When In Rome – BMW i3 Looks To Take Sales Lead In Italy For 2014 (video)


BMW i3 in Rome

BMW i3 in Rome

We don’t often pass along plug-in electric vehicle sales in Italy since the figures are often so low they are a nearly meaningless addition to our global EV sales tally.

That’s why it immediately caught our attention when we saw the BMW i3 being featured in Rome, and also climbing close to the top of the sales charts in Italy with a strong June result.

It’s clear to us that BMW expects the i3 to become a globally available electric car as it seems to be on sale in almost as many markets as the front-running Nissan LEAF.

Currently, the Nissan LEAF is still the #1 selling electric vehicle in Italy with 146 sales, just ahead of the smart ED at 141…but the BMW i3 isn’t far behind with 117 sales.  More importantly it sold 31 copies in June alone.

(And yes, we know everyone always wants to hear how the Tesla Model S is doing –  For June Tesla sold 3 all-electric sedans, and 26 in total for the year)

Given a year or so, it’s clear to us that the BMW i3 will compete with the Nissan LEAF for the title of most globally available EV.  Nissan will most likely retain that title, but BMW won’t be far behind.

Categories: BMW


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8 Comments on "When In Rome – BMW i3 Looks To Take Sales Lead In Italy For 2014 (video)"

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BMW hasn’t spent hundreds of millions to enter the game in a half-hearted manner. Get ready for the storm. This car is gonna kill it!

The Leaf and i3 have almost the same range. (except for the i3 Rex) And being the Leaf is quite a bit cheaper, I doubt the BMW i3 will ever outsell it.

I understand that’s the situation in US (huge price difference).
In Europe the picture is quite different, since here the i3 costs a couple euros LESS than the highest trim Leaf.
So, here, the question might rather be: who, not needing a 5th seat, is gonna buy a highest trim Leaf instead of an i3?
Lowest trim Leaf is 6,000 euros less, so I think that’s still a interesting alternative for those who want to save money. Especially as long as the e-Golf is available only in its highest trim (it’s the only trim, but it will be the highest when new, lower trims will be introduced). For now the e-Golf costs basically the same as the i3 and highest trim Leaf.

Yeah. In the US many of the EVs like Leaf and Volt are cheaper because they are subsidized by the manufacturer. People seem to forget this fact. When you compare the unsubisided prices the i3 is an amazing deal.

As if range would be the only measurement… With such a difference in quality, materials, technology and brand the Leaf would have to be a lot cheaper for people to settle for the Leaf if they can afford the i3.

Even if you can afford the i3, it may be hard to justify the extra money and only get four seats instead of five.

The Leaf also has the more available CHAdeMo fast charge capability, heated steering wheel and heated rear seats for extra comfort and range in cold weather.

Both cars look a little goofy, no advantage to BMW there.


VW E-Up sold nearly as good in Europe like i3. VW will sell more E Golfs when it comes…because no crazy design.

There is also the newly introduced (in Italy) Outlander PHEV. Actually, it was the bestselling plug-in in June, with 43 units, followed by 34 for the Leaf and, as mentioned, 31 for the i3 (21 + 10 REx).
Total June sales: 187 (not counting Twizy). Total YTD: 652.
I think we’ll see a lot of Outlanders in Italy as well…