BMW is to extend its electric car line-up outside of its i sub-brand; the first model set to receive a zero-emissions variant is the Mini
3 October 2016

An electric version of the BMW X3 will join three other new models in BMW's future electric line-up, which will also include EV versions of the seventh-generation 3 Series, the X4 and the Mini Cooper hatchback

BMW CEO Harald Krüger said the electric X3 would arrive in 2020, close to a year after the electric Mini.

This information comes days after the newspaper Handelsblatt, citing sources close to Krüger, said the German car maker has developed a new model strategy that will result in a selected number of regular production models being offered with pure-electric drive systems. This is part of a push to head off competition from Tesla as well as BMW's traditional premium brand rivals, which include Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

BMW’s first new electric models are reportedly scheduled to be sold from the end of 2018, alongside dedicated electrically propelled models from the i brand, including the recently upgraded i3.

The move to add electrically powered versions of the 3 Series, X4 and Mini Cooper to its line-up can be seen as an admission by BMW that its earlier strategy of basing dedicated i brand models around expensive carbonfibre and aluminium platforms as a means of reducing weight over traditional steel structures hasn't been a success.

Together with carbonfibre development company SGL, BMW has invested heavily in raising global carbonfibre production to meet the volumes required for the production of the i3 and the i8 hybrid sportscar

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Comments
11

12 September 2016
The packaging requirements of an electric car are so different from those of a traditional one, that I would have thought that the best solution would be a purpose designed vehicle like the i3 or Tesla. An adapted conventional car with an electric drivetrain must always be a poor compromise.

12 September 2016
LP in Brighton wrote:

The packaging requirements of an electric car are so different from those of a traditional one, that I would have thought that the best solution would be a purpose designed vehicle like the i3 or Tesla. An adapted conventional car with an electric drivetrain must always be a poor compromise.

Exactly, packaging is what has compromised the Leaf, the Focus EV and even the i3 (engineered for the ranged extended version) This strategy will only produce similar results unless drastic changes are made to the bodywork. Mercedes and VW seem to be working on bespoke EV platforms and that feels like the right path.

12 September 2016
One of the key reasons that BMW used carbon (well plastic with carbon) for the i3 and i8, hanging the plastic body panels off it, is that this technique is very well suited to small production runs.

What it's less good at is scaling to large volumes. By moving back to pressed steel it seems to suggest that BMW are expecting large production runs, possibly bigger than they anticipated when they launched the i brand.

So is the market moving faster than BMW originally thought?

12 September 2016
Can't wait to see what they call them, BMWs naming strategy being what it is nowadays. X4 Xdrive eDrive iPerformance? i3i? 360ie?

 

 

3 October 2016
By putting batteries in a current 3 series do BMW think it will be better than the purpose built Telsa Model 3 due around 2 years earlier. I think BMW will kicked into touch if they follow this panic route. I also can't believe it's going to take over 3 years to do such a bodge! BMW are losing direction and being shown up by GM, Nissan and the new kids on the block namely Telsa

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

3 October 2016
You forget the the battery tech in the i3/i8 is more advanced than Tesla. Impressive though the Tesla is the BMW i3 is still half the price with a more advanced power pack. Also, time will tell, but the BMW cells are acknowledged to have a life around 20 years whereas Telsa cells are more like 8 years.
It hasn't been confirmed the architecture for the new electric 3 so don't dismiss the idea that BMW have engineered for a pure electric version either...and if so...I'd bet it will handle the twisties better than a tesla model 3...
Time will tell...
PS..I have an i3 and it is superb. A thoroughly engineered EV with very stable range.

3 October 2016
Team Sparky wrote:

You forget the the battery tech in the i3/i8 is more advanced than Tesla. .....BMW cells are acknowledged to have a life around 20 years whereas Telsa cells are more like 8 years.
It hasn't been confirmed the architecture for the new electric 3 so don't dismiss the idea that BMW have engineered for a pure electric version either...and if so...I'd bet it will handle the twisties better than a tesla model 3...
Time will tell...
PS..I have an i3 and it is superb. A thoroughly engineered EV with very stable range.

emmm not sure of your scientific prove, the 20 year thing is a bit laughable really. I'm glad you like your i3 though as I'm known on this site as an EV fan

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 October 2016
Hi Team Sparky , when you say the range is stable , what sort of distance are you talking about ? I like the i3 but would need a range of over 100 miles and the range extender version seems like a compromise if you truly want an EV.

4 October 2016
Hi Team Sparky , when you say the range is stable , what sort of distance are you talking about ? I like the i3 but would need a range of over 100 miles and the range extender version seems like a compromise if you truly want an EV.

4 October 2016
Hi Sundym, i have just done 2500 miles in a new 94 Ah i3 and i consistently achieve 130-150 mile range on battery alone (i have the REX). I know of owners of the BEV who are 'hypermilers' who have achieved 190-200 miles on battery alone and have proof! I cant do that as i drive it 'normally' in comfort and eco pro and reliably achieve 140 miles in mixed driving; urban/dual carriageway conditions. I often do 250 mile trips so the REX is best for me but the BEV would be my choice if the charging structure was more developed. The REX is perfect for me and we use it just like any other car, no compromises to be honest. With the REX i have achieved 235 mile total range to empty.
The i3, leaf, Zoe and Model S are all great cars IMO. To drive i found the i3 and Tesla offered the best driving experience and i personally find the i3's design very appealing and well thought out. I had a family that was very sceptical about both EV's and the i3 and after 2 months ownership they are complete converts. My wife has been won over not by the 'usual' EV benefits but by the driving experience (fast) and by the silence :)

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