BMW’s plug-in models surpassing sales expectations, especially in Europe

2016 BMW 330e iPerformance

BMW is having a banner year. Sales for July, and for the first half of 2016, set new records. While that isn’t surprising – automakers around the world are logging record sales – the interesting bit is that sales of BMW’s electrified models are exceeding expectations, especially in Europe.

In Western Europe in July, 4% of all BMW sales were electrified vehicles, and that percentage was far higher in the continent’s EV hotspots.

In the Netherlands, 43% of BMW 3 Series registrations are for the plug-in 330e version (probably thanks to all those buyers who don’t want to wait for a Tesla), and 26% of 2 Series Active Tourer registrations are for the 225xe. In Scandinavia, PHEV versions account for 45% of 3 Series sales and 55% of 2 Series Active Tourer sales.

“While we see growth across our range, the fact that the planned production for our electrified 7 Series, 3 Series and 2 Series Active Tourer models is already sold out this year demonstrates our strategy of rolling out electrification on all models is the right one,” said BMW Board Member Dr. Ian Robertson. “We will, of course, now respond to this high customer demand.”

July also saw the first deliveries of the new BMW i3 94A, which offers a larger battery and significantly increased range. BMW says sales of the i3 grew by 33.7% in July, while orders for the new BMW i3 exceed 7,000.

SEE ALSO: BMW’s X5 xDrive40e spearheads its plan to offer PHEVs in every market segment

Meanwhile, the company has added yet another PHEV to its lineup. The 740e xDrive iPerformance is now in production, and is scheduled to arrive at US dealerships in August. The new luxury sedan offers combined fuel economy of 64 MPGe and an electric range of 14 miles (EPA figures). Pricing starts at $89,100.

According to BMW, the “greenhouse potential” of the 740e is approximately 30% lower than that of the legacy gas-powered 740i over the full lifecycle of the car, including CO2 emissions produced by everything from the extraction of raw materials through manufacturing, use and eventual recycling.


Source: BMW via Green Car Congress

  • nordlyst

    What a pity only one of BMWs hybrids – the i3 REx – is a proper green car!

    I wish government had the brains to realize that plug-in hybrids vary enormously. Nearly all currently on the market will end up sourcing more than 90% of their energy from fossil fuels. Yet they receive preferential treatment in lots of places.

    Think my 90% sounds too high? Consider that most PHEVs are parallel hybrids. They offer reduced performance and very short range in all-electric mode. Then consider the data available for a much greener hybrid – the Chevrolet Volt. This is a series hybrid with full performance and much greater all-electric range. Even so, according to GMs own data, more than half the miles driven are using the ICE. And since the ICE is only a third as efficient as running straight off electricity (in the best case!) this means that at least 75% of the consumed energy is in fact from fossil sources.

    Even so, this is better than a complete standstill. At least more people are being exposed to some of the benefits of electric driving. And for some people a PHEV may be the only viable option for several more years. My best example is campers. Towing a camping wagon is still going to require a lot of energy, and it is very often combined with going long distance. A Model X isn’t nearly as good for this as any old ICEV, and affordable EVs are obviously even farther away. But all-electric range really ought to enough for 99% of everyday driving – or else it’s not worth messing about with the duplicate drive lines to begin with.

    “Every little helps”, say some. A more realistic mantra is “if we all do only a little, we’ll achieve only a little.”

    • nordlyst

      I forgot to say: with 15 miles on a sunny day people will cycle the packs at least once daily. So in two years it’ll be down to 12 miles and cycle even more frequently. For the latter half of the cars life it may have so little range that nobody will bother to plug it in anymore – in which case it’ll be LESS efficient than its non-plug-in sibling.

    • Ramon A. Cardona

      In the book, “The ruling of the waves,” Dr. D. Spaar shows the historical path of many inventions in phases. A good book to read. EV’s are in the first wave. Radio, TV, cars, electricity, etc. have similar histories. This means different concepts, technologies, sales approaches, etc. as to electrification of transportation. Mass transit busses are a reality. EV shuttle busses are a reality. The Tesla models are a reality. Other countries such as Norway and Japan, the U.K. and others have or are working on infrastructure. While these may be baby steps to some, all babies learn to walk then run. The world is quickly approaching 30 billion miles on electricity. Wind and solar power are a bit more advanced and are increasing in market share. I see 2020 as the tipping point year. We are going to need a lot of charging stations for the EV/plug-on cars on the roads.