As BMW confirmed that it is about to unveil a series of new all-electric vehicles this year, a company executive said that they are considering getting rid of their current only all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, and their plug-in hybrid of the same sub-brand, the BMW i8.
In an interview with Auto News, Stefan Juraschek, head of electric powertrain for BMW, said that those vehicles were “technology showcases” and they can’t expand into “a family”:
“These cars are very unique. These two cars were not [developed] as a family that we can expand in different [ways] or maybe five or 10 derivatives.”
It’s an interesting comment amid the company announcing that it will bring to market a new vehicle in the ‘i’ sub-brand.
Juraschek said that there might not be a next generation of the i3 and i8 – though it’s apparently still being considered by the German automaker, which makes it sound like they don’t have a second generation of the BMW i3 in the works 5 years after the original launch of the vehicle.
I’ve been highly critical of BMW’s electrification approach over the years and this is a great example of why.
They had the BMW i3 back in 2013 and they have yet to significantly update it and now we learn that there might not even be a next generation.
To be fair, they did have a slightly more energy densed battery pack and made a few changes, but the vehicle has remained the same for the most part and it led to the vehicle falling behind the competition when it comes to all-electric vehicles.
With that said, while I’m being hard on BMW’s overall electrification effort, it might be the right move to kill the i3 and i8 and focus on a whole new family of EV’s.
The BMW i3 had some good sales in a few markets with good EV incentives, but it is otherwise doing poorly in terms of sales.
In the US, BMW deliveries only consisted of just over 6,000 units last year – down from the previous year even with the new battery pack.
What do you think? Is it time to kill the BMW i3 and focus on something else? Let us know in the comment section below.