BMW Makes Electric Push

BMW Makes Electric Push

BMW is severely ramping up its electrified vehicle production.

The automaker said its main production plant in Dingolfing, southern Germany will begin making its first full EV, the iNEXT, in 2021 alongside hybrids and ICE-powered cars. Plant director Ilka Horstmeier said BMW aims “to pioneer” electric and autonomous vehicles and to this end it is creating “up to 2,000” new jobs manufacturing its eDrive EV motors and batteries, the fifth generation of which will commence production in 2020. BMW boasted that the plant doubled its production of electrified vehicles at the plant last year, while admitting they still represented just 9% of its total output.

One major market for the iNEXT will be China, which Bloomberg NEF figures show accounted for 37% of all passenger EV sales between 2011 and June 2018 and whose government offers generous incentives and subsidies to boost adoption of such vehicles. Despite this, China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) figures show just 601,000 full EVs and hybrids were sold in the country in 2018’s first three quarters.

Horstmeier claimed the iNext incorporates “all key automotive technologies: it is fully electric, fully connected, and highly automated” and its production at Dingolfing could allow the town to become a major hub for AV development. She admitted market “conditions” for BMW “were not always favorable” in 2018 and the automaker would need to respond quickly and flexibly to 2019’s automotive market.


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