Kia Actively Developing Competitor for BMW i3
For the past two years it has been almost impossible to pass through London’s Heathrow airport without encountering a billboard advertising BMW’s electrified car range, the i3 and i8. The walkway to one of the main airport hotels, at the flagship Terminal 5, has been similarly decorated.
London was one of the three cities chosen by BMW for the simultaneous launch of the i3 in July 2013. The UK capital is by no means the only target of BMW’s marketing offensive, but as a city which likes to promote itself as one of the most EV-friendly in the world, it was singled out as a key conquest area.
But why bother? Even in the UK, where there are government grants of up to £5,000 (US$7,500) to buy an ultra-low-emissions car, and the Mayor of London waives the £10 (US$15) fee levied on combustion-engined cars to enter parts of the city on weekdays, the take-up of EVs has been tiny. Sales in 2012 stood at just over 2,000. In a market of more than two million, that amounts to one in 1,000.
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