The sales of German plug-in electric vehicles continued on the right track in August this year, having registered 8,121 units. Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) were up +104% year over year (YoY), while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) keep suffering (down 9%). The plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) share was 2.6% in the month, with BEVs alone hitting 1.6%. That kept the 2019 plug-in share at 2.6% (1.7% BEV).
August brought another new monthly winner it was time for the BMW i3 to pick up a Monthly Best Seller title, its first in 2019. That came with a record number of 992 registrations.
Then a statement and news release was published which was shared with all online electric vehicle publications and some prominent business websites stating that BMW management had decided to retire the i3 EV.
On September 14th2019, the financial times reported this “BMW will not renew the i3, its primary electric car, spelling the end of one of the most distinctive vehicles on the road. The German carmaker will focus instead on installing battery and plug-in technology on its other models, while also planning new pure-electric cars. “There’s no specific plan for an i3 successor,” Pieter Nota, BMW’s sales and marketing chief, told the Financial Times. “We are now bringing electrification more to the mainstream.”
Following this, on September 16thEV website www.electrive.comran the same statement from financial times.
Then on September 17th2019, Forbes online reported that “that there will be no successor to their electric i3 and i8 models. Even though the model will still be sold, BMW’s sales and marketing chief Pieter Nota explains, there is no specific successor plan anymore. This confirms what BMW’s head of R&D Klaus Frohlich already announced earlier in June this year: the end of the i3 is near”.
www.dsf.my also published a follow up report on the 19thof September that there will be no follow up production of the i3 and also the i8 super EV. “BMW has confirmed that both the i3 and i8 will not be getting replacement models once their production runs come to a close. BMW Board Member Pieter Nota confirmed that there were no concrete plans for the i3 and that that the company was focused on bringing electrification to their mainstream product lineup”.
All this was rather confusing for us at www.dsf.myas we have read reports of the i3 selling more than 150,000 units globally since its introduction in 2013 and the current model on sale is actually its 5thversion from BMW. Adding to this, BMW announced that they will be releasing at least 13 battery powered vehicles by 2023 (just 3 years from now) while still producing petrol driven vehicles side by side.
Now we get first hand information from the BMW Malaysia public relations department that the whole ‘retirement’ of the BMW i3 was ‘read’ wrongly by us and all the abovementioned online news outlets. The current model BMW i3 will CONTINUE production until the end of 2020 and BMW will fulfill all current orders into 2021 and then the BMW i3 and also the i8 supercar will get new branding and naming in line with BMW’s 2021 EV strategy. So, the 2021 BMW i3 will be renamed and it will carry a revised look…..still in keeping with its popular design language. More will be shared in due time and we apologies for any unwanted worry that our article might have caused to current i3 owners.