BMW has a new strategy: what happens to electric cars

The platform will play a “crucial role” in increasing the company’s electric vehicle sales, said CEO Oliver Zipse.

BMW will initially focus its Neue Klasse (New Class) architecture on all-electric models for the mid-range premium segment, said CEO Oliver Zipse.

The platform, which will go into production in 2025 at the new carmaker’s factory in Hungary, will only provide a battery-powered electric transmission, Zipse said.

“When it hits the market, it will be focused on the Series 3 segment, and by then the market will have grown to a size where it is reasonable to have only one transmission in that architecture,” Zipse said.

Zipse’s comments highlight the change in BMW’s thinking about the carmaker’s architecture, which was originally planned to be fully electric, but also supports cars with petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, including plug-in hybrids.

BMW said at the IAA Motor Show in Munich in September that the Neue Klasse would be electric only.

Zipse said that the architecture will be “mainly focused on the middle (medium) car segment. It does not cover from the lower segments to the luxury segments “, he said.

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However, after its initial launch on medium-sized cars, BMW intends to expand the use of the all-electric car architecture to other segments.

The new platform

“Neue Klasse starts with models in the middle car segment, but of course there are more to come,” said a BMW spokesman. “Neue Klasse is our range of models for the future – from the high-volume segment to exclusive high-performance models,” he said.

Changing the strategy of using the platform only on medium-sized all-electric models will allow BMW to keep the combustion engines longer on larger models.

BMW is launching a new generation of its flagship 7 Series sedan this year, with plug-in hybrid diesel and petrol propulsion systems, and a fully electric variant, called the i7.

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Zipse said in its call for revenue that BMW aims to reach cumulative sales of 2 million fully electric cars by 2025, on its way to the goal of having only half of its sales electric by 2030.

“We are doing everything we can to achieve this goal sooner,” he said.

The Neue Klasse platform will play a “crucial role” in increasing sales of electric vehicles for the company, Zipse said: “It represents a quantum leap in technology.”

The architecture will have the new generation of electric propulsion of the car manufacturer “with more power, new cell chemistry and new cell formats,” Zipse said.

Zipse’s clarification that the platform will only be reserved for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) was noted by Deutsche Bank analysts.

“We consider it positive that BMW says that from 2025 onwards, the Neue Klasse will be just a BEV, while many market participants have so far understood that it is the first BEV,” the bank wrote in a note to investors.

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