What has BMW been up to lately? The company recently announced that they are currently focusing on electrification, and so far, their new architecture will enable “electrification of every model series”. In other words, all brands and all models can already be electrified in the near future – as either a full-electric version or as plug-in hybrid powertrain one. The company plans to make these available by the end of the decade. There will definitely be more fully-electric vehicles in the next generation.
On July 25, the company confirmed that the fully electric MINI 3 door variant will be the company’s core model. But production for this model will not begin its production until 2019. By doing that, MINI customers will have more choices when it comes to powertrains. Soon, choices will range from petrol, diesel internal combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid, and a battery electric vehicle. Since it is the BMW Group that is starting this, the MINI’s electric drivetrain will first be built at the Plant Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria, before it gets shipped to the Oxford Plant where the MINI 3 door models are being built.
The Dingolfing and Landshut plants are vital to the company’s global production network as the company’s global competence center for electric mobility, said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Management Board member for Production. He then added that their system can adapt to rapidly changing customer demands, and that it is innovative. Though they have not done this yet, they are confident that they can quickly increase production of electric drivetrain components quickly if it is necessary.
In the next decade, the company’s goal is to account for 15-25 percent of electrified vehicle sales. However, it may not be that easy to penetrate all markets due to factors like regulation, infrastructure, and incentives. Having said that, the BMW Group has developed a system that makes them flexible across its global production network. The company also stated that soon, factories will be able to build models with different powertrains all at the same time.
Since 2013, BMW has operated ten plants worldwide that produce electrified models. And again, all the elements needed to build these electric powertrains come from the Dingolfing and Landshut plants. The company has invested millions of euros on the Dingolfing plant, and it is also in charge of building the plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 5- and 7-Series, and by 2021, it will start with the production of the BMW i NEXT.
Currently, BMW is the largest automaker when it comes to offering electrified vehicles, with already nine models including: the full-electric BMW i3 and the plug-in version of the MINI Countryman. The company aims to deliver 200,000 electrified vehicles by the end of the year.