The BMW has now been out for a bit over 2 years, giving us the chance to look back with a bit of perspective (hopefully) and assess how things have gone. While it’s hard to say for sure what company execs were aiming for with the development of the i3, I think that it’s probably safe to say that the model has performed fairly well, with the model being the #1 selling electric car in Germany, and the 3rd-best-selling electric car in the world as a whole since its release.
Interestingly, the i3 actually accounts for 4 out of every 10 electric vehicle (EV) sales in Germany — not all that surprising considering how biased Germans are for German things, but worth noting anyways, and especially when considering how underdeveloped the country’s EV charging infrastructure still is (this is expected to change over the next few years).
The model has done pretty well in the US, Norway, and some other markets as well. It’s now available for purchase in 49 different countries, more than nearly every other electric car (the Nissan LEAF is probably more widely for sale).
A BMW press release provides more:
Crucial element within the success story of the BMW i3 has been that it is the only EV worldwide with an optional Range Extender. In many cases – especially among customers who still had their reservations about buying an electric car – the choice of the additional small combustion engine tipped the balance in favour of the BMW i3.
…The BMW i3 meets the needs of demanding target groups who combine an appreciation for sustainable mobility with a desire for a driving experience that is both sophisticated and rich in emotional appeal. Its progressive design, intelligent lightweight construction, groundbreaking drive system technology and innovative connectivity turn locally emission-free mobility into a fascinating experience, opening up whole new groups of buyers to the BMW Group.
More than 80% of the BMW i3 buyers worldwide are new customers to the BMW Group.
That last point is the most interesting one to my eyes. If the i Series line is bringing in customers that are new to BMW, then I’m guessing that the company is fairly happy with the investments that have been made.