In an interview with AutoGazette, BMW’s Chief Development Officer Klaus Fröhlich commented on the electric cars of competitors, such as Mercedes and Audi. In a long and interesting interview, Fröhlich goes into detail about BMW’s approach to electromobility compared to the industry. For example, the R&D Chief says that BMW were pioneers with the i3 and i8 which has helped the company create a competence program for lightweight technologies such as CFRP, e-motors and power electronics as well as battery technology.
“We wanted to learn,” Fröhlich said. “The lessons learned will be seen in the next generation of electric cars that we mass-produce.”
“With the BMW i3 we were pioneers and with the i8 we have shown that electrified vehicles can also be emotional,” added the BMW board member. “And this year we will sell around 140,000 electrified vehicles. Thanks to our architecture, we are able to electrify any vehicle, provided the customer demand is there. With the advancement of the architectures, we can offer each model also battery electric, if the markets demand it. So we are able to industrialize and scale. We do not need showcase vehicles.”
Furthermore, Fröhlich sees the upcoming competitor’s electric vehicles as “nothing other than pilots”, project for collecting first-hand knowledge.
Without calling Mercedes EQC and Audi e-tron by name, he puts the two electric SUVs of German premium competition on a completely different level than the BMW iX3. Just like the 2019 MINI E, the iX3 from 2020 and the i4 will also use the fourth generation of BMW electric drives. From 2021 onwards, the fifth generation of the BMW drivetrain architecture will be seen in the iNext vehicle which will be one of the two architectures within BMW Group and the future for the company, both in conventionally-powered vehicles and in electric cars.
For the next two years, Fröhlich expects further allegations that the BMW Group has overslept on the topic of electromobility.
“But then you’ll see that we can build e-cars profitably in mass production and others just do not,” Fröhlich added. “With the competitors’ first electric cars, they only practice “what we practiced four or five years ago. The only difference is that they use bigger batteries than we did back then. ”
For the future, Fröhlich announces that it will offer all BMW and MINI electric cars with at least two different sized storage units. Just like classic cars with combustion engines, the customer can then decide which level of performance and range he actually needs and wants to pay for.
As we said, the interview is quite extensive and full of interesting quotes, so feel free to click here for the Google Translated version.