BMW’s not messing around with its EV development

The BMW i4 is expected to be one of BMW’s first all-electric cars when it hits the market in the next few years. The German automaker is targeting a launch by 2020, and the development of the EV sedan is progressing enough that BMW believes that it can have a range of anywhere from 340 to 435 miles. If those numbers hold true, the i4 could have the chops and capabilities to take on the Tesla Model S.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Same spacey styling as the previous model year
The i4 will be powered by BMW’s fifth generation eDrive electric drive technology, a step up from the fourth generation electric drive technology that we’re going to see on the i8

We already know a few things about the BMW i4. We know that it will be based on the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept that we first laid our eyes on back at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. We also know that, in full production form, the i4 will likely resemble the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Oh, and the electric sedan will be powered by BMW’s fifth generation eDrive electric drive technology, a step up from the fourth generation electric drive technology that we’re going to see on the i8 Roadster when it hits showrooms in May.

All that said, there are still a number of things that BMW is keeping close to its chest regarding the i4. BMW CEO Harald Krueger revealed one of those items during the automaker’s annual press conference this week. According to Krueger, the fifth generation eDrive electric drive technology will be able to give the i4 around “550 to 700 kilometers” of range. Do the math and that converts to 340 to 435 miles, enough to give the i4 one of the longest battery ranges of any electric car that’s expected to hit the market soon.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The fifth generation eDrive electric drive technology will be able to give the i4 around “550 to 700 kilometers” of range

Obviously, the actual number will probably be different once the technology is in place and ready to be used. But give credit to BMW for swinging for the fences with its estimate. Not only does it beat the current top range of the Tesla Model S — around 330 miles with some add-ons — but it’s maximum estimate puts it at more than 100 miles more in range compared to the current segment standard-bearer. Granted, Tesla still has a few years of its own to improve on the range of the Model S, but rest assured, BMW is developing the i4 to be a full-blown competitor to the Model S.

With those shots fired, all BMW has to do is to make sure that the i4 lives up to expectations. The German automaker is already hard at work at putting all the pieces in place for the production of the all-electric premium sedan. According to Robert Irlinger, the head of BMW’s i division, production of the i4 will start “as soon as we have all our modular systems working, so something around 2020.”

“We are working on a very competitive and innovative project; we are trying to find the right design for the car,” Irlinger added.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter High Resolution Exterior
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The BMW i4 is shaping up to be one of the automaker’s most important models in recent years, so don’t expect BMW to half-ass its development

If anything, Irlinger still sounds like a man who’s confident in what the company can create. I would be, too, if I had BMW’s resources at my disposal. Just don’t expect the company to rush the development process just so it can meet its target timetable. In a separate report, Krueger admitted that Bimmer is going to take its time developing the right technology for all of its electric car efforts.

The BMW i4 is shaping up to be one of the automaker’s most important models in recent years, so don’t expect BMW to half-ass its development. There’s a lot at stake in this segment now that a lot of automakers are planning their own all-electric premium sedans. It’s important for BMW to have the right car in place that can not only compete against rival automakers but, more importantly, can set the bar for what a premium all-electric sedan should be.

References

BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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Read more BMW news.

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