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.