BMW Speeds Up Plans for Electric Vehicle Rollout

By Christian Stampfer on 25 June 2019
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BMW’s i3 electric vehicle

MUNICH—BMW will accelerate its plans to bring additional electric and hybrid-electric vehicles to the market, the automaker said Tuesday at an event in Munich. It is also introducing a new feature that will automatically switch off internal combustion engines in its hybrid cars when they enter heavily polluted city centers, which the automaker refers to as “eDrive Zones.”

The Bavarian automaker plans to have 25 electrified models on sale by 2023, two years earlier than originally planned. More than half of the new lineup will be comprised of electric vehicles, while the remainder will be hybrids.

“We expect to see a steep growth curve towards 2025: Sales of our electrified vehicles should increase by an average of 30% every year,” BMW Chairman Harald Krüger said.

BMW is also introducing a gamification system to create environmentally-woke drivers, BMW Points. A BMW hybrid driver will get points based on the distance his vehicle travels on electric-only power, with a goal of maximizing the use of the electric-vehicle mode. The points are redeemable for free charges on the Charge Now network as well as for other BMW products such as its car-sharing program.

The eDrive Zone concept was piloted by the automaker in Rotterdam via an app that mimicked the eDrive Zone geofence and drivers were monitored to see if it resulted in changed habits. Another group of drivers had a similar app with an early version of BMW Points included. BMW said that the drivers used electric power for 90% of all suggested routes.

Both systems will be standard on BMW plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles starting in 2020.

Meanwhile, BMW reports that sales of electric vehicles are increasing.

“Boy 2021, we will have doubled our sales of electrified vehicles compared with 2019,“ said Krüger.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)