BMW has a firm hand on the European electric car market, as a series of infographics released by the carmaker this week show, and there are no plans to let go of that anywhere in the future.
Counting both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, BMW says it leads the way in its home country of Germany ahead of fellow German carmaker Volkswagen – 19 per cent of the EV market belonging to BMW compared to 17 per cent by VW.
The carmaker also dominates in Europe as a whole, where again it leads the way with 17 percent of the market share ahead of VW’s 13 per cent.
The infographics, which have put together by BMW using IHS Markit 2018 year-to-date data, also show figures from other carmakers – for example Nissan, follows not far behind VW at 11 per cent of the European market thanks to its Leaf sales which reached 100,000 in June 2018.
Nissan is followed by Renault at 9 per cent, with Tesla trailing closely behind with 8 per cent of the market.
Compared to the average EV market share of all brands weighed against total registration in major EV markets worldwide, BMW’s electric cars weighed up against its own total sales also indicate a strong preference for its electrified models overall.
At the LA Auto North American CEO for BMW Bernhard Kuhnt made clear BMW’s vision for an electrified future is already underpinned with increasing sales.
“In 2017, we delivered 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers – this year, it will be 140,000. Already by the end of next year, we will have sold half a million electrified vehicles. Numbers that show the success of our strategy,” he said.
BMW has big plans to keep those figures on the increase, with 12 all-electric models and 25 in total planned for production by 2025.
“And our range is growing rapidly: By 2025, we will be offering at least 25 electrified models, 12 will be all-electric. And – we are developing already the fifth generation of BMW electric drivetrains. So for us, electro-mobility is already the new normal,” Kuhnt said.
However Kuhnt’s observation that, “Now we are one of the leading providers of electrified vehicles – worldwide,” while true – it comes in third after Tesla and Chinese auto giant BYD – will be the challenge to retain.
Tesla began touring its mass-market Model 3 in Europe last month, with its sales expected launch in early 2019, while in China the government’s “Made in China 2025” plan is pushing local carmakers to produce 3 million EVs a year with 10 per cent earmarked for overseas sales.
Of course, BMW has had a headstart on many other automakers, having released its first all-electric models, the BMW i3 and i8, back in 2014.
But with its EV offerings still priced out of the range of many drivers (new 2019 pricing for both the i3 and i3s was just announced for Australia at just under $A70,000), cheaper models such as the Tesla Model 3 may win out.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.