The BMW Group, a pioneer in electromobility, is rapidly expanding its range of electrified vehicles. Within two years, the company will offer five fully-electric series-production vehicles: Alongside the BMW i3, with more than 150,000 units built to date, this year will see the start of production of the fully electric MINI at Plant Oxford (UK). This will be followed in 2020 by the fully-electric BMW iX3 from Shenyang (China) and in 2021 by the BMW iNEXT, which will be produced in Dingolfing (Germany), and the BMW i4 from Plant Munich (Germany).
Including its extensive fleet of plug-in hybrids, the BMW Group has the widest range of electrified vehicles on the market. Updated, extended electric-range plug-in-hybrid versions of the BMW 3 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X5 alongside the new BMW X3 plug-in hybrid were presented at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. A few weeks later, the updated plug-in hybrid variant of the BMW X1 Long Wheelbase Version, which is produced locally for the Chinese market, was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show. This diversity of electrified drive concepts underlines the importance of technology openness on the road to sustainable mobility.
“Our market is global. We don’t want to tell people what to do; we want our products to inspire people all over the world. Our flexible electrification strategy underlines this approach and enables us to serve very different regions of the world, as the introduction of alternative drive trains is proceeding at a different pace in different markets,” emphasised Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Munich on Thursday. “Technological openness is key to being prepared for the regulatory requirements and customer wishes in different markets,” he added.
The BMW Group will launch more than ten fully-electric and plug-in hybrid models onto the market by the end of next year – either completely new or updated models with the fourth-generation (“Gen 4”) of the company’s electrified drive train technology. By 2025, the BMW Group will offer at least 25 electrified models – half of them fully-electric.
“Technology openness also means continuing to improve our already efficient combustion engines. We are systematically driving e-mobility with both fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and investing in new technologies such as fuel cells. We believe it would be a mistake to rely on just one technology, as that could jeopardise prosperity in Germany,” said Krüger.
The BMW Group has always promoted emission-free mobility and advocated for its effective support. However the demands of future mobility will be multifaceted. There will not be just one single solution that meets the mobility needs of all customers around the world. People living in rural areas, for instance, need different technological solutions for mobility than those in cities.
The effective role plug-in hybrids can play in achieving emission-free mobility in cities is demonstrated by the example from the Netherlands: In conjunction with the City of Rotterdam, the BMW Group has implemented a pilot project to increase the use of electric power by plug-in hybrids in the city. Preliminary results indicate that participating customers drove over 90% in electric mode in a specially defined “e-zone” within Rotterdam.
This underlines the fact that plug-in hybrids are both an important building block in ramping up e-mobility and a long-term requirement for customers who depend on flexibility. For this reason, the BMW Group has a strong interest in influencing user behaviour to increase the percentage of miles driven with electric power.
Krüger added: “We all have a responsibility to ensure a world worth living in for our children. We are bringing the right products to achieve this onto the market and have set ourselves the goal of purchasing electricity for our locations worldwide exclusively from renewable sources from 2020 on. By 2020, we also aim to have reduced the CO2 emissions of our new vehicle fleet in Europe by at least 50 percent compared to 1995 levels. By the end of 2018, we had already achieved 42 percent.”