BMW on path to total EV range

bmw i8 electric car

All models to offer electrification

BMW has this morning confirmed that every model in the BMW and MINI range will be electrified.

The German car giants say they are working towards a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being available in all the different vehicles across the BMW/MINI range.

These electrified powertrains will be offered alongside traditional internal combustion engines.

Part of the BMW ‘NUMBER ONE > NEXT’ strategy, the company promising more electrified models will be brought to market in coming years, including the new MINI EV, fully-electric BMW X3 and new i8 Roadster.

The announcement comes after BMW recently brought another new plug-in hybrid model to Australia – the BMW 530e iPerformance.

Behind the Wheel’s Joel Helmes caught up with BMW Australia boss, Marc Werner, to talk about the brand’s hybrids and EVs…

Mark thanks for your time and congratulations on the new addition to the family.

Absolutely. If you look at the heritage of BMW it’s unarguable the five series has been one of our most successful cars we’ve ever built. The Series is now 35 years old, so we believe it’s definitely the right time to launch the 530e and we’re quite excited that it finally arrived here in Australia.

Are you happy with how the Australian public and car buyers have responded to BMW’s existing electric and hybrid models?

We clearly see that there is a mindset shift towards this new technology - electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. So, we are very very optimistic about the future of this technology. Arguably it’s still small volumes but that certainly is going to grow. Our job as a manufacturer is to build even more awareness not only about technology but also to convey the message that BMW has by far the widest range of products available in the market when it comes to electric vehicles and plug in hybrid vehicles.

BMW is selling around twice as many EVs/hybrids as your German rivals. You must be very proud of that?

We’ve always been at the forefront when it comes to this innovative technology and as you might know we launched the ‘i’ brand in November 2014. We’ve been in the market for almost two and a half years now and we are at the forefront of this technology and so we want to keep it that way.

How many of the BMW’s sold in Australia will be a plug-in hybrid or a full electric car in five years?

It really depends on what the consumer or what the customer wants. But I can already reveal that next year in particular we’ll have a new brand shaper which is the BMW i8 spider which is a fascinating car. It looks fantastic. We can’t wait for that car, but there will be other derivatives coming out too.

Overall for BMW, how do you see the brand tracking over the next year, models like the new X3 and X2 must be exciting propositions?

Yeah that’s right. That’s right. I mean we are currently going through renewal of the product range and we’ll see what I call a firework of new products for the next three and a half, if not even four years. It will start with the X3 which has been extremely successful here in Australia given the big demand for SUVs and arguably X3 will become the best-selling product in our product range.

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About Chris Miller 586 Articles
Chris is a writer, co-host of the Behind the Wheel podcast and a self declared car tragic . He is a radio broadcaster by trade and reports traffic for 774 ABC Melbourne, FOX FM and Smooth FM. He also presents a national traffic report on ABC News Radio.

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