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BMW Unafraid of Tesla Model 3, Says One in Five Bimmers Likely to Be Electrified by 2025

2018 BMW 530e iPerformance

Conventional automakers seem to have pretty much worked their way through the five stages of Tesla. First came the denial that the electric upstart was indeed a rival, then we had anger (mostly at subsidies), bargaining (over subsidies), depression at the scale of the Model 3 order bank—and now, in the case of BMW, acceptance.

BMW is fully prepared to admit that Tesla’s pioneering work will potentially help its own quest to sell electric cars. “In many ways, I’m very supportive of what Tesla has done,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, told us at the Geneva auto show. “The world needs that sort of new competitor. That isn’t to say that we’re not going to be very competitive with them as well, of course—but Elon Musk has achieved a lot, and I admire what he has done.”

Of course, such praise comes with a caveat: “I think that [Musk] is moving from being a startup to being a full-blown company, and he’s beginning to understand some of the challenges that brings,” Robertson added. “Those are the sort of challenges we don’t have. We are able to productionize things and move quickly in that regard.”

The Tesla Model 3 is the case in point; it’s likely to be the biggest competitor to BMW’s upcoming mid-size iNext EV. “The Model 3 will come, but I’m not sure of what volume it will come with, I’m not sure of the price point it will come with, and I’m not sure how good the car [will be],” Robertson said, while insisting that the iNext, which we don’t anticipate seeing until 2021, will be “the latest in electromobility” when it comes out.

Yet BMW’s move to electric and plug-in-hybrid powertrains has already given it a jump on its German rivals, the company claims, with Robertson saying BMW will sell 100,000 EVs and PHEVs this year. That portfolio is going to be expanded with EV versions of the Mini Cooper Hardtop and the BMW X3, both set to launch before 2019. “We’ll have sold 300,000 or even 400,000 EVs before any [of our major rivals] have even launched them,” Robertson said. “We think that as we go through the period between now and 2025, that number will go up to maybe 20 percent.”

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/bmw-unafraid-of-tesla-model-3-says-one-in-five-bimmers-likely-to-be-electrified-by-2025/

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