BMW is promising a series of new all-electric cars starting next with the first all-electric Mini, but the most anticipated one is the 2021 iNext electric vehicle, which the German automaker has been positioning as a Tesla Model 3 competitor.
They are now hinting at a major range increase for the upcoming vehicle.
Last year, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, casted doubts on Tesla’s ability to produce Model 3 in volume at $35,000 and said that the iNext will be the real competitor in the same segment.
Tesla has yet to prove him wrong. While they are now achieving some significant production volume, they are not yet producing the base version at $35,000, but the company claims that it will change in the next few months.
BMW is not too nervous about that since it doesn’t plan a significant entry in the same segment until 2021 with the iNext.
The vehicle is reportedly going to be based on the ‘NEXT 100’ concept – pictured above – and the German automaker has been talking about a high level of automation and a range of “up to 300 miles.”
But on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show this week, Motortrend says that the company confirmed that they have actually changed their target to an insane 435-mile range.
They didn’t specify on what standard that range is based on, but BMW often refers to NEDC, which isn’t always representative of real-world range.
If that’s based on NEDC, it would represent a decent range increase over the current Model 3 Long Range, but nothing spectacular – especially over the timeline to production in 2021.
But if it’s not based NEDC, it would be a significant improvement, which could potentially mean that BMW would be relying on a new type of battery in order to deliver this kind of range in a mass-market vehicle.
Unless we are talking about a notable improvement in energy density, if you are adding more weight to add energy capacity, it negatively affects efficiency. Therefore, it often doesn’t make sense to carry a large and heavy battery pack capable of powering the car for over 400 miles on a single charge when 90% of the time, the driver will not use more than 10% of it.
What do you think? Is BMW really planning to beat the Model 3 by 100 miles over the next 3 years or is it just a marketing game using the different driving cycles? Let us know in the comment section below.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.