BMW States Strong Plug-In Hybrid Sales In Europe, Specifically With The 330e

JUN 11 2016 BY MARK KANE 7

BMW i worldwide sales – April 2016

BMW i worldwide sales – April 2016

BMW reports strong plug-in hybrid sales in Europe, but without specific numbers for all the models, we don’t know exactly how strong.

Besides the i3/i8, BMW launched the X5 xDrive40e and the 330e iPerformance. The latter of which is doing pretty well in some countries:

  • almost every eighth BMW 3 Series sold in the UK is a plug-in
  • more than a quarter of all BMW 3 Series sold in the Netherlands

“Meanwhile sales of the brand’s recently introduced plug-in hybrid models continued to see sales grow, especially in markets which actively encourage customers to purchase an electric vehicles.

For example, the BMW 330e iPerformance went on sale in Europe in March and already in May, almost every eighth BMW 3 Series sold in the UK and more than a quarter of all BMW 3 Series sold in the Netherlands was a plug-in hybrid version of the world’s best-selling premium model range.”

Well, we have had our doubts raised about the entire plug-in lineup’s strength because of BMW’s statement here, as there is a lack of specific BMW i brand sales info for May – for the very first time.   Not disclosing a sales drop is common among OEMs in these sorts of press releases, so we fear that the BMW i brand scored a hiccup in May.

Regardless of BMW’s disclosures, we will be able to compile the numbers from individual country registrations as they come in.  Early returns do seem to support our theory though – for example in Norway just 120 i3s were sold (vs 222 in April, and 1,054 YTD) and just 1 i8.

At least any BMW i3 sales drop was anticipated (and could be explained) due to the launch of new 33 kWh version in the summer.  Why buy the old, when the new is only ~3% more expensive for ~40% more range?

Categories: BMW, Sales

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7 Comments on "BMW States Strong Plug-In Hybrid Sales In Europe, Specifically With The 330e"

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Any chance they’ll upgrade this battery to a real EPA range of 30 miles?

Let me geuss, 330e sale are going nuts in the uk.

I Believe so, yes. I think there was even a waiting list. I’m not sure if there was a certain cutoff date involved regarding the sale of the hybrid before a incentive ran out, but I think it was something along those lines.

It’s a bit similar to the situation in NL where this also happens when new regulations go in effect. They basically register all the cars in the old year so they can sell it in the new year with the incentive active.

It’s clearly visible for the Outlander PHEV where they sold half a years worth in december. The BMW 330e was just a tad too late for NL (jan 1st 2016) and only sold a few copies.

It’s still one of the best hybrids available, it’s a lot prettier then a prius but gets the same 15% tax disc instead of the 22% for petrol or diesel.

So yes, there is quite a large crowd of fleet drivers that would want to ditch their Opel Ampera and Toyota Prius for something a bit sexier 🙂

There’s a tax in the uk called benefit in kind tax, it’s kind of like income tax but it is on things your company buys for you rather than direct income.

For cars the bands are set by the CO2 emission levels. I would think a regular 3 series would attract 21% of the value of the vehicle, for the 330e it will be more like 7%. This will make the 330e the cheapest 3 series for a company car. Since there aren’t that many rivals to the 330e it will essentially be sold out until there is more choice in the segment. Since the BMW 3 series is one of the most popular company cars in Britain this will be like Outlander times ten.

Btw I am surprised that it is only 12% of total 3 series in the uk, as production ramps up my gut feel is we could see 40-50% of 3 series being an e.

Unfortunately it is still just not an efficient car. Most people won’t even get 35 MGP on these things!

It is yet another illustration why complicated policies to pander to all sorts of interests is idiotic. Instead of lots and lots of hyper complicated rules for petrol, diesel, biofuels, PHEV, BEV, BEVx, and so on, there should simply be carbon tax. Then the incentives would be impossible to abuse, and people would have to actually plug in and drive mainly on electricity to get an economic benefit from a PHEV (today, if you can’t charge at home, you can have the incentive even though you never plug in). You’d also benefit more from driving less, and from driving more efficiently when you do choose to drive. And it would be a SIMPLE system, easy to understand.

But of course, a carbon tax would make a lot of people who pollute have to pay for it, and those people might be upset! So instead we enact policies that are much less efficient but less likely to make voters angry enough to vote for someone else. Sigh. Sometimes I think democracy is doomed, or our doom. It sure doesn’t lead to rational decisions!

Agree 1000%.