Not so long ago, Amazon became a household name for offering an abundance of diverse books at one’s fingertips. Search any book, a few clicks, and the book is on its way. Following that, household products made their way onto Amazon. Without leaving home, one could shop Amazon and find better prices. Now, in a logical step along this ladder, Amazon Japan is selling the BMW i3.
Yes, the Japanese unit of German auto giant BMW started selling it’s i3 electric models on Amazon.co.jp. in April
Sales of the automobile are prevailing in North America (California leads the country in sales, but Texas and Florida are strong as well) and Europe. The maker of these small electric vehicles intends to expand the Japanese market as well.
With greater exposure, BMW Japan expects to acquire more customers from the online market than it would otherwise, and there’s likely little additional cost to getting on Amazon. In Tokyo, The Japan Times reports, “We have 46 dealers (that sell the electric model) in Japan, but we hope this ‘e-selling’ will cover the entire market more thoroughly,” the spokesman said. “This will widen the sales channel and improve convenience for customers.” He added: “So many people are using the website. We would like to research potential customer groups who may be interested in our products.”
Two i3 models are available on Amazon.co.jp, a regular BMW i3 with a 229-km range on a single charge, and the i3 Range Extender that allows one to get a boost from fossil fuel if they run out of electricity from the batteries.
We are all accustomed to shopping online, but this opportunity is really something new, and we at CleanTechnica think a sign of things to come. After finishing the Amazon purchase online, one can expect a call from BMW. Yes, load the car into one’s virtual shopping cart and wait for a phone call. BMW will ask for documents proving that you do have a parking space and a place to charge the vehicle.
It is nice that Amazon helps you stay green. It is only recently that the company started indicating this as goal for its own energy consumption and sources of electricity. In fact, it was a bit slow compared to others in the tech world. However, word is that Amazon is going to change. See: “Amazon Committing To 100% Renewable Energy For Cloud Infrastructure” and “Amazon Web Services Invests In Indiana Wind Farm.”
Of course, the BMW i3 is a great vehicle to lead the way into Amazon sales. A recent post by EV Obssession reports,”BMW sales of the i3 are already approaching 1,000 units a month, and at 20,000 units sold, the i3 starts to make money for BMW.” Furthermore, aside from fully electric car companies like Tesla, it seems that no other car company has a higher proportion of its sales come from electric cars.
The BMW i3 is not simply appealing to the urban market — thanks to the possible inclusion of a gas-powered range-extender that doubles that i3’s driving range, the i3 is popular outside of the city as well. EV Obsession continues, “The optional range-extender turns the i3 into an extended-range electric car with a 150 mile range and the option to quickly refill the two-gallon gas tank. While all-electric range drops by about 10 miles per charge, the extra range from the gas generator means you can take the i3 all the way to its battery limitations, and still have a couple of hours of range left.”
Image via Amazon.co.jp.
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