BMW speeds up its plans for electrification

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By Nicholas Yekikian

Just a day after showing the world the Vision M Next concept, BMW has announced that they are moving up the time table for the electrification of their model range by two years. Eight weeks ago, at their annual shareholders meetings, the Bavarian automaker pledged to build 12 all-electric cars and add 13 plug-in hybrids to their lineup by 2025.

Today, however, some changes were made to that plan. BMW now says they will have 25 new electrified models on the market by 2023, most of which will be full battery electric vehicles. Interestingly, BMW is one automaker that has yet to debut a 48-volt system in any of its cars while its competitors in Stuttgart and Ingolstadt are both quickly working these systems into a number of their models.

And their NextGen event – the same place they unveiled the sporty M Next concept – BMW Chairman Harald Krüger said the company expects sales of electric cars to increase by 30 percent per year through 2025, and that this move to speed up their plans to electrify their car lineup is a direct response to an increase in the demand for electric cars. 

"By 2021, we will have doubled our sales of electrified vehicles compared with 2019,” he said in a statement. “We will offer 25 electrified vehicles already in 2023 – two years earlier than originally planned. We expect to see a steep growth curve towards 2025.”

BMW has also formed a partnership with long-time rival Mercedes-Benz to develop an ecosystem for electric cars – including plans to bring home chargers to more people and develop car and ride-sharing services.

When asked about the partnership, new Daimler boss Ola Källenius told MotorTrend the partnership will be fruitful for both companies involved.

“We saw a strong complementary and partially overlapping portfolio within BMW . . . We can do more, we can get there quicker, and we can share investments for the second generation of driving assistance systems,” he said. “There was a clear case for a win-win.”

With help from Daimler, BMW might just reach its goal of earlier electrification.

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