BMW Sold 142,617 Plug-In Electric Cars In 2018

JAN 11 2019 BY MARK KANE 21

BMW Group exceeded its goal and moves forward towards 500,000 plug-ins in 2019

BMW Group‘s plug-in electric car sales in December reached an all-time record of 17,252 (up 30% year-over-year) – almost 2,500 more than the previous record in November.

Plug-ins also took a record 7.4% share out of the total BMW/MINI car sales.

BMW i + BMW iPerformance + MINI PHEV sales worldwide – December 2018

Total sales in 2018 amounted 142,617, which is slightly above the goal of 140,000 for the year. Compared to 2017, sales improved by 38.4%, which is reasonable.

The average share of plug-in cars out of total volume increased from over 4% to about 5.7%.

Around 75,000 (over 50%) of sale falls on Europe, where BMW brand accounts for over 16% market share of the plug-in segment. In Germany, the share is even higher at about 20%, while globally BMW takes 9% (third best behind Tesla and BYD). The biggest single market (country) is the U.S. with over 25,000 sales (and over 7% market share).

Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Brand BMW said:

“We are delighted to have clearly surpassed our stated target of selling 140,000 electrified vehicles in 2018 and believe that by the end of 2019, there will be half a million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the roads. By 2025, the BMW Group will have at least 25 electrified vehicles in its model line-up, 12 of which will be fully-electric,”

In 2018, the best selling plug-in within the group was the BMW 530e iPerformance with 40,260 deliveries (12.2% of all 5-Series around the world).

The BMW i3 noted its fifth consecutive year of growth to 34,829 (up 10.6%) and there are already almost 135,000 i3 on the roads.

The MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 noted 13,219 sales (13.3% of all MINI Countryman)

According to our data, BMW Group so far sold over 356,000 plug-in electric cars. The target for the end of 2019 is 500,000 cumulative sales (easy at the current rate).

The future

Current lineup:

  • BMW i3 (third model evolution with 120 Ah)
  • BMW i3s
  • BMW i8 Coupe (2nd model evolution)
  • BMW i8 Roadster
  • BMW 740e and BMW 740Le
  • BMW 530e
  • BMW 225xe Active Tourer
  • MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4
  • BMW X1 xDrive25Le (in China only)

Upcoming models for 2019:

  • BMW 3 Series Sedan PHEV – new plug-in hybrid variant (2nd model evolution)
  • BMW X5 PHEV
  • MINI Electric

Upcoming models with 5th generation drive system:

  • BMW iX3 in 2020 (first based on 5th generation drivetrain)
  • BMW i4
  • BMW iNEXT

Plan for 2025:

  • at least 25 plug-in cars (12 BEVs and 13 PHEVs)

BMW 225xe iPerformance Active Tourer

More from BMW Group:

Strategic pillar

Electromobility is an essential pillar of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy Number ONE>NEXT and one of the company’s four key future-focused ACES topics (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services/Shared). Having announced record spending on R&D in 2018, Harald Krüger confirmed, “We are implementing our strategy rigorously and investing extensively in the technologies of the future; expanding our leading role in electric mobility is a clear focus. 2018 was a significant year in this regard, with the announcement of major new strategic co-operations as well as the unveiling of several key new models,” Krüger said.

2018: Major milestones

FEBRUARY: The BMW Group announces a joint venture with the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall, with the initial focus of the cooperation on the joint R&D and local production of a MINI electric vehicle. This decision was taken for strategic reasons, in order to leverage the potential of the MINI brand. The BMW Group views China as the premium market of the future and it’s already the most active e-mobility market in the world, with huge potential. MINI is the perfect match for the market and the vehicles will be even more attractive to customers there if they are built locally.

MARCH: At the Geneva Motor Show, Harald Krüger confirms the BMW i Vision Dynamics will go into series production as the BMW i4, built in Munich from 2021.

APRIL: The BMW Concept iX3 is revealed at the Beijing Auto Show, the first full-electric model in the core BMW brand. It will be built in China and exported to the world, with a market launch scheduled for 2020.

MAY: The BMW i8 Roadster (combined fuel consumption 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption 14.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 46 g/km*) lifts the roof on the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car, helping overall sales of the BMW i8 to increase by 24% in 2018.

JULY: The BMW Group signs a long-term contract worth four billion euros with the Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to supply battery cells. The award of this contract is a decisive factor in CATL’s decision to build the world’s most advanced battery cell manufacturing facility in Germany. From 2021 onwards, cells for the BMW iNEXT – which will be manufactured at the BMW Group plant in Dingolfing – will be supplied by the new CATL plant in Erfurt. The BMW Group has thereby anchored the entire e-mobility value chain in Germany – from battery cell production through to the finished vehicle.

SEPTEMBER: The world’s press are granted a first look at the BMW iNEXT Vision Vehicle, the BMW Group’s pioneering spearhead for future innovation. It combines autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and services while keeping the focus on the customer and offering them their new “Favourite Space”. The BMW iNEXT Vision Vehicle runs on the company’s fifth generation electric-drivetrain, with a range of over 600 km in the WLTP cycle.

OCTOBER: The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore form a joint technology consortium in order to work closely together on the continued development of a complete and sustainable value chain for industrialised battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe. Given the sharp rise in demand for battery cells, the consortium also aims to close the life-cycle loop of raw materials to the greatest possible extent with comprehensive recycling.

NOVEMBER: Further development of BMW eDrive technology sees the launch of the BMW i3 (120 Ah) and the BMW i3s (120Ah) (combined fuel consumption 0.0/0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption 13.1/14.0 – 14.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km*). The storage capacity of this pioneering car’s high-voltage battery has therefore been doubled since its original market launch in 2013. In everyday use, the two models are now able to cover a distance of 260 kilometres. Remarkable in many ways, the BMW i3 also bucks the usual sales curve: deliveries of the BMW i3 have increased every year since it was launched, with 2018 sales up 11% on the previous year.

NOVEMBER: The electric motors and high-voltage batteries developed for the BMW i3 will be used to power a city bus made by Karsan which is designed specifically for use in inner-city traffic. This follows the successful co-operation with the Deutsche Post subsidiary Streetscooter, where BMW i battery modules enable the street scooter to be used all day for delivering letters and packages without the need for interim charging.

2019: New launches

This year will see the launch of several new plug-in hybrids, including the new generation BMW X5 plug-in hybrid (combined fuel consumption: 2.1 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 23.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 49 g/km*) and the new BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid (fuel consumption: from 1.7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: from 39 g/km*). These models will have the latest generation of electric drive trains, offering an electric range of up to 80 km according to the NEDC cycle. 2019 is also the year when the hotly anticipated MINI Electric will be revealed, which will be built in Oxford, UK.

Further ahead

With the launch of the BMW i3, the BMW Group established itself early as a pioneer in the field of electric mobility. By 2021, the BMW Group will have five all-electric models: the BMW i3, the MINI Electric, the BMW iX3, the BMW i4 and the BMW iNEXT. By 2025, that number is set to grow to at least twelve models. Including plug-in hybrids, the BMW Group’s electrified product portfolio will then comprise at least 25 models.

This wide range is possible thanks to highly flexible vehicle architectures and an equally flexible global production system. Going forward, the BMW Group will be capable of manufacturing models with all-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and conventional (ICE) drivetrains on a single production line. Its ability to integrate e-mobility in the production network enables the BMW Group to respond even more flexibly to the increasing demand for electrified vehicles. By the end of 2019, the BMW Group expects to have more than half a million electrified vehicles on the roads.

The BMW Group is currently developing the fifth generation of its electric drivetrain, in which the interplay of electric motor, transmission, power electronics and battery will be additionally optimised. Integrating the electric motor, transmission and power electronics also cuts costs. Another advantage is that the electric motor does not require rare earths, enabling the BMW Group to reduce its dependence on their availability. The fifth generation of the electric drivetrain will be installed for the first time in the BMW iX3 in 2020.

All performance, fuel consumption, emissions and range figures are provisional.

* Fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, power consumption and range have been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle and adapted to NEDC for comparison purposes, dependent on the tyre format selected. In these vehicles, different figures than those published here may apply for the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related duties which are (also) based on CO2 emissions.

Categories: BMW, Mini, Sales

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21 Comments on "BMW Sold 142,617 Plug-In Electric Cars In 2018"

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BMW always pushes the number of plug-ins they sell, but worldwide they sold about the same as Model 3 sold in just North America. They really need to step up their game.

And…. it also said they sell over 10x that amount of their other models. Their bread and butter 3 series reached the end of its model cycle recently with the new one around the corner. Wow, the i3 is achieving consecutive years of sales growth? Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years.

I drive an i3. Sure, the model has seen growth, but it has been largely insignificant. In some markets (US) they have to discount it like $15,000 to sell even the small number they sell. If you really mean to compare the i3 sales to Model 3 sales, whatever. Tesla is nowhere near their potential annual sales yet.

In 2017 the i3 finally exceeded the first year production of the Chevy Bolt EV with worldwide annual sales of 31,482. We all know the Bolt EV is the best selling EV in the world… wait, no, it sells terribly (again, I actually like the Bolt EV, not making fun of it).

I think it is great BMW sold 140,000 vehicles that plug in in 2018, now only if they had more than a few miles electric range. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great start done for compliance reasons, but will work to significantly reduce emissions as long as people plug them in (which I think they will, but I wish they would release statistics on this, they should be legally required to for emission reasons).

Did you lease an i3?
Will you lease another or will you pick a different EV.
What’s your thinking…

I bought a used i3 cheap with 5,500 miles in April this year. I really like the car, but if buying new it is hard to justify it over Model 3 as I really like the Autopilot and OTA updates as well as complete Supercharging network.

What really bugs me with i3 (and most other cars) is either never getting software updates, or pushing on manufacturers to deliver them. E.g., my Honda Clarity PHEV, the range number would say range was 1000 miles when it was really 250 miles, and might say 60 instead of 15 when really low on gas, which was dangerous in a remote area.

It took Honda months and 2 separate updates and complaints to NHTSA to get the update working correctly. This was 2 trips to the dealer. Now the car maintenance minder tells you to change the oil about 4 times more often then it should (if you drive many miles). I am done with that, Tesla gives updates within days in cases, and no dealer trip (and for any system in the car).

BMW Group sold almost 2.5 million vehicles last year. The 2017 i3 is great. I had no problem driving on a 900 mile trip to the Bay Area and 698 miles to Vegas on the 2 day weekends. Car charges faster than the Bolt and picks up more miles in 30 minutes even though the battery is half the size. I am glad everyone doesn’t have an i3. The model 3 will be as common as a Camry before long.

Wish this was broken down by BEV & PHEV numbers.

35k BEVs / i3

Good to see the i3 BROKE the 30,000 compliance car numbers, this is big news.

That is worldwide of course.

Looks like they increased production on the new version and will have a pretty decent increase in 2019 too. BMW the last couple years has stated precisely what they intend to do then delivered precisely what they said. The 2018 totals global across the company are 2000 over the year ago public forecast. Whenever they release 2019 forecast we can bet it will be exactly that. My estimate for i3 in 2019 is 40-45,000.

Nice to see BMW selling a massive 142,617 plugin vehicles, but please note that most of these are plugins and not full electric vehicles.
i3 is their only fully electric vehicle and even this has only 114 mile / 190 km range and this means they are used only for the short trips that are 55 mile / 95 km distance leaving the remaining charge for the return.

Tesla on the other hand sells fully electric long range vehicles aided by the supercharger to cover the max distance.
I hope BMW soon launch a real EV that seats 4/5 passengers with 5 doors rather than eMini which has only 3 door.

If you are a BEV purist, then you’ll want to discount the PHEV sales.

But if you care about reduction in GHG emissions, you’ll be happy to see BEV and PHEV sales.

Exactly, as every day, the first 10-20 miles you burn zero gas.

The 2019 BMW i3 now has a range of 150 miles.
Also, it’s Consumer Reports RECOMMENDED with 5/5 stars in reliability.
Also, a heck of a fun car to drive, comfortable for four, and No Parking Anxiety in cities. Very easy to park, very easy to find a parking space. And the auto-park feature works very well too.

If you drive long distances the Tesla of course is the best choice.
But, if you only drive 20-40 miles. a day, the BMW i3 is great, along with a REX option.
So, if your charger is broke, offline, iced by wing nuts, you can drive on gas for the next 20 miles to the next charger.

All of them are plugins, not most of them. You do know that all BEVs are plugins?

“Plug-ins also took a record 7.4% share out of the total BMW/MINI car sales.”

That is an impressive sounding number and it is probably double most car makers.

But the problem for BMW is that they are right in the center of EV market….expensive sports sedans. That is a good number on average but their market share in the USA has gone down due to the Model S, X, and mostly the Model 3. The Model 3 is now headed to Europe…this may be a difficult year for BMW as the Model 3 arrives in Europe.

Mark, it seems you forgot the BMW 330e in the current line-up list.

As I understand it, it’s not being produced right this moment; the new version will apparently come out later this year.

The Common “Wisdom” on PHEV’s for years has been that long EV range is the key to PHEV success, with many people claiming “real” PHEV’s need 50 miles or more in range or they don’t count.

But it hasn’t worked that way. The “real” PHEV with 50 miles range (Volt) is being killed in the US market, and the EU version was killed years ago by the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Europe.

Meanwhile, BMW’s PHEV’s are continuing to grow in sales because BMW has made their decisions on battery size based on pricing so they can have a clear benefit to buying a plug-in over one of their ICE vehicles. By sizing the battery to be price competitive with other ICE vehicles they offer, they continue to grow sales and grow the battery size over time.

Very smart marketing. Economic reality is beating ideological purity and is leading to more Plug in sales in the end.