German auto mainstay BMW is setting an ambitious target to increase electric car sales by 30 per cent year-on-year, every year, until 2025 as it sets its eye on meeting strict EU emissions targets.
Stepping up its crusade to switch to low and zero emissions transport, the car maker has steeply accelerated its goal for 25 electrified models by two years to 2023, the carmaker announced on Tuesday (European time).
If BMW meets its bold goal for an increase in battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle sales, it will mean that based on its 2018 electric vehicle sales figures of just over 140,000 between 2020 and 2025 it will sell over 3 million low and zero emissions vehicles.
“We are moving up a gear in the transformation towards sustainable mobility, thereby making our company fit for the future: Over the past two years, we have consistently taken numerous decisions that we are now bringing to the roads. By 2021, we will have doubled our sales of electrified vehicles compared with 2019,” said Harald Krüger, BMW AG chair in Munich on Tuesday.
BMW’s all-electric i3 has already sold 150,000 units since its introduction in 2013, and along with the brand’s plug-in hybrid i8 will be joined by the upcoming i4 which it is readying for production at its Munich car manufacturing facility.
These models will be joined in time by another 22 electrified models, including plug-in electric versions of BMW’s 3 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X5 Series as well as the new BMW X3, all of which were on display at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
The all-electric Mini Cooper SE, which is slated for production in Oxford later this year will also join the lineup, and a plug-in hybrid electric Countryman Mini is already available in Australia.
In addition to its planned production vehicles, the brand has also outlined its vision for the future of transport with its angular and autonomous Vision I-Next concept and the Motorrad Vision DC electric motorcycle.
“Our vision is clear: sustainable mobility, produced in a sustainable manner. We have set ourselves the goal of only buying electricity from renewable energy sources for all our locations worldwide from 2020,” said Krüger.
“We fulfill our social responsibility – in all its different facets. We are firmly committed to emission-free driving. At the same time, we stand by our corporate responsibility towards our employees, shareholders and investors.”
While the company has attracted some negative commentary in the media with regard to the large number of plug-in hybrid vehicles it has planned, it is taking pains to impress that the PHEV vehicles – which are in comparison to their full battery electric cousins (BEV) due to the high prices of batteries – have their place in cities.
In Europe many cities such as Madrid are introducing “green zones” in which only zero emissions vehicles are allowed to drive.
By using geofencing technology, BMW intends to ensure that its PHEV vehicles will given the same access rights as their BEV counterparts.
When entering a green zone, BMW PHEVs would automatically switch to electric-only driving, in effect becoming zero emissions vehicles within the designated metro area.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.