The BMW Group has produced many success stories. The BMW i brand is one of them – and a very special one at that. It has already been 10 years since the BMW Group, ahead of everyone else, made electromobility the focus of its Strategy NUMBER ONE and created BMW i – today, one of the world’s leading premium brands for electric models. With its Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, the BMW Group now aims to expand this lead and continue positioning BMW i as the company’s innovation driver. This is also shown by the BMW iNEXT, which will go into series production in 2021.
Strategy NUMBER ONE marked an important milestone on the road to future mobility back in 2007. The focus of the strategy was on bringing electromobility, sustainability and lightweight design to series-production vehicles. “project i” was one of the most important outcomes of Strategy NUMBER ONE, paving the way for sustainable future mobility. It was also the starting point for BORN ELECTRIC and the BMW i brand, with its still highly successful BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. Since 2015, BMW i has been one of the world’s leading and top-selling premium brands for electric models. In 2017 alone, the BMW Group sold more than 100,000 fully and partially electrified vehicles. The goal for 2018 is to deliver 140,000 electrified vehicles by the end of the year. In this way, the BMW Group is underlining its claim to electromobility leadership and expanding it with Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, which has continually evolved since 2016.
In keeping with the motto E-MOBILITY IS THE NEW NORMAL, vehicles will be able to do much more than just drive electric in the future. Over the next few years, the BMW Group will be concentrating not only on strengthening sustainable mobility, but also on expanding additional technological competencies. Highly autonomous and partially autonomous vehicles will be key technologies for future mobility. Connecting people, vehicles and services plays an increasingly important role and is impacting all areas. Even the design has to reflect these new fields of innovation, by creating a new look for sheer driving pleasure.
These visions will go into series production in the new BMW iNEXT from 2021. The first highly autonomous vehicle in the BMW fleet combines a future-proof, scalable and modular system with ground-breaking innovations. Using high-precision maps, sensors, cloud technology and artificial intelligence, the vehicle is in constant communication with the driver and their surroundings. As the technological spearhead of the BMW Group, the BMW i brand will continue to open up new technologies and services relating to mobility.
The BMW iNEXT takes individual premium mobility to a level previously unheard of. This car will set new standards with highly autonomous driving and digital connectivity, as well as its futuristic design and intelligent lightweight construction. Fitted with the next and newest generation of electric drive trains, the BMW iNEXT offers customers a new and fascinating mobility experience, where the technology remains in the background, virtually out of sight. Vehicle functions can also be operated via surfaces, e.g. by touching the wood in the centre console or the Jacquard cloth of the rear seating. In this way, vehicle operation is completely geared towards the driver’s needs. This will be an important element in every new BMW Group model going forward.
Alongside the BMW iNEXT, the BMW Group is also planning other products and services that will fundamentally change the mobility of tomorrow and what our cities look like. By 2025, a total of 25 BMW Group models should be partially or fully electrified. This represents about 15-25% of global vehicle sales, or around 500,000 vehicles per year. The BMW Group already offers 10 electrified models – including the new BMW i8 Roadster. And there will soon be two more highly attractive models on the market, with the release of the battery-electric MINI in 2019 and the battery-electric BMW iX3 in 2020.
With these and other measures, the BMW Group remains a pioneer in individual mobility as it continues to transform itself into a tech company – not least because the BMW i brand has been a huge success as an incubator for innovations. We are certain there will be many more innovations to follow, which the BMW Group will use to shape the mobility of the future.