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Published on June 28th, 2015 | by James Ayre


BMW: All Models Will Be Electrified

June 28th, 2015 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

BMW is still pursuing its previously revealed plan to convert all of its various model platforms to electric drivetrains (this includes range-extending engines and plug-in hybrids, of course) over the next decade or so, according to recent reports.

As reported when we covered this topic previously, the transition will see even the company’s top-selling 3 Series sport sedans turned into plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

2016 BMW 330e PHEV — Most Popular Model Finally Going Electric

The overall plans for the change were laid out several months ago in the industry-leading magazine Autocar — where it was described as being “the latest thinking from BMW’s advanced engineering department.” So, while perhaps not set in stone, the change seems likely.

This seems especially true when one considers the changes to vehicle carbon emissions standards in the European Union that are set to go into effect over the coming years. The connection is that, by transitioning its vehicle platforms to hybrids/plug-ins, the company can greatly improve vehicle fuel efficiency, and thus greatly reduce vehicle carbon emissions.

In addition to the transition to plug-ins, BMW is also aiming to notably reduce vehicle weights (allowing for heavier battery packs without increased total-vehicle-weight), and to improve vehicle aerodynamics.

Reduced weights will be achieved partly through the use of “new materials” — such as the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) used in the BMW i3.

Worth noting here is that the company will reportedly be improving all-electric range for its plug-in offerings to a fairly notable degree — with capacity for mainstream models being likely to be ~60 miles to a full charge.

Image Credit: BMW

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About the Author

James Ayre’s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • A small, range-extending gas or diesel generator that could ride in the trunk on long trips or be removed for pure electric operation in the city, might be a desirable option while pure electric range is improving.

  • Car industri dont want to go eletric yet, cause the fact that todays fosil cars are perfect money machines. that give them a lott of income due all the parts and service, todays cars need! but soon they have noe other choise than go fully eletric due Tesla pushing the new Model 3 witch will be better and cheaper than any other EV 🙂 EV dont need so mutch parts and service as todays fosil cars.

    • Kyle Field

      Too true but if the market is pulled out from under them (like Tesla did with luxury cars), they have nothing. Evolve or die, the best motivator out there. This is like a mini climate change example but with real-time results. They are seeing their market share disappearing and now have to chase customers to try to reclaim what they once had. Great stuff 🙂 Thanks Tesla!

    • Adrian

      The ICE is such a perfect money machine that GM went bankrupt, and Chrysler was bailed out twice.

      Next time we should just let Tesla buy them.

  • dRanger

    It should be noted that Tesla performance is nowhere mentioned in the BMW “explanation”. The mention of performance is glaring in its absence. If BMW loses its performance cachet, what does it have left?

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s got that cute “Beemer” name….

    • eject

      Tesla has off the line performance. Not really BMWs segment. It is about going round the corners. This will actually be worse with electric cars for some time. A lot of weight to be shed here.

      • Bob_Wallace

        ” It is about going round the corners. This will actually be worse with electric cars for some time. ”


        The Tesla ModS has an extremely low and centered center of gravity. Much better than having a large portion up front and higher than the axles.

        • eject

          You two guys are kidding right?
          Check the slalom times for a Model S and an M5 (M3 is even faster, but is also has a way shorter wheel base, so it is unfair).
          Check minimum corner radius at 100 kph.
          The Model S certainly goes like hell, forwards.

          Low center of mass is good, less mass is better.

      • dRanger

        You haven’t really spent much time behind the wheel of a Tesla, have you? Professional car reviewers disagree with you.

        • eject

          no they don’t, even with the fast one P85D they write
          “All of that weight has consequences: The P85D only managed 67.4 mph through our slalom, an average number for the class.”
          written by Edmunds.com

          Which is very Diplomatic not mentioning the “class”. For the 5series class this is really slow. For a 7series sizes it is still slow but weighing more then half a ton more it is also sort of impressive. Still no sports Sedan.

          • dRanger

            So how does being “average” fit with your original statement that electric cars will be “worse with electric cars for some time.”?

          • eject

            That point still stands. In every category of car the combustion car will always handle better.
            That will be the case until the weight of electric cars comes down to comparable levels. This is not going to take forever but “some time” as I have written.

            To get a car (or any body that possesses mass) to change the vector it is traveling at either in magnitude or direction requires overcoming the moment of inertia.
            Changing the magnitude is the easy part–>more power.
            And since there is no way you can beat an electric motor in terms of power density* with a 4-Stroke or 2-Stroke engine, the higher you go with the power the harder it is to match by a combustion car. Although you could beat the power density with a rocket engine, which is basically a 1-Stroke, but they are sort of prohibitive in a car.

            But changing the direction of the vector there is nothing you can do that allows you to put energy in to overcome the moment of inertia more easily. The only feasible way is to lower the moment of inertia. Which means shedding weight.

            The center of mass is simply a different story. If it is lower it has less of a lever it can pull on. Putting it lower limits the damage that additional weight causes.
            If you put 1kg of mass, which is about 10N of weight in earths gravity on the roof and the distance to the axis of rotation is 1m you have an additional force of 10Nm to overcome. If you would place this 1kg only 0.1m away from the axis of rotation it would only be 1Nm extra to overcome. But still it is 1Nm more to overcome.

            Else all sports cars would have a concrete floor.

          • Turbofroggy

            Again you have never test driven a Tesla. However your entire “handling” argument is a moot point, the top selling cars are Camrys and F150s, neither of which are a “drivers” car.

  • MarTams

    No thanks! Your prices would be so electrifying for actually not much more. Tesla has beat you to the exclusivity club. You’re now just a Tesla wannabe.

  • JamesWimberley

    Platforms are not the same as models. They are the bases for families of models. As I see it, BMW are planning on having an electric model in every family. This is a long wat short of going all-electric.

    • Kyle Field

      It’s a step in the right direction. Another way for them to test the waters with their core customer base to sense interest while also allowing customers to cut petrol usage while at the same time converting to and getting used to electric. I’ll take baby steps over no steps though I would much rather see a whole line of all electrics coming out…

    • TJ

      Exactly. The M models may not be electrified. Eventually they will ala Porsche 918 et al, but I wouldn’t wait for a plug in M3/M4.

  • Martin

    Well I think I ask this before: Who /when will be the first company that has all their products in ICE and hybrid/electric?
    As far as my opinion goes within 5 years or so, ANYBODY who drives in a large city NEEDS to have a least a hybrid and within 10 – 15 year EV’s only.
    I think ALL of us would LOVE to NOT having to breathe fumes from ICE exhausts while we either bike, walk or sit in traffic.

    • Martin

      Fastest way to get this done: Have all politicians and climate deniers walk in behind each traffic jam for a few hours a day and when give them tha option to do the same behind EV’s.
      Would that be considered cruel punishment?
      Or giving positive and negative reinforcement? ;))

      • Jacob

        Get redneck shock jocks to broadcast their show from polluted Delhi In the middle of winter for a week.

        3AW is a radio station here where the host has broadcast 1 week of his show from Brunei, another week from New York, another week from Dubai.

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