BMW i5 and iX1 Electric Vehicles Confirmed
German automaker BMW AG recently announced that its battery-powered i3 EV will be discontinued. The BMW i3 happens to be the company's only mass-market electric car offering and is the only model in its 'i' portfolio to feature a fully-electric powertrain, with the exception of the niche plug-in hybrid i8 sports car.
BMW's decision to axe the i3 seemed counterproductive at first, considering the growing interest and popularity of EVs. Even other mainstream German automakers including Audi and Mercedes-Benz are actively working to expand their electrified portfolios.
It stands to reason that BMW's plummeting EV sales could no longer justify the electric hatchback's production cost. The company, however, claims that the drastic drop in sales is a temporary setback and is a part of the transitional period the luxury brand is going through.
The competition in the mass-market EV segment is growing with lightning speed with the introduction of competitively priced capable EVs like the Tesla Model 3 and upcoming Model Y. With more automakers moving into the electric space, BMW sure has its work cut out.
According to recent reports, BMW is already working on addressing this situation. The company has commissioned the production of an all-electric BMW 5-Series sedan and X1 crossover SUV. There is no word on whether or not these offerings will make their way to the North American dealerships though.
The reports also claim that these two EVs will be part of BMW's 12-model electric car portfolio, which the company plans on introducing by 2023. Following this, BMW has confirmed that it will be completely electrifying company's remaining lineup, including the popular 3-Series.
The only other electrified models that BMW currently offers are plug-in hybrid variants of the company's standard nameplates. This includes the BMW 330e and 530e plug-in hybrid sedans, as well as the BMW X5 40e plug-in SUV. However None of these hybrid models offer significant battery-only driving range.
BMW has a lot of ground to cover when it comes to battery powered crossovers. Once the company launches the all-electric BMW X1, it will compete against the Jaguar I-PACE, Audi e-tron and the fully-electric Volvo XC40, which is scheduled to go on sale sometime next month.
In addition, BMW's rival Mercedes-Benz has also been spotted testing an all-electric EQB prototype crossover, which looks almost production-ready.
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