As BMW has confirmed that it is about to unveil a series of new all-electric vehicles this year, a company executive has said that the automaker is considering getting rid of its current only all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3, and their plug-in hybrid of the same sub-brand, the BMW i8.
In an interview with Automotive News, the Head of Electric Powertrain for BMW, Stefan Juraschek, said that those vehicles were “technology showcases” and they could not expand into a family.
He said, “These cars are very unique. These two cars were not [developed] as a family that we can expand in different [ways] or maybe five or 10 derivatives.”
The report described it as an interesting comment amid the company announcing that it would bring to market a new vehicle in the ‘i’ sub-brand.
Juraschek said that there might not be a next generation of the i3 and i8 – though it was apparently still being considered by the German automaker, which made it sound like they did not have a second generation of the BMW i3 in the works five years after the original launch of the vehicle.
A similar report by Car Buzz also quoted Automotive News as saying it was a big deal when BMW launched its i3 and i8 back in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
It added that the German automaker rightly prided itself as taking the first steps into the electric and hybrid powertrain era. While the i3’s design did not appeal to everyone, and the i8’s price tag was out of range for the average car buyer, BMW still produced a pair of vehicles previewing the future.
Automotive News reported that with the BMW i4 and iNext EVs set to debut in 2020 and 2021, the i3 and i8 would likely no longer be needed.
Meanwhile, BMW has continued to completely overhaul its main vehicle platforms so that it can be compatible with combustion, electric and plug-in hybrid tech.
“If all goes according to plan, those new platforms will be good to go for 2021, thus allowing for a new generation of vehicles, such as the i4. The i3 and i8 may simply no longer be needed because, for starters, much of their technologies will be outdated,” the report stated.