BMW is getting some internal pressure to build an electric-only platform and move away from the strategy to build cars with several different powertrain options on the same platform.
In 2018, the German automaker unveiled its fifth-generation electric powertrain technology, which is first going to be used in the iX3 electric SUV.
At that point, BMW hadn’t released a new all-electric vehicle in five years, and now two years later, the automaker has yet to bring another one to market.
BMW’s approach to all-electric vehicles is extremely cautious.
The automaker built its fifth-generation electric powertrain to be fitted on existing vehicle platforms so that each model from BMW can be produced as a gasoline car, hybrid, or all-electric vehicle on the same production line.
However, we now learn that BMW is seeing a push internally to build a dedicated EV platform.
Manfred Schoch, chairman of the BMW Group Works Council, told Der Spiegel that the German automaker needs its own electric-only platform (via Reuters):
Only with our own e-architecture can we fully exploit the advantages of an electric vehicle.
According to the magazine, Schoch is not alone in thinking that a dedicated platform would help them compete and several managers at BMW are pushing for the same thing.
Autocar is reporting that a 3 series electric is being tested as well with release expected in the 2023ish time frame. Will it be too late to challenge the Model 3 at that point?
— Autocar (@autocar) June 26, 2020
This is interesting.
When I visited BMW in 2018 and they presented their fifth-generation electric powertrain and their plan to adapt it to multi-powertrain vehicle platforms, I asked them if they thought that it would result in compromises for every type of powertrain since they are all built on the same platform.
Most executives refused to acknowledge that it would result in compromises, which seems ridiculous to me.
You can’t optimize a vehicle to be all-electric if it’s built on a platform that also supports combustion engines.
I am glad to hear that at least some people at BMW understand that’s the case, and they are pushing to change that.
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