Following roughly 3 years after the launch of the company’s i Series of electric vehicle offerings, BMW has now delivered more than 100,000 plug-in vehicles to date, according to a recent press release from the company.
To offer figures that are more specific, the company has now delivered more than 60,000 all-electric (EV) or range-extended (rEX) BMW i3s to date worldwide, more than 10,000 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) BMW i8s, and somewhere around 30,000 other plug-in hybrids.
Notably, BMW wants to sell another 100,000 plug-in cars in 2017 alone.
“BMW i remains our spearhead in terms of innovation and it will continue to open up groundbreaking technologies for the BMW Group,” stated Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Harald Krüger. “When it comes to electric drivetrains, we’ve already successfully managed to put this technology transfer on the road. The next technological advance we will address is automated driving, where the BMW iNEXT will set a new benchmark.”
That’s an easy thing to say, but if it’s true, then why have there been mass departures of senior engineers in recent times? If the company is seriously pursuing plug-in electrics, then why wasn’t it able to keep its top engineers in the sector satisfied? Surely, the company had access to enough funds to keep them there on the financial end, right?
The press release provides more (though, it’s a bit fluffy): “All in all, the BMW Group now offers 7 models that either run on electric power alone, like the BMW i3, or are plug-in hybrids, combining a combustion engine and an electric motor. Other models will follow in the years to come, including a MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid in 2017. What is more, a new variant of the BMW i8 sports car with plug-in hybrid drive will come out in 2018 — an open-top BMW i8 Roadster. Looking further ahead, the portfolio will be extended to include a purely electric-powered MINI in 2019 and a purely electric-powered BMW X3 in 2020. At the start of the next decade, another, larger BMW i model with electric drive is due to appear: the BMW iNEXT. This highly innovative model will be the new innovation leader and spearhead of BMW i.”
Is that wishful thinking that I hear? I can’t help but feel that 2020 is too late. The Tesla Model 3 will have been on the market for how many years at that point? Enough time for a refresh to appear even? What about the coming Tesla Model Y? How is BMW ever going to catch up?