BMW has committed to keep producing its i3 electric car until 2024 even though the automaker is bringing its next-generation electric vehicles to market starting next year.
After not launching any new all-electric vehicles in 7 years since the launch of the BMW i3, BMW is about to launch 3 new ones in the next two years.
The BMW iX3, an all-electric SUV, is due to go on sale next year and the BMW i4, an all-electric sedan, and the BMW iNEXT, an all-electric crossover, are being brought to market in 2021.
Those new vehicles are all based on BMW’s upcoming fifth-generation electric powertrain.
It is expected to enable a much longer range and higher performance than BMW‘s current electric vehicles.
As the automaker has been discussing the new technology over the last few years, they have hinted that they might stop producing the i3 and i8.
However, BMW Leipzig plant official Julian Friedrich told Germany’s Leipziger Volkszeitung that they plan to keep building the i3 until at least 2024.
While the i3 vehicle program is getting older without any major refresh in 7 years, the German automaker did introduce a minor refresh in 2017 and they have been consistently introducing bigger battery packs in the electric car over the years.
It helped sales which have peaked at almost 35,000 units last year.
I am surprised that they would commit to keeping the car around for another 5 years.
Hopefully, it means that they are planning an update because I think it will be harder for the i3 to compete with the dozen of new electric vehicles coming to market in the same segment during that period.
They can keep updating the battery cells, but it would require a major update to adapt the vehicle to BMW’s 5th gen EV technology.
It makes some sense because BMW is building the new Mini E Electric on the same platform.
Personally, I am not a fan of the i3’s design, but I never hated the car. I rented one while on a trip in Spain last month and I liked it for the most part.
My main issue is that I couldn’t get over the awful user interface with the dial. It’s one of the worst ways to interface with a car I’ve seen in a long time.
That said, I’m open to revisiting the i3 if they update it to last another 5 years.
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