There have been many critics of BMW’s efforts in the world of electrification. At the moment, the only pure BEV that the Bavarians have is the BMW i3 and its range pales in comparison to its competitors. However, the brand is working hard on the future of electrification behind the scenes and it’s now even partnering with another brand — Jaguar Land Rover.
Both BMW and Jaguar Land Rover recognize the need to collaborate to survive in this new automotive landscape.
“The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation. We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification. With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.
At the moment, BMW is working on its Gen 5 eDrive powertrain technology. The Gen 5 eDrive is comprised of an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one housing. Furthermore, it isn’t made using rare Earth materials, making it less expensive and less reliant on rare materials moving forward.
Don’t think that JLR won’t bring anything to the electric table, though. Jaguar is actually a bit ahead of BMW in the EV game, at least judging by the cars currently on sale. The Jaguar I-Pace is a superb electric SUV and one that manages to combine impressive range, fantastic performance and sporty handling all in a stunning looking package. In fact, the I-Pace is one of the most well-rounded EVs on the market.
This new collaboration will help keep development costs down, as developing new EV tech is extremely expensive. So the two groups can split development costs while still getting top-notch technology. More importantly is the new ability to share ideas and techniques, thus making the best EVs possible.
Unfortunately, this comes right as Jaguar’s lead designer Ian Callum stepped down. Callum is one of the absolute best automotive designers in the business and is the man responsible for all of Jaguar’s current beauties, including the I-Pace, F-Type and XJ. It would have been very cool to see a Callum-designed BMW EV. Still, Jaguar’s team is still great at designing cars, so maybe some of that will rub off on BMW.