July 2019

Ride the Lightning! BMW’s Electric Car Technology for Tomorrow

2020 BMW iX3 Santa Monica

It’s no secret that going green is catching on, and the motor vehicle industry is giving consumers what they want. While this year’s hottest sellers include the newly introduced Hyundai Kona Electric and the ever-popular Tesla Model 3, many more vehicle brands, most notably BMW, are expected to make their mark in the coming years. As demand for hybrid and fully-electric vehicles continues to rise, technology is evolving in a way that allows for more accessible pricing, a diverse lineup of vehicle models, and increased access to charging stations in cities around the world.

BMW’s Outlook on Electric

While the BMW brand made waves with the early introduction of their i3 electric vehicle, there has been some buzz over the past few years suggesting that the company may have lost its momentum. Part of this concern is due to the fact that while Mercedes, Audi, and Jaguar have all recently released long-range electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs), BMW’s version won’t come out until next year. The company’s CEO Harald Krueger, who recently resigned, is often cited as the reason for the company’s “slow and steady” approach to electric vehicle technology. His departure may indicate a promising change for the company.

Anticipated New Releases

BMW has announced that by the end of 2019 they plan to have over 500,000 hybrid or fully-electric cars on the road. In 2020, the company is releasing the iX3 electric SUV and an all-electric version of their iconic Mini Cooper. From there, things are expected to accelerate even more quickly. The highly-anticipated iNext and i4 are both scheduled to come out in 2021. The iNext is a fully electric crossover sport activity vehicle equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving, while the i4 is a fully electric sports sedan that will be a competitor to the Tesla Model 3. BMW has also announced plans to release 25 new electric or hybrid models by the year 2021. This is a full two years earlier than the company’s previous projections. It’s anticipated that at least half of these models will be fully electric.

Electric Vehicle Sales Predictions

BMW’s hybrid and electric vehicle sales are predicted to double between now and 2021. The company also anticipates a 30 percent annual sales growth until at least 2025. Tough emissions rules in the European Union are fueling some of this demand. BMW is addressing this specific need with the development of a new hybrid technology that automatically switches to electric-only mode when entering cities that have zero-emission zones. This feature, called eDrive Zones Function, will be included in all of BMW’s plug-in hybrid models starting in 2020.

BMW’s Commitment to Electric

While they may have initially approached the switch to electric with caution, BMW has made it clear that they’re committed to producing sustainable vehicles in sustainable ways. The company recently announced that by the year 2020, they’re planning to only buy electricity from renewable energy sources for all of their production locations worldwide. This renewed commitment makes it clear that you can expect to see big things from the company over the next several years.

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