BMW’s electric agenda seems like an enigma, always changing, and growing more confusing with every update. On one hand, the company has had the i3 and i8, which represent different levels of electrification, for ages now. On the other hand, they have held out longer than most in their insistence that customers demand ICE-cars.
Now that may change, according to a Reuters relay of an interview Der Spiegel had with BMW Work Group’s chair, Manfred Schoch. Schoch hinted at some shakeup inside of BMW,which may lead to an actual pure-EV platform coming from the company.
Only with our own e-architecture can we fully exploit the advantages of an electric vehicle.
Up until now, BMW has kneecapped their EVs by making them share an architecture with their hybrid and combustion vehicles. That made it so they could share assembly lines for stretches of assembly. It also made their EVs hardly competitive with the optimized “skateboard” systems of other manufacturers.
For example, GM has announced their Ultium architecture, which will allow for a rigid battery and motors to be adapted between different vehicles on the same platform. Most of these new architectures are a crucial move in the right direction, but still years behind Tesla, and BMW is just now getting around to testing the waters of this style of platform.
— Autocar (@autocar) June 26, 2020
Coinciding this interview, Autocar has spotted what appears to be an electric version of the 3-Series in testing. With these new electric versions of their current lineup becoming more frequent, it’s only a matter of time before adaptation turns into innovation.