Norbert Reithofer, chief executive of BMW Group, views political initiatives in several of its key markets as important in helping boost sales of its i3 electric compact car. He remarked that when a government offers tangible incentives for e-mobility, the registration figures for model soar.
He cited the situation in Norway, which is offering a charging structure that allows parking and charging of EVs for free – resulting to sales of around 2,000 i3s in the country in 2014. The Norwegian government also levies no sales or registration tax on EVs.
California, meanwhile, offers financial subsidies to purchase battery-powered cars and BMW sold around 3,000 i3s in the state last year. California also allows EV drivers to use dedicated highway carpool lanes.
In Shanghai, the BMW i3 is not subject to a restrictive licensing process, which means that buyers could save over EUR10,000, Reithofer said. EV buyers could also avail of incentives from a number of European markets like the United Kingdom and France.
Likewise, EVs are exempted in Germany from paying the annual vehicle tax for 10 years. Reithofer is urging the German government to do more to push EVs, adding that the “ball is in now in the court of policymakers.”
He said that Germany needed to “pick up the pace” when it comes to electric mobility. Germany is targeting to have 1 million EVs on its roads by the end of the decade and would offer further incentives to boost the appeal of EVs.
BMW will commence the rollout of the i3 across its global DriveNow car-sharing fleet this spring, starting in London, then in San Francisco in May and in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich in July. Reithofer remarked that the addition of the i3 in the fleet will help boost the acceptance of the technology while broadening its appeal among younger drivers.