Over its first six months of U.S. sales, the 2014 BMW i3 electric car--with or without its innovative optional range-extending engine--has done quite well in the sales charts.
In each of the last three full months (August through October), BMW sold more than 1,000 i3s, giving it the highest percentage of plug-in cars sold of any carmaker in the States.
The BMW i3 has not done so well, however, in its home market of Germany.
According to a recent article in Car and Driver, BMW will boost incentives on the i3 to increase currently low sales.
2014 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car owned by Tom Moloughney - after delivery
Citing a German business newspaper, the report says that German dealers have sold just half the number of i3 electric cars projected after the first nine months of sales.
Sales thus far total 1,900 units in Germany, against projections of 5,000 to 6,000 for the year.
Of those, about one-third are fitted with the REx range-extending engine--versus a slightly majority here in the States, according to BMW executives.
BMW is suggesting that long shipping times in Germany are to blame for some of the low sales, but it is also offering special rates (perhaps aimed at dubious drivers not sure about living with an all-electric car), Car and Driver says.
2014 BMW i3 and 2014 Tesla Model S [photo: Tom Moloughney]
German drivers interested in a BMW i3 can now pay just €555 ($692) to lease one for a month, covering more than 2,000 miles if they wish--and if they buy the car, those fees go toward the purchase price.
Meanwhile, 112 of the i3's U.S. deliveries have come from an employee leasing program that started in September.
The number of i3s leased by employees is roughly the same as for any other model, according to a BMW insider.
While 112 electric-car sales are nothing to sneeze at, the two-month total is 2,181, meaning that the employee cars are less than 5 percent of that total.
Analysts and observers will be waiting eagerly to see if BMW can keep up the i3's strong sales pace in November and December--two months in which sales of plug-in electric cars have often declined.