BMW i Model Launch In Frankfurt Part Of Big Electrified Vehicle Strategy

BMW has broad plans in store for electrifying its model lineup, with an electric vehicle launch coming up next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

More will be revealed on a “four-door, fully-electric vehicle between the i3 and i8,” said CEO and chairman Harald Krüger in a speech transcript released today by the company.

The new i-Series model will be one of 12 all-electric vehicles launched by 2025, bringing the total to 25 electrified vehicles offered, BMW’s CEO said.

Future all-electric BMW vehicles will have incredible range up to 700 kilometers (435 miles), with its plug-in hybrids able to go up to 100 km (62 miles) in battery-only range, according to a second BMW executive who spoke today.

The German automaker is likely referring, once again, to New European Driving Cycle range standards, which yield unrealistically optimistic results compared to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ratings.

The new i-series model may be the BMW i5 four-door sedan that was scheduled to launch but was put on hold earlier this year.

In Frankfurt, BMW will show a Mini electric concept vehicle coming out in 2019. Beyond that launch, a battery electric BMW X3 will come out in 2020, and the BMW iNext is scheduled to come out in 2021.

All of the BMW battery electric vehicles coming out will be under the i-Series badge, he said.

“Going forward, all fully-electric BMWs will belong to BMW i. This also applies to the X3,” he said.

The company will be increasing its presence in electrified vehicles across all its brands and model series, including Rolls Royce and BMW M vehicles, he said.

BMW’s chief sketched out a landscape view of how the German automaker sees its future coming through electrified, automated mobility – carried out through EV launches and mobility services.

“In the future, we will be able to equip all our models with every drive train. Two flexible vehicle architectures and a flexible production network will allow us to respond quickly and efficiently,” Krüger said.

And watch out, Tesla.

“Let me make one thing very clear: In e-mobility, the BMW Group will also be the leading provider in the premium segment,” he said.

The automaker has labelled driving forces behind the future of vehicles and mobility ACES: Automated, Connected, Electrified, and Services. As for services, that will cover mobility services like ReachNow, the company car sharing division.

ACES represents “key elements of our corporate strategy,” he said, as the automaker becomes more of a “tech company.”

Klaus Fröhlich, a BMW board member overseeing development, also gave speech on BMW’s corporate strategy including the lofty goals for electrified vehicle range cited earlier.

Without naming names, he depicted the regulatory landscape changing rapidly ever since the diesel emissions scandal broke two years ago.

“The actions of some have severely compromised the credibility and trustworthiness of our industry. As a result, we now face tighter – and sometimes irrational – approaches to legislation. Around the world, regulations on fuel consumption, emissions and safety are changing faster than ever before,” Fröhlich said.

Long before the scandal broke, the BMW Group had voluntarily reduced its CO2 emissions, he said.

Since 1995, average fleet emissions have dropped by over 40 percent, he said.

“Independent tests show that our emissions are the lowest. And we use superior technologies to our competitors,” Fröhlich said.

BMW has also played a leading role transitioning over to digital technologies of the future, he said.

Last year, the company restructured its R&D group to meet new targets – using connectivity and artificial intelligence to develop self-driving vehicles; and to roll out new alternative drive technologies such as Efficient Dynamics NEXT internal combustion engines with 48-volt systems, and new electrified vehicles powered by battery or fuel-cell.

SEE ALSO:  BMW Chief Says Electrified & Connected Vehicles Higher Priority Than Sales Volume

By 2020, BMW will be able to meet customer needs by offering them a diverse menu.

“Our customers will be able to choose between super-efficient, super-clean combustion engines, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric battery-powered vehicles,” he said.

Krüger upped the ante on how many electrified vehicles it will have out on roads this year – 100,000 more electrified vehicles delivered to customers this year.

“By the end of 2017, there will be a total of more than 200,000 BMW Group electrified vehicles on the road,” Krüger said.


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