Stevens Creek BMW has taken advantage of steadily increasing electric-car sales in California and opened the first BMW full-service standalone facility.
Although the country has recently seen an increasing number of electric cars on their roads, they are still a rarity in most areas of North America, and the rest of the world.
However, it is an entirely different situation in California. Electric-car sales have been increasing without let-up.
They are now becoming commonplace in the south of San Francisco, particularly in the Silicon Valley.
This is primarily the reason why on May 30, Stevens Creek BMW opened the first BMW full-service standalone facility.
Located in Santa Clara, California, the facility will be exclusively devoted to selling BMW plug-in cars.
The standalone facility will offer the BMW electric car model i3, the sleek BMW i8 hybrid sport coupe, as well as the BMW range-extended electric mini-car.
In the following years, the facility intends to sell even more variety of BMW models.
The electric-car sales facility is just close to a MINI dealership, and BMW incidentally also owns MINI. It is a structure that previously housed MINI’s pre-owned BMW sales operations.
In reality, the Santa Clara sales outlet is not the first standalone facility that BMW has used for its BMW electric car ‘i models’ in the United States.
The very first one was the Crevier BMW, located about 380 miles south at Santa Ana, California.
However, the one at Stevens Creek differs as it is not just a showroom, but also a full service facility.
“Our BMW i facility caters to only the new BMW i3 and the growing electric-car lifestyle in the Bay Area,” says Tiffani Wyatt, BMW i sales manager.
She also noted that their facility has three charging stations of the Level 2 class which the public can use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More importantly, there is no charge for their use.
Wyatt also stated that they have a staff of four BMW i experts who are instructed to provide and educate their customers with comprehensive product knowledge and what the company hopes to achieve with the BMW i3.
Electric car sales
The International Council on Clean Transportation revealed recently that in 2014, nearly one in 10 new cars sold in California, particularly the San Jose region, were electric cars.
In nearby Santa Cruz region, the aggregate sales of electric cars runs to around six per cent of the total car sales.
The nationwide average, on the other hand, is a disappointing 0.8 per cent. That means, of the total sales sold across the nation, only about one in 100 units were electric cars.
This caused International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) author Nic Lutsey to remark that,
“The electric-car future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
This is where the Stevens Creek BMW facility comes in. Their customers are increasingly interested in plug in cars, which is why BMW has dedicated this showroom exclusively for its i models.
Photo courtesy of International Transport Forum