BMW is not going to renew the i3, its flagship electrical automobile, spelling the top of probably the most distinctive automobiles on the street.
The German carmaker will focus as an alternative on putting in battery and plug-in know-how on its different fashions, whereas additionally planning new pure-electric automobiles.
“There’s no particular plan for an i3 successor,” Pieter Nota, BMW’s gross sales and advertising and marketing chief, informed the Monetary Occasions. “We at the moment are bringing electrification extra to the mainstream.”
Nonetheless, he added that the corporate would proceed to construct the i3.
Launched in 2013, the automobile was BMW’s first severe foray into battery automobiles, supposed to check the general public’s urge for food for electrical automobiles with out tarnishing its mainstream line-up of swish saloons.
Carmakers usually renew their fashions after seven years of gross sales to revitalise demand and match the newest know-how, so below regular situations the i3 would have solely a 12 months left to run.
Nonetheless, the corporate stated it could proceed promoting it for a number of extra years.
“It’s not a standard automobile in that sense,” Mr Nota stated.
Carmakers are embracing electrical know-how wholesale to scale back CO2 emissions and hit gross sales targets in Europe and China.
BMW is putting in plug-in hybrid know-how into its best-selling fashions, which permits them to drive utilizing electrical energy in cities and conventionally on longer journeys.
The carmaker additionally plans 13 battery-only fashions by 2023, a timeframe that was not too long ago brought forward due to impending emissions targets.
On the Frankfurt Motor Show final week the corporate unveiled the design for an electrical automobile popping out in 2021, in addition to exhibiting the electrical Mini that may go on sale subsequent 12 months.
At present in its fifth iteration, BMW has offered greater than 150,000 i3 automobiles so far, with increased demand yearly, because the nascent marketplace for electrical automobiles blossomed.
Gross sales within the first half of this 12 months rose by 21 per cent in contrast with the identical interval a 12 months earlier.
“The i3 is definitely doing extraordinarily effectively in its sixth 12 months of manufacturing already,” stated Mr Nota.
Gross sales in August have been 30 per cent increased than a 12 months earlier, which is “exceptional” progress for such a relatively outdated automobile, he added.
When launched it was designed to function a trailblazer for future applied sciences, from its battery drive techniques and sustainable supplies to the stripped-back inside, drawing each reward and criticism.
However the i3 was at all times an outlier for BMW, bearing little resemblance to its line-up of saloons or sports activities utility automobiles and interesting to a distinct demographic.
BMW’s new chief government Oliver Zipse is below stress to speed up the carmaker’s push into electrical automobiles.
His predecessor Harald Krueger was perceived as having slowed the rollout of electrical know-how into BMW’s foremost fashions, such because the Three-series, to tackle the rising menace from Tesla.