The BMW Group is on track to sell 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles this year, and at the same time reach cumulative sales of 200,000 vehicles.
BMW i + BMW iPerformance + MINI PHEV sales worldwide – September 2017
BMW's CEO Harald Krüger, was recently interviewed by Canadian Driving.ca, and revealed that electric mobility is a top priority for the company.
At the most recent Frankfurt Motor Show in October, the German manufacturer revealed:
- a slightly refreshed BMW i3 and new sporty version BMW i3s
- BMW Concept X7 iPerformance - a three row plug-in hybrid SUV
- BMW i Vision Dynamics - all electric four-door Gran Coupe that will eventually evolve into a production model
- MINI Electric Concept - the production version is expected in 2019
Later this month, BMW is promising to bring 5 all-electric models to the LA Auto Show (some like the i3s, MINI Electric that we saw in Germany), but also a brand new "World Premiere" offering that we have yet to see.
Harald Krüger boasts that besides the lithium-ion cells (supplied by Samsung SDI), BMW is developing and producing its electrified cars in-house (battery packs, power-trains):
“Not many companies can achieve that. We can react quickly to demands and segments, and the flexibility of our architecture for front- and rear-wheel drive can deliver into several sections.”
The switch to plug-in vehicles also brings a lot of new challenges for car manufacturers, because they need to engage the new "refuelling" (charging) infrastructure, while at the same time need to be involved with the re-use/second life of their electric vehicle's batteries, as well as other new topics that require investments in an already capital-intensive business that is full of new technologies (autonomous driving, connectivity). On charging Krüger said:
“You need a knowledge network to develop a charging standard. Companies cannot afford three or four standards, and customers need to be able to use every available charging station with standardized switches.”