BMW Already Developing New eDrive Systems


In an announcement that should surprise no one, BMW has announced that it is already developing two new eDrive plug-in drivetrains for new vehicles. While one of those is almost certainly for the rumored BMW i5, that leaves me wondering what else BMW might be working on.

“In the future there will be a variety of drive systems for different requirements,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. Saying that the success of the BMW i3 shows the usefulness of short-range electric vehicles in urban (or suburban) areas, he could be hinting that another short-range, pure electric Bimmer might be in the works. Even merely a bigger battery pack option for the i3 would be nice.

He also mentions the Power eDrive system that debuted earlier this year on the “Thing”, a 670 horsepower plug-in hybrid 5 Series GT. This system on production models will provide total range of about 310 miles (500 kms), with enough battery storage to cover about 80% of daily driving needs. This would align pretty well with the rumored 80 mile driving range of the 2017/2018 BMW i5.

But that still leaves the mystery of what else BMW might be building. Another rumor has been a hotter version of the BMW i8, upping the horsepower to over 500 ponies. Or perhaps Klaus were merely referring to the next-gen BMW i3, which is likely to have well over 100 miles of driving per charge, at least. Will the range-extender carry over as well? Or is this a hint that BMW might make the next i3 electric-only?

All I can say for sure is that sooner rather than later, most BMWs will come with a plug, either by option or as standard equipment. That’s a great thing if you ask me.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.