BMW has embraced electrification and the company is planning to release more than 20 plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025. That’s a lot of eco-friendly models on the horizon, but the company isn’t sure how popular they will be with consumers.
Speaking with Car and Driver, BMW’s board member for production said “We assume that, by the year 2025, something between 15 and 25 percent of the cars we make will have electric drivetrains.” However, Oliver Zipse went on to admit the company is simply taking a guess as “it could be 40 percent or it could be only 10 percent.”
That’s a lot of uncertainly, but the company is hedging its bets with the “Fifth Generation” architecture. While many companies are developing bespoke platforms for electric vehicles, BMW is going a different route and developing the Gen 5 platform to be used with conventional, hybrid and electric powertrains.
The report says there will be only be two versions of the architecture and they will be closely related. One will be for front-wheel drive models, while the other will be for rear-wheel drive vehicles. Despite the front- and rear-wheel drive split, both versions of the platform will accommodate an all-wheel drive system.
As a result, all future models will ride on a platform that has been designed to accommodate a battery pack underneath the floor. However, a majority of models won’t utilize this space as conventional powertrains are expected to remain popular well into the future. This will create some issues as the publication says future BMWs will be taller to accommodate the additional battery space.
The first model to ride on the Gen 5 platform will be the iNext which is slated to be launched in 2021. It will be followed by an assortment of other models and the electric variants will use 60 kWh, 90 kWh or 120 kWh battery packs. Vehicles equipped with the latter battery pack will have a range of approximately 435 miles (700 km).