BMW Looking to Launch a New Modular EV Platform by 2025
【Summary】The German luxury brand may be late and behind others, but it’s looking to catch up quickly with its own dedicated platform for electric vehicles called Neue Klasse.
One of the first things a lot of automakers did when they decided to invest heavily into electric vehicles was to develop a modular platform. It's what automakers like Ford, Volkswagen, General Motors, and Tesla did. BMW has been doing things a little differently, but has finally realized that if it wants to compete with its rivals, it will have to match them with coming out with a modular platform for its upcoming electric cars.
Modular Over Flexible
Instead of building its electric cars on a modular platform, BMW has currently been using a flexible platform called "CLAR" for both its gas and electrified vehicles. Now, according to Automotives News Europe, BMW has found a better way to do things and is planning to come out with its own dedicated and modular EV platform called the Neue Klasse, which means "New Class."
In a recent earning call with investors, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed that BMW will begin producing the Neue Klasse platform in 2025. The platform will be built at the automaker's plant in Hungary. The first vehicle that will use the platform will be the next-gen 3-Series.
What The Platform Will Be Used For
"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. Zipse stated that the first uses for the platform will be "mainly focused on the middle car (midsize) segment. It does not cover from the lower segments all the way to the luxury segments."
The great thing about modular platforms and electric powertrains is that they can be used to underpin a variety of vehicles and that's exactly what BMW plans to do with its Neue Klasse. BMW has plans to use the platform for everything from high-performance vehicles to mass-market cars.
A modular platform will help BMW produce more electric cars for cheaper. The German automaker's current EVs – the i3 and iX – utilize bespoke architectures that are unique and won't be used on any other vehicle. The upcoming Neue Klasse platform will also allow BMW to manufacture and design more advanced powertrains for future EVs. BMW's current Gen5 powertrain packs the transmission, electric motor, and necessary electronics in a single unit. That should remain the same for the new platform, but we expect to see improved electric motors and cell chemistry for upcoming electric cars.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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