BMW said it will accelerate its electrification this year, bringing 11 BEV models to Chinese customers.

(Image credit: BMW)

German luxury carmaker BMW's battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales in China jumped last year, though it still lags behind its local rivals.

BMW sold 41,886 BEVs in China in 2022, up 91.6 percent from a year earlier, the company said yesterday.

The automaker said it delivered 791,900 BMW- and MINI-branded vehicles in China in 2022. That means BEVs contributed about 5 percent of the BMW Group's sales in China.

BMW launched five BEV models in China in 2022, including the BMW i7, new BMW i3, BMW i4, BMW iX and BMW iX3.

Of these, 13,310 units of the new BMW i3 have been delivered since its launch in late March 2022, according to the company. The model is currently only available in China and is produced at BMW's Lydia plant, the third vehicle plant at the Shenyang production site in northeast China's Liaoning.

The BMW i3 has a suggested retail price of RMB 349,900 ($51,650), and dealers are currently offering tens of thousands of yuan in discounts, according to quotes shown on several auto websites in China.

BMW will accelerate its electrification this year, bringing 11 BEV models to Chinese customers, including the BMW iX1, Rolls-Royce SPECTRE and BMW Motorrad CE04, the company said.

BMW delivered a total of 2,399,636 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce-branded vehicles worldwide in 2022.

Of these, the BMW brand's sales were 2,100,692 units and sales of BEV models under the BMW and MINI brands increased by more than 100 percent year-on-year to 215,755 units.

BMW is increasing its bets in China, the world's largest electric vehicle market.

On October 16, 2022, Bloomberg reported that BMW will stop producing the electric version of the MINI hatchback in the UK and move production to China.

While the MINI plant near Oxford, England, will again produce convertibles starting in 2025, BMW has opted to produce electric hatchbacks and small SUVs in China through a partnership with Great Wall Motor, the report said, citing a spokesman.

On November 14, BMW announced a major expansion of power battery production at its Shenyang production site. The project is invested by BMW Brilliance, BMW's joint venture in China, with a total investment of approximately RMB 10 billion.

Despite BMW's significant BEV sales growth in China in 2022, it is still small compared to automakers focused on BEV production.

For the full year 2022, (NASDAQ: TSLA) delivered 439,770 vehicles in China, more than 10 times BMW's BEV sales in the country.

Local premium brand (NYSE: NIO) delivered 122,486 vehicles in 2022, also higher than BMW's BEV sales in China.