EV fans are surely familiar with the BMW i3 – a luxury electric vehicle that has earned the favour of countless consumers since its inception, with credit to its quirky and stylish design. In fact, the creation of the BMW i3 represented an important milestone for the automaker, as the i3 marked the brand’s initial foray into the electric vehicle space. But now, after almost nine years, production of the iconic EV is officially coming to an end.
“A source of inspiration, a driver of innovation, a pioneer of locally emission-free driving pleasure: The list of attributes that have accompanied the BMW Group’s first large-series production automobile with fully electric drive since its debut in 2013 is long,” reads the company’s official press release. “The BMW i3 started out as an exotic specimen on the still barely tapped market for electric vehicles, developed into a classic with unmistakable charisma already in the course of its production period and goes down in the company’s history as a pioneer of sustainable mobility.”
The i3 was launched overseas in 2013 as BMW’s first modern EV offering consumers a “bespoke platform” characterized by a carbon-fibre body and a “skateboard” battery under the floor of the vehicle. The electric version of the i3 came with an 18.3 kWh battery and a 125 hp rear electric motor, which offered drivers 190 km of range. Since its initial release, the BMW i3 has won multiple awards, been sold in more than 74 countries around the world and, in the early years, more than 80 per cent of all BMW i3 buyers were reportedly new customers for the BMW Group.
This chapter of BMW’s legacy saw 250,000 i3 vehicles built, and is coming to a close with the release of 10 examples of an i3 HomeRun edition, which offers drivers the choice between Frozen Dark Grey or Frozen Dark Red II paint colours. The HomeRun edition also includes 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a double-spoke design, an electrically operated glass roof, solar control glazing and Adaptive LED headlights.
With final examples of the i3 having left BMW’s production line at its Leipzig factory at the end of last month, BMW reportedly has no successor planned. However, the automaker assures customers that it will “remain active” in the “premium electric compact” segment. The press release also notes that, for the BMW Group Plant Leipzig, the farewell to the BMW i3 is linked to the start of a new chapter in electric mobility. “In a seamless transition, further e-drive components will be manufactured there with immediate effect in addition to producing high-voltage battery modules, which is already being done since May 2021. And already next year, the next generation of the MINI Countryman will be manufactured at the same location – with a fully electric drive, among other things.”