BMW i3 Sales Up as German Subsidies Added

One way to boost sales is to get a government subsidy.

That’s what’s happening with the BMW i3 in Germany. Advance sales of the updated i3 have gone up since the German government, working with automakers, began giving a $4,400 cut on EVs and a $3,300 break on plug-in hybrids. Around 1,000 of the 5,000 global advance i3 orders have come from Germany so far.

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The incentive program will be worth about $1.4 billion, with around half of the funds being provided by German automakers. The funds aren’t just going to financial incentives for buyers, but also for up to 15,000 recharging stations. The additional stations could further fuel demand for EVs and plug-in hybrids, or at least help alleviate range anxiety, especially among first-time EV buyers.

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The i3 is getting a bigger battery itself for 2017. The new 33 kilowatt-hour battery should increase the range on a single charge from 81 miles to 114 miles.

In 2009, Germany set a goal of 1 million EVs on its country’s roads by 2020. Only about 30,000 cars on the road there now are EVs, so the country is behind on the pace needed to reach that goal. Financial incentives are one way to get there.

The (buyers’) incentive bonus plays a positive part,” is what a BMW manager told a German paper, according to Reuters.