BMW accelerates electrification programme

BMW i8

i8 sports car heads BMW’s current range of electrified models

The firm aims to bring 25 electrified vehicles to market in the next four years

BMW is speeding up its ambitious electrification programme, bringing forward its goal of launching 25 electrified models – more than half of which will be fully electric – from 2025 to 2023.

The German firm says that it has accelerated the programme due to the growth of electrified vehicle sales, which it projects will increase by more than 30% per year between now and 2025. BMW chairman Harald Krüger says that, by 2021, the firm will double its electrified vehicle sales compared with this year.

BMW has invested in a flexible vehicle architecture that accommodates fully electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engine powertrains, and Krüger says this is key to being able to advance its electrification plans.

The firm will launch plug-in hybrid versions of the new 3 Series in saloon and estate forms, and has also unveiled PHEV versions of the 7 Series, X3 and X5, with the X1, 5 Series and 2 Series Active Tourer due to get similar powertrains in the future.

BMW is also putting the finishing touches to an electric iX3 SUV and the new Mini Electric. At a Next Gen event in Munich today, it launched the BMW Vision M Next, previewing a high-performance plug-in hybrid two-seater. BMW’s Motorrad bike division also previewed a Vision DC Roadster electric bike.

“Our vision is clear: sustainable mobility, produced in a sustainable manner,” said Krüger, adding that BMW is aiming to only buy electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The firm has also announced that it will trial new BMW eDrive Zone technology, which will be offered as standard in plug-in hybrids it sells from 2020. The system will use geofencing technology in cities that feature ‘green zones’ where only emission-free driving is allowed, with the car automatically switching to pure electric mode when it enters such zones.

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Source: Autocar Online

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