Amidst decreasing electric vehicle efforts, BMW boldly intensifies its pursuits.
The combustion engine’s threshold was surpassed last year,” shared CFO Walter Mertl during a Munich press roundtable. The German auto giant observed a flat lineup of sales for its fossil fuel models and is projecting a slow deterioration. He added, “The growth will soon hinge on electric vehicles.
Record sales of 2.5 million were recorded by BMW in 2019, with 15% contribution from all-electric vehicles. This year, the company expects to increase sales to 500,000 EVs, marking a 33% rise from last year.
Merlt’s announcement was remarkably assertive, considering the firm’s wavering stance on EVs in the past.
Some time ago, BMW was mainly focused on hedging its bets, creating the new CLAR vehicle architecture that could cater to three different powertrain options – internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid, and full electric – on the same production line. The management was undecided on the probable direction of the market, and so, they attempted to cover all bases with one platform that they hoped would serve all needs.
The task proved to be more challenging than BMW anticipated, as their debut EV on the platform, the i4, took 7 years to materialize. At first glance, the EV’s deficiencies were apparent – the tunnel, which normally houses the driveshaft in the traditional model, was unoccupied, and the space beneath the hood was only half-filled. This marked a significant departure from industry standards, as automakers usually utilize every crevice in the structure to optimize the use of metal, with an aim to reduce both weight and cost. While the i4 boasts impressive features, it fails to meet expectations in several aspects.