Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Kyle Field0
BMW CEO Confirms i3 Production Will Continue, With Larger Battery On The Way
October 22nd, 2019 by Kyle Field
The BMW i3 will get a new lease on life, according to a Facebook post from the official BMW i account. The news comes as an official statement from BMW’s new CEO, Oliver Zipse, with details about the new i3.
The news about the i3 getting a stay of execution and “another leap in battery and operating concepts” for the car comes from an interview with the CEO on Frankfurter Allgemeine. In the interview, Zipse confirmed the i3 was to be a part of BMW’s i brand moving forward.
“The i3 will continue to be produced, no question about it. The car is already an icon today. Which car can claim this after only six years? Icons tick according to a different logic, they don’t have a classic successor, they always remain true to themselves in essence.”
Whether or not the BMW i3 has established itself as an icon or not is up for interpretation, but BMW has been able to continue to grow sales of the vehicle year over year since its introduction. “We are growing with the i3 every year – in Europe this year by around 20 per cent,” Zipse said. “The investments have been written off, we earn money with every i3. Why in God’s name should we give up this car, which is now at the height of its time? We are sure that the i3 still has great potential.”
Its success in the European market is in part due to the steady cadence of battery capacity increases it has rolled into the vehicle every couple of years. By all accounts, another, larger battery is slated for the i3. Zipse noted that BMW i3 was ready to “make another leap in battery and operating concepts,” which would make it more competitive with newer, longer range EVs like the new Renault Zoe and the Tesla Model 3.
The next increase will likely see the i3 achieving a range of just over 200 miles | 322 km of range per charge, at which point the range extender becomes a bit redundant. Will BMW drop the range extender option when the new battery arrives? My guess is yes, but time will tell.