BMW I3 Blows away the Nissan Leaf in latest sales figures
The surprising increase could be for a variety of reasons. The buyers could be looking for an optional Range Extender that is only available on the I3 compared to the Nissan Leaf. It is estimated now that 60% of BMW I3s are sold with the Range Extender and 40% are sold entirely as electric-only models. The I3 Range Extender only holds a little less than 2 gallons of gas and can go about 72 miles or so on gasoline power. There has also been a recent software hack that allows I3 Rex Owners to put more gas into the very small tank. It's estimated to be about ½ gallon extra. That could mean an extra 20 miles so it could put the I3 in gas mode up to 92 miles of Rex range. This hack has been highlighted in some of the BMW I3 forums.
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On the other hand, it could be that Nissan Leaf buyers are waiting for the next model year advance in battery technology which is estimated to be over 300+ miles of all-electric range. There are only a little over 2600 2015 Nissan Leaf’s left in the USA at the dealers so consumers could be waiting for the 2016 model year and the new 30 kWh battery pack option and 107 mile EV Range.
Another potential motivating factor could be something very basic indeed. After searching for a reason for the rise in BMW I3’s at this point, I uncovered that there have been regional training sessions for the participating BMW dealers. The additional training was intended to stress the importance of Electric Vehicles and the best way to help the BMW client advisors to explain these benefits to consumers. Additionally, the BMW client advisors are also receiving an extra bonus for each I3 they sell. If I3s help the sales people to make more money I would assume that helps sales. There is a high correlation between incentivizing sales people and having higher sales rates. Other car companies might want to do the same thing.
As of today, Ford and Porsche have not reported their EV sales yet so a follow-up story will be to cover the overall sales of EVs during the month of September.