BMW is still pursuing its previously revealed plan to convert all of its various model platforms to electric drivetrains (this includes range-extending engines and plug-in hybrids, of course) over the next decade or so, according to recent reports.
As reported when we covered this topic previously, the transition will see even the company’s top-selling 3 Series sport sedans turned into plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
The overall plans for the change were laid out several months ago in the industry-leading magazine Autocar — where it was described as being “the latest thinking from BMW’s advanced engineering department.” So, while perhaps not set in stone, the change seems likely.
This seems especially true when one considers the changes to vehicle carbon emissions standards in the European Union that are set to go into effect over the coming years. The connection is that, by transitioning its vehicle platforms to hybrids/plug-ins, the company can greatly improve vehicle fuel efficiency, and thus greatly reduce vehicle carbon emissions.
In addition to the transition to plug-ins, BMW is also aiming to notably reduce vehicle weights (allowing for heavier battery packs without increased total-vehicle-weight), and to improve vehicle aerodynamics.
Reduced weights will be achieved partly through the use of “new materials” — such as the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) used in the BMW i3.
Worth noting here is that the company will reportedly be improving all-electric range for its plug-in offerings to a fairly notable degree — with capacity for mainstream models being likely to be ~60 miles to a full charge.
Image Credit: BMW