Change is about to become a serious, tangible reality at BMW, a process that’s actually been underway for a couple of years now, as the Bavarian legend first announced a research initiative into EV powertrains, and then established the BMW Connected Store, one of the industry’s first experiences allowing drivers to pay for over-the-air software upgrades. Now it’s time to get down to the real stuff. This week, BMW revealed the outline of its transition into an EV-dominant company, which will culminate in 2025 when BMW introduces its all-electric Neue Klasse vehicle category, which will boast all-new IT and software architecture, plus environmental sustainability through every chapter of its lifespan, from component purchasing to recycling.
The schedule is comprehensive and impressive. BMW’s all-electric i4 will join existing electrified BMWs three months ahead of schedule as a 2021 model, to be shortly joined by the new iX, which will feature the new, eighth generation of BMW iDrive, the most potent operating system yet installed in one of its vehicles. By the end of the year, more than 2 million BMWs will comprise the world’s largest vehicle fleet capable of over-the-air software upgrades. BMW expects to produce a dozen EVs by 2023, giving it at least one electric choice in 90 percent of the market segments BMW serves. By 2030, EVs will account for half of BMW’s global deliveries. MINI will achieve the same percentage by 2027, and will become an all-electric brand sometime in the early 2030s.