BMW Leads in EVs/PHEVs in Europe
BMW is a relatively small company in the auto world, but it’s creating a big footprint in electrified vehicles. The BMW i3 is the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment in the U.S., and the best-selling EV in Germany.
BMW delivered 100,000 pure electrics and plug-in hybrids during 2017, reaching its goal for the year. According to the independent POLK/IHS Report (published on Dec. 7, 2017), the BMW Group is leading its competitors in registrations of new fully-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe, with a market share of 21 percent. That’s three times BMW’s market share for its traditional models. The company celebrated by turning its Munich headquarters into a replica of a battery.
In the U.S. the current electrified BMW Group lineup includes the i3, available in full-electric and range-extended versions, and plug-in hybrid versions of the i8, 3-Series, 5-Series, 7-Series, X5 SUV and Mini Countryman. Currently, six percent of BMW’s sales are electrified vehicles, double or triple the percentage at its competitors.
A Sportier i3
BMW has just introduced a new variation of the i3–the i3s. It’s a performance upgrade for what was a fairly pedestrian (though pricey and packed with some exotic features) EV. The basic i3 also received a refresh and upgrade with a 94 Ah/33 kWh lithium-ion battery good for what BMW calls an “everyday range” of 124 miles.
The new i3s gets some external paint treatment and badging to distinguish it from its non-s brethren, but the real story for the upgrade lies in a motor upgrade and some suspension tuning.
On its way to 25 electrified models across its different platforms by 2025, BMW plans to add the i8 Roadster in 2018, an all-electric Mini in 2019, an electric X3 in 2020, followed by the new electric flagship iNext in 2021, which will combine autonomous capability with electric drive.
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