With an electrified fleet consisting mostly of plug-in hybrids, BMW Group managed to sell 145,815 units in 2019 – an increase of 2.2% over the previous year. The total BMW Group sales for the year was 2,520,307 (+1.2%) units, which means that nearly 6 percent of all the sales were either plug-in hybrid or electric. The BMW i brand continued its positive sales trend last year with the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 (42,073 units, +12.1%). On the MINI side, sales of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid were up 28.1% in 2019.
2020 is another big year for BMW Group. There will be several plug-in hybrids coming to market and two fully electric cars. The introduction of the new BMW 330e, the BMW X5 xDrive45e, the BMW X3 plug-in hybrid and the pure-electric MINI Electric brings the total number of electrified vehicles in the BMW Group line-up to 12. BMW’s first fully electric SUV will also arrive this year – BMW iX3.
BMW pledged that by 2023, there will be 25 electrified vehicles in the lineup, more than half of them fully electric. A quarter of the BMW Group vehicles sold in Europe are expected to be electrified by 2021; a third by 2025 and half by 2030. We already know that BMW is planning the iNEXT (iX), i4 and iX1, with other potential fully electric models coming to market as well.
MINI will also add some new electrified models, and Rolls-Royce will bring a Ghost EV luxury car.
Despite a clear electric offensive, BMW will continue to invest in their ICE platform, as well as on alternative drivetrains. For example, the fuel-cell projects at BMW are actively being tested. A small volume BMW X5 with fuel cell announced for 2022 will not be available for sale, but will be awarded to selected customers by the BMW Group. Depending on the hydrogen conditions and the actual demand, BMW plans to offer a vehicle with a fuel cell for ordinary sale at the earliest in 2025.
A BMW X7 with fuel cell tech is rumored to be on the drawing board as well.
The M brand will also get to play with their first plug-in hybrid as well. We’ve learned recently that the BMW X8 M or the M Performance version of the X8 will feature some sort of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The two cars won’t likely be out before 2022.
One thing is clear. The percentage of BMW electrified vehicles will grow year-over-year, and soon, that growth will be exponential. Yet, for the next five years, the majority of BMW Group sales will likely still consist of cars powered by internal combustion engines.