German luxury carmaker BMW has confirmed plans to launch an all-electric version of its compact sport utility vehicle, the BMW X3.
The version will not be available until the next generation comes out. BMW also plans to launch electric version of the Mini along with this new BMW X3. The expanding market for electric luxury cars is already targeted by manufacturers like Mercedes and Volkswagen. Not keen on being left out of the party, BMW are target a swift entry into the segment. Even though the carmaker has a few offerings from the ‘i’ range, it has not exactly taken off as expected.
BMW is under a lot of pressure from Mercedes in terms of worldwide sales. BMW sales has been consistently falling in recent years. The company only recently came out with the latest BMW 7 Series. The new 5 series sedan, which is expected to be a major driver of sales, will be unveiled next year. For the time being, focus on the BMW X3 electric will be intense within BMW quarters; it was clear from the absence of high-profile BMW boffins at the Paris Motor Show. They have reportedly been in intense talks over the last few days in the wake of an electric vehicle announcement from Mercedes.
BMW 3 series, BMW X4, and a few Mini models are also set to receive full electric versions if reports are to be believed. One of the primary reasons behind the interest in all-electric luxury cars is the success of Tesla with cars like the Model S and Model X. A large part of their success has been down to autonomous driving technology and electric vehicles that offer range which is similar to a gas powered vehicle.
Keen to make an impression in this market, Volkswagen and Mercedes have been highly aggressive in their strategy to catch up with Tesla. General Motors is also in the process of offering a full-electric car, Chevrolet Bolt, to fill the needs of the mass market rather than the luxury market.
Another German automaker Audi also revealed plans to launch all-electric models. The Audi e-tronquattro concept was first seen at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt as early as in 2015. However, a full production model is not expected until 2018. Audi expects that in 2025 one in four cars sold in the United States will be electric.
The full-electric BMW X3 is expected to be priced just above the gas powered range.