With annual report season in full swing, it was BMW’s turn on Wednesday to take the microphone and tell us about its electric vehicle plans for the next few years. The German automaker was an early leader in terms of electrification, producing innovative cars under the “i” subbrand and selling a lot of plug-in hybrids to boot. But it fell behind rivals in the development of longer-range battery EVs, which is one reason why then-CEO Harald Krugër stepped down in 2019 just weeks after announcing plans to amp up the electrification effort.
He was succeeded by current CEO Oliver Zipse, who is now pushing the accelerator pedal. BMW’s plug-in sales were strong in 2020 despite the obvious challenges, increasing sales to 193,000 units. For 2021, Zipse wants this number to grow by 75 percent. If the company succeeds, it will have sold 1 million plug-in vehicles since 2013. BMW says it will have 13 BEVs on sale in 2023, from compact cars to the biggest, most luxurious cars to wear the blue-and-white propeller. And by the end of 2025, the plan is for BMW to have delivered a total of 2 million plug-ins to customers.
This is the new BMW i4
The new BMW i4 electric vehicle. [credit:
BMW also showed off a little of its next production BEV, a four-door sedan called the i4. It adheres closely to the Concept i4 we saw this time last year, although it’s a little less concept-y, obviously. BMW said it will release full details about the i4 in the coming weeks, but it did say the car “will enter the market during the course of 2021,” three months ahead of schedule, and that one version should have an EPA range of 300 miles (590 km under WLTP).