BMW i3 Sales Take Off

US August Plug-in Car Sales

The Nissan LEAF took the show in August, with a record-breaking sales month. However, that was almost expected based on its performance in previous months. I think the biggest positive surprise this month was the big jump in sales of the BMW i3.

BMW i3 sales in August were approximately triple what they were in each of the previous 3 months. BMW has talked about increasing production of the i3 in order to meet stronger than expected demand. Perhaps this jump is a result of that increased production.

Also, recall that the i3 is being sold around Europe in decent numbers. So, US deliveries really may not have been matching demand.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that demand is finally picking up after the i3’s introductory months. Many buyers might be coming in via word of mouth or may have been waiting to read a number of owner reviews before jumping in.

I’m eager to see how sales pan out in the coming months.


Aside from the BMW i3 jump and the Nissan LEAF’s record month, here’s the summary of August and YTD EV sales that I published earlier today:

Overall, 100%-electric car sales were up 57% in August, and are up 25% for the year to date. Plug-in hybrid electric car sales were down 8% in August compared to August 2013, but they are up 41% for the year to date. All plug-in car sales were up 17% in August, and are up 33% for the year to date.

The Chevy Volt had its best sales month of the year in August. Though, that was still down 25% compared to August 2013, and Volt sales are down 15% for the year to date. Those sales seem to be getting eaten up by Ford’s Energi Plug-in hybrids (the Fusion Energi is up 257% for the year to date, and the C-Max Energi is up 69%). The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, also somewhat of a competitor to the Volt, is also up a lot this year, 57%.

The BMW i3, in its 4th month of sales, seems to have finally hit its stride. It had just over 1,000 sales in its first three months combined, and then hit 1,025 in the month of August alone. Let’s hope that keeps going. (I wonder if the increase is due to greater supply as production has ramped up.)

Here’s a full table of August plug-in car sales (click on it for a clearer view):

US EV Sales 2014 - August

6 thoughts on “BMW i3 Sales Take Off

  1. Just my opinion Zach, and as you may have noticed this year I am old enough that there is no shyness about throwing it out there. Have just noticed the aspect of disqus for upvoting comments though, and appreciate that as the editor you seem to like what I have to say at times.
    Now back on subject, I don’t think that there is any one thing that has caused this jump in the i3 sales. Part of it has to be the ramp up of production, and the ability of BMW to get this model out to all of their distributors. Another aspect will be that people who were aware of the car and ordered when first released, still had to wait for their trim package to be delivered. That brings the aspect of buying a new car isn’t usually done quickly. People decide to do so, go and shop accessories and prices, then work on arranging financing,, and then still may have to wait for the car set up the way they want to be delivered.
    Another aspect is that BMW didn’t have the i3 at all of their dealerships at release. I know that over in Chattanooga TN it wasn’t possible to actually see, touch and sit in one until late in July. Even though a couple did come through for special pre-orders. I also suspect that it took almost that long down in Atlanta GA, but it is further away, so I wasn’t checking as closely.
    But as a side note, the boys and I are going to take the time to go down to Atlanta to see the EV drive in show next week in order to see all of the different models in person. They are even more psyched than I over our planned day trip.
    Back to the discussion though, is that I would suspect that even some people that were able to go in and make their order in the first month or two after release didn’t get their cars immediately. There was still the paperwork and financing to arrange, and maybe having to wait for a car with the accessories they wanted to arrive or be ordered and delivered.
    So even with new models that are highly anticipated and desired, you still run into the basic bugs of the dealership model, making enough cars to actually deliver, and people’s slow approach to making such a big purchase, as part of the ramp up to steady sales.

    1. Thanks for the context/commentary! πŸ˜€ Makes me even more hopeful that sales will continue at or above 1000 a month.

      Have fun in ATL.

      I loved driving the i3. Best car I’ve driven, as far as I remember. (Haven’t driven a Model S yet…)

    2. Thanks for the context/commentary! πŸ˜€ Makes me even more hopeful that sales will continue at or above 1000 a month.

      Have fun in ATL.

      I loved driving the i3. Best car I’ve driven, as far as I remember. (Haven’t driven a Model S yet…)

      1. Happy to help with my perspective on it.
        I have really enjoyed finding and having a place to spout off on my opinions and the conversations with the other participants.
        Looking forward to the Atlanta trip due to the wide variety of vehicles already listed, a majority of which have only been seen in pictures because of living back here in the ‘hills’.
        Pretty sure that at least. one of the new eGolf’s will be there, and hoping that someone will be able to bring one of the Kia Soul EV’s. When checking out one of the new Soul’s a couple of years back I was impressed by the amount of head and leg room for us bigger guys (6′ 5″ myself), so hope that it has been maintained in the electric version, as it is hard to find that kind of detail from their website.
        Have yourself a great weekend playing with your little one, until next time. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *