BMW's first-ever EV won't be getting a successor.
With its quirky styling, fully electric powertrain, and spacious interior the BMW i3 was a revolution when it launched back in 2013. Its styling still stands out from the crowd today. As BMW's first EV, it was designed to entice consumers towards EVs without treading on the toes of the automaker's combustion-powered models.
But times have changed, and the demand for EVs has increased significantly, while emissions regulations are getting stricter. In response, BMW has pledged to add 13 new all-electric cars to its lineup by 2023 as part of its electrification strategy. But a replacement for the i3 isn't part of that plan.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Pieter Nota, BMW's sales and marketing chief, confirmed that BMW will not renew the i3 after the current generation model. "There's no specific plan for an i3 successor," he said. "We are now bringing electrification more to the mainstream."
However, BMW will still continue building the i3 for longer than expected. Typically, car models get renewed after around seven years of sales with updated styling and tech. Following this rule, the i3 should only be on sale for another year, but BMW confirmed it will continue to sell it for several more years. "It's not a normal car in that sense," Nota said.
Instead of replacing the i3, BMW is focusing on plug-in hybrid versions of its best-selling models. Future EVs such as the i4 sedan and iX3 SUV will also share design similarities with their combustion-powered counterparts, unlike the funky i3.
Since it launched in 2013, BMW has sold more than 150,000 i3 cars, and demand is increasing every year. Sales in the first half of this year increased by 21 percent compared to the same period last year. Last month, sales increased by 30 percent compared to August 2018, which is impressive considering the i3 is six years old.