No Mass-produced BMW EVs Until 2020; Buyers Couldn't Handle the Cost, CEO Says

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Luxury automakers aren’t in the business of losing money, and BMW doesn’t want to take a hit just because futurists claim the era of EVs is now. Until it has fifth-generation electric vehicle technology on hand, the German automaker plans to go easy on EV production, CEO Harald Krüger told analysts on Thursday.

While Bimmer’s long-range plans still call for 25 electrified models by 2025, 12 of them fully electric, Krüger said it would be too costly to hit the production throttle at this time. How much cheaper are the products designed around BMW’s fifth-generation technology? The difference (in percentage) amounts “a two-digit number,” the CEO claimed.

“If you want to win the race, you must be the most cost competitive in the segment, otherwise you cannot scale up the volume,” Krüger said. “We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation.”

Plug-in hybrids aside, the only real EV in Bimmer’s stable is the i3. The plug-in i8 eco-supercar represents the brand’s four-gen battery and electric motor tech, and it’s hardly a mass-market model. Coming next year is an EV version of the Mini Cooper hardtop.

It’s 2020 when BMW hits the gas — or, more specifically, begins leaving gas in the rear-view. That year, the electric iX3 crossover (an X3, minus the ICE and fuel tank) appears, the first of many new i-badged models. In an announcement earlier this week, the automaker said it would invest a further $8.6 billion to help in the roll-out. A flexible platform accommodating all types of propulsion sources makes the plan possible.

Until the new architecture and battery technology arrives, there just isn’t a way for Bimmer to create a mass-market vehicle with a competitive range and a reasonable sticker price — unless the automaker decided to sell it at a great loss.

Another model arriving soon, possibly in 2020, is the i4, an EV modelled after the i Vision Dynamics concept car. Speaking to AutoExpress, Krüger claimed the vehicle — and others like it — would possess a driving range of 340 to 435 miles. That figure is most likely based on the European driving cycle, meaning an EPA-tested range of up to 270 miles.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: BMW Group]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Tstag Tstag on Mar 23, 2018

    JLR bosses will be rubbing their hands as they launch the IPACE, the all electric XJ and ready an electric Range Rover. Guess they think the can make a profit....

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Mar 23, 2018

    First it was 2020. Now it's 2025. Ease your mind, Musk, nobody will be cross-shopping for a while.

  • Dave M. The Outback alternates between decent design and goofy design every generation. 2005 was attractive, 2010 goofy. 2015 decent. 2020 good, but the ‘23 refresh hideous.Looking forward to the Outback hybrid in ‘26…..
  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.