The German manufacturer will launch the new cars as part of its new ‘Power of Choice’ sustainability plan, under which it has committed to selling more than seven million plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles by the end of 2030.
The new plan, which will also include two electric cars from the Mini brand, is the first major initiative to be overseen by Oliver Zipse since he was promoted to the top of the Munich company last summer.
It is designed to make BMW a leader in electric vehicles sales against rival premium brands such as Audi, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla and to help it meet increasingly tough targets to cut the CO2 output of its new models.
To date, the BMW Group has sold more than 500,000 electrified models across the BMW and Mini brands, but it expects that figure to have doubled by the end of 2021 as new electric and plug-in hybrid models are launched.
It’s also ramping up the output of electric vehicles produced by its joint ventures, such as Spotlight Automotive, an operation that was recently established by Mini and Great Wall Motors in China.
BMW expects to sell 4.6 million fully electric vehicles within the next 10 years – an average of 460,000 per year and a huge increase from the 42,249 sold last year (all of them an i3). It also expects to sell 2.4 million plug-in hybrids. To this end, it recently launched the six-cylinder petrol-electric 545e xDrive, which is aimed at the fleet market and is the fifth electrified 5 Series model.
Having already committed to offering plug-in hybrid variants of every existing model in its line-up, BMW’s new plan calls for a considerable increase in pure-electric model range, which is initially set to include at least nine new models. These include the recently unveiled iX3 and will continue with next year’s i4 five-door coupé and a production version of the iNext SUV (likely to be called the iX5).
BMW has also confirmed an electric version of the X1 small SUV, badged the iX1, that will indirectly replace the i3, plus a new i5 and i7, based on the next-generation 5 Series and 7 Series saloons respectively.
The manufacturer is also set to launch an electric version of the latest 3 Series saloon, using the running gear from the upcoming i4, according to sources familiar with the production plan. With the current i3 hatchback going out of production, it is likely that the 3 Series-based saloon will adopt the vacated i3 name, according to the sources.
While plans for Mini are less defined, Autocar can confirm the British brand is planning to build on its recently introduced Electric three-door hatchback with at least two new electric cars, including uniquely styled SUVs based on the iX1 and iX3.