BMW On Track To Beat Aggressive Goal Of 100,000 EV Sales In 2017


BMW plug-ins (i8, 740e and X5 40e) in New York (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

In 2016, BMW sold around 60,000 electrified vehicles around the world. That’s not nothing, but the German automaker wants to almost double that number in 2017. Speaking at the Movin’On sustainable mobility conference in Montreal this week, BMW’s Ursula Mathar confirmed that the company’s goal of 100,000 plug-in vehicle sales remains on target. The company first set this goal in early January.

Ursula Mathar of BMW

Ursula Mathar of BMW

BMW’s halo EV are, of course, the i3 and i8, but the bulk of the company’s EV sales are actually the plug-in hybrids. BMW has PHEV versions of the 2, 3, 5, and 7 Series models, as well as the X5 and the upcoming Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid.

We asked BMW to provide a breakdown of how these vehicles are selling, but the only details the company was willing to provide came from last month’s sales report press release, which said that year-to-date deliveries of electrified BMWs stood at 33,221 at the end of May.

That’s up an impressive 80.6 percent over the same period in 2016, but only comes to around 6,650 a month for the first five months. If that average holds and the company doesn’t do something to boost sales in the second half of 2017, in theory, it’ll only reach 80,000 this year.

But that’s not the best way to look as the numbers, since EVs are more of an end-of-the-year thing. Last year, for example, BMW had sold only 21,147 during the first six months, but ended up at 62,148 by the end of the year. That means they sold 41,001 EVs in the second half of the year, almost twice as many as in the first six months.

At the current pace (the 80.6 percent increase), BMW is on track to sell over 111,000 plug-in vehicles this year. And that’s not really considering the fact that the 530e, the Countryman All4, and the BMW 330e are all new entries to the electrified line-up. With those, 120,000 sales is not impossible.

BMW X5 xDrive40e: The strongest seller of the iPerformance brand in the US to date (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Mathar is the head of Sustainability and Environmental Protection at BMW AG, so she’s responsible for things like BMW’s Sustainable Value Report (see the 2016 release here) and its automotive sector top ranking on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. With this in mind, she spoke about more than BMW’s cars, adding in details about its greener plants in Brazil, Mexico, and China, among others. BMW’s U.S. plant in Spartanburg, SC, for example, gets about half of its electricity from methane, which itself comes from a nearby landfill.

Source: BMW

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22 Comments on "BMW On Track To Beat Aggressive Goal Of 100,000 EV Sales In 2017"

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It is overall a positive with the caveat that: #1, The goal was not that ambitious.
#2, Most of the BMW electrified offerings are really only compliance type cars being that they simply added small battery packs and an electric motor to existing gas-mobiles.

I have a feeling that when the Tesla Model 3 is decimating sales of the BMW 3 and 5 series then you will see a much more serious effort by BMW to build clean-sheet, compelling EVs.

I think the title is misleading. Should be plug-in not EV.
I was initially impressed that BMW were targetting 100k pure electric i3 but no its a total for hybrids.

By definition both PHEV and BEV is a EV so it nothing misleading,it’s just that you don’t seam to know the definition of a electric vehicle.

Nobody does because there is different ways to define EVs. All of them would consider a plug-in hybrid an EV though, or at least to a certain extent.

Not, not everyone would. A plug-in electric vehicle is an electric vehicle like a fish ladder is a ladder.

Calling plug-in gas vehicles EVs is misleading and a distraction.

I applaud BMW for the effort. And one advantage they have is that most of their customers can afford a home and garage to charge them in. Same with Tesla. That’s a challenge that Nissan has to deal with selling the Leaf, though.

That would be a bingo right there. Two more points to add.
1. Battery pack small enough to charge over night in a standard outlet which will help sell to non-EV Fanboys because the vast majority of the public doesn’t like complication.
2. BMW’s entirely line of vehicles has a significantly larger profit margin than economy brands. So in a world where you take a low margin auto then apply PHEV capability, you stress the margin greatly and even in many cases making it a money loser without CARB credits. That’s not going to happen to a BMW. They have margin to give.

And, right on cue, the one-half-of-one-percent complain about the other-half-of-one-percent, and they bitch about our “gasmobiles.” Tedious, really.

I realize not everybody will agree, but the is nothing but a huge win for the plug-in car movement. BMW has a long history of being a brand that car buyers aspire to own, and other car makers aspire to beat. Now BMW is starting to take plug-in sales serious and drive up their numbers. That is an absolute win for EV enthusiasts. BMW has the ICE car market position to really drive plugins deep into the ICE market with an authority and history among ICE car drivers that Tesla doesn’t possess. Other ICE car makers will be forced to follow with plug in cars across their lines of cars too. BMW’s 1st GEN short range PHEV’s don’t have the best range, but they will get drivers hooked on driving on electricity and those drivers will never suffer EV range anxiety no matter how much they screw up. And with incentives in many places, they will be able to buy a more powerful PHEV for less than the closest priced ICE BMW in the same line of cars. It becomes a low-risk/high-reward decision for consumers who aren’t hardcore EV enthusiasts. This it the spearhead we need in order to get… Read more »

Indeed! Just like the notion that driving a standard Prius slowly in EV mode is a gateway drug for getting a PHEV. Hopefully getting a PHEV gets folks moving towards BEV’s once more affordable long range options come out.

“Most of the BMW electrified offerings are really only compliance type cars being that they simply added small battery packs and an electric motor to existing gas-mobiles.”

That ignores the fact that a BMW330e owner will, on average, cut his emissions by 50% vs. a BMW330i.

And that cut in emissions is what the BWW330e offers and what the 120,000 BMW e’s buyers and purchasing, the lower emissions.

When you take into consideration how many BMWs used for commuting drive less than 40km per way, every hybrid BMW is a win for the pedestrians in city centers as well as the dent in oil consumption

Ah, but these obnoxious, bastardly pricks will then say that owners don’t plug them in. Wtf, if driving electric is so amazing​, if you have the possibility to drive electric at least a part of your commute, why wouldn’t you plug the car in? Is it so difficult? But then you are basically admitting mainstream will never want anything to do with electrics because you have to plug them in just like a BMW 330e

BMW only make about 2million BMW badged cars a year. So to be gunning for 100k plug-ins in 2017 is not bad at all.

Looked at a 530e nicely equipped the other day. It had 2 more miles of AER than the 330e and at $61k, was right in line with the normal 5 series. And the interior luxury, detail, and craftsmanship was a league above the model S.

I like that retro thing that BMW has going on with the small screen, multiple round dials and all those cute buttons. So 2010!

Yes, it would be much easier to tack a big tablet display on your dash. Guess that’s why the most prestigious Ferrari’s, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and McClarens don’t copy Tesla interior and cluster design ? Any idea which interior has more work and intricate design cues and workmanship? Definitely not the Tesla…and that’s not just my opinion.

“…and multiple cute buttons,” etc.

I assume you realize this, but most of what you’re looking at there is largely programmable. It’s retro, only because it’s intuitive for, say, volume to be a knob, and not a few pixels of an iPad. The main BMW buttons are akin to the “touchbar” on a new MacBook Pro. They’re programmable, and they behave differently depending on how hard you push ’em. Even the main “retro” gauge cluster on a 530e can be programmable, if you want that. The degree to which all of this is retro, it’s retro on purpose, because it improves the driving experience.

Absolutely. I don’t think he realizes those retro gauges are actually LCD displays. And in reference to the volume control, the is a gesture control option in which you can control volume just by moving you hands above the dash area. Definitely my developed than the Tesla volume control technology.

Me too. It’s nice to have buttons that do what you want to do. Tesla only removed them because tooling costs were prohibitive for a company as broke as they were when designing the Model S. Same reason they used existing switchgear from Mercedes suppliers.

People got confused and somehow convinced themselves that touchscreens were better instead of simply cheaper.

The thing I don’t understand with BMW is why they keep producing these vehicles with very little electric range. I mean if Chevy can do it with the Volt, then what excuse does a high tech luxury company like BMW have? They are struggling to keep the ICE engines they currently have in their lineup alive. It’s going to take more than a fancy pants interior to compete with Tesla’s new model 3 when it starts to hit the streets before years end. Tesla reminds me of Apple. Regardless of how well your product is, Tesla has made everyone believe at this point that their product is so prestige, that now when your average joe can afford one, they will line up to get one just like your apple fanboys.

Why would you want a massive battery in a hybrid vehicle? Within cities, you drive emissions-free on the battery. For everything else, you have the combustion engine, so no need for range anxiety. A large battery would be heavy, expensive, and waste a lot of energy during production.