BMW of North America will phase out their i3 electric vehicle at the end of this month. The global production of the i3 is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2022, but of course, that will vary market by market. BMW’s current marketing efforts go towards the newly unveiled BMW iX electric crossover and i4 Gran Coupe electric. So it comes as no surprise that the quirky i3’s life comes to an end.
Sales and supply didn’t help its case either. According to InsideEVs, BMW of North America sold only 511 units of the i3 electric hatchback in Q2 2021. The total number of i3 models delivered to U.S. customers in 2021 reached 851 units. Cumulatively, BMW sold in the U.S. 44,473 i3 since its market introduction in 2014. Over the last 12 months, the i3 inventory for the U.S. was at its lowest point and customers often had difficulties securing a production slot. Current dealer bulletins suggest that there are only around 180 production slots remaining.
BMW’s first production series electric car was off to a rocky start in 2013, but over time, it gained a cult and became a good seller for the Bavarian automaker. The i3 hatchback with its quirky looks but fun driving dynamics is a popular choice in Europe, especially in the Northern hemisphere.
When BMW launched the i3 and i8 in 2013, the two projects were not only considered the most advanced within BMW, but also in the automotive world. The first electric BMW and also the first hybrid sportscar from Munich made use of BMW’s knowledge in carbon fiber construction, but at a much larger scale. The cars were innovative when it came to sustainability, production processes and manufacturing of series cars, and have won several awards over the years.
Overall, the i3 was and still is a successful BMW product. It might not have the sales numbers to back it up, but the entire company has certainly profited from its birth.