The BMW i3 celebrated its second birthday in November, and its proud parents are touting its successes. According to BMW, the i3 is the third best-selling EV worldwide, with 10 percent of the global market and 25 percent at home in Germany. In Norway, the i3 is now BMW’s best-selling model.
The i3 is now available in 49 countries, and the company has devoted a lot of effort to accommodating the needs of customers and governments in the various regions. BMW says the i3 is the only imported electric vehicle in China which can be purchased tax-free and avoid the hassle of the local license plate lottery. BMW developed a special version for Japan, made to accommodate the limited height of local parking spaces.
Innovations developed for the i3 are finding their way into the company’s other vehicles. BMW’s eDrive technology powers the new X5 xDrive40e, and will also be used in 3 Series, 2 Series Active Tourer and 7 Series model variants in 2016. BMW’s luxury sedans also feature a Carbon Core body structure, based ib carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) tech developed for the i3.
BMW sees the i3 as a perfect fit for the growing application of car-sharing. DriveNow, a joint venture of BMW and Sixt, will be operating 400 i3s in Germany by the end of the year, and recently added 400 to its fleet in Copenhagen.