Automakers are transforming their lineups as they push to launch full-electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the next few years. Below is a list of what to expect from some leading brands.
BMW expects annual sales of 500,00 electrified cars by the end of 2019, up from about 200,000 last year. BMW brand’s first, full-electric car, the i3 city hatchback launched in 2013, has been a financial flop, largely because its lightweight carbon fiber body means it has a high purchase price. BMW is cutting costs to build electrified cars by building internal combustion cars, hybrids and battery powered cars on the same production lines. “In the future, every BMW Group plant in Europe will be equipped to produce electrified as well as conventional vehicles,” production chief Oliver Zipse said on July 31. This will help ensure that plants are not underutilized.
Next year, BMW will expand its full-electric lineup beyond the i3 with the iX3 SUV, which will be built in China for global markets. BMW will start making the i4 four-door midsize fastback EV in Munich in 2021, which is the same year it will debut its EV flagship, the iNEXT SUV.
BMW will continue selling plug-in hybrid versions of its core BMW brand vehicles under the “iPerformance” label. By 2025, the company wants to offer 25 different electrified models, a dozen of which will be EVs. BMW’s Mini brand will launch its first full-electric car in 2019. The car will use a drivetrain modified from the BMW i3 and is expected to be badged the Mini E. This follows the 2017 launch of the Countryman plug-in hybrid, Mini’s first electrified model.
Next year Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand will launch its first mainstream battery-electric car, the EQC crossover. By 2022, Daimler will electrify Mercedes’s entire range, offering customers at least one electrified alternative in all segments whether it be a 48-volt mild hybrid, a high-voltage plug-in hybrid or a full-electric vehicle. Out of more than 130 electrified vehicles, more than 10 will be powered by a battery alone. Mercedes estimates that the share of electric models will be somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of its total sales by 2025.
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