You may have noticed by now a lot more BMW i3 on the roads recently and more advertising, specially on the television and online.
Not only the fact that the new improved BMW i3 has better range and charging capabilities seems to contribute to it, but also BMW knows that now is the right time to heavily advertise the i3 since new alternatives with more electric range are about to arrive.
This month in Norway 301 BMW i3 were already sold and there is still 17 days left till the end of the month. The BMW i3 will very probably be Norway’s best selling car in November.
It will be interesting to observe BMW’s reaction when the new alternatives are finally here. A price drop isn’t a very probable action for a premium automaker, but more equipment can be offered as standard for example.
Unfortunately we’ll most likely have to wait for 2018 until the Samsung SDI 120 Ah battery cells arrive to see the BMW i3 get more electric range. Unless BMW decides to offer two different batteries. Kreisel electric already proved that it’s possible to put a 55 kWh battery in the BMW i3 without requiring more space.
The great about Kreisel battery modules is that they use standard 3.500 mAh cells that are available from different battery cell makers. Sanyo/Panasonic, LG Chem and Samsung SDI produce 3.500 mAh battery cells in 18650 cylindrical shape. This means that BMW could keep using Samsung SDI as its battery cell supplier, but could also replace it with Sanyo/Panasonic or LG Chem. This freedom would give it more flexibility to negotiate the cost per kWh.
I think that in 2017 we’ll finally see more advertising on electric cars that’s also more informative on their differences.
Renault can advertise the Zoe as a cool looking supermini that has a very useful 22 kW internal charger. Hyundai can say that the IONIQ electric has plenty of safety features and it’s the most efficient car on sale. Opel can say that the Ampera-e is the affordable electric car with the most range. Volkswagen can say that the Golf is the most sold car in Europe and its electric version is great. BMW can say that the carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the i3 is great to avoid rust and makes the car very lightweight. Nissan can say that the Leaf is the most sold electric car on the world.
As we can see every electric car has unique selling points. Let’s see if automakers use them properly to sell.
What do you think? Are the BMW i3 record sales only temporary until new alternatives arrive? Or BMW’s marketing machine will keep sales strong much longer?