The market for electric only cars is getting stiffer and stiffer. As we approach the release date of the Tesla X model, German carmaker BMW is reportedly making an electronic SUV.
The speculations about an electronic powered car by BMW have been spreading for quite some time, but the latest report from the newspaper Wirtschaftswoche all but confirms the report.
BMW’s electronic vehicle will be the latest on the market, as Audi also announced an electronic car, the Audi Q6 e-tron.
The project is still waiting on the board approval in order for production to start in Spartanburg, a factory where BMW builds the X lineup.
According to some reports, BMW’s CEO is waiting for the response to the Tesla Model X before he decides whether the German manufacturer should enter the market or not. At the moment, there are more than 20,000 customers who have placed a down payment for the Model X.
If the plans for the electronic SUV are to be real, BMW will make the car based on the X7 model. BMW is planning to launch the X7 in 2018. The company will probably manufacture the electronic BMW SUV in its factory in North Carolina, Spartanburg.
The German car manufacturer will have to expand its factory in the US. In order to do that, a German magazine suggests that BMW will spend more than $1 billion in 2016 to increase the capacity of the Spartanburg plant. At the moment, the factory has a production capacity of 350,000 vehicles. After the expansion, the production capacity should increase to 450,000 per year.
The BMW electronic powered SUV will be part of the “I” brand by BMW, which also includes the city car i3, and the i8 hybrid coupe. Both cars in the brand feature carbon-fiber body, which suggests that the SUV will use the same material as well making it more fuel efficient.
BMW’s move is expected, as the demand for utility vehicles in North America is rising in recent years. There have also been speculations that BMW will offer a plug-in sedan by the end of the year. However, since the demand for sedan vehicles have fallen, BMW will opt for an SUV model.
And while we wait to see the first electronic powered SUV by BMW, we can embrace the X5 hybrid. BMW launched the X5 plug-in hybrid this year, and the model will go on a global sale by the end of the year.