BMW i3 was the most sold plug-in car in Europe last month

BMW i3 with 300 km NEDC range

At this moment range is what matters for new electric vehicles. The BMW i3 proves that when electric cars get better range, hybrids become less appealing. Now with a 33,84 kWh battery the BMW i3 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has enough electric range to outsell the REx (Range Extended) version.


While we haven’t the data of how many BEV and REx versions were sold separately in the entire Europe, thanks to EV-Sales we do have the data for some countries.




BMW i3 REx



27 (100 %)

0 (0 %)



146 (96 %)

6 (4 %)



21 (57 %)

16 (43 %)



291 (57 %)

220 (43 %)



70 (92 %)

6 (8 %)



44 (94 %)

3 (6 %)



31 (82 %)

7 (18 %)



39 (81 %)

9 (19 %)



669 (71 %)

267 (29 %)



If the BMW i3 BEV version with only 300 km NEDC range can get more than 70 % of the total model’s sales, imagine how well it would sell with 400 or even 500 km NEDC range. While we already know that 120 Ah battery cells from Samsung SDI will arrive in 2018, increasing the battery capacity to 43,2 kWh, I think it’s time for BMW to adopt another strategy. Instead of offering BEV and REx variants, maybe it would be better to offer the BMW i3 only in BEV but with two different battery capacities.


BMW i3 interior differences

BMW i3 interior differences


As you can see the BMW i3 could have a bigger battery if it took advantage of the empty space reserved for the gas engine.

This is what I think it would be a major success:

  • BMW i3 BEV entry level: 4x kWh battery made by Samsung SDI, 11 kW AC charger and 50 kW CCS fast charging capability.
  • BMW i3 BEV premium level: 5x kWh battery made by LG Chem, 22 kW AC charger and 100 kW CCS fast charging capability.


The premium level version could cost 4.500 € more, this is how much BMW currently charge for the REx addition.

Since LG Chem is opening its battery cell factory in Poland next year, it’s a good opportunity for BMW to consider adding LG Chem to its supplier list.

We all know that good BEVs make hybrids obsolete, this is why BMW should do it to outsmart Asian carmakers like Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Honda that are pushing hybrids in Europe, now that diesel is in decline.


The next big challenge for the BMW i3 will be the Zoe’s arrival with the ZE 40 battery, in just a couple of months from now.


What do you think? Should BMW completely discontinue the REx version and introduce a higher level BEV version? Will the Zoe’s arrival with more range affect the sales?



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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5 years ago

Yes the larger the batteries the more worrhless plugin hybrids are…
If BMW would paint it like a normal car that would also help i3 sales…

Hélder Aguiar
5 years ago

I think that is the right way but having said that, Rex is still important for the US market.

5 years ago

Check, there you will find detailed data on the i3 bev/rex breakdown

5 years ago
Reply to  Kimmi

Unfortunately, the important UK market always lags some month behind with data reporting.