BMW i – which provides Electric Vehicles (EV) and Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) – celebrates two years in South Africa.
BMW i is a comprehensive and ground-breaking concept for sustainable mobility.
It represents visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.
And it thrills with its innovative vehicles: the all-electric BMW i3, a locally emission-free vehicle for city driving that is sustainably designed throughout, and the BMW i8 concept as the future of the sports vehicle.
Is the BMW brand selling BMW i8 and i3 like hotcakes or is it struggling with sales?
BMW is targeting to sell 100, 000 electric-powered cars this year as it battle with Mercedes-Benz for the number one spot as the leading premium brand automaker.
The carmaker announced two months ago that it has sold almost 20,000 electrified vehicles (including BMW iPerformance / PHEVs) worldwide in the first quarter of 2017.
Since market introduction in March 2015, a total of 419 BMW i models have been delivered to customers in South Africa, according to BMW South Africa.
The said in a statement that the BMW i3 alone has sold 203 units, making it the most successful EV, while the BMW i8 ranks first among PHEVs with a total of 216 units delivered to customers.
“In a market where electric vehicles are still a fairly new concept, we are pleased with the strides we have made with the BMW i brand. However, sustainable mobility thrives wherever there is an effective combination of three factors: customer demand, legislation and innovative partnerships,” says Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
“While we have made inroads and formed alliances as well as partnerships that have helped propel BMW i and our 360° ELECTRIC mobility strategy forward, we need more commitment from the government in order to increase consumer confidence in electric vehicles because this is the future of mobility.”
BMW i3: Providing emission-free mobility in urban areas.
Crowned the winner of the World Urban Car Award 2017, the BMW i3 is the BMW Group’s first volume-produced model driven purely by electric power. Conceived for urban dwellers looking for alternative mobility solutions, it is the world’s first premium car conceived from the outset to incorporate an all-electric drive system.
A crucial element within the success story of the BMW i3 has been that it is the only EV worldwide with an optional Range Extender (REX), which features a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine, which is used to charge the battery.
The BMW i3 battery electric vehicle (BEV) with 60 ampere-hours (Ah) offers a range of up to 130 kilometres, while the BMW i3 REX offers a range of up to 300 kilometres.
Charging Solutions: Home and public charging
Since local market launch, home charging options have been made available to customers to purchase for comfortable and fast home garage charging. The initial BMW i Wallbox offered a single-phase operation and was updated to now also offer a charging capacity of up to 22 kW in three-phase operation.
In May 2016, BMW Group South Africa became the first market within the global BMW Group network to roll out a solar carport.
The BMW i solar carport concept was first shown at the BMW i8 international media launch in Los Angeles in April 2014 as well as the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January 2015.
Plans are in place to include the BMW i solar carport as part of the BMW i public charging infrastructure currently available countrywide.
BMW Group South Africa currently offers 54 EV and PHEV public charging stations across the country.
In 2015, BMW Group South Africa signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nissan South Africa to jointly expand the EV and PHEV charging grid for use by both Nissan and BMW vehicles. Under the
Under the agreement, the two companies have rolled out AC chargers with Type 2 sockets at the V&A Waterfront, Constantia Village shopping centre in Cape Town. The installation of charging stations in Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria is currently in progress.