The outgoing BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer says political initiatives in a number of markets are directly related to an increase in the i3 sales. “We can see a clear connection between sales figures and political initiatives,” Reithofer said in a speech at the company’s annual press conference in Munich last week. “Wherever governments offer tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.”
Reithofer says in Norway BMW sold over 2,000 i3 units in 2014, correlating to twenty five percent of the overall BMW sales in the country. Norway is well-known for its charging infrastructure and the zero-tax policy on sales and registration of electric vehicles. In California, BMW sold over 3,000 i3s last year, almost fifty percent of all i3s sold in the US. The State of California has been a champion in financial subsidies and benefits for EVs and hybrids, and their initiatives are now followed by others states as well.
In Shanghai, the i3 is not subject to a restrictive licensing process, meaning buyers save more than 10,000 euros, Reithofer said.
In Germany EVs are exempt from the annual vehicle tax for 10 years. BMW sold about 2,100 i3s in Germany last year, about 1 percent of total BMW sales in the country. But Reithofer believes the German government can do more to speed the adoption of EVs. “The German carmakers have delivered their part of the bargain. The ball is in now in the court of policymakers,” he said. Germany needed to “pick up the pace” when it comes to electric mobility, he said.
The German government calls for a plan with 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.