The unlikely alliance between BMW and Daimler, solidified earlier this year, is in the opening stages of producing something tangible.

The duo is already said to be working on a joint platform for electric vehicles, which the German business publication Manager Magazin claims will underpin a new EV from BMW.

Called the i2, the battery-powered subcompact is to be slotted beneath BMW’s existing i3. While rumored to be similar in size, the i2 will abandon the i3’s carbon fiber body in an attempt to minimize costs and broaden appeal. Daimler would follow by producing its own version, likely using Mercedes-Benz’s EQ sub-brand.

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Since BMW has yet to confirm development on a next-generation i3, the i2 could serve as its replacement. Truth be told, the current i3’s utilization of high-cost materials probably cut into profit margins that were already thinned by the lofty development fees associated with EVs. Joint development, which should help immensely, has gradually become the preferred solution for automakers looking to produce electric cars at higher volumes.

BMW development chief Klaus Fröhlich carefully suggested to the German outlet that, despite robust global sales, it might be time for the i3 to consider making room for something else.

The BMW i2 is currently rumored to arrive in 2024 with an MSRP below 30,000 euros. By comparison, the i3 starts at around 35,000 euros. Once Daimler gets in on the action with its own version, the pair expect 500,000 joint sales annually. However, the model is suggested to have a target range of just 186 miles. While relatively competitive in 2019, there are already affordable alternatives offering superior range — and that gap will only widen in the coming years.

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