At the close of media days at the Paris Motor Show last Friday, BMW confirmed an earlier Friday report by Bloomberg News that it would produce battery electric versions of its popular X3 crossover SUV and Mini models.
Automotive News is reporting that BMW’s Chief Executive Officer, Harald Krueger, told Bloomberg that the electric Mini would be ready by 2019 and the X3 SUV would be a 2020 vehicle.
In the interview, Krueger said both new electric cars would have “competitive” driving ranges and prices.
The Paris show was alive with electric vehicle news: Mercedes-Benz introduced the EQ nameplate for a series of battery-powered vehicles due by 2020, while Volkswagen spotlighted its long range electric I.D., also planned by the end of the decade.
BMW had no new electrified vehicles on display.
The German luxury automaker stuck its toe into the EV waters early with a fleet of 500 electric Mini Es for testing by consumers in 2009.
This was followed in 2013 with the launch of the stand-alone battery electric i3 city car and the i8 plug-in hybrid electric sports car a year later, neither of which having much sales success.
Top BMW executives skipped attending the Paris show to discuss the company’s EV plans and strategies as the carmaker’s electric expansion stalled in recent years, and not everyone was convinced that committing additional investment in electric cars would make financial sense.
But the clock is ticking. The European Union’s target of tighter emissions standards begin in 2021 and BMW can’t meet them with its current lineup.