BMW hasn't pledged, like several of its competitors have, to be all-electric by 2030. But the German manufacturer is making significant strides in that direction. The landmark i4 sedan and iX crossover launch this year. And BMW plans to launch its first dedicated EV platform, the so-called "Neue Klasse," in 2025 — likely with the new 3 Series.
The electric Neue Klasse platform won't be a trivial addition to the BMW lineup. BMW is planning for it to more or less be the BMW lineup at an unspecified date. On a quarterly earnings call, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said that BMW had dropped plans to have the Neue Klasse support combustion, hybrid, and diesel applications.
"When it hits the market, it will be concentrated on the 3-Series segment and at that point in time the market will have developed into a size where it is reasonable to have only one drivetrain in that architecture," Zipse said. BMW will later branch the platform out to cover BMW's smaller and larger vehicles, which should be combustion for longer.
Zipse noted that the Neue Klasse "is (BMW's) model range for the future." And he also said that BMW was doing everything it could to hit its goal of having half of its vehicle sales be EVs before 2030 — a plan that now feels remarkably conservative.
Despite being one of the first manufacturers to the EV market with the avant-garde i3 hatchback, BMW had been one of the major EV skeptics. The company hedged its bets with hybrid platforms, waiting for the market to dictate it was ready for EVs — the 7 Series just launched with combustion and electric versions. The all-electric Neue Klasse debuts in 2025, while rivals like Mercedes, Audi and Porsche already have dedicated EV platform vehicles on the road now.
BMW feeling like it doesn't need to lean on combustion vehicles is a significant pivot. And with the strong EV sales figures for Tesla and vehicles like the Ford F-15o Lightning in BMW's price range, it's easy to see why they are pivoting.