BMW has tallied 100,000 sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids since the i sub-brand debuted in 2013, and the company has now set the audacious goal of delivering that many in 2017 alone. If successful, the plan would also be a significant boost of the German automaker’s volume of roughly 60,000 cars with some level of powertrain electrification.
The German company intends to slowly increase the number of hybrids and EVs in its lineup until they make up 15 to 25 percent of the firm’s volume by 2025. "Electric mobility will come, but demand is not going through the roof at the moment," BMW CEO Harald Krueger told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, according to Reuters.
Since getting more serious about electric mobility after the launch of the i sub-brand, BMW has delivered around 60,000 i3s and over 10,000 i8s. The firm’s plug-in hybrid models accounted for the remaining vehicles of its electrified powertrain sales to date.
BMW has a lot more EVs and PHEVs on the horizon, too. For example, the company’s plug-in lineup continues to expand with upcoming entries like the 530e and Countryman (above). In addition, the i8 Spyder should finally arrive in 2018, including the possibility of a power upgrade. There are also reports of an electric Mini possibly for 2019. An X3 and 3 Series EV would join the range around 2020, too.
Further down the line, the company already confirms a second-generation for the i3. BMW isn’t offering details yet, but a higher capacity battery from the current 33-kilowatt-hour unit for additional range is a safe bet. The norm among compact EVs is rapidly moving toward at least 60 kWh of capacity, like the Chevrolet Bolt and rumored second-gen Nissan Leaf.
BMW certainly has a major onslaught of electrified vehicles on the way, but so do the company’s competitors. VW Group looks to get out of the shadow of its polluting diesel engines by investing heavily in EVs, including the Porsche Mission E and Audi E-Tron. Mercedes-Benz is moving a little slower into the segment but also has a production version of its EQ crossover concept.