German car manufacturer, BMW says that the production of the BMW i3 will be stopped in July of this year even though electric vehicles are becoming more popular.
The BMW i3 was first introduced in 2013 and was considered a ground-breaking vehicle at the time that offered both a full-electric as well as a hybrid driving experience. The electric car brought innovative applications of recycled materials, plastic, and carbon fiber to car buyers looking for a different and more environmentally friendly vehicle.
According to Automotive News Europe, the BMW i3 was planned to stay in production at the plant in Leipzig until 2024 because EVs are in such high demand. However, BMW decided to change these plans and end the production of the BMW i3 in July of 2022.
One of the reasons to halt the production of the BMW i3 is the fact that car buyers are looking for EVs that offer more space, the carmaker said.
Having had a BMW i3 myself, I agree that the car while being roomy for its size, did not offer a lot of space. The i3 offered seating for only four people, which further limited the use of the car.
Additionally, the controversial design and the high purchase price of the car impacted the sales of the i3 negatively.
Since the introduction of the BMW i3, 250,000 have been made by the German car manufacturer.
BMW hopes that going forward customers will consider the new Mini Electric and the future iX1.
A BMW spokesperson said “These models have the potential to generate significantly larger unit sales than the i3 managed in its prime.”
BMW i3 was ten years ahead of its time
Automobilwoche reported that Peter Fintl, an expert at technology consulting firm Capgemini Engineering, thought that the i program was ten years ahead of its time.
“At the time, BMW was the first player to think holistically about sustainability and to research innovative technologies and bring them into series production,” he said. “Components from the i3, as well as the know-how, have helped electrify other models in the group.”
According to market researcher, JATO Dynamics sales of the BMW i3 rose by 4.5% to 24,259, which is still far behind rivals such as the VW ID3 (71,252 vehicles sold) or the top-selling European EV, the Tesla Model 3, sales of which increased 63% to 140,421.