The first dedicated electric vehicle platform for BMW, called Neue Klasse within the company, will not arrive until 2025, but it will focus around a size or segment of the market that is always crucial to the German automaker: the 3-Series.
According to BMW CEO Oliver Gypsy, in a comment made during the company’s first-quarter earnings call last week, the new Class model will “focus on the 3-Series segment.”
That lineup with what Gypsies said in multiple comments, including a recent response to a recent Press-Green Car report, at the i7’s debut last month.
The i5 comes after the i7, in 2023, built on the same CLAR platform that underpinned the i4 and i7 electrical flagships. These models have a very traditional form, revolving around a traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout.
2023 BMW i7
Zipse argued that for a flagship like the i7, a flexible platform intended to be shared with internal combustion vehicles remained the best approach. And as he has claimed before, this prevents the EVs from looking the same in future lineups.
“If a dedicated platform came with unique advantages, we would do it,” the CEO said in response to a question about why the i7 was best made as a version of the long-hood internal combustion model. “One size fits all is not right for us.”
Collectively, the BMW model line has sold nearly 2 million 7-Series cars in about 45 years. It expects BMW to sell by 2025 collectively with almost the same number of EVs.
2022 BMW 3-Series (330e)
But apparently, the line of thought with the 3-Series section is a little different. BMW has sold over 15 million 3-Series cars, making it one of the best-selling automakers in its history – a model that has lost owners to the Tesla Model 3 in recent years.
Until the Neue Klass arrives, and beyond (with the possibility of a solid-state cell), BMW is looking at a hybrid approach to electrify its vehicles – selling some of them as EVs, some as plug-in hybrids and others as hybrids. According to Zipse, BMW plans to sell “a big chunk” of its 7-Series model as the i7, however, with a “footprint” for the EV in each of its 140 markets – although it has taken the initiative to have a share of some 90%, 10% among others.
It all looks like BMW sees half of its sales electric sales by 2030 towards a target.
Although Zipse is convinced that electric is the future, he says the company will continue to answer the market for its petrol vehicles — that is, the conversion to EVs is happening in parallel.
2022 BMW 3-Series (330e)
“Of course it will be impressive,” he added under pressure, adding that the BMW EV could accelerate its pace in the rollout if the market wanted it.
And Zipse says there is “no indication” that the ICE market will collapse after ten years – which puts it in a position to question the rationale behind various other premium brands that have pledged to shift to all-electric by 2030.
“There’s another 50%,” he insisted, referring to a liquidity that had been asked of him before. “And will you confiscate it?”