BMW anticipates selling 50,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. this year, the brand's top sales executive told Automotive News.
That's nearly triple the 17,964 EVs the German automaker sold in the year's first six months.
"We're driving electric more in the transition from a combustion-only to a world that includes combustion and BEV," said Shaun Bugbee, BMW of North America's executive vice president of operations. "The No. 1 volume car for us within BEV is i4."
The electric compact sedan accounted for nearly 60 percent of BMW's first-half EV volume, or 10,724 units.
"We have an accelerated Q3 and Q4," Bugbee said, noting the arrival of BMW's fourth battery model — the i5 sedan — in late 2023.
But BMW isn't alone among luxury brands in getting a sales lift from EVs. Several competitors also hope to mount a fight with segment leader Tesla Inc. with an expanding portfolio of competitively specced and sleek battery models.
Mercedes-Benz expects EVs to account for 40 percent of its new-car sales in the U.S. by 2026 and 70 percent by 2030. They accounted for just 15 percent of the brand's U.S. sales in the second quarter.
"We are in the middle of a transformation," Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis told Automotive News in May.
The expanding EV supply is also increasing consideration from Americans, despite some skepticism about the technology's practicality and inadequate public charging.
A recent Cox Automotive survey showed 51 percent of consumers now considering electric vehicles, up from 38 percent two years ago.
Cox forecasts that 1 million new EVs will be sold in the U.S. in 2023 as automakers bring 33 new EVs to market this year.