BMW has just reached its first significant milestone for plug-in car sales, with more than 100,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles sold since its first models hit the market in 2013.
The majority of that figure comes from sales of the BMW i3 battery-electric and range-extended electric models alone, with over 60,000 examples hitting the road since production started in 2013.
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The majority of those have found homes in the United States, though the cars are also among the higher-selling plug-in vehicles in Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom. Notably, BMW reveals that more than 80 per cent of i3 customers are entirely new to the BMW brand.
BMW has recently updated its i3 models with higher-capacity batteries, which has seen the range of each almost double. The all-electric i3 is now capable of an official 195 miles (which should result in a real world figure of at least 150 miles), while the i3 REx, with its small two-cylinder range-extending engine, is officially rated at 288 miles on the combined efforts of battery and petrol power. Pricing for the i3 currently starts at £32,330 for the electric model and £35,480 for the REx, both prior to the UK’s plug-in car grant.
BMW’s 357bhp plug-in hybrid sports car, the i8, has also seen moderate success with more than 10,000 delivered since its introduction in the middle of 2014. The i8 is significant not just for its ability to run on electric power for limited distances, but also for the way it looks and drives - the latter of which appealed enough to secure it a spot in evo Car of the year 2014.
The remaining 30,000-or-so cars from that 100k tally are made up of BMW’s iPerformance-badged plug-in hybrids, which currently include the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 330e, BMW X5 xDrive40e and BMW 740e - and will soon include a plug-in variant of the all-new 5-series.
Subsequent models are set to include a plug-in hybrid Mini Countryman, a roadster version of the i8 - giving buyers one of very few open-topped options in the plug-in car market - as well as a fully electric Mini in 2019 and fully electric X3 in 2020. Further on from that, BMW will launch its iNext - the first of its autonomous vehicles.