More Details on BMW’s EV, Autonomous Plans Emerge


Gen 5 battery tech will offer 435 miles of Range in 2021

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BMW opened the floodgates on its plans for electrification and autonomous tech yesterday, revealing its EV and self-driving product cadence through 2025. Now, we have more details from the ground in Frankfurt.

Board chairman Harald Krüger noted that, working in conjunction with companies as diverse as Intel, Mobileye, Delphi, and Continental, fleets of connected autonomous prototypes are currently plying the roads of Germany, Israel, and the U.S. The company’s goal is to make level 5 full autonomy technically feasible by 2025, deploying as much of the technology as soon after that as local and regional legislation allows. And BMW is planning to be in a position to offer levels 3-5 autonomy throughout its range, with board member in charge of development, Klaus Fröhlich, pointing out that any level of autonomy offered needs to be backed with the systems redundancy, connectivity, and computing power required for full level-5 driving. Expect the BMW iNext model and subsequent i models to roll this technology out, as this is the next “innovation” concept that will help differentiate future i models from their electrified BMW core cousins.

On the EV front, Fröhlich declared that within eight years the BMW Group would offer 25 electrified vehicles—including a dozen full EVs—across all brands (presumably including Motorad two-wheelers). One full battery electric to be announced in Frankfurt is the 2020 X3 SUV. Going forward, all battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be i models, including that X3. He also claimed that BMW is currently the third largest provider of electrified mobility, with nine electrified vehicles in the portfolio accounting for roughly 100,000 sales this year. (BMW’s share of the electrified vehicle market is three times that of its combustion-powered market share.)

The company’s Gen 5 fully electric drivetrains will arrive on the so-called BMW iNext car in 2021, and this scalable modular Gen 5 gear is being engineered to fit other new models that will be launching from now onward and all vehicle production plants are being prepped to produce electrified vehicles. Expect the BEVs to provide up to 700 km of range (435 miles), while “power PHEVs” focus on performance and providing 100 km of all-electric range (62 miles). BMW will not likely tool up to mass produce batteries, but its new $240 million battery technology research center will engineer all aspects of the batteries and collaborate with suppliers to help them deliver BMW-spec cells.


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