BMW Notes Strong Demand For Plug-In Models, And 7,000 Pre-Orders For Upgraded i3

AUG 22 2016 BY MARK KANE 37

BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance

BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance

Recently, BMW announced its  second quarter and half year sales results with record number of deliveries and revenues.

One of the strong points of that report was the high demand of plug-in electric cars, which are rapidly taking over production volumes at the company.

The German manufacturer expanded its lineup to seven electrified models in Q2, which resulted in total first half sales that were 87% higher than year ago.

In total BMW delivered 23,675 all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the first 6 months of 2016.  BMW added that by the end of July, customers had placed more than 7,000 orders for new version of the BMW i3 with its upgraded 33 kWh battery.

The pre-order demand is three times higher as compared to the launch of the  i3 in 2014, and suggests that we should pretty excellent results for BMW plug-ins going forward.

“The BMW Group currently offers seven electrified models including plug-in hybrids, such as the new BMW 740e or the recently launched BMW 330e and BMW 225xe Active Tourer, and the fully electric BMW i3.

Thanks to the expanded range of electrified models, sales of this type of vehicle in the first six months of the year were just under 87% higher than the same period last year: a total of 23,675 have been delivered to customers worldwide. Furthermore, to the end of July 2016, over 7,000 orders had been received for the additional BMW i3 model with significantly extended battery range, which only celebrated its market launch in July. This is more than three times the figure of orders received for the first generation BMW i3 at the equivalent launch period.”

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37 Comments on "BMW Notes Strong Demand For Plug-In Models, And 7,000 Pre-Orders For Upgraded i3"

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If you build it, they will come.

Glad at least one major automaker has figured this out.

Compared to the Tesla 400,000 M3 Pre-Orders ..7000 Units From A Big Smart Company Like BMW is Laughable .They should know better and should be Embarassed to even mention it .

With 200 miles of range, they would get 70,000 pre-order!

Speaking of embarrassing— that comparison. These are not “pre-orders” as you erroneously claim. They are actually orders for cars that are IN PRODUCTION and will be delivered and paid for in the next couple months. The Model 3 “pre-orders” is a “maybe I’ll buy something with unknown design/price/features in the next few years.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the Model 3 and hope they sell a zillion of them, but orders for a car that is already being delivered vs pre-orders for a car that’s 1.5 years+ ? away is nowhere near the same thing.

I think we’re going to find out that 200 miles is not necessary for a compelling EV. At the same time, 70-80 miles is not enough. So, something in between is probably the sweet spot. I’m thinking 125 miles.

I really wouldn’t try a pure EV with less than 200 miles of range on a good day, simply because on a bad day, it will get significantly less. If it was guaranteed to never get less than 125, I might consider it.

Well, one thing to keep in mind is that losses from heating or air conditioning will be a much smaller percentage of the battery on a 125 mile vehicle than on a 75 mile EV. Heating and cooling is a fixed amount of power generally, and if the battery is much larger then the power use is negligible. And since BMW has proper battery cooling/heating in place (unlike the Leaf) then I think it will perform much better.

That makes no sense. All else being equal, a given HVAC load takes the same percentage of a 24 kWh battery over 75 miles as it takes of a 48 kWh battery over 150 miles.

I have a 20kWh battery, when I’m stuck in traffic for two hours on a drive home in the north east in January and it’s below freezing out, I watch my range drop and nervously hope that things clear up. If I had 60kWhs, two hours stuck in traffic wouldn’t be nearly as concerning.

You misunderstood’s Reread David’s comment. He’s referring to two similar cars that only differ in the battery pack’s range.

Assuming roughly the same interior volume/passenger load, both cars will use the same W/h for HVAC, but since one has a much larger battery, the HVAC load translates to less %/h used.
IOW, once packs get large enough, HVAC use will cease to be significant to EV range.

HVAC load or percentage does not necessarily go linear. If you are traveling longer distances in the extreme heat or cold, the HVAC only has to go through the major power draw one time to get to the desired temperature.

Now, if you routine is repeated 5 mile drives followed by parking and leaving the car in the heat or cold – then it is more linear. If you manage to drive 30×5 mile stretches like this in a single day – you are doing something very wrong and wasting a lot of time!

If I take my Leaf out for 10×5 mile drive then park when the outside temp is 20F, I will generally use about 70 miles of equivalent summer range. However, go out for one 50 mile drive when the outside temp is 20F, I will use about 55 miles of equivalent summer range.

In my estimation , The more Battery Capacity & the Better! You can partially charge the battery (ie 65%) if don’t need all that range , Only charge it full for long trips . This will put very little Daily stress on a larger battery and would greatly increase the larger battery life. The only drawback is the extra weight you carry around.But., the capacity is always there for when you need it.

+1 I completely agree.

I agree: I took my 2015 Nissan LEAF for a ~500 mile drive last Friday, from southern ME to the NY border and back. It took 7 DCFC sessions (and three L2 emergency charges) to make the trip; I didn’t mind the DCFC stops (all 35 min or less), but my LEAF didn’t like the heat: temps around 85-95 the whole day. The battery was at 11 bars for almost the whole day; if I didn’t baby it (60 mph the whole way), I likely would’ve had some issues.

That said, there were four DCFC stations I wanted to use that were either inoperable or ICE’d. None would’ve been the essential stations if I had an extra 40 – 50 miles of range, and my overall charging could’ve been reduced to 3-4 DCFC sessions. The issues encountered turned a 9 – 10 hour drive into a 17 hour ordeal I won’t be taking again anytime soon. Part of the issue lies with the car, part with the dealers who don’t maintain their equipment, and part was due to increased traffic/construction. Having 125 miles of range would’ve made the entire trip much more pleasant.

Did you blog about this trip? That’s more stops than I have patience for. I like the 150 mile intervals of the Tesla supercharger network. The extra battery range allows you to drive posted limits in rough weather, fully loaded with passengers and cargo.

That’s the main reason they are coming out with the 100 kWh pack. People love range and they will pay for it.

People do love more range & that is a fact,it eliminates Range Anxiety, Nobody likes to sweat out a road trip ,The majority if not all of us would rather relax & enjoy the ride.~~~

I’ve been happily surprised by the 2016 Leaf with 107 mile range – and have found it much more useful, as we take it on many more regional trips. A 40 KWh Leaf with about 140 or so miles – coupled along with a good reliable network of DC Fast Chargers would do the trick quite nicely and be more than enough for me to do long distance trips in. 2 Hours of driving to a half hour fast charge and body break sounds like a good sweet spot to me. As it is today – if we had a good reliable network of DCFC in place, I would happily take my 30 KWh Leaf on longer road trips and not think twice about it. My previous 24 KWh Leaf definitely did leave me a bit anxious on taking longer trips before, but the 30 has satisfied me nicely! Any EV with over 100 mile range sounds great to me! The more I think about it – the less appealing spending extra dollars to go much past 200 miles of range is a waste. If I had the money for a Tesla – it would be a 60 KWh –… Read more »

When you have only one car, 200 miles is the minimum.

I only have one car, a 2012 Leaf.

As I have pointed out before I am not a bug-eyed freak. I, just like an increasingly large % of the global population, live in a city. In fact in the suburb of a City. I would pay extra for 30-40 kWh but really me and my family get by now so I would probably not pay that much more for the extra battery. It would take you over 6 hours to drive 200 miles in most cities.

I Totally agree. It is often forgotten that the Leaf and i3 were developed for urban living. Our i3 works well for us. If I’m going to take a longer trip- I take the fossil burner or fly (I’m an airline pilot) a rental. With a 200 mile limited range and time wasted at a charge staton is not how I’d want spend my free time on a road trip waiting for a partial charge. Technology will get better inabling better range.

One size doesn’t fit all and multiple EV battery sizes should be offered.

I definitely need 200 miles of range, because I frequently travel to San Diego and back (140 Miles) or LA and back (160) miles. I’m often dropping off or picking somebody up from the airport and I don’t have time to stop and charge. 125 miles may be great for someone else’s needs, but it certainly doesn’t work for me.

Many people feel 200 miles is their minimum AER. Every serious BEV will need to offer at least one battery option with 200 miles to compete in the future. Model 3 and Bolt have already set that standard and there’s no going back to less.

I disagree, I think there will need to be a number of different sized batteries on offer across the market but I don’t think it makes sense to offer a full spectrum across the same model.

A 30 kWh battery will weigh about 300kg a 60 kWh pack 600kg and a 90 kWh pack 900kg. Why make the guy in the 30 kWh car pay extra to carry the weight of the 90 kWh battery pack that isn’t in his car? In the same way why restrict the power output or charge rate of a 90 kWh vehicle so that you can share parts with its smaller battery containing cousin?

I think a bit of choice in a model range is nice but really I’d be happy to see some cheap, modestly equipped 24 kWh cars in the market along with higher priced longer ranged options. $40k is still a lot to pay for a car, I paid $35k for my leaf which is almost double what I’ve ever paid for a car.

I looking forward for those numbers after Bolt release.

Sure in Europe they will rise after people realize that the BMW i3 about 8000 € cheaper (36k € vs 44k €). I have a friend working for BMW in benchmarketing, 44k € is the price they have for Europe and what he told me price forecast are always pretty close because they have a lot of experience.

I was surprised at the raw number of BMW i commercials aired during the Olympics. They marketed the cars as exhilarating to drive, and the future of cars. My hat’s off to BMW!

Indeed.. that is what will ultimately sell these cars. They need to be cool, fast, and fun. I think the whole “green” thing is such a limited audience and may actually detract others from buying the car.

Of course, because the car companies and the corporate disinformation have always associated “green cars” with weird mobiles and golf carts.

With the new EV incentive and the longer range, I can see Germans being more interested in the i3.

But I think we all know the Germans can do much better than the i3. I look forward to their upcoming offerings.


Sorry, my CAPS LOCK button is upset for some reason, what could it possibly be? 😉

It looks like you are CAPITALIZING on interest in the Bolt EV and i3, compared to interest in the Tesla Model 3, and asking BMW to hurry up!

As for me, I already had a Pickup with doors like the i3, where the back seat is trapped behind the front seats! I wish they could add a bit of length to it, or at least, widen the back door, and add a ‘B’ Pillar, hinging the back door from it, so as a 4-Door Vehicle, it is more accessible for rear seat passengers! Oh, and offer at least a way to choose the level of Regen, either by paddles, or the shifter!

The back seat of the i3 is a relic of german torture chambers. They can’t open the door and they can’t even open the windows. So the people in the front fart and force the people in the back to sit in the stink.


That’s great. I hope they sell a ton of them.

+1 I hope so too, as much as it is not my thing the i3 with a 33 kWh battery and a REX is actually a pretty good option.

Everyone harps on about how amazing the Volt 2.0 is with its 50 mile range this has double that and it can fast charge. It also costs less in the EU than a volt 1.0.

The REX is key to lots of people.