If only half the reports coming out of Germany about BMW in the past few months are true, the automaker’s electric vehicle strategy is a real issue dividing the company’s top management. In April, several BMW executives in the automaker’s electric vehicle leadership, also known as the BMW ‘i’ brand, left the German automaker to join a newly formed Chinese EV startup.
The automaker has since reportedly put its EV plans on the “back burner”, but now it’s ready to try to reinvest in fully electric vehicles. Media reports coming from Germany suggest that the board will vote by the end of the month on greenlighting all-electric 3 Series, X4 and Mini for production.
Handelsblatt, a major business journal in Germany, reported today that BMW is undergoing some restructuring that will see a merger of its marketing and sales operations for the brands Mini and BMW, and more importantly, the introduction of new EVs:
“In addition to the fully electric “i3” models, which have been in production since 2013, BMW will also offer fully electric versions of the Mini, the BMW 3 series and the X4 SUV, which is built in the United States. The supervisory board is expected to approve the new electric models during a two-day meeting at the end of the month.”
BMW has yet to officially comment on those 3 electric models coming to the market, but the all-electric Mini and the SUV have been rumored for years, while reports about an all-electric 3 Series to compete with the Tesla Model 3 have surfaced a few months back.
Here are our most recent reports on each model:
- A battery-powered MINI is still under consideration, but not coming soon
- Report: first look at the BMW i6, an electric crossover aiming for 300 miles of range in 2020
- Tesla Model 3 to have a real competitor in upcoming all-electric BMW 3 Series
As we previously reported, BMW’s official plans for electric vehicles have not been very ambitious. Aside for a new generation BMW i3 and an all-electric autonomous car in 2021, it didn’t look like the German automaker was going to release anything new in the electric segment for years.
If the board does indeed approve those new models, it will be interesting to get an updated timeline of the electrification of BMW’s vehicle lineup.