Launched in 2013 and still on sale today, the futuristic BMW i3 has been updated through the years to be kept relevant, and remains one of the more technically advanced vehicles on the road, at least in terms of its construction and design. Rather miraculously, it’s also still selling well for BMW, or at least well enough for the model to skip the traditional late-summer production break that has taken place in the last few years. According to German automotive news website BimmerToday, keeping the i3 production line going is due to increased global demand for the EV, which is now available in its seventh model year.
There a few noteworthy things that have combined to create these circumstances for the i3. The first is the novel human coronavirus pandemic, which halted production earlier this year at nearly every single one of BMW’s sites, that comprise a global decentralized network. Whether it’s pent-up demand, or drivers simply realizing just how good of a lifestyle fit an i3 can be, the largely carbon-fiber is also said to be a strong seller at the moment, and it’s important to note that it still qualifies for a number of tax credits and other incentives in cities and localities around the world.
Nevertheless, even with adding what equates to roughly a week of added production time for 2020, annual output will still come in at a shadow of what it was in 2019. Last year, BMW Group Plant Leipzig produced, 38,937 i3s, while just a few more than 12,500 were manufactured from January to July of this year. Even if production were to run at full steam for the remainder of 2020, eclipsing last year’s total is impossible, but the fact that BMW is making use of extra time to produce more of the model is a positive development regardless.
During the last few years, the future of the i3 has, at times, been uncertain. Last December, however, we learned that BMW is extending i3 production as far as 2024. Keeping a vehicle alive in today’s rapidly developing marketplace for so long is no small feat, but for the i3 and other EVs, it’s possible thanks to technological advancements in the way of battery density, and the modular design of the i3.
No one knows what the world is going to look like when the i3 celebrates its tenth birthday, but the success of the model will be undeniable thanks to its longevity.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]