BMW Switching to Flexible EV Architecture for All Models in 2020

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw switching to flexible ev architecture for all models in 2020

Earlier this year, BMW let fly that it had completed development on a flexible vehicle architecture that would enable electrification of every model series in its stable. By 2025, BMW Group expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15 to 25 percent of its sales, but it wanted to be ready in case 100 percent was a possibility.

We know that plug-in versions of just about every model are forthcoming — the big news being the fully electric X3 for 2020. But we didn’t have a solid timeline for widespread implementation of the new platform, capable of accepting electric, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion powertrains. Now we do. According to management board member Klaus Fröhlich, it’s also going to begin in 2020.

Speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Fröhlich said uncertainty in the market has essentially forced BMW’s hand. Emissions regulations in Europe and China are getting serious and the chance of government intervention has made the brand weary of not having a plan B, C, or even D. It doesn’t mean consumers will have immediate access to BEV versions of the 5 series, but it does mean BMW will have the option to build one on short notice.

Speaking with Jalopnik, BMW i brand head Robert Irlinger also expressed a need for adaptability as the industry sits at this new crossroad. He believes the flexible vehicle architecture is the obvious solution.

However, this raises questions as to what purpose a massive cavity for the battery compartment would serve on a vehicle that doesn’t need one. Presumably, internal combustion and mild-hybrid units would have no use for them. Similarly, purely electric cars don’t need to make room for a traditional fuel tank.

Irlinger assured Jalopnik that, like other company’s scalable or modular platforms, hard points will remain constant, though it can be stretched to accommodate any number of floorpans or powertrains. While that doesn’t allow for purpose-built versions of either plug-in or combustion-focused vehicles from the ground up, it also might not matter. The whole point is to keep things liquid at BMW and be able to roll with the punches.

Between BMW, its i sub-brand, and Mini, the automotive group plans to offer 25 electrified vehicles — 12 of which will be fully electric — by 2025. Presently, it has 9 EV models on the market, ranging from the BMW i3 to the MINI Cooper S E Countryman. The company has said it is committed to selling 100,000 electrified vehicles for 2017 and will have a total of 200,000 electrified vehicles on the roads by the end of the year.

[Image: BMW Group]

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4 of 16 comments
  • Cpthaddock Cpthaddock on Sep 14, 2017

    Anyone else remember when BMW tried implying their superiority over other luxury brands because each model used a dedicated platform?

    • See 1 previous
    • Leg5Malone Leg5Malone on Sep 15, 2017

      @sportyaccordy The sharing didn't begin until the F10 was slapped on the F01 platform.

  • Brock_Landers Brock_Landers on Sep 16, 2017

    The term "electrified" is being used so loosely lately that it's hard to understand what this promise means. Fully electric vehicle, plugin, full hybrid, mild hybrid or 48V electrical system? Even if BMW will offer wide range of "electrified" solutions what will be the share in sales? Even if gov subsidized sales will pick up, then immediately after the gov support is dropped, sales will drop too. If demand for fuel will drop with spread of EV-s, fuel prices will drop too and at some point ICE cars will be attractive again. If fuel sales will drop significantly then government tax income will fall too, I am sure then will be introduced tax for EVs etc.

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.