User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: End of production

Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:57 am

The 2024 date comes from an article published right at the end of 2019.
https://ecomento.de/2019/12/12/bmw-i3-w ... tergebaut/

Translated here:
The new BMW boss, who took office in the middle of the year, confirmed in October that the brand's first - and so far only - all-electric car will be built for a longer period of time. At the time, Oliver Zipse did not reveal for what period the i3 small car, launched in 2013, will still be available - another BMW manager has now made up for that.

“The i 3 will continue to be built into 2024,” said the spokesman for the Leipzig plant, Julian Friedrich, on Wednesday for the Leipziger Volkszeitung. Few expected that the series would continue to roll off the production line for so long. Although the i3 has been improved again and again and now offers significantly more range than when it was first introduced, more and more modern electric vehicles are entering the market.

BMW actually updates its models after seven years at the latest - or even discontinues them in individual cases. A spokeswoman told the Leipziger Volkszeitung that this is handled differently with the i3 by saying that the electric car is "very successful". According to the manufacturer, sales are growing year after year, "in Europe this year by around 20 percent," said Zipse in October.

The fact that the i3 is being built is also due to the fact that no direct successor is planned for it. BMW's current focus on electric cars is on other segments and models, so the i3 should continue to appeal to customers with an interest in smaller electric cars for the time being.

i3 earns money for BMW
In future, BMW will produce its new battery-powered models on the basis of flexible architectures that enable a production line with hybrids and conventional combustion engines. The i3, on the other hand, is elaborately manufactured with its own production and lightweight construction using carbon. The investments have already been written off and each vehicle earns money for the company. “Why in God's name should we give up this car, which is now at the height of its time? We are sure: the i3 still has great potential, ”said Zipse.

In order for the i3 to remain competitive, BMW intends to further upgrade the technology - Zipse has announced that the model will "make another leap" in terms of battery and operating concept. The i3, which costs from 38,000 euros, can currently cover 359 kilometers on one charge in accordance with the NEDC standard; according to BMW, up to 260 kilometers are possible in everyday life.

The i8, the second series of BMW's electric sub-brand i, will no longer be built, unlike the i3. In December, the 20,000th NEDC model of the sports car with plug-in hybrid drive and 55 kilometers of purely electric range was manufactured. The anniversary vehicle is a roadster from the Ultimate Sophisto Edition, which is limited to 200 pieces. The i8, which has been available since 2014, will expire next year; a direct successor is not planned as with the i3.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

agzand
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: End of production

Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:56 am

I believe the EV landscape has changed a lot since late 2019. I don't think i3 will be competitive in its current form until 2024. So will BMW do a major investment to improve the car's technology and wiring? I think they would if they were going to replace it with a new model on a similar platform. I still think if their other EVs flop (which is very likely for i3x and i4 due to shared platforms and ix is too expensive), they might have no choice but to keep i3 in production for longer. Personally I think iX will be the best EV in the market, but it won't sell in enough volume to give BMW credibility that they need in the EV space.

eNate
Posts: 616
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: End of production

Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:27 pm

That's my interpretation, too. The i3 unintentionally turned into a stop-gap for a gap that became much larger than anyone every imagined.

The i3 production can't be scaled up in any meaningful way. In many respects it can't be improved without retooling the CF molds. But I can't imagine some simple electronic enhancements (upgraded camera and sensors, add radar) would require major re-work, especially if they share commonality with another vehicle.

Ultimately will anybody be interested in purchasing new i3s in 2022? 2023? That's going to depend on what else is on the lot, or in the window across the street. Despite all the new and announced EVs, none in the US really fill the i3's small city-car niche. It may have longer legs than we think?
2 0 1 7   B M W   i 3   9 4 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

websterize
Posts: 528
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: End of production

Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:10 pm

One of my favorite quotes about i01:
It’s a miracle the i3 exists at all.

Think about this for a second ... BEV (plus the range extender) comes in under 3,000 lbs. They did this of course by having a smaller battery, but more importantly by developing a carbon-composite chassis with composite body panels. But the newer models, sans range extender but with larger battery, still barely tip 3k.

Brand new platform, completely whacky manufacturing techniques for body and chassis (done in a place with 100% renewable energy) ... at expected low volumes.

No manufacturer in their right mind should do this, and for BMW, who clearly pivoted to CUVs and barely sells manuals in the US anymore, it’s a freak of automotive nature.
From a Jalopnik reader comment
2018 i3 Sport BEV | Coding spreadsheet

electrons
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:49 pm

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:13 am

MKH wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:57 am
The 2024 date comes from an article published right at the end of 2019.
https://ecomento.de/2019/12/12/bmw-i3-w ... tergebaut/
MKH thanks for the translation above. Great insight there.

For all the good attributes the i3 has, it was obsolete the day the Tesla Model 3 arrived (2017), at least in North America. A Model 3 costs about the same without federal help, as an i3 minus $7,500 federal. Even BMW's own Mini Cooper EV is about as fun-to-drive & priced better, at $25k after Fed rebate.

European sales are indeed very strong, like MKH's article said. ... Sales r ramping down in the U.S., partly due to the i3's high price, dorky styling, small size, novelty worn off, here in the states. Euro-tastes are different.

Elsewhere on this forum I analyzed carbon composite's structural efficiency compared to modern UHSS steel alloys & Al, and it illustrates why Tesla went with steel-Al, and GM's Bolt is steel-Al too::::
----- Computer optimization, parts shaping, alloying, treating metals, advanced joining techniqus, etc. equals what you can do with carbon composites these days, especially since crashworthiness is a design target in addition to just tensile strength needs. ... BMW knows that, which is why they aren't making other carbon composite vehicles.

electrons
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:49 pm

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:24 am

websterize wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:10 pm
One of my favorite quotes about i01:
It’s a miracle the i3 exists at all.Think about this for a second ... BEV (plus the range extender) comes in under 3,000 lbs. They did this of course by having a smaller battery, but more importantly by developing a carbon-composite chassis with composite body panels. But the newer models, sans range extender but with larger battery, still barely tip 3k.
From a Jalopnik reader comment
Yet, a BMW Mini Cooper EV weighs about the same as an i3. The Mini EV doesn't use composites.
Also, a Chevy Bolt is a bigger (volume) car than an i3, yet doesn't weigh much more than an i3, even though the Bolt has a ~1,000 lb belly battery.

agzand
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:19 am

The carbon fiber structure is lighter, but more expensive. It doesn't make sense for a regular price car. But many super cars have a carbon fiber structure. So it is superior from a technical standpoint. The Mini EV is a good example, it weighs the same with 3/4 battery size and 2 fewer doors.

BMW has not abandoned carbon fiber entirely, the iX uses carbon fiber cage (one of the reasons I think it will be the best EV in the market, period). So does the 7 series.

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2020 ... odynamics/

eNate
Posts: 616
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:35 am

electrons wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:13 am


For all the good attributes the i3 has, it was obsolete the day the Tesla Model 3 arrived (2017), at least in North America.
That's like saying the Toyota Yaris was obsolete because of the Corolla. They're different cars suited for different purposes.

I'm not trying to make the argument that the end of the i3 is nigh, but first there needs to be a similar car to make it so. I think introducing the ID.3 to America would be a good candidate.
2 0 1 7   B M W   i 3   9 4 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:43 am

Mini Cooper EV is about as fun-to-drive & priced better, at $25k after Fed rebate.
The MINI is limited, in that it is basically a two-person car. No one over the age of 5 can comfortably sit in the back seat of a 2-door MINI, where the i3 back seat is actually usable. And the cargo area in a MINI is about the size of a shoebox. Plus MINI doesn't have a great reputation for trouble-free driving (and I say this from experience as a former Mini Cooper owner), which may translate to the EV version as well. When I traded mine in, I cleaned out the glovebox of my 'hey, it's broke again' stored service receipts - after three years the pile was almost an inch thick.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

electrons
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:49 pm

Re: End of production

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:20 am

MKH wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:43 am
The MINI is limited, in that it is basically a two-person car.
Passenger Volume is almost the same between an i3 and a Mini Cooper EV (84 vs. 80 ft3). I'd bet that last missing 4 ft3 is all taken from the back seat, like you mention.
Still, lots of people on a budget will like the $25k "Mini" price tag after fed rebate. If you can't afford an i3 & still want a "cool" fun EV, then it's the one.
MKH wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:43 am
MINI doesn't have a great reputation for trouble-free driving
I think you're right. I've heard that a lot anecdotally. .... Now, I just looked at Consumer Report's massive owner surveys data for 2018 Mini Coopers, and, they are horrible.
The specific failure-prone areas would indeed, yes, be shared on the EV model, as theBMW ICE engine & tranny themselves are quite good. It is ~mostly body, brakes, knobs, latches, climate control systems, mostly non-engine stuff driving owners nuts.
I would steer clear of Minis. Don't buy. They are fun to drive though! Maybe lease for 2 or 3 years, that's it. Under warranty only!!!

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”