A new report that quotes insiders at BMW claims that the Bavarian automaker is nearing approval to build an electric-powered SUV to battle the upcoming Tesla Model X.

The report from the German media claims that BMW will manufacture the new SUV in the same plant that its other people and cargo haulers hail from in Spartanburg, NC. To help make room for this new model, BMW boss, Harald Kruger, wants to invest a whopping €1 billion ($1.29 million as of 2015) into the North Carolina plant.

According to the insider, the only thing standing in the way of the electric SUV and your local Bimmer dealer is a vote by the BMW’s board. There is no mention of when the board will make its final decision on the new all-electric SUV, but with the Model X due in dealers soon, I don’t look for BMW to wait too long. Reports point toward a debut of no later than 2018.

The insider also reports that BMW will tuck the new SUV in with the rest of the i sub-brand, joining the existing i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. Despite knowing it will sit in the i sub-brand, there is no indication of what exactly BMW will name this model.

Though this report supposedly comes from an “insider,” BMW claims that it is nothing more than speculation. That’s not too surprising, as publicly traded automakers often try to downplay these rumors in an attempt to avoid legal issues.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Electric SUVs look as if they are the next wave of alternative-fuel vehicles, as the Model X is soon to arrive and Audi is set to debut its EV SUV concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show. This will be a huge step for alternative fuels, as we will finally get to see if electric SUVs will work on a larger scale. We’ve already seen the Toyota RAV4 EV on a small scale, and it showed signs that it could be successful, but Toyota likely never had any realistic long-term plans for it. Regardless of the outcome, this is an exciting time to be an auto enthusiast, as we’re watching history in the making!

2016 Tesla Model X

2012 Tesla Model X Concept High Resolution Exterior Drawings
- image 437728

Read our speculative review of the model here.

Source: Automotive News

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