At the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Ian Robertson, BMW’s sales chief, told AutoNews that the next BMW i cars are in the final stages of consideration. “We have a number of options that are in the final stages of consideration” to join the i3 battery-powered compact and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car in the “i” lineup, Ian Robertson, BMW’s sales chief. “The i unit will continue to develop.”
Rumors around a new BMW i car have been going around for months now with the i5 name being mentioned the most. Just recently another report mentioned an i5 model arriving in 2020 and being powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
BMW is under pressure as rivals roll out new vehicles in attempt to beat the carmaker in annual sales. Tesla is also preparing two new exciting electric cars: an SUV, Model X, and a 3 Series competitor, Model 3 in 2017.
Over 30,000 copies of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 have been sold since their market launch in late 2013. Even though the two innovative vehicles with carbon fiber passenger cell are still not available in all planned markets planned, the sales have been nothing short of positive. The fully planned market launch was completed in August.
BMW’s strategy for electric cars is to focus on lightweight materials as well as batteries as the industry seeks to extend the distance the vehicles can drive before recharging, Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said at a press briefing at the show.
“We don’t think it makes sense to load up cars with hundreds of kilos of battery power in order to get the long ranges,” Eichiner said. “That’s not a solution. We think battery capacity is going to double for the same amount of weight before long.”
In the mean time, BMW is likely to launch an i3 update within the next two years, followed by an i8 facelift.