BMW explains electric future plans

BMW is unveiling its long-term vision today. The focus is on more electric propulsion and sustainable production. In line with this, a new platform for electric cars is also in the pipeline.

BMW is joining an ever-growing list of car manufacturers that are increasing the commitment to electric driving. Some of the biggest spearheads in this area are as follows: by 2023, 90 percent of the segments in which BMW is active will have a fully electric model. By 2025, annual sales of all-electric cars must grow by 50 percent, and BMW ultimately wants electric cars to make up 50 percent of its sales worldwide by 2030. For subsidiary brand Mini, the goal is even sharper, which must transform into a purely electric brand until the ‘early 1930s’.

BMW currently has the fully electric i3 and iX3 on offer, the brand new iX will be added soon and we will probably also see the fully electric i4 for the first time today. In the coming years, at least the new i3 (based on the 3-series), the iX1 and the i7 will be added. Interesting detail: BMW reports that the i4 is ready for unveiling ‘three months ahead of schedule’. We expect to see at least some of the i4 later today, and we will probably get to see and hear more details about the electric counterpart of the 4-series Gran CoupĂ© in the coming weeks.

‘Neue Class’

The brand is working on new electric powertrains and batteries and a completely new software architecture for pure electric cars. A modular platform focused purely on electric models appears to be the logical result of this work. This means that BMW is probably completely abandoning its current approach, ‘the Power of Choice’, in which fully electric models and cars with combustion engines still share their basis. In addition to the purely electric models, we expect parallel-developed models from 2025 that will be at most partially electrified.

BMW further states that it attaches great value to sustainable use of materials and a more circular production process and will also invest much more firmly in this. For example, it wants to make use of more recyclable materials for interiors, but it also focuses on making less use of controversial raw materials such as cobalt. All this is placed under the heading ‘Neue Class’. From 2025, the new BMW models will all be built on this new basis. BMW does not yet reveal technical details about this, but roughly count on a new generation of electric BMWs that will increasingly take over from the models that we now know or are about to be unveiled in the years after 2025. In six months, BMW will take a study model to the IAA that shows this future.

Electric M.

What BMW is already reporting is that this new base will be suitable for models of all shapes and sizes. It is quite striking that it also includes sporty M models! So count at least in the second half of this decade on fully electric sporty BMWs, although you can say that the upcoming i4 actually already falls under that heading. BMW states that the ‘New Class’ should further distinguish itself by more space, a better driving range, comprehensive software with extensive over-the-air services and the latest technology in the field of autonomous driving.

Combustion engines

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse tells various media, including Techzle, that he expects the combustion engine to have a future and that only focusing on fully electric is still too early. According to him, the combustion engines are still being further developed and – sometimes by electrification – made as efficient as possible. BMW does not fear, for example, a Europe-wide ban on combustion engines. According to Zipse, the market will determine the share of all-electric purchases, so if combustion engines, for example, are no longer allowed to be sold in some European markets, BMW will ensure that there are enough electric models ready to respond. Zipse explains to Techzle that the demand for this also strongly depends on the available charging infrastructure and the development thereof will therefore also largely determine how quickly the transition to electric driving really takes place here.

From 2030 you should be able to choose an electric BMW in every segment and you can therefore only sign for an electric car at Mini. The BMW Group has set the goal to have ten million fully electric cars on the road by that year.

Recent Articles

Related Stories