BMW plans dedicated platform for battery-electric cars

November 04, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BMW plans dedicated platform for battery-electric cars
Under pressure from its competitors, who have all developed dedicated architecture platforms for battery electric cars, BMW is changing its strategy: the company now wants to develop such an architecture for future electric vehicles.

On the occasion of the presentation of the quarterly figures, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse announced the decision to develop its own cluster architecture for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) - similar to what Volkswagen has already introduced with its Modular Electric Drive System (MEB). From around 2025, BEVs based on its own homegrown electrical platform will be produced in BMW's new plant in Hungary, Zipse said. Later, other production sites in the worldwide BMW network will follow.

Until now, the Bavarian car manufacturer had designed all its cars according to a common architecture, regardless of the drive system variant. The thinking behind it: This means that cars with conventional drive systems, BEVs and plug-in hybrids can be produced on one and the same assembly line. This, according to the BMW production engineers, gives the company the necessary flexibility to react easily to fluctuations in demand. In addition, BMW saved the cost of developing such a platform. However, the success of its bogey opponent Tesla and the speed with which the Volkswagen group (with Audi, Porsche and SEAT) has introduced BEVs has increased the pressure on BMW. Now Zipse is making electric mobility a top priority: the department developing the new cluster architecture with electric drive is reporting directly to the BMW boss.

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