The BMW i3 has earned its place in history as one of the first electric premium vehicles. However, it’s living on borrowed time as it will reportedly be phased out later this year.
Speaking to Autocar, a BMW spokesperson said the final i3 will roll off the assembly line in July. While the timing had remained a mystery, we’ve been expecting the i3’s retirement ever since the company announced plans to build the next-generation MINI Countryman at the Leipzig plant.
The US-spec i3 went out of production in 2021, following years of declining sales. However, the model proved to be popular in Europe as sales increased every year until the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Despite its popularity in Europe, the i3 won’t be getting a direct successor. Instead, customers will be directed to the company’s other EVs. As the spokesperson explained, “Today’s customers wanting a fully-electric city car perfectly tailored for urban driving or a compact, but spacious, vehicle for an active lifestyle will be perfectly served by the MINI Electric or the upcoming BMW iX1.”
Nevertheless, the i3 moniker will live on as it will be used on a 3-Series EV for the Chinese market. The i3 sedan was revealed late last year and is apparently based on the facelifted 3-Series Long Wheelbase. The government listing for the vehicle noted it will have an electric motor that produces 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS) and enables the model to hit a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h).