BMW boss Norbert Reithofer expects to launch a 3-series hybrid as part of its drive to reduce emissions across its range.
Reithofer told shareholders today at BMW's AGM in Munich that the BMW 5-series ActiveHybrid concept would make production as early as next year and other BMWs were likely to inherit its technology, including the 3-series.
"As early as next year, the new BMW 5-series will also be available as a full hybrid," he said. "And we are anticipating the hybridisation of further models series, such as the BMW 3-series."
Reithofer said demand from Japan was one of the main reasons for BMW pursuing hybrid technology.
"Sales of hybrid vehicles [in Japan] have skyrocketed," he said. "If you don't have a hybrid in your portfolio, soon you might not be selling any cars in Japan at all."
BMW wants to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in its CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2020, according to Reithofer.