• Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
BMW is feeling continued good vibes from its recently launched i sub-brand of plug-in vehicles. The German automaker, which started selling its i3 battery-electric vehicle in Europe late last year, is finding better-than-expected demand for both the i3 and the i8 plug-in hybrid, Automotive News Europe says, citing an interview with BMW executive Ian Robertson.

The i3 is attracting a lot of new blood, too. Robertson said about 80 percent of new i3 owners were not previously Ultimate Driving Machine loyalists, indicating the curiosity factor for the company's new plug-in models runs high, Robertson says. BMW has sold more than 3,000 i3 vehicles since debuting the model in Europe last November. In April, the company boosted daily production of the i3 from its German factory to about 100 units from 70. Read more from Robertson here.

Europe's largest markets for the i3 are the UK, Germany and Norway. In the US, BMW sold 336 i3 vehicles in May, its first month of sales here. The i3 was recently rated to go 81 miles on a single charge when it has an electric engine only. When equipped with gas-powered range-extender, the car can go 72 miles on a single charge and another 78 on gas. Check here for our First Drive impressions of the i3.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      Technoir
      • 8 Months Ago
      Jon Yes many younger people like BMWs, but the trick is to actually putting them behind the wheel of BMWs at a younger age, for them to become loyal repeat buyers down the road.
      Technoir
      • 8 Months Ago
      BMW's core buyers are 45-55 year old men. BMW needs to appeal to younger crowds to stay relevant over the next several decades, and the i3 is perfect for just that.
      Jon
      • 8 Months Ago
      @Technoir I think they definitely appeal to a younger crowd. They certainly appeal to me. I know lots of young people into bmw (though that is anecdotal of course). I think it more is the fact that 45-55 yo's are more likely to afford a bimmer.
      Barry Hubris
      • 8 Months Ago
      I've had 4 BMWs and a Cooper. While the i3 was leagues better than the Leaf and Volt in terms of handling and power, it's not really up to BMW standards. When they put the i3 tech in a car that's actually designed to handle like a BMW, it'll pull in more of the faithful. Until then it's really an excellent alternative to the insanely awful Leaf/Volt. And no it can't hold a candle to a Tesla. But it's half the cost.
        jeff
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        Volt is a good car as is the leaf.
        Lamborandon
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        Volt is not awful, it is a great car. You think you have an valid opinion on a car you dont own when i own the car and drive it everyday? You think you have a better say? LOL stop it
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Lamborandon
          @ Lamborandon Both the GM Volt and the BMW i3, are great cars, utilising new automotive drive-train technology. Both makers should be congratulated.
      DarylMc
      • 8 Months Ago
      It would just be wrong to draw any conclusions about BMW owners environmental values based on the amount of customers they have drawn from other brands. For a start, why would anyone expect a BMW owner to suddenly be interested in what is a small city car? It's not like that was their major market. Also since the i3 is an electric city car it is not at all surprising to see some interest in it. The currently available small EV options, especially ones with optional range extenders is not exactly flooded with choices.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 8 Months Ago
      Variety is the spice of life! Which conventional ICE/EV manufacturer will start the "Range Wars". REGULATORS, MOUNT UP!!! Nissan! I am looking at you! You have disappointed me thus far. Nodda "Range War" yet. Li on Motors, EV Innovations, Hybrid Technologies are all gone. Azure Dynamics is gone! All that is left is my two 5 year old Yaris Ev's that travel 125 miles at 55mph. By doing so they smoke all current BEV's in range per charge by 40 miles, For 41k dollars no mass production builder has come close. I sure would not have thought this would be the case 5 years ago, yet here we are. I would wager it shouldn't take another 5 years to get a 41k car that has a range of 145 miles in town. Tesla will be the answer and the others will reluctantly follow, perhaps Nissan will get there first, time will tell.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        @ EVSUPERHERO Here's the problem, no auto-maker is willing to continues to follow in Renault-Nissan's footsteps and lose large sums attempting to build vehicle that just don't sell. Without massive government subsidies, and regulative encouragement, only a handful of EV builders would exist. Even in Tesla's case, (the most viable EV maker) the Californian inspired ZIV credits have proved a significant factor in Tesla's financial viability. You call for more government intervention, will not be popular in those who don't share your passion for EVs !
        Rotation
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        I guess RAV4 EVs and Teslas don't exist in your world?
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Rave 4 comes closest. I purchased my 145 mile range vehicle in 2008 for 41,020.00 dollars. I would rather have a Rave 4. Didn't they cost 50k dollars? 145 miles range in any car for 41k dollars. I does not exist. Take 7,500 off 41,120 if you want to compare equally. http://www.toyota.com/rav4ev/features.html#!/mileage_estimates/4480
          fairfireman21
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          You can only take $7500 off if you have paid in $7500. So not everyone would get it for that.
          Anonymous
          • 8 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Just to let you know, there's no "e" in RAV4. Toyota sells a RAV4 EV, but there's no E in the proper name of the vehicle.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      That is a double-edge sword. I'm sure they happy they are getting conquest purchasers. But on the other hand, it sees that a lot of BMW loyalists are not interested in the i3.
        Jon
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Could be because bmw loyalists typically like good looking cars.. Honestly this is probably exactly what they want though. They don't want to displace customers from their other offerings. They want to collect new customers for a niche product.
      Ben Crockett
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am not overly surprised by the draw factor to the a brand through either a pure EV or PHEV. It is simply limited choice across automakers and markets as an early adoptive. For me I have been after a small family SUV sized EV to replace my old ICE hatchback (which served me well minus our now toddler) but this car did not exist in my market (Australia) - so when the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was released I jumped right on it. Before this I was not considering an Outlander or any other Mitsubishi offerings - but the PHEV drew me in.
        Ben Crockett
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        @Actionable Mango I have never owned an EV before (and only test drove a Nissan Leaf) so can't make much of a direct comparison but I am impressed how it drives under EV mode. Very smooth and silent ride, maybe a bit underpowered without the assistance of the engine which if you push it too hard the motor kicks in to conserve battery - but I didn't buy it to be a performance machine (have been there done that!). It is fairly loaded with comfort and safety features - which made the insurance cheaper. My favourite feature is the paddle shift regen controls which are located just behind the steering wheel which allow you to change regen aggressiveness from 0 to 5 on the fly - to allow coasting and moderate breaking without use of the brake pedal.
        Actionable Mango
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        How do you like it?
        DarylMc
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Nice to hear Ben I hope the Outlander works out well for your family.
      Marco Polo
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ Technoir, Your observation about the demographics of BMW drivers, isn't in accord with either BMW's own analysis, nor the bureau of statistic's. The wide range of BMW models, (including 2 wheel) shows that BMW caters for all demographics.
      sebringc5
      • 8 Months Ago
      That just goes to show you how many current or former BMW owners are environmentally responsible. Can't say I am one bit surprised! Being a "greenie" doesn't really follow the BMW owner demographic. Hoping that changes with the transition to a younger generation. All the best, Aaron Lephart www.smartcar451.com
        Barry Hubris
        • 8 Months Ago
        @sebringc5
        Um... actually BMWs get great MPGs vis-a-vis the power. And they have the 328d which gets over 40 MPGs and still retains BMW handling. The X3 is getting a diesel option in the USA finally and it too will pull in the 30s (at least). How many other manus do you know offering a 300 HP 6 cylinder that has an epa rating of 32 MPG highway?
        bluepongo1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @sebringc5
        1) Hybrid =/= green 2) Hybrid = greenwashed 3) BMW hybrid owners =/= greenie 4) BMW hybrid owners = Eco-poser Hipsters 5) Tesla owners = Greenies 6) Greenies (form follows function) =/= Hipsters & Hippies (which care more about trends than function)
          Technoir
          • 8 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          **** off
          bluepongo1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Yes, well done representing yourself, your family & community with such an eloquent rebuttal of all my points. You've made a friend in ABG and done yourself & everyone who read your poetry proud. Keep up the great deep thoughts, too bad Maya Angelou didn't read your excellent posts. (9_9)
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          @ Technoir Well put !
      Technoir
      • 8 Months Ago
      Marco Ok fine, they do cater to all ages, but only recenly (2-series...1-series...). The average age of a 5 or 7 series buyer however, is much higher. It is no secret that the i3 is BMW's attempt to break with conventions and experiment outside of their core buyer group.
      fairfireman21
      • 8 Months Ago
      80% came from other makers, but 100% come from the same bracket. RICH!!
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