Plug-in-hybrid variants will be offered in all models alongside current line-up.
BMW is betting high on its latest ‘iPerformance’ sub-brand, by extending its quest for battery power in all models by 2020. In an interview to Car and Driver, the company’s CEO Herald Kruger has confirmed this aspirational plan, adding that all the electrified models will be on par with their gas-powered counterparts in terms of driving traits and sporty performance, something that is a hallmark of all BMWs. Advancements in acceleration and responsiveness of electric motors-driven cars is increasingly realised.
The iPerformance refers to BMW’s plug-in-hybrid models, which is significant as it signifies the transfer of technology from BMW i (i3, i8) to the core brand. The ‘i’ logo has already debuted in BMW 330e (3-Series Hybrid) and 530e (5-Series Hybrid) launched this year, along with 740e xDrive and X5 xDrive40e hybrid models. In a similar move, the other model ranges including 2-Series, 4-Series, 6-Series, and the X-range of SUVs will be introduced to the ‘i’ hybrid technology.
But, what’s going to be the buyers response? BMW speculates that their hybrid sales volume by 2025 may not exceed more than 20 percent. Therefore, the new hybrid variants can’t replace the existing ICE-powered models. By that time, petrol and diesel cars will have to meet even stringent emission norms, so the regular research and development of ICE will continue as usual. BMW has said that its hydrogen fuel-cell models will also be market ready by 2025.
The BMW i-brand has received great response from customers in this almost four years of inception. The company has sold over 100,000 electrified hybrid vehicles globally so far. The BMW group is also electrifying the Mini Countryman due for market launch next year.