At the 95th Annual General Meeting of BMW AG, BMW CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer (Chairman of the Board Of Management at BMW AG), issued these statements in regards to the automaker's electric cars:
The world is experiencing two irreversible trends: increasing urbanization with all the impact that has on people’s lives and mobility in ever-expanding cities and increasing political regulation regarding climate protection in the EU, the US, China, and Japan.
We are providing the technological solutions through Efficient Dynamics, hybridization, and electric mobility.
Last year, I showed you the BMW i8. It is an exceptional car that is delighting our customers worldwide. They are ordering more BMW i8s than we can produce. The output of the assembly line at our Leipzig plant has been doubled to meet demand and since its launch in June 2014 up to the end of April 2015, we sold around 3,500 BMW i8s. Sustainability and emotional appeal complement each other, and the i8 offers the perfect blend.
Meanwhile our BMW i3 has really shaken up the electric vehicle market. In 2014, we delivered more than 16,000 BMW i3s to customers. In its first full year on the market, the BMW i3 already ranked third among all pure electric cars. Between January and April 2015, more than 6,500 customers chose to buy a BMW i3. Most of them – and this is a very important aspect – are new customers for us. 80 percent of i3 buyers did not previously own a BMW.
All in all, we have sold over 27,000 BMW i vehicles so far. Today, BMW i is present in 32 countries. Of course we would like to see electric mobility develop more quickly. It is our experience that customers choose to buy electric cars in countries where governments offer tangible incentives to do so. Norway is a good example: Almost every fourth BMW we sold in Norway in 2014 was a BMW i3. In Germany, however, the i3’s share of overall BMW sales stood at less than one percent last year. The car manufacturers here in Germany – the country of engineering and innovation – have delivered their part of the bargain.
The ball is now in the court of policy-makers who will determine how quickly e-mobility is going to advance. After all, Germany wants to be a role model worldwide when it comes to promoting sustainable technologies. We also support e-mobility through the development of a charging infrastructure in Europe, China and the USA. BMW i is a timely expansion of the BMW brand’s line-up.