The CEO of BMW, Harald Krueger, was recently quoted by Sueddeutsche Zeitung as saying that the firm wanted to increase sales of its electric vehicle offerings to 100,000 in 2017.
If achieved, that would represent an increase in the firm’s electric vehicle sales of around two-thirds. It would also put BMW at a similar annual rate as Tesla is now pumping out, but Tesla’s plans for 2017 are clearly a bit higher. Also, BMW’s target includes plug-in hybrids.
The interview with Krueger includes comments that BMW is expecting to deliver around 60,000 all-electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles this year.
The BMW CEO also noted that, to date, BMW has “only” sold around 100,000 plug-in vehicles — this includes the models which have only nominal all-electric ranges, not just the BMW i3.
Krueger was quoted as saying: “Electric mobility will come, but demand is not going through the roof at the moment.”
I guess he hasn’t heard about the number of Tesla Model 3 reservations to date. The Model 3 is, notably, set to hit the market in 2017 — how will BMW sell 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles the same year that the Tesla Model 3 is being released and the Chevy Bolt EV has already hit the market? (Especially when you consider that the BMW i3 currently costs a lot more than either one of those will, despite having a much lower range.)
Or is the 100,000 figure simply in reference to selling a lot of PHEVs with very limited all-electric ranges?
The performance of the Chevy Bolt EV should be a real test of the supposed lack of demand that Krueger refers to. If the model sells quite well in the US, then will it still be possible for execs to make the sort of comment that the BMW CEO made above?
More importantly, words are one thing, actions are another. As discussed in our recent article on the 55 kilowatt-hour (kWh) BMW i3 recently put together by Linear Technology and LION Smart to showcase new charging tech, BMW could theoretically be doing much more on the all-electric front.
If third-party firms can make a long-range i3, why can’t BMW do so itself?
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung article notes that BMW is currently aiming for plug-in electrics and hybrids to make up between 15% and 25% of its total sales share by 2025.
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