is no way a huge bargain. Not with the regular i3 being discounted. And why do you care what the redline is? It’s not like you have to shift! You seem to be digging pretty deep to make claims of greatness about a car you’ve never even seen. But then after the misstatements you made comparing two you actually owned (or leased, I dunno) I’m not too surprised you’d do that.

              You have 3 i3’s. That’s nice. Glad you like them. But it doesn’t mean the interior of the i3 feels high quality nor that it has more room than the FFE (in the passenger compartment at least, despite the tiny i3 rear hatch space the FFE surely is worse due to the battery taking up the trunk).

            2. Scott Lawrence Lawson says:

              100% agree, Warren. I prefer my i3 BEV over my Model3 S75 any day for quality and driving pleasure.

      3. wavelet says:

        A definition that shouldn’t be too difficult to understand: >50% .
        Average daily driving distance in the USA is 30mi. This is obtained by dividing the annual total by 365; since there may be days people don’t drive at all, esp. in non-rural areas, the daily driving distance on days that people do use their car is a actually a bit higher.

        None of the PHEV BMWs (not including the i3 REx here, obviously) reach 20mi EPA AER, let alone 30. Even the from-scratch $$$$$ PHEV, the i8, doesn’t do >15mi. One (the 530e iPerformance) does 19mi, all the rest are at 15mi or below…
        Yes, if someone’s one-way commute is <10mi, and knows s/he won't need AC or heating, and can be certain of charging at work, these will work for a fully-electric commute. Otherwise, not so much.
        Frankly, most folks using an expensive performance vehicle for such daily driving distances distances should probably be using a bicycle anyway.

      4. unlucky says:

        530e AER: 0-16 miles.

        16 miles isn’t 20 miles and 0-16 doesn’t mean 16.

        “0-” is the terminology the EPA uses when a car is very likely to kick in the ICE on a more than moderate application of the accelerator or when the climate isn’t temperate.

        It’s built down a price, not for AER functionality. Is that the end of the world? No, it’s better than nothing (usually) but it’s also below average effort and unimpressive.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    Yes, I wouldn’t piss on BMW’s efforts….. ALthough I’m unsure of the BMW’s reliability (the I3) compared to say the “S”, I preferred my test drive of the I3, and it was of course, much less money to spend.

    I didn’t end up buying either vehicle, but that is not to say the I3 was without merit.. Like the “S”, some people absolutely love their I3’s.

    It would be nice if they came out with larger batteries in all their BEV’s and PHEV’s, of course. The smallish battery and the ‘motorcycle’ range-extender didn’t appeal to me, in the end.

    1. Yogurt says:

      BMW is doing a good job with their plugins and looks to be prepared for cheaper batteries…
      The i3 is supposed to get a range increase again next year…
      Hopefully all their models will get an increase…

      1. menorman says:

        …and supposedly, the battery can be retrofitted into older specimens too. Getting a cheap off-lease i3 then putting in a 40kWh battery could be a real bargain, even in comparison to a new Leaf.

    2. wavelet says:

      Not pissing… Given the extensive engineering that already has to happen on a PHEV, and the fact that adding (say) 5-8kWh (to reach 25-30mi AER) adds a lot less % in component price to a BMW than it does adding the same capacity to a lower-end EV.

    3. Dan says:

      It would be sad if the i3 is less reliable than the Tesla – you’re talking bottom of the heap. I don’t think it is anywhere near as bad as an S. The i3 is certainly not as reliable as regular steel BMWs and likely less reliable than say a Bolt at the model level.

      1. mx says:

        Consumer Reports gives the Tesla Above Average reliability, and the Model 3 is “projected” to be Average, that’s not bad for a new vehicle.

        The BMW’s really should have a minimum of 30 miles of EPA range. Because winter can take away 40% of that range.

        1. Dan says:

          Inside EVs reported on the True Delta scores here a couple of years ago. Tesla was dead last then. The latest model year really has not improved and the repair trip rates are going in the opposite direction.


      2. Scott Lawrence Lawson says:

        i3 REX is the one with 95% of the issues. BEV is rock solid.

  4. Nix says:

    The beauty of their cars ending in ‘e’ is that they are priced right for the performance. BMW actually thought about how to slot in PHEV’s into their existing ICE lines so that they made sense for buyers.

    More range WILL be nice as they can add it in the future and have the numbers still work. They are on the right path.

    Although I sure wish they would put the i3 REX drivetrain into a Mini. That would be cool, and would make a lot of MiniE fans happy.

    1. unlucky says:

      Yeah, they got the price down by making the car have little advantage over a regular hybrid. At least Toyota moved forward from the ridiculously short range PiP. Ford at least bumped up their ranges from 0-15 miles to 0-21.

      BMW can and should do better. This shouldn’t be a race to see who can add the least cost to their car and still get it in the carpool lane.

      1. Dcto says:

        BMW have NEVER competed on price, German engineering seldom does, MULTIPLE interior choices. Any reason NOT to assume ur a hater troll?

        1. unlucky says:

          BMW is competing on price here, with themselves. We’re talking about them pricing their PHEVs.

          Yes, there are multiple interior choices on the i3. So what? All are designed with the same idea which was to not look luxurious but to give the driver the impression they aren’t impinging upon the environment. This was told to me by a BMW representative (corporate, not a dealership) before the car even came out. They researched and discovered that EV drivers were more likely to want to feel like they were sparing the environment, i.e. were treehuggers. So they made the interior more spare and less luxurious. They used the fibers on hard plastic on all the designs as part of this.

          As to what you’re going to think, think what you want. I don’t like the i3. It is truly the second from-scratch EV created in the modern era. Except for the Model S every other EV created before it was created from a platform originally designed to be an ICE car. That includes the Leaf. Heck, a lot of them are factory conversions (500e).

          But in the end, despite their efforts, it’s just not a good car. The space for the REx and electric motor make the trunk tiny. Ah, but you gain a frunk. Oh well, one with less than 1 cubic foot and it isn’t sealed against the weather. Oh, but weirdly if you do want to put something tiny in there and let it get wet there is a button on the remote so you can pop the hood open and get access to it. Park the car next to a Bolt it’s the same height and length (not sure about width). But the Bolt has far more interior space and at least as large a trunk (neither has a huge trunk, the i3’s is slightly longer, about 1.5″). The rear legroom is cavernous in the Bolt compared to the i3. And part is because the i3 is jacked up. Even though the i3 has less ground clearance than the Bolt the floor inside is over an higher off the ground on the i3. Somehow BMW “lost” 2 inches of area down in the floor sandwich where the battery is compared to the Bolt. Despite the Bolt having twice the battery of the i3.

          The doors sound like garbage every time you close them because the B-pillar rattles. And that’s aside from the doors precluding roll-down windows for the rear seats, requiring the driver unbuckle their seatbelt for a person to get into or out of the rear door. And then there’s what happens when a person two people try to get in and out of the car when up against another car in a parking lot parked head-in. When the person in the rear gets out they are trapped between the two sets of doors and the adjacent car so they have to move forward, close the rear door then move backwards to the rear of the car. The doors are a massive unforced error. BMW messed them up all on their own. But hey, the back seats aren’t exactly large and the ride is bad back there (worse if you have the bigger wheels) so maybe it isn’t a huge loss.

          And then there’s the interior. With the cheap looking/feeling door panels, the lack of an AM radio and those two display panels which have huge black frames around them making them look like they couldn’t afford to spend for an LCD panel the size of the display, so they just put in black plastic filler. Know how phones and HDTVs worked to have smaller and smaller bezels? The i3 is the opposite. It looks like a kid’s toy laptop that tries to look like it has a big, expensive screen but really just has a big bezel.

          Oh yeah, and bragging about the i3S tires getting wired? There’s another own goal for BMW. No one made them use those high pressure, oddball tires. They did it themselves. Now they are bragging they’ve undone it a bit? They contorted that thing so it neither looks like nor drives like a BMW. It doesn’t corner well. Sure, it has good torque, but even a FIAT 500e has that.

          Oh yeah, and the exterior is famously ugly. No need for those “tear ducts” on the fog lamps but there we are. I do actually like the rear hatch though, unlike a lot of people.

          So no, I don’t like the i3. I feel like BMW did market research on the few greenies who had EVs at the time (the Ed Begley, Jrs. who early adopted) and then while BMW was actually starting to make the car the market shifted to where normal people wanted EVs. So now BMW is trapped with an intentionally oddball spaceship in a market which is broadening by selling EVs to people who want normal cars, not spaceships. A car which works so hard to look like a step change in cars really looks out of place now as we realize that EVs will become the new normal. Instead of being a type of car (like a city car, sedan, pickup truck, small CUV) EVs are a drivetrain which will be in all those types of cars. So instead of looking like their own thing aside from the rest, EVs will look like city cars, sedans, pickup trucks, small CUVs. And BMW fell on the wrong side of this by making a car of the wrong era. And that, among other things, is why I don’t like it.

          1. Warren says:

            Ha. You are obviously one of those people who reads into the specs too deeply without actually knowing the real life insight that an owner of the actual car would know. Yes you failed to take into consideration the extreme roof height of the i3 which makes it feel very spacious inside. You are so out of touch with reality. Are you kidding me? The Focus feels like a sardine can compared to the i3. A huge 375 man at the car show could not find a way to fit into a Chevy Bolt after sitting in my I3. The Focus and quite possibly the Bolt could not fit a 40 gallon water heater in it. And both would not be able to fit a curbside recycling barrel in the back seat without the seat being folded down.

            Furthermore, the i3 is one of the most solid and rattle free cars out there. Especially considering the relatively stiff suspension. And on that note, the multilink suspension and RWD make this car feel sportier than any of it’s hatchback EV competition. The doors are solid, and close solid. And you still think Kenaf fibers=pet hair? It’s getting really hard to put any credence to your claims.

            1. unlucky says:

              Extreme roof height is fine. But it doesn’t make the car have amazing interior room. It just means you can take taller people.

              Or trash cans.

              You are slagging me as not having experience with the car. I have plenty of experience with the car.

              The i3 is not one of the most solid and rattle free cars out there. I can sit in my house and you can open and close car doors outside and I can tell you which is the i3 by sound because of the pillar rattling. They do not close solid.

              You have trouble lending credence to my claims? I gave a detailed explanation and all you can say is it sounds like I know nothing about the car. You’re wrong. What I know I know from experience.

              Glad you like your car. Until you can hear the B-pillar rattling don’t bother coming back to me trying to tell me about your critical assessment of it. You’re just not paying attention.

              And if I ever want to trade having doors that close properly and let people in and out of the back without the driver having to unbuckle their seatbelts for being able to take a trash in from the side as long as the driver requires no legroom (you’ve moved the seat up at least 6″ from normal in that pic, you can tell by the positioning of the seat hinge versus the bump on the sill) I’ll get an i3. And until then I’ll drive a car that makes some kind of actual sense, because that tradeoff isn’t for me.

              And yes, Kenaf fibers are equivalent to pet hair. They’re both bizarre, cheap crap glued to hard plastic. Neither is what I’m looking for in a car interior.

  5. Erasmus says:

    I continue to read about the i3 tires being the weakest link from multiyear owners. Even commuters who like it say they are having to buy new tires too often and supposedly dealer only. Also, the 2.9 gallon gas tank? I get the focus on the city car but the range extender idea with that size gas tank? I wouldn’t knock the materials choice since the car can be recycled almost entirely and as the saying goes, you’re not recycling until you buy recycled. And that’s not just a platitude, it’s part of the law elsewhere in the world where manufacturers must prove they can deal with the waste of the product they make including the post-use phase. Not a Ricky/Bobbi mindset.

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