BMW is pushing ahead with an extensive electrification plan, including five fully electric models by 2021.
Demand for electric vehicles from SME fleets is likely to expand hugely as the implications of the government’s latest benefit in kind company car tables are fully digested.
The latest tables encourage take up of electric vehicles in particular thanks to zero percent benefit in kind taxation during tax year 2020/21, rising to 1% and then 2% in the following two years. It will be maintained at 2% until 2024/25 tax year.
Ultra low emission vehicles, such as plug-in electric hybrids, also have highly attractive tax rates.
BMW says it is making sweeping changes to its product line up that will see the elimination of half of the company’s traditional drivetrain variants.
To replace these vehicles, BMW expects to have in excess of 1m all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the roads by end 2021.
The electric BMWs we know about
The BMW i3 is in its sixth year of production and is posting regular sales increases year on year. The current model is the 120Ah Auto with 188 mile range.
MINI, part of the BMW Group, has the all-new MINI E model with a 145 mile range which customers have just started receiving.
Next on the list the BMW iX3 – an electric version of its SUV with a range of more than 249 miles on a charge – will go into production this year at BMW’s plant in Shenyang, China. Another SUV will follow in 2021 currently called the BMW iNEXT. This is a luxury crossover vehicle with an expected 350 mile range. It will be at the top end of the BMW range in terms of pricing and positioning.
Finally the BMW i4 will arrive in 2021 – dubbed BMW’s Tesla Model 3 rival – which features BMW’s gran coupe design (so four doors and a boot) which will feature BMW’s latest thinking in electric drivetrains. Not only will it be quick (said to do 0-60 in some 4 seconds) but it will have a range in excess of 370 miles.
BMW said its next-gen 7 Series would also be available as an electric version, alongside more conventional drivetrains.
The BMW Group is calling its CO2 reduction and electrification programme ‘Performance > NEXT’.
BMW AG chairman, Oliver Zipse, added:
“By 2023, the BMW Group will already have 25 electrified models on the roads – more than half of them all-electric.
“The key to achieving this objective is having intelligent vehicle architectures that, with the aid of a highly flexible production system, enable a model to be powered fully electrically, as a plug-in hybrid or with a combustion engine.
“With these prerequisites in place, the company is in an ideal position to meet demand in each relevant market segment and offer its customers a genuine power of choice between the various drive types.”