BMW wants to offer the top model of the 7-series with a fully electric drive starting in 2022, while the 5-series will be made available in electric versions a little later. Both series will also continue to be offered as diesel, gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
German newspaper Handelsblatt reported the development with reference to business circles. The plans are apparently a central part of the strategy devised by BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, who took over from Harald Krüger last summer.
Thus, the Munich-based company’s approach of being able to install any drive system in any car in the future using specially developed assemblies is now to be applied to the 5 and 7 series. The Handelsblatt article states that only the most powerful ‘Seven’ series vehicle will be marketed exclusively as an electric car to compete with the likes of Tesla Model S and the electric sedan EQS from Mercedes. Zipse spoke of another “great leap”.
With the “Power BEV”, BMW already presented a test vehicle in June last year as part of “#NEXTgen”, which was supposed to sound out the “technically feasible”. The vehicle had three electric motors with a system output of 530 kW of the fifth electric drive generation. Powered in this way, the vehicle could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in well under 3 seconds. The ‘Power BEV’ test vehicle was based on a current BMW 5 series production vehicle.
BMW has recently presented several PHEV models, including the 3-series built at its main plant in Munich. Production of the iX3 will start this year in China. In 2021, two more BEVs will follow with the i4 and the iNext built in Germany: the i4 in Munich and the iNext in Dingolfing. In preparation, both factories will be extensively converted to the aforementioned flexible production. BMW says it is investing around 400 million euros in adapting production in Dingolfing, where today the PHEV versions of the 5 and 7 series are assembled, and where the purely electric versions announced above would also come off the assembly line. With a view to the conversion at the main plant in Munich, BMW recently announced that it will close the vehicle plant at the production site for upgrades for six weeks in the summer.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France
handelsblatt.com (in German)
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