Norbert Reithofer, the chief executive officer of the BMW Group – the largest luxury automaker in the world – predicts political initiatives in certain crucial markets for the automaker could be key to buoying sales of the all-electric i3.
The revolutionary i3 electric compact car and its hybrid supercar brethren i8 represented massive investments on behalf of the Munich-based automaker, ones that have years ahead before being recuperated. “We can see a clear connection between sales figures and political initiatives,” commented Reithofer. “Wherever governments offer tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.” The executive pointed out Norway, where the brand sold around 2,000 i3 units, representing around 25 percent of the market’s overall sales for BMW. Norway has been a proponent of electrification – the government has a well-thought charging network that allows for free charging and electric vehicles are also exempted from the registration fee.
In the US, California – another proponent of green vehicles – offers financial incentives to buyers of battery-powered vehicles and also allows them to use dedicated highway carpool lanes. Here the i3 sold in around 3,000 units, or approximately 50 percent of the total sales for the model in the country. And in China, the world’s largest auto market, the i3 is for example allowed to skip Shanghai’s restrictive licensing procedure, with owners saving at least 10,000 euros in the process. European markets such as UK and France also offer financial subsidies and in Germany the electric cars don’t pay the annual vehicle tax for a decade.
Via Automotive News Europe