Unlike any of its rivals, the BMW i3 is offered with an optional range-extending gas motor, turning the electric vehicle into a plug-in hybrid. A report from InsideEVs suggests that the hybrid model is outselling the battery-electric version by some 50%. What’s up with that?
The information didn’t come from BMW, which declined to break the sales numbers down, but rather total i3 production at the Leipzig assembly plant. For the month of June, a total of 629 i3 REx models were built, compared to just 443 battery-only variants. For a car primarily marketed as an EV, it’s a bit curious, don’t you think?
Furthermore, these cars were all built to order, reflecting what consumers want versus what BMW thinks consumers want. Of course one must also factor in the early adopters who typically max out their high-tech gadgets (or in this case, cars) with every available option. At $3,850 for the range extender, the $7,500 Federal tax rebate effectively pays for half the cost, while giving the BMW i3 twice as much driving range between refueling. Rated at 83 miles of driving without the range extender, or 72 miles electric and 78 miles on gas power with the extra engine, the i3 occupies a unique space in the electric car market.
What do you think?