BMW To Take On Tesla Head-On, German Giant On The Verge Of EV Breakthrough?

Sep 13, 2016 04:40 AM EDT | Jomar Teves


A recent Reuters report stated that several top officials from BMW would be skipping the Paris Motor Show to figure out how the company will continue in its electric car strategy.

Anonymous sources said the company is weighing whether it will change course on its electric i3 program, which only saw 25,000 deliveries a year ago. A few administrators allegedly want the company to create an electric Mini that would hit markets as soon as 2019. 

Yet that's likely a costly attempt since the company would need to adjust the Mini platform to house a giant battery and upgrade its factories to accommodate that production. One unknown source told it would be more costly to retool the i3 platform for a Mini body than to re-engineer the Mini platform to bolster the kind of battery it would need to be all-electric.

Still, government regulations in the U.S. and Europe are , and the popularity of Tesla's Model 3, which got a huge number of reservations in the week after it was announced, are urging companies to invest in electric vehicles.

Other  until i3 sales increase. BMW recently declared that it would expand battery capacity on the i3 by 50 percent with a 33kWh battery, allowing 100 miles of range on a full charge.

Additionally, there's the cost of BMW cars versus that of Minis to consider.

"Senior managers fear they will not recoup the investment costs with Mini-branded cars because these do not command the same sticker prices as BMW-labelled cars," an  the news outlet.

But BMW will be  not just with electric vehicle automaker Tesla but with more traditional competitors like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and even Chevrolet's Bolt program.

The Bolt is expected to cost $30,000 and have a range of around 200 miles. Volkswagen, reeling from its diesel emissions scandal, has promised to deliver 30 new electric vehicles by 2025.

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