BMW Targeting 100,000 Hybrids And EVs Sold In 2017
German automaker also wants to account for as much as 25 percent of the sales volume by 2025by Kirby Garlitos, on
BMW is no stranger when it comes to electric mobility, having started earlier than most of its rivals with the 2013 introduction of both the i3 and i8 models. But the German automaker isn’t just content with being one of the first to the party; it wants to be one of the best in the party, and its more evident than ever now that CEO Harald Krueger has set a goal of boosting sales of its electric cars to 100,000 models by 2017.
The goal looks easy if you base it on the numbers. Since 2013, BMW has sold around 100,000 battery-powered models, with this year alone accounting for around 60,000 units. Unfortunately, demand for these cars are still nowhere near what BMW hoped it would be, so getting from 60,000 units in 2016 to a full 100,000 units in 2017 is still a little trickier than what the numbers suggest.
In order to accelerate that growth, BMW is planning to increase the battery range of the i3 by as much as 50 percent this year in order to make it more appealing to the public. The company has high expectations for the model, seeing as it has accounted for a majority of BMW’s EV sales so far. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the i3 to drive that growth and help BMW achieve its short-term goal, as well as contributing to the long-term objective of owning around 15 to 25 percent of hybrid and EV markets by 2025.
Moving forward, BMW is also expected to introduce a handful of new hybrids and EV models, the most prominent of which is the 2018-bound i8 Roadster. Other new models scheduled to enter the fray include the 530e, the X3 EV, and a Mini EV. All three models are tipped to arrive as early as 2019 with the possibility of more models joining the fold by the turn of the decade.
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A difficult, but not impossible goal
On the surface, a company of BMW’s size and scope shouldn’t have any problems selling 100,000 units of hybrids and EV models by 2017. In addition to having the i3 and the i8, the German automaker also has a diverse offering of hybrids and plug-ins from its core brand. But, don’t let these statements fool you because getting to that number is more difficult than it sounds.
One particular issue BMW is facing is the rapid increase in competing models. The auto industry today is quickly evolving into a race to develop electric cars and new technologies like autonomous driving. If BMW wants to achieve its goal, it needs to recognize the competition that it currently has.
Then there’s the the growth within the company itself. It’s no secret that BMW has a lot of new hybrid and electric models in the pipeline. I didn’t even mention the i5 SUV, which is reportedly in the process of development today. The problem, though, is that those models aren’t scheduled to be released until after 2017, so BMW can’t rely on any of them to hit that 100,000 sold units threshold it has set for itself next year. The onus will fall on its existing lineup, most importantly on the i3 and, to a lesser extent, the i8. That’s a big reason why BMW is putting in the work to increase the i3’s battery range and make it more appealing in the eyes of customers.
Give BMW credit for this: it’s not sitting around hoping to get to 100,000 sold units in 2017. It’s actually doing something about it with the expectation that it’s going to have offerings that will resonate with customers from all of its important markets. Who knows, if the German automaker achieves this goal, we may end up seeing it accomplish that long-term goal it has set for itself too. 15 to 25 percent of the EV market for BMW by 2025? The next 12 months will say a lot about whether the company can accomplish that.
Read our full review on the BMW i3 94 AH here.