Speaking to Australian media at the Frankfurt motor show today, BMW’s boss of electric mobility, Dirk Arnold, admitted the original idea for the BMW i brand of cars was to have more than just the current i3 and i8 by now.
“That was the plan, actually. We started with the i3 and maybe it was not crystal clear, but it was obvious that we needed to learn. Of course, everyone pretends to know everything over the last ten years and everyone did that in the past, thinking they know what will happen in 2021 - but it's predicting the future. No one knows that, otherwise, we would win the lottery if we were able to do that,” Arnold said
According to Arnold, the lack of support for electric cars from governments around the world came as a surprise to BMW, which is only just now seeing worldwide policies favouring such vehicles, admitting that the company was perhaps too hasty.
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“We are on track with the plan, of course. We were looking at the whole development and, to be honest, for some countries or for some aspects that are important for the whole development, we misjudged the situation," he said.
"We expected more pressure from the government or more support from the political side, it developed totally different… it some countries, like Belgium, it came in only two years ago.”
Nonetheless, it’s full steam ahead for electric cars at the Bavarian brand, with promises of one new electrified vehicle per year for the foreseeable future, with the announcement of the BMW’s i Vision Dynamics concept just the beginning.
“We now introduce update for the i3 and i8 roadster. Over the next couple of years, we will introduce at least one electrified vehicle per year. The nine models we have today we will increase over time.”
All upcoming electrified vehicles will come under the BMW i sub brand, which will also see them differentiated from the standard cars visually.
“You need to recognise the car definitely and authentically as a BMW i model, so you can’t have it looking quite the same, you need certain BMW i for the design and other aspects.”
BMW believes that the future of the automobile is electrified, with the path to electrification now irreversible.