BMW Sold 20,000 Plug-In Electric Cars In U.S.


2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition

2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition

BMW plug-in car sales in the U.S. are gaining momentum as three models – the i3, i8 and X5 xDrive40e (X5 PHV) helps to keep EV sales going strong.

Through the end of 2015, the i3 has attracted 17,116 buyers all-time in the US (6,092 in 2014 and 11,024 in its first full year of availability in 2015). The i3 is available in an -electric and also a range-extended version (REx) with gasoline engine backup.

Interesting is that i3 accounts for a high 4.5% of all BMW car sales (excluding light trucks) for 2015.

As for the BMW i8, in the 17 months it has been offered, a total of 2,820 sales have been realized in the US, which is an exceptional result considering the base i8 starts north of $130,000. December’s surge to 656 also surprised us quite a bit; 2016 could be a very good year for BMW’s plug-in super car.

BMW i8 sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i8 sales in U.S. – December 2015

In the best months of 2015, the BMW i brand exceeded 9% share of all BMW cars sold in the U.S. (excluding lights trucks).

BMW i3 + i8 sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i3 + i8 sales in U.S. – December 2015

For the last three months, there’s been the BMW X5 xDrive40e available and despite its typically European low all-electric range, X5 PHV has already noted 892 sales with a 607 unit surge in December.

BMW X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e

The X5 is classified as a light truck, so we compared total sales of all three models in relation to all BMW brand sales (cars and light trucks).

December was a peak month with 2,685 plug-in deliveries, good for a 7.8% total share. That’s 10 times more than the industry average.

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW ended the year 2015 with 20,000 plug-ins on the roads in U.S. Most of them are i3s.

2016 looks to be BMW’s best by far, as the (apparently) strong selling X5 PHV will be on sale for the full year, joining the i3 and i8.   Additionally, the 330e and 740e will also be added to the lineup halfway through, with the electrified 5 series coming on board sometime thereafter.

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i3 + i8 + X5 PHV sales in U.S. – December 2015

BMW i8

BMW i8

Category: BMW, Sales

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14 responses to "BMW Sold 20,000 Plug-In Electric Cars In U.S."
  1. jerryd says:

    While I rag on BMW for screwing up the i3 design, weight, they have sold a lot more EV’s than I ever expected especially at that price.
    Now had they made the i3 a real all composite body/chassis it would have weighed, cost 40% less.
    And had they made the REx correctly it would weigh 150lbs instead of 365lbs.
    But anyone moving EV’s is good.

    1. Michael Parker says:

      I see you say this a lot, but I fail to see how one can make a 28000 W generator weight 150lbs, and shave an additional 1100lbs off an already impressively light vehicle.
      Have you looked at the weight of portable generators? Even an 8000 W generator weighs something like 250lbs.

      1. 3laine says:

        He makes these claims in virtually every i3 post:

        “It weighs hundreds of lbs more than other similar-size steel cars”

        “It should have weighed 1000 lb less”

        Of course, when challenged with examples showing that the first statement is false, for instance, he provides no factual basis for the claim, just comparisons to 20-year-old cars and random statements about how much experience he has with composites.

  2. E-lectric says:

    “BMW plug-in Electric Sales Flop in 2015!”

    1. Elroy says:

      And what do you call the efforts of all the other manufacturers?

    2. mr. M says:

      Flop? Really? More like:

      “BMW Plugin sales are rising fast” or “BMW Plugins are reaching 10% of BMW sales”

      I call a market share of 5.7% a success. With 3 Plug-In models vs. around 12 ICE models.

  3. David Murray says:

    It doesn’t matter if they were #1 in EV sales, there’d be that one person around here who would still say they were only making compliance cars.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Hmmm, well, the design of the BMW i3 REx does make it a compliance car, regardless of how many they sell or what States it’s sold in. It’s designed to be a compliance car, and that’s what it is. I’m sure it’s not just “that one person” who will agree that’s true.

      Fortunately, you can buy the BMW i3 as a well-reviewed (if perhaps overpriced) BEV without the crippled REx range extender, and BMW also had surprisingly strong December sales of the i8 and the X5 PHEV.

      1. Michael Parker says:

        Just because BMW modified the functionality of the REx gain valuable ZEVx credits doesn’t mean it is a Compliance Car.
        A Compliance Car is one that is designed specifically for the purpose of increasing fleet efficiency in order to allow more low-efficiency vehicles to be sold. BMW could have achieved this in a much easier and cheaper way than the admittedly expensive and advanced construction of the i3.
        It may be a Car Crippled by Compliance, but it is certainly not a Compliance Car.

  4. Sting777 says:

    BMW is offering a good lease deal, and that may be why you’re seeing more Winter Traffic at the BMW dealership…

    With a $2000 “build out” allowance.
    They’re really going for marketshare.

    1. ggpa says:

      Not only marketshare, I think they are trying to sell down i3 stock before releasing a bigger battery

    2. esoteric says:

      I can confirm this. I just picked up an i3 lease with some insane discounts of the base price (even more than a $2k build out allowance)!

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Everybody talks about the i3, but almost no one mentions that the BMW X5 PHEV is the first SUV or CUV EV to sell in significant numbers here in the USA, completely overshadowing the numbers for the Tesla Model X.

    BMW isn’t pushing the EV revolution forward as fast as Tesla, but they are pushing it forward!

    Go BMW!

  6. SJC says:

    BMW told us years ago that no one needed hybrid nor electric cars.