says it can build electric cars and regular ones on same platforms:
Jan 25, 2018 John Voelcker
As the auto industry plans more electric cars in higher volumes for the
2020s, one of the great debates is whether they will need to be designed
from the ground up solely for battery power.
Doing so allows designers to offer larger cabins due to the more compact
drive motors and electronics.
One of the best examples of that idea is the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace electric
The I-Pace design is clearly that of a Jaguar, but its proportions include a
shorter nose and longer cabin than would be possible in a gasoline-powered
crossover of the same shape and footprint.
VW Group has decided its future electric vehicles will all be built on a
dedicated architecture known as MEB, with the first one—the Volkswagen ID
hatchback—going into production late next year.
But BMW is going against the flow, following a radical 2016 restructuring of
its future electric-car lineup for 2019 and thereafter.
The company believes that the next generations of its two core platforms can
serve equally well for vehicles powered by engines—with or without plug-in
hybrid capability—and those running exclusively on energy stored in a large
underfloor battery pack.
One platform is the next version of the FAAR front-wheel-drive platform that
underpins today's Mini Cooper range and BMW X1 small crossover. It now
offers all-wheel drive either via mechanical drive or using a rear electric
The other is the CLAR architecture first used for the latest 7-Series and
5-Series large sedans, which has been "re-engineered to accommodate
combustion, hybrid, and EV drivetrains," according to Car magazine in the
We sat down for a brief chat at last week's Detroit auto show with Stefan
Juraschek, the head of BMW's Electric Powertrain group. He's a man deeply
enmeshed in the plug-in electric vehicles that BMW will launch over the next
two to 10 years.
He declined to answer a number of the questions we asked, including the
structural specifics of how future vehicles would vary.
But he confirmed BMW believes its two architectures—in the form of "modular
kits" of components—are fully capable of serving both cars with powerful
engines and those with large battery packs and more compact electric drive
Summarizing the conversation, Juraschek's points included:
The BMW i3 and i8 launched for 2014 were cutting-edge for their time,
but the company has learned a great deal about real-world use of electric
cars since then
Its modular architecture kits, under development for three years now,
will underpin every vehicle it makes for the next 10 years
BMW now has "confidence for the future" that its "modular kit" of
components provides a "whole bandwidth of architectures" suitable for
everything from battery-electric cars to plug-in hybrids
He also said:
The company has "answered the questions" it had about architectures that
provide the "best compromise for the body-in-white," which will be both
"scalable and flexible for the future"
One key factor is the need to keep similar driving positions among cars
with different powertrains, to maintain the BMW brand personality—despite
thick underfloor battery packs that alter the proportions of vehicles
Future plug-in hybrid BMWs will evolve toward what he sees as the
optimal electric range of 60 to 80 km (35 to 50 miles), a number based on
real-life driving data accumulated since 2009
Future electric cars still depend on future battery technology and
capacity, which BMW sees improving at 5 to 6 percent a year
No fundamental hurdles exist, just the "hard work" to produce a more
"highly integrated drivetrain" that costs less and provides greater
capabilities to drivers
The company says it now has "the right module architecture," with fewer
interconnects, to take its battery packs well into the future
DC fast charging for highways must and will move to rates of 350
kilowatts, but 50 kw is sufficient for urban use and most daily driving
BMW remains conscious and aware of "360-degree sustainability," which is
to say not just the carbon footprint of driving the vehicles but also their
manufacturing and components (carbon fiber is highly energy-intensive to
The next plug-in electric vehicles expected to emerge from BMW are an
all-electric Mini Cooper for 2019, and an electric version of the latest BMW
X3 compact crossover utility vehicle for 2020.
Once you go EV, you don’t go back. And BMW intends to keep it that way
January 31, 2018 Thirty percent will switch to a pure electric vehicle,
while only 10 percent are going back to a combustion engine. Driving
electric is attractive. How do you make driving an electric car more
convenient? We need to increase the battery size. One way is to look at
battery cell technology. We'll see a permanent improvement ...
The Original Microcar Is Reborn in China
February 5, 2018 If the diminutive little car looks familiar, it should.
According to Car News China (via Motor Authority), the Eagle EG6330K is a
cheap, low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV) modeled after another cheap
vehicle: the BMW Isetta, one of many near-identical postwar “bubble cars”
built under license in Europe and Latin America ...
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