By on March 27, 2019

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

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.

[Image: BMW]

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12 Comments on “BMW i2 to Become Company’s First Jointly-developed EV With Daimler...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “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.”

    Fail #1: 2024 arrival – may as well be the 24th century.
    Fail #2: $34k (USD) for a small, short-range car doesn’t cut it.
    Fail #3: 500k joint annual sales of this car? i3 sales in the US and Europe totaled 30k last year. They’re dreaming.
    Fail #4: 186 miles on the European cycle is more like 160 miles EPA. That won’t be OK in 2024.

    Not mentioned in the article:
    Fail #5: If it’s tiny inside like the i3 (especially the back seat), forget it.
    Fail #6: If it’s homely like the i3, forget it.
    Fail #7: If it has sole-sourced odd-sized tires like the i3, forget it.
    Fail #8: If it has the same range extender option, forget it. That thing is dangerous.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Actually, the i3 is extremely spacious, especially for its footprint. I also think it looks cool. But I do agree about the stupid tires. My best friend had a 2015 i3.

      • 0 avatar


        The i3 is good looking?
        OK. To each his own.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        My one test drive in an i3 felt a little tight in the front seat, and unusable in the back seat. Although I’m 6’6″, I try to account for what normal people experience. Maybe I was wrong in this case. However, the suicide doors are a fad that needs to pass.

    • 0 avatar

      If this was released today it would have middling to good response based on details we have now. I expect by 2024 that 200 miles will be the minimum battery capacity on the market; additionally that we will see those lower 200 mile models priced below $30k before incentives (government or brand).

      I’m not sure what the driving force behind this joint build is, but neither company comes out looking exactly stellar.

      Doubly so since this is suppose to slot in below the i3 which is already a very small car to begin, price does not reflect size.

    • 0 avatar

      For Europe it is good enough. They do not drive that much and their cars are tiny and expensive.

  • avatar

    “the current i3’s utilization of high-cost materials…”

    There is piece cost (cost of the parts in each vehicle) and there is tooling amortization (up-front cost of metal stamping dies, for example, divided by number of vehicles produced). Depending on expected volumes, the ‘break point’ could favor carbon fiber reinforced panels (typically higher piece cost) or stamped steel (typically huge up-front investment).

  • avatar

    186 miles = 298 km

    That is perfectly fine for a small city car which will predominantly be driven in an urban or provincial setting where people tend to have shorter trips. It is logical to assume that these small EVs will be purchased for urban usage, and not cross country road trips. And perhaps there will be optional larger, more energy dense battery packs available for more range for those who need it.

    Side note, I drove past that location today where the photo of those two i3s was snapped. It’s the grounds of the former ‘Schlachthof’ in central Munich.

    • 0 avatar

      Thomas is it slaughterhouse or beer hall? And what are all those graffiti? Looks like LA. Are there homeless encampments too?

      • 0 avatar

        The Schlachthof used to be one of the main animal slaughtering centers in Munich. Animals were predominantly delivered by train (the old, rusty train tracks were visible and accessible until a few months ago), slaughtered and afterwards delivered to markets and restaurants around the city for further sale. Currently, the area around the train tracks is being torn down, but I am unaware of what will be built on its place.

        Since the mid-2000s the Schlachthof has become less and less significant, even though some animal slaughter still takes place on a small scale.

        On the German Wikipedia article about this historic place you will find some vintage photos.ünchen

        In the image below, the graffiti wall with the two BMW i3s is out of the frame on the bottom left. The road is called ‘Tumblingerstraße’.

        Here you can see the exact same ‘NO COOL’ graffiti artwork that is visible in the BMW i3 image.

        The containers are empty to my knowledge and were part of a temporary ‘art park’. No doubt they will soon be removed. Half of the Schlachthof is currently being torn down to make way for what I assume will be modern apartments or office buildings.

  • avatar

    Just give them some leftover third-gen electric Smart Fortwos, and rebadge them. Problem solved.

  • avatar

    Daimler: “How do we get out from under Smart, producing these electric city cars!”
    Also Daimler: “Let’s do a joint venture with BMW to produce electric city cars!”

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