BMW Sold Over 3,500 i3s In Germany, But Sales Are Falling


BMW i3

BMW i3

The BMW i3 was first introduced in Germany in late 2013. Since then, nearly 3,800 were registered.

According to official registration data, sales peaked in April 2014 at 274 and in May at 255.

After the initial rush, sales have decreased – nearly 30% year-over-year in the first six months of 2015.

In the case of Germany, we have the unique opportunity to see how sales of non-REx and REx versions are progressing side-by-side.

i3 with Range Extender seems to be stable (549 this year compared to 562 a year earlier), but version without REx are falling by some 47% from over 800 to 440 so far this year.

In 2014, more customers were willing to buy i3 without the range extender, but as of today i3 REx attracts more customers. Is it that the all-electric range disappoints expectations or maybe the Combo fast charging infrastructure isn’t quite ready?

Category: BMWSales

Tags: , ,

25 responses to "BMW Sold Over 3,500 i3s In Germany, But Sales Are Falling"
  1. SolatStorm says:

    Also I consider following factors contributing to the lackluster sales (yes, I admit these are subjective):
    – rather ugly and unappealing appearance (especially coming from BMW)
    – relatively expensive for the limited range
    – targeting a market segment that is increasingly pressured by new entrants (or more so, the ‘expected’ near-future entrants)

    I seriously considered a purchase (after an extended 3-day test drive), but couldn’t justify the price at all.

    1. RS says:

      The first 2 points where the same last year, and I don’t think German BMW i3 owners will be put off, by lets say the new Volt, because its not coming to Europe. And since the Model 3 and a “might be updated 2017 Leaf” are far away, those won’t hurt sales for now, especially because most of them are leases. I think it was something rather different. As we all know BMW, as well as VW, has lots of dealerships, so every dealership needs a i3/e-Golf/GTE, to show it to the people, as an example why a diesel would be much better. So after all of those dealerships registered their cars, they would need to sell new ones to customers. I went to a VW dealer last week, I wanted to look at the Golf GTE. They showed me a golf GTE, but the salesman, just wanted to sell me a diesel Passat. I told him I owned a Tesla and just wanted to look for a new car for my wife, that takes her to work and back. The dealer just answered: “VW is not as good as Tesla at building EVs, but the diesels are awesome! And the Passat 2.0 TDI is a great car, especially for long distance driving over 500 kilometers.”

      1. mr. M says:

        The dealer thought your wife drives ~500km to work??? Lol.

      2. SolarStorm says:

        Interesting. Perhaps BMW should consider selling i3 on Amazon, like they do in Japan:-)

        So Elon is proven right again on selling his cars directly…

        1. Squanto says:

          You can order your i3 over the internet in Germany.

          1. RS says:

            How would you do that? You can’t buy it from the BMW website, or from Amazon, maybe you could buy a used one from eBay, but I don’t think you can buy a new one from the internet in Germany.

            1. Squanto says:

              In fact you can buy the i3 from the BMW website in Germany. You configurate the car and push the button “Kaufanfrage stellen” (request purchase). You will be directly contacted by BMW and receive a contract by mail. The branch is only involved when picking up the car.

  2. kdawg says:

    Do we know what the total plug-in sales are for Germany, and a breakdown?

    1. Jay Cole says: story up will be on overall plug-in sales for Germany

      Update – and here it is:

      Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Germany Up Almost 60% In June

  3. Disappointed says:


    Sometimes an auto maker just misses the mark !

    Ford Edsel, first year 63,110
    second year 44,891
    third and final year 2,846

    1. Big Solar says:

      33KWhr pack and I’m buyin one.

      1. kdawg says:

        For the money, I’ll go with a Bolt with a 50kWh pack.

        1. Stimpy says:

          Comparing a car available now to one promised in 2 years…

          1. GSP says:

            The 2015 Volt is available now and it can run circles around the weird looking i3, espically on the highway through the mountains, and for all long trips.

            The 2016 Volt outclasses the i3 even more in every way.

            The i3 does have a nice interior and some nice features like ACC.


            1. mr. M says:

              The Volt/Ampera arent sold any more in germany

            2. Mutwin Kraus says:

              Does the Volt have more electric range than the i3?
              Is it available as a pure BEV?

            3. franky_b says:

              You need to get your head out of your Volt bubble.

              i3 has a longer range (more then double the Volt 2015 or 2016).

              It’s still one of the most efficient car on the road (BEV is the most).

              It has DCFC, meaning I can do more EV miles then the Volt (I did 500 miles 100% EV on a recent 625 miles trip, the Volt can’t do that).

              I drove over 6000 miles so far and did not encounter any limitation on the 800 miles I did on the REX.

              It has more room (I’m 6’2″ I can barely fit in the back of the Volt and I don’t expect it to get better with the 2016, not a problem in the i3).

              And it’s fun to drive…

              The Volt is a good EV so is the i3, for different reasons/needs.

  4. Speculawyer says:

    C’mon BMW. Give us a different body design.

    That weird front end that looks like 2 different cars welded together. The suicide doors and windows that can’t open.


    1. kdawg says:

      I wonder when we will see a Gen2 i3? Maybe after 2020. The statements below don’t fill me with a lot of hope for major changes for the i3, since only “incremental” ones are mentioned. Maybe the new i-series after 2020 will be more appealing.

      “BMW might be enjoying the combined success of its i3 electric city car and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, but it isn’t about to expand its i-brand lineup with a third plug-in model any time soon.

      Instead, it plans on spending the next five years working on the third i-brand model while providing incremental improvements to its existing i3 and i8 models.”

      1. mr. M says:

        Rumors are the i3 geht’s the same 25% improvement batterywise as the leaf.

  5. Anon says:

    Moist Frunk Syndrome, polarizing looks, high cost, small size, lack of range increases or performance updates since introduction– and buyers won’t keep interested.

    I think the world is waiting for Model 3.

  6. EV Fan says:

    I3 is a nice car with the smallest battery of any decent size EV. Almost designed to fail. Battery does not have enough to account for unfavorable weather. It’s like BMW wants to kill EV sales by releasing sub par product and showing the world how they jest don’t work so as not to cannibalize ICE sales in which they invested billions in R&D. Battery needs to be twice the size for this car to work.

    1. Anon says:

      The i5 would have been the better vehicle choice to produce and promote EVs– but you’re right. They seem to have wanted their own version of the Leaf, to show no one wanted it.

      And they’re still using their old sales paradigm, and not updating the i3 very quickly or wirelessly updating the firmware. Which of course, duh, makes the EV quickly seem stale compared to other offerings. This becomes self fulfilling sales prophecy.

      1. mr. M says:

        Fast update is only needed as range improves. In a few Years no one needs fast update cycles for EVs.

    2. franky_b says:

      And yet it can get the same range as EV with a bigger battery pack (Leaf, Kia Soul). In my daily use, I have enough range and I’m often a few days without charging.

      80% of people don’t more then 80 miles for their daily use…