BMW has revealed the UK now accounts for 10% of global i3 electric car sales, with an improved infrastructure and greater levels of awareness cited as key reasons behind the strong demand.
More than 1,000 i3 have been sold in the UK since the car was launched earlier in the year.
Spokesman Martin Harrison told us 60% of all i3s registered have been the range extender model – the so-called REX – with buyers preferring the added security of an on-board petrol-powered generator.
Harrison said he expects the pure electric BMW i3 (BEV) to play catch-up as UK consumers put aside fears over range and the charging infrastructure continues to grow.
Whilst not surprised about the strong sales or split between REX and BEV, BMW has seen a massive shift in consumer expectations, with buyers demanding more in-depth information before purchase. This has seen a shift in the way dealers communicate with customers and the kind of data BMW provides in brochures and on websites.
Over half of all BMW i3 customers have opted to take advantage of the ChargeNow program, which gives drivers access to any of the ChargePoint public charging stations across the country.
A massive 80% have also paid extra for the optional BMW i home charging kit, which may explain why the majority of BMW i3 customers choose to charge at home, rather than relying on the expanding network of public charging points.
BMW i8 sold out for a year
In standard form, the BMW i3 costs from £30,680, with the government grant taking the price down to a more accessible £25,680.
Accessible isn’t a word you’d use to describe the price of the amazing BMW i8 hybrid supercar, but that hasn’t in any way had an impact on total sales. BMW told us the £99,895 i8 is sold out until September 2015, with demand far exceeding supply.
BMW is keen to keep sales to a minimum as it seeks to preserve future values whilst utilising the i8 as a halo product for the BMW i range, both now and in the future.
We always felt that BMW’s entry into the electric vehicle sector would lead to increased interest in the technology and so far, it would appear our predictions were right.