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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
no mass produced bmw evs until 2020 buyers couldnt handle the cost ceo says

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]

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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.

  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.
  • Chris P Bacon I've always liked the looks of the Clubman, especially the original model. But like a few others here, I've had the Countryman as a rental, and for the price point, I couldn't see spending my own money on one. Maybe with a stick it would be a little more fun, but that 3 cylinder engine just couldn't provide the kick I expected.
  • EBFlex Recall number 13 for the 2020 Explorer and the 2020 MKExplorer.
  • CEastwood Every time something like this is mentioned it almost never happens because the auto maker is afraid of it taking sales away from an existing model - the Tacoma in this instance . It's why VW never brought the Scirrocco and Polo stateside fearful of losing Golf sales .
  • Bca65698966 V6 Accord owner here. The VTEC crossover is definitely a thing, especially after I got a performance tune for the car. The loss of VTEC will probably result in a slower vehicle overall for one reason: power under the curve. While the peak horsepower may remain the same, the amount of horsepower and torque up to that peak may be less overall. The beauty of variable cam lift is not only the ability to gain more power at upper rpm’s on the “big cam”, but the ability to gain torque down low on the “small cam”. Low rpm torque gets the vehicle moving and then big horsepower at upper rpm’s gains speed. Having only one cam profile is now introducing a compromise versus the VTEC setup. I guess it’s possible that with direct injection they are able to keep the low rpm torque there (I’ve read that DI helps with low rpm torque) but I’m skeptical it will match a well tuned variable lift setup.