BMW i3 bids goodbye to the U.S. market this July 2021

You read it right. BMW is ending U.S. production of the quirky i3 EV by July 2021. Also, the last global production will roll out by 2022. Despite this, the i3 will go down in history as BMW's first production EV. It's also the first BMW built with a full carbon-fiber frame, and it could probably be the last, too.

First seen as a concept at the 2011 German Auto Show, production for the i3 began in 2013 at BMW's Leipzig Plant. It initially came with a dinky 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pack providing 81 miles of range. In 2017, BMW gave it a larger and more energy-dense 33-kWh battery to offer up to 114 miles of range.

The BMW i3 also came with a Range Extender model by adding a two-cylinder gasoline engine into the fray. The all-electric range of the i3 REx is a bit shorter at 97 miles, but the gasoline engine extends the driving range to around 180 miles.

By 2018, the BMW i3 got an upgraded 44-kWh battery pack to deliver 150 miles of range. Admittedly, the i3's paltry all-electric range pales in comparison to the Chevy Bolt EV's 60.0-kWh battery and 259 miles of range. So yes, the shorter driving range is a deciding factor for the i3's impending demise. Still, it's hard not to see America's propensity for taller crossovers and SUVs, even when talking about the electric kind.

If you're still longing for the BMW i3's peppy performance, you'll find a similar electric powertrain in the Mini Cooper SE. Like the BMW i3, the Cooper SE has a single electric motor churning out 181 horsepower and up to 199 pound-feet of twist. It also has a T-shaped 32.6 kWh battery under the floor to deliver 146 miles of range (168 miles for the Cooper SE long-range version).

But unlike the deliciously quirky BMW i3 with rear-wheel drive, the Mini Cooper SE is front-wheel drive. Of course, the Cooper SE makes do without the i3's extensive carbon-fiber construction, so the latter remains as desirable as ever. But then again, BMW still has the all-new i4 electric sedan and incoming iX SUV if you want an EV with the spinning propeller badge.