The brand is gearing up to take the fight to Tesla.
BMW's quirky all-electric i3 has been on sale for some time and sales remain strong for the manufacturer's first-ever EV. The problem is, the i3 alone was never going to allow the brand to lead the way in the EV market and, as we reported a few months ago, 13 new BMW EVs are set to be launched by 2023. That goal seems to have just kicked into high gear as electrified versions of the 5 and 7 Series luxury sedans are slated for 2022.
Even before that, the BMW i4 will arrive to take the fight to the Tesla Model 3. The company's accelerated EV offensive can be largely attributed to CEO Oliver Zipse, who took over his new role in the second half of 2019. Another bold goal is for a third of all BMW cars to be electrified by 2025.
According to a report by the German publication Handelsblatt, based on their contact with business insiders, BMW wants to not only overtake traditional rival Mercedes-Benz but keep Tesla at bay, too. Key to BMW's electrification transformation is a more integrated approach, with future EVs to be produced on the same production line as their gas-powered vehicles - this is set to be the case with the i4, which will share a production line with the more traditional 3 Series.
As successful as the i3 was, it cost three billion euros to develop and exists in a silo within BMW's portfolio. With the 5 Series and 7 Series firmly established within BMW's range, it's important for the EV versions of these sedans to be seamlessly built together with those with petrol, diesel, or hybrid power.
Zipse referred to the electrification strategy over the next few years as a "big leap" for the brand, despite the massive investment that will be required to put the new EVs into production. Plans are already underway to increase employees at the brand's Dingolfing plant from 600 to 2000.
There is no word yet on what kind of performance an electrified 5 or 7 Series will offer, but with competitors like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S identified for the EV 7 Series, it could be the quickest version of BMW's luxury car yet.