BMW has been positioning itself for moving more seriously in the electric vehicle space lately. The company started holding meetings to warn employees that EVS are coming and here to stay and they announced production expansion for its upcoming electric vehicles.
During their earning for the first quarter 2017, BMW CEO Harald Krüger said that they see momentum for its EV sales and highlighted that BMW i3 deliveries grew 50% in 2017.
Krüger said during a conference call following the company’s earnings this week:
“Electrification of our portfolio is a clear priority. We know from experience that customers prefer to have more choices. In the first quarter, we delivered twice as many BMW plug-in hybrids, BMW i3s and i8s than in the same period last year. Almost 20,000 customers opted for an alternative drive train. This means that electrified vehicles already account for more than three per cent of total BMW Group sales. When the new MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid arrives in summer, we will have a total of nine electrified models in showrooms. Our electric BMW i3 was designed for urban mobility from the ground up. Unlike series-produced models with a combustion engine, the sales curve for the i3 is continuing its upward course. In the first quarter alone, sales figures were up 50% over the same period of last year. Of course, the extended range also contributed to this.”
Of course, those sales include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which consist of the majority of BMW’s electric lineup of vehicles, and it’s nothing compared to the 587,237 vehicles the German automaker delivered in Q1, but it’s a start.
The CEO added that “electro-mobility is a marathon” and “new models will provide us with further momentum”. He listed the upcoming new models:
- In 2018, the BMW i8 Roadster.
- In 2019, a pure electric MINI.
- In 2020, a pure electric BMW X3.
BMW’s next all-electric vehicle was expected to be a “i5” SUV to come after the BMW i3, but 4 years after launching its first all-electric vehicle, it never came.
Now it seems that the company is instead focusing on an all-electric version of the BMW X3. The company will be late to the segment with Audi coming with an all-electric SUV next year – followed by Mercedes and of course, Tesla already has the Model X.