BMW & Electric Vehicles

BMW sold 100,000 plug-in cars this year: more than GM, probably Nissan too (Tesla TBD)

BMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in MunichBMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in Munich

You have to hand it to BMW.

When the German automaker set out to eclipse last year’s sales of plug-in cars by delivering 100,000 electrified vehicles globally this year, it was an ambitious goal.

But as of the end of November, the automaker has achieved its goal—and in so doing has sold nearly as many electrified vehicles this year as it did between the time it launched the i brand in 2013 and the end of 2016.

That sales achievement puts it ahead of General Motors and very likely Nissan, two other companies known for sales of their electric and electrified vehicles.

However, BMW derives most of its electrified success from plug-in hybrids, not full battery-electric vehicles as Nissan does with its Leaf and e-NV200 small electric delivery van.

Tesla has also projected it will deliver more than 100,000 electric cars by the end of the year, though we won’t know if it met that goal until early January.

2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]

BMW celebrated its 100,000 milestone by painting its Munich headquarters with light, turning the four cylindrical buildings into pseudo batteries in the night.

“We deliver on our promises,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility.”

“Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us.”

Recently, BMW expanded its i brand with the addition of the BMW i8 Roadster in Los Angeles. Both the i8 coupe and Roadster gain larger battery packs and enhanced range.

The BMW i3 also received updates this year with the addition of a sportier i3s model.

In the near future, BMW will introduce an electrified version of the BMW X3—likely called iX3 when it goes on sale in 2020.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Its name follows the company’s recent trademarking iX1 through iX9, setting up a naming convention for future electrified crossovers and SUVs.

Even sooner, a fully electric Mini will join the ranks in 2019 to complement the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 currently on sale.

However, BMW’s i brand flagship, codenamed iNext and rumored to be called i9, won’t arrive until 2021.

In all, the German manufacturer plans to offer 25 electrified models, of which 12 will be fully electric, by 2025.

BMW accounts for 21 percent of electrified vehicle market share in Europe, which is 6 percent of all BMWs delivered on the continent.

The company also claimed in its release a 10-percent share of the global electrified vehicle market as of the end of November.