In announcing its sales data for 2017’s first quarter, BMW has shown substantial growth in its electric car department. Sales for BMW’s i3 and i8 plug-ins doubled from 2016’s report, totaling deliveries of nearly 20,000 units in just the first three months of 2017. Currently, EV sales account for three percent of BMW's overall sales—and that number is expected to continue to climb.
It certainly seems that BMW is in it for the long haul now when it comes to electric cars. It has become evident this is the shared thought amongst many manufacturers, as they invest more money into the infrastructure of electric charging and begin to pump out more and more EVs in the coming years. BMW has announced its plans to release several new EVs in the near future, including a new i8 roadster in 2018, a fully electric Mini in 2019, a fully electric X3 in 2020, and BMW’s autonomous electric iNext concept in 2021.
Why is BMW investing so much in electric cars? BMW recognizes the growth in sales, sure. But from a marketing perspective, BMW states that, from experience, they know customers prefer to have choices. And BMW has taken that to mean EVs, so it is prioritizing electrification of its vehicle lineup to meet this demand. BMW currently has eight variations of electric vehicles available for consumers to purchase.
Another realization that the manufacturer has attributed to the adoption of EVs is that the vehicles' usable range is constantly increasing. This could be why BMW agreed to invest in a considerable sum in peppering the nation with more chargers in previously-unutilized spots.
With BMW on pace to sell 100,000 electric vehicles in 2017, the charging infrastructure will continue to grow. The luxury brand shifting focus towards electrifying its fleet will only help to push this agenda, as well as help grow the brand's sales numbers during the upcoming months. Large players like Tesla will continue to push the limits of adoption, as their vehicle offerings compete with an emerging market. BMW has shown its intent to compete in this rapidly changing market by offering more options to consumers.