German luxury car giant Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or BMW Group is looking to go all-electric over the next 10 years due to the upcoming stricter carbon emission laws. Virtually every BMW model would be converted to electric drivetrains, including range-extending engines and plug-in hybrids.
The transition will see even the company’s top-selling 3 Series sport sedans turned into plug-in hybrids.
The company is weary of the stringent European Union regulations that greatly reduce the average carbon emissions permitted from road vehicles. They are said to be tougher than either North American or Chinese emission levels.
The current EU limits extend only to 2021, and is expected to be pulled down further lower through 2025. Under the pressure of regulation, BMWs of the future will be smooth, powerful-and largely electric.
According to reports, BMW is now intends to convert all its vehicles to some configuration of plug-in hybrid. It will also lower their weight dramatically to compensate for larger battery packs, and make them far more aerodynamic. BMW is already acknowledged to be the electric-car leader among German makers.
The new range of cars could be driven by separate electric motors powering the front and rear wheels, with a small gasoline engine to generate electricity to extend the range of the batteries.
The company has already invested billions in its Project i, a separate division dedicated to building alternative-fuel vehicles in eco-friendly factories. The project was created in the face of tightening emission standards and dwindling natural resources.
BMW has already unveiled the first of its i series vehicles last year, the i3 five-door electric car and i8 sports car. These vehicles have had a successful market run, with the i3 managing to become the fourth best-selling electric vehicle in the US region. The company sold a total of 17,793 i3s worldwide in 2014.