We think BMW loves it when a plan comes together. In this case, the plan was to sell 100,000 BMW i and iPerformance models in 2017. Harald Krüger, Chairman of the BMW AG Board of Management announced the completion of that goal on December 18, 2017 by symbolically turning BMW’s “four-cylinder” headquarters building into four big blue batteries.

BMW considers itself a leader in electromobility and we have seen nothing to prove otherwise. One of its core priorities is electrification. Currently eight BMW models and one Mini are either fully electric or plug-in hybrids. By 2025, that number will go to 25 electrified models with twelve being pure electric.

“We deliver on our promises,” said Krüger as he lit up the building. “This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electromobility. Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us. Since the introduction of the BMW i3 in 2013, we’ve delivered over 200,000 electrified cars to our customers and by 2025, we will offer 25 electrified models to our customers. Our early focus on electromobility has made this success possible—and electromobility will continue to be my measure for our future success.”

In 2021, BMW anticipates fielding the fifth generation of its electric drivetrain and battery technology, which we assume will be on display with the production version of the BMW iNext car that will be fully electric with at least Level 3—and possible greater—autonomous driving capability.

By that time, BMW’s electrified powertrains will be scalable to the extent that any BMW model in any plant in the world can be built as a conventionally powered vehicle, or an electric one. BMW has trademarked a number of names that include the letter “i,” from the i1 to i9 and the iX1 to iX9. There will be no shortage of names, therefore, to put electrified vehicles under.

According to the Polk/IHS Report issued on December 7, 2017, the BMW Group leads all competitors in Europe in registrations of new fully electric and plug-in hybrids. Comparing electrified vehicles to traditional ones, BMW’s market share in the electric vehicle segment is three times greater than its share of the conventionally powered segment. Worldwide, BMW has a 10-percent share of the global electrified vehicle market.

An 80-year-old driver from the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany took delivery at the BMW Welt on December 18th of the 100,000 electrified BMW Group vehicle sold in 2017. It was a Protonic Blue BMW i3. Chairman Krüger personally handed him the keys, saying, “the excitement connected to electromobility is felt by all generations and handing over the 100,000th electrified car we’ve brought to the streets this year is a very special moment for me.”

The transformation of the BMW headquarters building into four upright blue batteries was scheduled for 8:00 PM until midnight on December 18th. It would have been great to see it in person, because in the photos, it looked very cool. It would be a nice touch to do that every time a customer took delivery of a BMW i or iPerformance vehicle in the BMW Welt, but the electricity needed would kind of defeat the purpose of building green electric cars.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]

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