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BMW in its first strategy shift since 2007 is betting that the future of the automotive industry is electric. The company is designing the i-Next, available in 5 years to combat tech upstarts to the sector such as Uber, Tesla and Alphabet developing autonomous cars. The BMW i-series would be the mainstay in the next couple of years with PHEV included in all of the brand’s model ranges. BMW will also invest in fuel cells and expect to have this technology by 2025.

“Visionary BMW i-series electric vehicles lead the way in alternative drivetrains, lightweight construction, and aerodynamics – promising sustainable premium without sacrifice. Their futuristic shapes and forms combine renewable and recycled materials in an inspiring overall design. These products are complemented by BMW i-mobility services, such as DriveNow, ChargeNow and ParkNow.” BMW

BMW has changed strategy in 2017 away from the i-series to having BEV and PHEV versions of current model ranges, thereby scraping the development of the exciting the BMW i5 scheduled for release in 2020. In September 2017 BMW announced that it will produce 25 electric vehicles by 2025 of which 12 will be fully electric.

Read our in-depth comparison of the Daimler vs BMW EV strategy for further insights on future BMW EV modules.





BMW 330e


BMW 740Le xDrive i Performance


BMW x5 xdrive40e


BMW 225xe Active Tourer









BMW i5




BMW-brilliance logo


Go to our detailed breakdown of Global EV Sales to see how the BMW EV strategy fares to its competitors in the fast-growing EV market.




2017 Week 38 - BMW unveils its EV vision car to compete with Tesla

According to BMW Blog, BMW will upgrade the facelifted BMW i3 shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier this month, with a 120Ah battery in 2018, up from the current 94Ah. The upgrade will be the third since the launch of the popular electric vehicle which has sold close to 100,000 units internationally since 2014. Sales of the BMW i3 has, however, reach a plato from its high in 2015 as lower-priced EVs with longer ranges encroaches on the BMW i3. The upgrade, according to BMW Blog, will consist of a 42.5kWh battery, from Samsung SDI we assume. The BMW i3 facelift will also be available in a 3rd model variant in addition to the REx, the BMW i3s. The BMW i3s offers better driving dynamics.

In related news, VW updated the 2017 e-Golf with a 36kWh battery, increasing its range to 125 miles.


2017 Week 38 - BMW earmarks cost savings to fund EV development

Head of purchasing, Markus Duesmann, at BMW told Automotive News in an interview that BMW will divert 2 million Euro from its parts bill to fund its electrification efforts. BMW has been grappling with the high cost of R&D required to shift to EVs and has announced lower returns because thereof earlier this year. Mr. Duesmann indicated that so much as 5% of the company’s spending on parts would be diverted to electrification, signaling possible pain for suppliers downstream.

2017 Week 37 - BMW unveils its EV vision car to compete with Tesla

BMW unveiled its vision for electric vehicles aimed at competing with Tesla. The BMW i Vision Dynamics has a possible range of 600 km (373 miles), over 200 km/h (120 mph) top speed, and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.0 seconds.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 37 2017

2017 Week 37 - BMW updates its EV strategy

BMW announced that it will produce 25 electric vehicles by 2025 of which 12 will be fully electric.

2017 Week 34 - BMW to unveil 2018 BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i3S Performance

As we enter September in the coming week we look forward to the release/unveiling of the following Evs:

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

2017 Week 29 - BMWs Oxford plant to produce BEV Mini

We reported in March that BMW was considering Mini as an EV only brand, with the Mini being its answer to Tesla and Chevrolet‘s mass market cars, the Model 3 and Bolt EV. At the time BMW CEO, Harald Krüger was quoted that the company is considering manufacturing facilities for the Mini in Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Reuters this week reported that unconfirmed sources indicated that the UK would be the winner in the race for producing a fully electric Mini. The BMW plant in Oxford is responsible for 60% of the Groups compact cars, but in the aftermath of BREXIT, the German automaker established the Netherlands as an alternative manufacturing base. The report indicates that the final desition will be announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

2017 Week 21 - BMW reportedly changed EV strategy

Reports this week hinted that cost issues are driving BMW to depart from its dedicated EV brand strategy. BMW CEO, Harald Krueger last year set the German automaker’s strategy as follows:

“Our Strategy Number One Next is centred on consequent lightweight construction, alternative drivetrain technology, connectivity, autonomous driving functions and the interior of the future. The iNext will set the standard from 2021″

Only three weeks ago wattEV2Buy reported that the BMW AGM determined that it would start producing it iNext autonomous brand at its Dingolfing plant form 2021.

Unconfirmed online reports this week claimed that BMW would not pursue the development of the BMW i5 as its mass market answer to the Tesla Model 3, but rather follow other carmakers such as Hyundai and Citroën, by offering electric options across existing ranges so that customers can choose a gasoline model or an electric model.

The reason for the change of heart is that the cost associated with the specialized chassis systems of the i8 and i3 makes it unsuitable for high volume production. In March BMW’s reported its lowest profitability since 2010 on the back of spending on technologies to compete with its rivals in the electrification and autonomous sectors.

It seems BMW is struggling to communicate or find a definitive answer to present as its mass market EV solution. In March of 2017, the BMW CEO hinted that the Mini could be automakers mass market EV.

The following statement by Harald Kreuger this week, “The all-electric MINI and the all-electric BMW X3 will mark the beginning of the second wave of electrification for the BMW Group, benefiting from the ongoing technological progress we are making in this area.” is seen to support the reports that the company is having a rethink on its EV Next strategy.

BMW’s change of direction will set it on a different course than its competitor in the luxury car market, Daimler, which has set an aggressive strategy to develop a separate brand to establish a market lead in the e-mobility sector.

The BMW strategy now seems to focus on finding the least cost route of adding batteries to existing models to produce vehicles for consumer’s increasing appetite for electric cars. Adding batteries to combustion vehicles is seen as a cop-out as consumers will be better served by buying electric vehicles built from the ground up around the technology.

2017 Week 18 - EVs now 3% of BMWs sales

BMW this week released its sales data for the first quarter 2017, showing that EVs now constitute 3% of its total sales as EV sales jumped 50%. The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Harald Kruger was quoted saying “We are therefore well on course to delivering more than 100,000 electrified vehicles for the first time in 2017”. The company also announced that it would start producing it iNext autonomous brand at its Dingolfing plant form 2021. Other models expected from the German automaker is the i8 Roadster PHEV (2018), a BEV Mini (2019), and a BEV X3 (2020). The news from BMW is in stark contrast from news only six months earlier when the Board grappled with if it should pursue EVs at all (Top 5 EV News Week 49 2016).

2017 Week 6 - BMW at the Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show kicked off this week, sporting the highest number of electric vehicle technologies on display in the Show’s history. Vehicles on display include BMW’s i8the Mini Cooper Countryman PHEV , and Ford’s Fusion Energi PHEV. It’s wattEV2Buy’s observation though that with the lack of inspiring and game-changing technologies the Chicago Show underscore that Big Auto is still not getting boots and all behind the technology. Reading between the lines, we see big auto focusing more on autonomous vehicles than electric drive trains as it’s future strategy. 

2016 Week 50 - BMW 530e i Performance launched for the USA market

1. BMW announced the launch of BMW 530e i Performance for the US market. A Plug-In Hybrid version of the 530 model was previously only available for the Chinese market through the BMW Brilliance franchise as a long-wheelbase luxury sedan, the BMW Brilliance BMW 530Le. The fourth member of the iPerformance range, the 2018 BMW530e will be available to the US market in the spring of 2017. The vehicle has a 95hp electric motor on the rear wheels, providing a maximum torque of 184lb.ft and a combined peak torque of 310lb.ft enabling acceleration from 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed 130mph / 208kh/h. The 9,2kWh lithium battery is placed under the rear seats and can be charged in under 7 hours on Level 1 charging while Level 2 Charge through a 3.6kW – 7.2kW BMW Charging Station in under 3 hours. The 530e has an electric top speed of 87mph / 139km/h in its MAX eDrive mode. The automaker did not specify an electric range or suggested retail price.

2016 Week 49 - BMW Downbeat on EV's

1.  Despite BMW’s reaffirming its strategy to pursue the development of electric vehicles at its September board meeting, the company remains downbeat on the sector. BMW’s Chief Financial Officer, Frederick Eichner, was quoted by Bloomberg saying “We’ve learned that people aren’t prepared to pay a higher price for an electric vehicle. I don’t see some kind of disruptive element coming from electric cars that would prompt sales to go up quickly in the next five to six years.”

2016 Week 48 - BMW i3 and BMW unveils new charging service

 1. BMW unveiled its new BMW Digital Charging Service (DCS) optimizes charging technology for the BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles through the BMW i Wallbox. The DCS platform provides autonomous and intelligent charging optimization through tariff and solar vehicle charging. The DCS service will initially be available for the German and Dutch markets from early 2017.

In other news, BMW announced that it would release a new version of the BMW i3 in 2017. Reuters reported that the automaker expects the 2018 model of the BMW i3 to have a range well above the current 300km of the 2017 model, which is already a 50% increase on the 2016 model.

2016 Week 44 - EV Charging Corridors



  1. Reuters reported on an announcement by the White House that it will establish 48 EV Charging corridors, comprising 25,000 miles across 35 States with the support of Utilities and vehicle manufacturers. The initiative will allow for charging stations every 50 miles. The press release goes further by identifying specific State programs to support the adoption of electric vehicles, including California’s commitment to have 5% of all public parking to include charging stations. Car manufacturers supporting the initiative includes BMW, Nissan, and GM.

2016 Week 39 - EV Strategy, Paris Auto Show
  1. BMW was the exception to the rule at the Pais Auto Show; disappointingly the company had no new models or battery upgrades to announce, the only improvement they could muster was to introduce a new color Cross Fade paint option. As reported earlier the board was to meet at the same time as the event, and a restructuring is expected which would influence its electric vehicle path. At the time of going to press the only news that was released was the confirmation that BMW will introduce all-electric versions of the Mini, the BMW 3 Series, and the X4 SUV range.

2016 Week 37 - EV Strategy, new vehicle
  1. In last week’s report, we mentioned that the BMW executive would miss this year’s Paris auto show held at the end of September to vote on the automaker’s electric vehicle future after the company lost momentum to its rivals, Mercedes and VW. Further news of this extraordinary move is that the company will announce the release of three new electric vehicles, the Mini, the BMW 3 Series and the X4 SUV. It is imperative that the automaker sets a clear strategy to remain relevant in the sector, already VW has released teasers of its new long-range electric vehicle which would introduce at the Paris auto show. Long time rival Daimler is also expected to introduce its new electric vehicle sub-brand at the end of the month.

2016 Week 36 - EV Strategy
  1. Reuters reported on Friday that the executive of BMW will not attend this year’s Paris Auto Show as it grapples with its electric car strategy. The company lost momentum against Mercedes and VW who is chasing Tesla. The lack of momentum caused the head of the BMW i8 project to jump ship to Future Mobility, taking most of the core team with him. The executive team is split on the future of electric vehicles and investing in what is initially a loss making exercise. The top executive team traditionally attend the Paris Auto Show, which is one of the most prestigious events in the industry.

2016 Week 31 - July USA Sales/ Atieva race
  1. Sales of the BMW i3 jumped 58% in the USA year-on-year as it sold nearly 1,500 units in July compared to 935 for the same period last year. Significant is that this is so despite the expected release of the 2017 model with a larger battery capacity and range later this year.

  2. The San Francisco-based startup, Atieva this week posted the results of the latest test of its drivetrain, breaking the 1/4 mile 0 – 60 in under 3 seconds. The company uploaded a video of EDNA, its drivetrain built into a Mercedes Van beating a Dodge Viper and a BMW i8.

2016 Week 26 - June Sales USA
  1. USA EV sales figures for June 2016 released this week included Nissan and BMW data. Nissan Leaf sales are down 47% for the year to date. BMW announced the i3 had a 10.3% rise in June 2015, yet the model still lags 35% for the year to date. The i8 showed a massive 23% gain compared to June 2015 and is down 15% for the year to date.

2016 Week 25 - Residential Storage 2nd life batteries

1. BMW announced that it would follow Daimler, Nissan, and Tesla in creating second life energy storage systems for residential and commercial use. Second life battery systems would not have the same warranties as new systems. The advantages include the lower replacement cost of battery packs and less recycling associated cost to the environment.


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