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article imageBMW makes good on promise to sell 100,000 electric cars in 2017

By Karen Graham     Dec 19, 2017 in Business
Keeping a promise made at the beginning of 2017 to deliver 100,000 electrified vehicles worldwide, BMW CEO Harald Kruger handed the keys to an i3 to its new owner, an 80-year-old customer from the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany this week.
And that was a "whopper" of a promise, too. But this is a reflection of BMW's increasing focus on electric cars and plug-in hybrids, as well as the recent shift in its electrified product line. and it underscores BMW's “leadership role when it comes to electro-mobility.”
Actually, BMW's record 100,000 cars sold this year is equal to the number of electrified cars it delivered between the introduction of the i3 in Europe in the spring of 2013 and the end of 2016. The i3 seemed to lead sales this year in the U.S. and in Western Europe, whereas last year, sales lagged.
In 2016, BMW sold only 60,000 i3's, so this year's sales are showing a 60 percent increase. The company is forecasting a double-digit increase in sales for 2018, although it may not be as steep as this year.
Battery Pack for BMW-i3 Electric Vehicle (at Munich Trade-Show Electronica) November 2012.
Battery Pack for BMW-i3 Electric Vehicle (at Munich Trade-Show Electronica) November 2012.
RudolfSimon (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Another thing that helped the company's sales this year was it shift away from it's "i" series to producing electrified versions of its more mainstream models, like the plug-in hybrid versions of the 3 Series and X5. Sales wouldn't have been as good as they turned out to be if BMW had stuck with only offering plug-in powertrains in dedicated, lower-volume models, according to The Drive.
BMW announces partnership with Solid Power
And to cement itself as a leading electric car manufacturer, BMW announced yesterday it was partnering with a new battery technology company, Solid Power, to develop and commercialize the latter’s solid-state battery technology for use in electric vehicles.
BMW s i3 series
BMW's i3 series
Solid State, a University of Colorado Boulder spinout, already produces batteries made up of inorganic materials they have particularly developed for that purpose, giving the batteries a higher energy density versus their lithium-ion equivalents, which means more power and range from the same size battery.
There is still much research and development to be done on the new batteries before wide-scale commercial production will be seen. And this is where BMW will be able to help. With the company's resources and expertise, there will surely be an acceleration of the R&D necessary to get the product to the public.
More about Bmw, 2017 goal, Electric cars, launch of 25 new EVs, Solid Power
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