The BMW i3, the German automaker’s first mass-produced electric car, will die as of this summer, according to a new report. BMW confirmed that it would stop making the plug-in car in July.
This comes after BMW already killed off the i3 for the U.S. over the summer. Autocar says that it’ll be gone for good for everyone else later this year, with total production an estimated 250,000, which is a lot of i3s.
In an interview with Autocar, a BMW spokesperson confirmed the final example of the compact electric five-door is due to roll off BMW’s production line in Leipzig, Germany in July ahead of a reorganisation of the manufacturing facility in preparation for a start of production for the upcoming third-generation Mini Countryman during the second half of 2022.
A BMW UK spokesman explained to Autocar that BMW’s expanding EV range was a factor in the decision to take the i3 off sale: “By the end of this year the BMW Group will have six BEV models on the market, with that number growing to 13 in 2023.
“Today’s customers wanting a fully-electric city car perfectly tailored for urban driving or a compact but spacious vehicle for an active lifestyle will be perfectly served by the Mini Electric or the upcoming BMW iX1. These cars will attract even more people to fully-electric driving.
“Therefore, after a decade of setting the standard in its class and leading the way for today’s generation of electric cars, the decision has been taken to discontinue BMW i3 production from summer 2022.”
When it came out in 2013, the i3 was a promising start to what we all thought would be a pioneering electric future for BMW. It was not to be, as BMW spent the next several years squandering its headstart, though the i3 remained a bright spot in BMW’s lineup: A modern, genuinely bizarre car that is a delight to encounter on the roads. I’m always struck by how narrow the tires are, for some reason. The iX1, its sort-of replacement, has a more conventional look, but that was the point of the i3, to experiment. Buying one was also taking part in an experiment of sorts, the experiment of EVs, for better or worse.