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“You can talk about technology, but at BMW we need a car, engineers want to drive it,” he explained.
It isn’t all roses for the electric vehicle sector, with Frohlich commenting on limitations for the segment prevalent in our market.
“It’s very clear if you want to be profitable in electro-mobility you have to have economies of scale,” Frolich said. “The development of electric vehicles in different markets is very volatile and you have to be flexible. If governments stop support, people stop buying them.”
Think of BMW’s i Division in a similar way to M Division. There might be an i-badged version of a given BMW platform, but it’s not a guarantee. That means while many of the electric BMWs will rely on existing platforms, there’s room for more specific, high-end projects like the i8.
“In 2025 we will have 25 electric vehicles, at least 12 of them will be fully electric,” Frolich said. “There will be the i3, there will be an i4, and if you look closely at the iNext project, you will see that I was prepared to do a very special car.”
The iNext was first revealed in 2017 as a concept and has been described as BMW’s eye on the future, featuring next-level autonomy, an electric drivetrain, and the highest level of connection and infotainment the company can offer.