The BMW i7 and iX will offer improved luxury and an innovative car experience.
The BMW i7 and iX are being added to MK Group's taxi fleet in Japan. MK Taxi is a service that provides ultra-luxurious cars to more astute members of society at a notable premium. The Kyoto MK division has purchased 10 i7 and five iX units while Tokyo MK is adopting 20 i7s into its fleet. The MK Kyoto division purchased 15 7 Series units in 2019, of which 11 are still operational.
MK Group was keen on adding BMW's new electric cars to its fleet so that it could deliver improved luxury with an innovative car experience. Tokyo MK states that adding EVs to the fleet is important for the sake of developing urban transformation reform and creating a decarbonized society. Considering BMW wants its consumers to keep new cars for longer, we're curious to see whether these luxury EVs will stand the test of time while carting Japan's wealthy citizens around.
As it did with its 2019 7 Series range, BMW is happy to continue offering its flagship models to Japan's taxi industry. It also anticipates an increase in demand for its EVs in the ride-hailing sector when events such as international conferences occur and more people will need transportation in luxury. BMW's EV journey in Japan started with the iX3 in 2019. This was followed by the iX, i4, and then the i7 this year.
Kyoto MK is fully on-board with the EV revolution as it plans to have 30% of its fleet electrified by 2025. By this deadline, it also wants all cars to have level three and four autonomy to reduce fatigue from its drivers. All cars are planned to be electric by 2030 which BMW should be able to fulfill by then.
Bear in mind that these are not the first electric cars to be added to MK Group's fleet as it already runs the Mercedes-Benz EQC. Electrified examples in its range include the Lexus 500h and Toyota Crown Hybrid. The BMW i7, however, is the group's first-ever all-electric luxury sedan being made available to its clients. It joins the likes of the Mercedes-Benz and Maybach S-Class, Rolls-Royce Ghost, and more.
Electrified and autonomous ride services appear to be in demand all over the world as GM-backed Cruise plans to use a fleet of Bolts to carry passengers around Austin, Phoenix, and other cities with self-driving tech. Waymo has been experimenting with autonomous cars as well, but with ICE-operated cars such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.