After increasing the production of the i3 in 2020 to meet the growing demand, BMW has finally decided to discontinue its first battery-powered model. The Bavarian company has officially confirmed to Drive the final examples of the electric vehicle will roll off the assembly lines in July this year, marking the end of a nine-year run and about 250,000 examples delivered worldwide.
BMW stopped the production of the i3 for the US market last year and the same happened for the customers in Australia at the end of 2021. This means the BEV will remain available only in Europe and some Asian countries until its full discontinuation in the summer. This move is somehow contradicting with previous reports claiming the i3 will soldier on until 2024, though the EV sector is so rapidly evolving that not every decision is necessarily final.
Gallery: 2017 BMW i3
The i3 is currently assembled in Leipzig and following its discontinuation, BMW will work to prepare the plant for the production of the upcoming next-generation Mini Countryman. The funky crossover will hit the assembly lines in the second half of this year. As for the i3, it will be replaced indirectly by the iX1, an all-electric crossover based on the third-generation X1. The zero-emissions SUV will initially be assembled at BMW’s Regensburg factory until 2024, and will then move to Debrecen, Hungary.
The i3 was launched in 2013, two years after a concept previewed the final design. The car has a carbon fiber construction and has been available with three battery options and a range of between 81 miles (130 kilometers) and 153 miles (246 km). A range-extender version was available between 2014 and 2018 in some European markets but it was later canceled.
As a final note, in December last year, BMW launched a new i3 in China, though it had nothing to do with the weirdly-shaped BEV for the US and European markets. For whatever reasons, the manufacturer decided to reuse the name for an all-electric version of the 3 Series, which is planned to be sold exclusively in the People’s Republic.