By on March 25, 2015

2015 BMW i3 Range Extender Exterior-007

BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer.

According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer said that sales figures for the i3 are connected to political initiatives toward electric mobility, adding that when those initiatives are there, “the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.”

The CEO cited Norway as an example, where the government not only has a charging infrastructure where owners can park and recharge for free, but does not levy sales or registration taxes on EVs. Those incentives have helped BMW move 2,000 i3s in 2014.

Meanwhile, significant financial subsidies in the United States, as well as privileges such as use of dedicated HOV lanes, led to sales of 3,000 units in California alone, a figure that is half of all i3s sold in the U.S.

Other incentives include looser licensing restrictions in Shanghai, circulation tax exemptions for 10 years from date of first registration in Germany, and company car tax exemptions for life in France.

Speaking of Germany, where 2,000 i3s were sold in 2014, Reithofer said his country’s government needs to “pick up the pace” in pushing electric mobility. Germany wants 1 million EVs on its roads by 2020, and has plans to offer additional incentives to achieve its goal.

In the meantime, BMW will introduce its DriveNow car-sharing service this spring, beginning in London. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city in the program by May, while the German cities of Hamburg, Berlin and Munich will join in July. The program is meant to help boost acceptance of electrification, and widening the tech’s appeal among younger drivers.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

5 Comments on “Reithofer: Government Programs Key To BMW i3 Success...”


  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    I live close to Norway’s second city and EVs are everywhere. The i3 is highly successful.

    Yet, I am very uneasy about this policy. It is expensive, ill-directed and inefficient.

    The subsidy required is immense – and it goes to a populace who is not in need of being subsidised. New car buyers aren’t poor people. A Tesla S costs about 600000NOK (1.3*average yearly income) to start with, a comparable Porsche Panamera is 1800000NOK. Allowing the Tesla to be sold at prices similar to a small-engine petrol Volvo XC70 means you relieve wealthy households of taxes. Ouch.

    EV technology is underdeveloped. How long will these cars last? Will second and third owners opt to pay a third of the price of a new Golf in order to replace batteries? If you subsidise rich people, why not rather throw money after better insulation, new windows etc? If you focus on transport, offer better trains, trams and busses.

    Last, and most important: Vehicular emissions total a small piece of the emissions cake. Somewhere around 20-25%. They throw billions of kroner after a few cars, yet one single factory in Hardanger, producing zink and aluminium, pollutes with as much as a third of all automobile traffic in Norway. It is going to be modernised now – and this is well-spent money.

    The car industry is one area were government should regulate, not intervene. The tax advantage for diesel lead to large-scale particle pollution – see the driving prohibition in Norwegian cities and, now, Paris. Capping emissions, as the EU does, or the EPA in the US, should be sufficient.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Agreed. The government should set some efficiency metrics, and let the automakers find the solutions. EV subsidies are going to early adopters, most of whom have the means to buy the cars without the subsidy. We should redirect that money to programs that upgrade older homes, etc. I have recently renovated 3 homes built in the 40’s and 50’s, and none of them Had ANY insulation in the walls. Imagine the energy savings if we could insulate a few million older homes.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Seems like we are very much in line here. :)

        Another issue is the private side – carmakers becoming partly, maybe fully dependent on subsidies, get dependent like addicts. Maybe even just on one marked. Policy changes might have desastrous impacts.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    This car’s perfect, for those who decide a Kia Soul doesn’t cost enough.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “Reithofer said his country’s government needs to “pick up the pace” in pushing electric mobility.”

    Yes, we’re hurt at the slow pace of government handouts, as it will not allow us to make our traditional company-wide 10% ROI. We invented this weird car and we fully expect a three year payback on the investment for being so wonderful. We expected subsidies – now where are They?

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Vulpine: @Old_WRX: “and the lack of any control to compare outcomes with it is a matter of estimation. Couldn’t...
  • slavuta: Biden said all we need to know youtube.com/watch?v=MA8a2g6tTp 0​
  • slavuta: Biden said this himself youtube.com/watch?v=MA8a2g6tTp 0​
  • Luke42: The Tesla Cybertruck is likely to win in the marketplace. It costs less, and has greater range. It also is...
  • Luke42: @Illan, “i wonder what the EV evangelist think of this.” Being pretty deep into the green car...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber