BMW is about to finally unleash a series of new electric cars after sitting on the BMW i3 since 2013.

Amongst the many EVs planned to hit production in the next two years, we’ve now learned that the German automaker is is planning the ‘BMW i1’, which is going to be an electric hatchback based on the BMW 1 Series.

BMW claims to be on board with electrification, but after the BMW i3 in 2013, the company has been focusing its efforts on plug-in hybrids and it has yet to release a new all-electric vehicle.

They have the Mini Electric coming by the end of the year. They also have the BMW iX3, an all-electric SUV, which is due to go on sale next year. The BMW i4, an all-electric sedan, and the BMW iNEXT, an all-electric crossover, are also being brought to market in 2021.

Earlier this year, BMW revealed the latest iX3, i4, and iNEXT electric vehicle prototypes during winter testing.

Now Auto Express reports that BMW confirmed that an all-electric 1 Series, called BMW i1, is to be added to the list:

“BMW bosses have exclusively revealed to Auto Express that an entry-level, electric hatchback based on the 1 Series is in the product plan. And it could be here as early as 2021.”

The revelation came after an interview with the head of BMW’s i Division, Robert Irlinger, in which the executive said that BMW has some flexibility when it comes to electrifying vehicle models:

“Even in the front-drive architecture you will see fully electrified cars. You will see electrification in our whole portfolio. We can rework our front-wheel-drive as well as the rear-wheel-drive platforms and both are able to show all technologies – our customers have the power of choice. Whatever they demand they can get – a plug-in hybrid X3, a fully-electric 4 Series, too. That’s a big step and a big change in our strategy.”

With BMW’s fifth generation electric powertrain technology, the automaker is able to produce the same series cars with different powertrains (all-electric, gas, or plug-in hybrid) on the same production line.

At its ‘NEXTGen’ event in Munich earlier this summer, the German automaker said that it now plans to have 25 electrified models in 2023 – two years ahead of schedule.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

About the Author