In America, we’re quite hard on the BMW i3. It hasn’t been selling as well as BMW would have liked here and many North American EV enthusiasts would rather spend the extra money and go with a Tesla. Consequently, the BMW i3 isn’t very popular ‘Stateside. However, across the pond, the i3 actually is quite popular, as evidenced by the fact that the BMW i3 was Europe’s best-selling EV last month.
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For the month of November, 2016, the BMW i3 was by far the best-selling electric vehicle in the EU, selling 2,092 units. The second closest EV was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which sold 1,512 units. That’s quite a big difference, considering it’s 580 units more.
While Teslas are very popular in America, considering they’re build here, they aren’t nearly as popular east of the Atlantic. Tesla only sold 603 Model Ss and only 387 Model Xs. Admittedly, it’s likely because of the cost, being that Teslas are expensive to begin with and the additional shipping and taxes in Europe make it even more so.
But even less expensive cars sold in fewer numbers than the BMW i3. Nissan only moved 1,030 Leafs and Volkswagen only sold 1,067 Passat GTEs. Hell, even BMW couldn’t sell another EV/Plug-in as well as the i3, with the BMW 330e getting 982 sales.
So in Europe, the BMW i3 is still a very popular car, made even more so by the fact that BMW just upped its range. Plus, with many European cities cracking down on emissions, it only makes sense that Europeans would like to go for a pure EV, rather than any plug-in hybrids. And because of the premium badge, slightly lower cost in Europe and small city-car size, the BMW i3 is a very attractive package there. So while we complain about it, there are those who appreciate the i3’s charms.
And this isn’t just a one month anomaly. The BMW i3 is fourth overall in Year to Date EV sales in Europe, with only much cheaper cars, such as the aforementioned Mitsubishi and Nissan as well as the Renault Zoe, coming ahead of it.