BMW’s board will meet at the end of September to decide if the company will develop battery electric versions of its 3 Series, X4 SUV and Mini Cooper.
At issue is whether the German automaker can make the costly investment in both zero emissions and autonomous vehicles and still return an 8-percent return on sales, something it has done for more than six straight years.
Earlier this year the company stated it would put EVs on the back burner and focus on self-driving technology.
Now, sources speaking to German business daily Handelsblatt say BMW intends to offer a whole portfolio of battery powered vehicles by 2022, with the 3 Series arriving as soon as 2018.
Handelsblatt also reported that BMW would shake-up its leadership by installing a new CFO and merging its marketing and sales divisions for Mini and BMW, in order to better compete with Tesla, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The move is an indication that its earlier electric vehicle strategy of dedicated i models that use expensive carbon fiber and aluminum platforms is a failure.
The oddly shaped i3 was hot when it hit the market in 2013 (2014 in the US), but since has cooled off with sales last year of only 25,000.
Handelsblatt said BMW’s board was “expected to approve the new electric models during a two-day meeting.”
If that happens, its possible that BMW would use the Paris Motor Show that opens on October 1 to announce their plans.