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BMW's sales chief believes Tesla's dominance over the EV industry is coming to an end, as the German manufacturer invests extensively in electric powertrains. Tesla has been the market leader in electric vehicles for years and continues to outsell its competitors. However, BMW intends to surpass Tesla this year, with a goal of selling 200,000 electric vehicles. This is more than double the quantity sold last year, and it's all part of the brand's ambitious goal of having at least half of its vehicles be totally electric by 2030.
At a press event in New York, BMW Group sales boss Pieter Nota agreed that Tesla had a unique selling point for a while, but that is no longer the case. To compete with Tesla, BMW introduced the i4 and iX, as well as the i7, which will be available soon. Next year, the brand's EV range will continue to grow, with the introduction of an electric 5-Series and an electric Mini Countryman. However, it will not be easy, since the auto industry continues to face supply challenges.
While BMW has stated that it will compete with Tesla in the EV market, it has yet to make the announcement that it would become a fully electric brand, as many other businesses have. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, on the other hand, feels that phasing out the combustion engine too quickly will be harmful to the environment and to everyone else. He claimed that the combustion engine is still by far the most popular, and that phasing it out too fast would be detrimental to the environment and others. According to him, the phase-out of the combustion engine must be slow and well-planned.
Thanks to its I brand, BMW is currently at the vanguard of traditional premium automakers and EVs, but it's apparent that the company won't be abandoning combustion engine production anytime soon. However, this does not negate the automaker's efforts to cut emissions. BMW is working on next-generation gasoline and diesel engines that are expected to be more efficient.
The BMW i3 and i8 are just one chapter in the BMW Group's long history of electric mobility research and development.
1602 Elektro (1972)
At the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, the 1602 Elektro was used as a test vehicle for long-distance and marathon runners. It had 12 standard 12-volt lead-acid batteries with a Bosch DC shunt motor capable of producing 32kW.
LS Elektro (1975)
In 1975, BMW constructed another EV test vehicle based on the LS. A new Bosch DC inverted speed motor and ten Varta lead batteries were utilized to boost performance.
BMW started a research project called Electric Car with High-Energy Battery in 1981. The centrepiece was a sodium-sulfur battery that could be plugged into any standard outlet.
BMW designed a customised EV using the ABB sodium-sulphur battery that might appeal to brand-loyal customers as an everyday car — predicting the i3 that would arrive over 20 years later.
3 Series Elektro (1992-95)
A total of 25 test vehicles were built for trials, including automobiles for the Bavarian state government and public tests from 1992 to 1996.
3 Series Electric (1995-97)
This was an advanced version of the Elektro, based on the E36 coupe, with the goal of bringing the technology to a point where it could be mass-produced.
Mini E (2008-09)
610 private and 490 fleet users covered more than 16 million kilometres in the Mini E and provided feedback to BMW using 612 cars across three continents and six countries. The experience was utilised in the creation of the BMW i3 as part of "project i."
The ActiveE was another "project I innovation, this time a conversion of a BMW 1 Series coupe into a practical four-seat electric vehicle. The underpinnings were also a crucial last phase in the i3 fabrication process.