BMW Plans To Launch i5 With 250 Miles Range In 2020


According to German Autobild, the BMW i5 is in the pipeline scheduled for 2020.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Rumors about a third BMW i (after i3 and i8), that would be direct competitor for cars like the Tesla Model 3, seem to continually pop back on the radar from time-to-time, which leads us to believe there might be something legitimate behind the scenes feeding the PR machine.

A new unofficial reports suggest a long-range of 400 km (250 miles), but at the same time a hydrogen fuel cell version is also considered.

Taking into account that almost all manufacturers have been distancing themselves somewhat from the technology, and none have gone to full commercialization, we really don’t expect the fuel cell version to materialize, especially because strong profitability is one of BMW’s most spoken of strategic goals.

BMW had previously stated last year that the next i model was likely to be the production version of its iNext autonomous concept.

source: Autobild via CCFA

Category: BMW

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69 responses to "BMW Plans To Launch i5 With 250 Miles Range In 2020"
  1. mhpr262 says:

    Those stupid fool cells can’t be abandoned soon enough. There is only a very, very limited range of applications wher it might be better than elelctric or hybrid.

    1. turboro says:

      I agree, all those engine combos of hybrids, plug-in and fuel cells, make cars complex and with more parts, that need more space and service. I see it still as a compromise not a game changer.

    2. John says:

      Long Haul Trucking
      Construction Equipment

      Fuel Cells make sense for those industries.
      Can’t wait to see diesel go away for good.

      1. Chris O says:

        Actually none of the above of course unless the cost of distributed hydrogen drops to a small fraction from what it currently costs.

      2. Nix says:

        The first 3 items on your list are all applications where fuel density is very important. Space for fuel competes with space for cargo. Hydrogen has a VERY poor fuel density.

      3. Ken Sherman says:

        The only way that fuel cells even begin to make sense is using methane as a “fuel” and a solid oxide stack like a Bloombox. The carbon atom holds four hydrogen atoms so tightly that methane will liquefy at about 3000 psi. This helps with the energy density issue but these fuel cells run at high temperatures and tend to have problems with carbon buildup as you might imagine. Might work for ships.

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Fuel cell power makes sense for none of those, so long as they’re powered by pressurized hydrogen, which is so expensive and difficult to work with that it’s completely impractical as an everyday fuel.

        I really have to wonder about people who suggest using highly compressed H2 for an everyday fuel, when it’s so close to the worst possible choice. Why not hope for perpetual motion? That would be just as easy.

        1. floydboy says:

          Well, according to some fuel ceoll vehicle advocates over at Green Car Reports, prices will drop precipitously and lots of excess free renewable energy will be used via electrolysis to create all the hydrogen needed.

          Oh, the needed infrastructure will also be built quickly and cheaply!

  2. Viktor says:

    I will wait until we have a confirmation about it before I believe in it, last year BMW said that the next car in the i:series will be iNext and that it will come in 2021 but if they have change that then its really good.

  3. John Peter says:

    Blah blah blah… Do you see any trace of real competition from the ICE car makers?

    In 2020 Tesla will offer 450 miles of range for the same price… or less…

    1. turboro says:

      Moreover a Bolt offers already almost that range now! In 2020, 250 miles is the baseline minimum. So competitors are either 30% cheaper with 250 miles or offer 350 miles at same price level of i5.

      1. Rick says:

        Yep, and BMW can’t discount the price to compensate for low range because it’s a premium brand. They are forced to compete on range.

        1. Mr. M says:

          Every BMW costs more than the same GM car. This doesn’t hold back sales. No one who is interested in a 50.000$ BMW car will compare it to the 25.000$ GM car…

          A BMW can be more expensive and have less range and it will still sell. Regardless of that, the PHEV i3 has more range than the Bolt 😉

          1. Fred says:

            Well, the I3 statement is not really accurate. But I see your point. It might have “only” 250miles of range, but it might be an amazing car to drive, look amazing and have extremely good build quality. I’ll trade in some range for that. In my own experience, a 250 mile car would have 190mile winter range at worse. Take 3/4 of that’s 150miles between stops. That’s as long as I would want to drive anyway. From a certain range, charge rate becomes more important than range anyway. Voila, my 2 eurocents.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              If BMW makes a car to compete with the Chevy Bolt EV, then we can be sure of two things:

              1. It will have more comfortable front seats.

              2. It will cost more than the Chevy.

              Otherwise, I wouldn’t bet on anything. It seems rather clueless to talk about “superior” German engineering when GM Voltec has left all other PHEVs trailing so very, very far behind in the EV revolution.

  4. Four Electrics says:

    Germany’s fuel cell infrastructure is building out nicely; I expect at least 100 stations there by 2020.

    1. Someone out there says:

      Expect the fuel cell program to be cancelled by 2020

    2. randomhuman says:

      We have about 22 or so right now and some of them are not even for public use. They’ll never manage to achieve 100 stations in 2020 which is good. Stop the fool cell at least for cars…

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Four Electrics said:

      “Germany’s fuel cell infrastructure is building out nicely; I expect at least 100 stations there by 2020.”

      Ohhhh, an EV hating “fool cell” fanboy predicts 100 H2 stations in Germany within 3-1/2 years.

      Be still my beating heart.


    4. floydboy says:

      You expect a lot! I ‘expect’ less than 40 by 2020. Once the real costs to the oil companies become apparent, this will be relegated to niche applications.

    5. Hauer says:

      Mercedes has already dumped it. It’s dead.

  5. Kim Jorgensen says:

    Best to just ignore them, it really is just blah, blah with BMW. Wouldn’t be surprised if the board can’t agree on an EV plan, so they just carry on with plug-in hybrids that won’t get plugged in. Big deal.

  6. pjwood1 says:

    Easy to get sick of hardening battle lines in the auto industry:

    ICE machines focused on drivers, but behind in tech and function.

    Plug-ins out to make driving a gimped or dangerous chore, with advanced tech and better funtion.

    Welcome to the era of “lame”.

    1. mx says:

      The Tesla drives very well.
      However, if you’re in traffic or cruising for hours on a highway, are you really “driving”.

      Sure, that country road and a Tesla will still be there for you.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        They aren’t boring to drive, but multiple things come to mind that they wouldn’t get away with if competition existed. Mostly small, but cumulative. This is a company that barely peeps when it comes to making driving better. I bite my tongue.

  7. turboro says:

    Offering 250 miles range in 2020… Hahaha…i hope its a typo and should be 350.

  8. Rick says:

    I might be dead by then.

  9. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

    At least the i5 looks 1000000x better than the Tesla 3

    1. Robert says:


      1. says:


    2. Bobby says:

      i5 looks like something my grandfather would drive, or a lady who lives alone with cats.

    3. Unplugged says:

      Yeah, I always wanted a minivan with a black hood. Fabulous BMW.

  10. WARREN says:

    Unless the DCQC infrastructure improves greatly, hydrogen would be more acceptable by typical current non EV drivers. Right now there is typically only one DCQC station in many cities. There is only enough time in the daytime to fully charge about 6 Bolts. With hydrogen station stops only taking a few minutes to gain a few hundred miles, it “can” be the more widely acceptable technology.

    1. Rich says:

      It’s going to be interesting to see what the infrastructure looks like in 2020/2021. The EV movement isn’t going to sit still for 4 years.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        It’s likely to get ugly, if Pruitt pulls the CARB waiver this summer (about when Obama reinstated it). States may have to pull back on ZEV mandates, but will remain free to build charging infrastructure, perhaps most heavily along coastal corridors. About a dozen oil states could go nowhere (in control of DOE/EPA, etc.), as the auto industry product mix continues separating like a political heat map.

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      The DC quick charging system has been popping up very fast in Canada like Daffodils this Spring.

      It’s like every other day new quick chargers pop up in Canada.

      1. Joshua Burstyn says:

        Indeed. The wife now has several options to charge our Kia Soul EV on her way to work or on the way back.

      2. David Lane says:

        Ocean Railroader,

        Thats great news, I love news of new chargers, especially DC Fast chargers. Gonna go on Plugshare now and check it out.

    3. randomhuman says:

      Right now there are almost no hydrogen stations at all…so BEVs will win. Hydrogen stations are also way way more expensive than charging stations…

    4. Unplugged says:

      Right. How many H2 stations are in cities right now? You really dare to compare H2 availability to DC fast charge stations?

    5. Fred says:

      Look up “Fastned” and carefully read their site. EV charge stations in 5 years will be nothing like they are today.

    6. CVVH says:

      VW, through their Electrify America subsidiary, in order to atone for past sins will be building out DCFC infrastructure in the USA. Scheduled mostly for completion by 2020.

    7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…hydrogen would be more acceptable by typical current non EV drivers.”

      Who are these mythical “non EV drivers” who would prefer H2 fuel to gasoline or diesel?

      There’s no advantage to H2. A fuel-efficient gasmobile emits no more CO2, and petrol (gasoline) is certainly cheaper and far, far more widely available than H2. That’s not going to change, either, despite all the wishful thinking of science-denying “fool cell” fanboys.

  11. Someone out there says:

    Tesla fanboys are scared now…
    If BMW makes good on this I expect it to be a serious competitor to the model 3.
    As I’ve said before, Tesla’s window of opportunity is closing. Competitors are waking up and will be releasing very good EVs around the 2020-2022 timeframe. Tesla did a great job kickstarting the market but soon the honeymoon is over.

    1. Chris O says:

      Maybe someone out there is worried about vague plans about EVs with today’s specs years from now but I doubt there are any Tesla fans amongst them.

      1. ffbj says:

        I will just lump it in with all the other “Tesla Killers”, from 2 or 3 years ago, which never came to fruition.

    2. Unplugged says:

      Your attempt at humor falls short. You are basing BMW being a “serious competitor” on what? A rumor?

      1. Someone out there says:

        BMW sells far more cars than Tesla.

        1. Fred says:

          20 years ago, Compaq was selling more computers than Apple. What’s your point?

          1. Someone out there says:

            My point is that BMW knows how to make cars, Tesla just barely manages it. Oh, did I mention that BMW is profitable too?

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Isn’t that the same thing Borders Books execs were saying about in 2006? Where is Borders now, hmmmm?

              I’m sure BMW will survive the looming EV disruption of the automobile market at least as well as Kodak survived the digital camera revolution.

              …wait, what? Kodak didn’t survive? Or Borders Books either? Well, then, perhaps things aren’t looking up for BMW. 😉

    3. Volt says:

      Tesla is about to open their Gigafactory and start producing more cars than ever before and their window of opportunity is “closing”


    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Tesla fanboys are scared now…”

      You just don’t get it, at all. Most of us EV enthusiasts are Tesla fans because Tesla is so far ahead in the race for better EV tech. Because Tesla’s vision and real accomplishments inspire admiration.

      If and when some other auto maker offers real competition to Tesla, then most of us Tesla fans will cheer them on.

      The idea that BMW won’t even try to get to where Tesla is now until 2020, doesn’t at all inspire fear in the heart of this Tesla fanboy; merely disappointment. 🙁

      1. Hauer says:

        Well said.

  12. hpver says:

    This sounds about as exciting and credible to me as all of VW’s promises and press releases.

  13. Chris O says:

    Hydrogen is basically industry code for internal combustion until the oil runs out so as long as BMW is still mentioning hydrogen it’s actually signalling it’s not planning on doing anything disruptive.

    Well, not that announcing a 250 mile car for 2020 would be considered disruptive by anybody of course, so maybe throwing in the hydrogen thing was a bit redundant.

  14. menorman says:

    That’s two years too late…

    1. CVVH says:

      Not really. If they do it as a true crossover, it will be a competitor against the as yet unrevealed Tesla Model Y. Sedans are dying, at least in the USA. As the Model Y is unlikely (IMO) to be in production before 2020, BMW has time.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Sedans are dying, at least in the USA.”

        Hmmm, you’d better look at the list of top 10 best-selling cars (not light trucks) in the USA, and note how many are sedans.

        “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” — Mark Twain

  15. Volt says:

    Wow that looks absolutely amazing

    Dream car. Cancelling Model 3 reservation now for this fictitious render

  16. Roy_H says:

    I don’t understand all the negativity. There is no reason to doubt BMW’s seriousness about expanding into the BEV market, they are already producing BEVs.
    Much more so than say Honda, they are showing all signs of being serious players in the BEV space. However I wish they would give up on the H2 powered fuel cell version as this is being totally funded by taxpayers and not the oil companies that will benefit by selling H2.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      BMW has already entered the BEV market, with the BMW i3… the base version, not the REx version with the bolted-on scooter motor (seriously!) afterthought of a range extender.

      There’s no reason to doubt BMW’s seriousness about marketing a 250 mile (on the inflated European driving cycle) range BEV. What we have every reason to doubt, based on BWM’s lack of innovation over the past few years, is that BMW will make a serious attempt to compete with Tesla in any category.

  17. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “According to German Autobild, the BMW i5 is in the pipeline scheduled for 2020.”

    Hmmm, 2020, just when those more stringent European Union standards for automobile CO2 emissions kick in.

    Coincidence? I think not!

    * * * * *

    “Taking into account that almost all manufacturers have been distancing themselves somewhat from the technology, and none have gone to full commercialization, we really don’t expect the fuel cell version to materialize…”

    Hopefully that’s just disinformation intended to fool BMW’s competitors into thinking the company is gonna waste money on that wasteful, inefficient, and entirely impractical technology.

  18. EVMan says:

    Since we are comparing bww i to tesla.
    Q. Does the wheels of the tesla are as bad as the bow i3 . Do they routinely get damaged by driving in bay area roads ? will they need replacement every 15k miles ?

  19. Jer says:

    I think they need to get over making their EV’s look like existing BMW’s.

    1. says:

      No, they do need to make them like existing BMW’s….just not like the i3! This trick that manufacturers use to justify low ev sales is getting old. Of course people will not want to buy your dorky looking car….make them look normal!

  20. M says:

    Here we go again. Another manufacturer basically saying, don’t buy a Tesla. We will have ours out in three years.

    … And then time goes by and they add a few more years.

  21. Hauer says:

    Good looking car.
    For a Citroen.
    For a BMW, not so much.

  22. Priusmaniac says:

    20 years ago perhaps that would have been interesting, but in 2020 that will be outdated before it even reach market. Even Hyundai will have that kind of range on its Ionic EV by then.
    BMW is just trying to optimize EV sales slowdown by retarding, then by just giving away some concession to electrification but actually again to try to slow down the full swing towards it.