BMW’s Ian Robertson says that firms are searching for next-generation battery and electric systems that can provide a competitive advantage
Jim Holder
15 February 2018

Car makers are in a race against time to develop next-generation battery and electrical systems that can deliver a competitive advantage, according to BMW’s outgoing head of marketing Ian Robertson.

At present, the electric cars on sale deliver broadly the same range and performance, with pricing being affected by other aspects of the vehicle. However, Robertson believes some car makers are on the cusp of making breakthroughs that could shift the capabilities and earn them the edge over rivals. “We believe that the next few steps in development will turn batteries from a commodity into something delivering more of a technical advantage,” said Robertson.

Life at BMW: marketing boss Ian Robertson on a 38-year career

“Ultimately, that advantage will probably even out again, but there will be a period where the battery capability will become a defining factor in choice.

“Today, car buyers will choose an engine based on different factors – its power, its economy, its refinement. Some are better than others, and there will be a period where customers will have a choice of batteryperformance in a similar way.” BMW has a long-standing partnership with Toyota in developing battery and hydrogen technology, the latter having revealed its plans to sell solid state batteries by around 2025. Solid state batteries have the potential to deliver greater performance than lithium ion ones, while being smaller and potentially cheaper in time.

Toyota and Panasonic look into automotive battery business

“I’m confident with where we are at,” Robertson said. “Solid state batteries are already working in the lab, but bringing them to production is proving incredibly difficult.”

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15 February 2018

BMW bring out advanced products that aren't quite ready and expect owners to pay out once they've managed to limip it out of warranty.   It's why they've had class-action lawsuits against them in the USA and have had to extend warranties out to 10 years in some cases.

 

Even for fairly standard technology, where they're pushing the power envelope they don't care as long as they can get the car to limp out of warranty.   M3 / M4 engine being a good example where the crank shaft pully was slipping.   Apparently, no universal fix has been implemented, meaning they're ticking timebombs.

 

"German engineering" may be advanced, but I'd rather have "Japanese reliablity".

 

15 February 2018
Symanski wrote:

"German engineering" may be advanced, but I'd rather have "Japanese reliablity".

 

This talk of winning the race, being number one, beating competitors to market exasperates me. Its the same philosophy that has brought Volkswagen all its problems in recent times, but they haven't learnt anything from it. Of course we all know that manufacturers want to sell more than anyone else, but as a customer I want properly developed technical solutions, so that I won't be the one suffering all the hassle whilst the manufacturer laughs all the way to the bank. Its the main reason why I would never be an early adopter.

 

15 February 2018

Every single BMW story you come out with the same. 

15 February 2018
Paul Dalgarno wrote:

Every single BMW story you come out with the same. 

 

Try a YouTube search for "bmw n47 timing chain replacement" for something new then.   BBC report on N47 engines with timing chain failures is the top hit.  A part which really isn't designed to ever be replaced and requires the whole engine to come out.   How much does that cost owner?

 

Just be glad you're not one of those owners.

15 February 2018
Symanski wrote:

Try a YouTube search for "bmw n47 timing chain replacement" for something new then.   BBC report on N47 engines with timing chain failures is the top hit.  A part which really isn't designed to ever be replaced and requires the whole engine to come out.   How much does that cost owner?

 

Just be glad you're not one of those owners.

 

You're being rediculous. EVERY car company has had problems with its products at some point. Is BMW perfect? Of course not. But then neither is Ford, neither is VW, neither is Vauxhaul, neither is Volvo. I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.

16 February 2018
Luap wrote:

You're being rediculous. EVERY car company has had problems with its products at some point. Is BMW perfect? Of course not. But then neither is Ford, neither is VW, neither is Vauxhaul, neither is Volvo. I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.

Firstly, BMW trades on its image of superior German engineering.

 

Secondly, other companies have owned up to problems and got them fixed.   BMW seems to have problems with a good number of different engines but won't support their customers.

 

Just hope you're not put in to the same position as a burnt BMW owner.

 

16 February 2018
Symanski wrote:

 

 

"German engineering" may be advanced, but I'd rather have "Japanese reliablity".

 

Maybe you should check out the number of recalls those "reliable" Japanese car firms make. Didn't Toyota recall nearly 3m vehicles last March for an airbag fault? 

You'll also find that Toyota, that beacon of reliability paid $1.2bn in America to avoid prosecution for the "uncontrolled acceleration" issue. The prosecution wasn't that the problem existed but that documents obtained by the FBI showed that Toyota was aware of the problem and buried it, as the FBI put it "Toyota put sales over safety". 

16 February 2018
twyford wrote:

Maybe you should check out the number of recalls those "reliable" Japanese car firms make. Didn't Toyota recall nearly 3m vehicles last March for an airbag fault? 

 

Toyota have been doing recalls for the airbag, but did you know that BMWs are also affected by the same manufacturer of airbag?   Do a search on YouTube for "BMW fanatic airbag" for more information.   Whilst you're on his channels you can go through all the faults he's had with his 335i.

 

15 February 2018

BMW are being too modest.

What they should have done is made ridiculous claims, boast about massive range, show off some random concept, start taking bookings, boost share prices.....and then continue to under-deliver YoY!

15 February 2018

Yeah and also maybe waste a perfectly good car by unecessarily sending it into space !

XXXX just went POP.

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