BMW Sells One Million Electric Vehicles.

BMW has now sold one million electric vehicles, including 100% EVs and hybrids, and has set a goal of two million sales of 100% electric vehicles by 2025.

At present 70% of the one million EVs were hybrids. BMW believes hybrids will continue to be an important part of their sales for customers that don’t have good access to chargers. Continuing the modernization of gas-powered vehicles was an important step toward making the industry more sustainable.

BMW has been a proponent of investing in a range of technologies to reduce emissions and is in opposition to 100% bans on purchasing combustion engine vehicles.

BMW hopes for half of its global sales to be fully electric for 2030. But has also stated that proper charging infrastructure is a huge barrier to quicker consumer integration of all electric vehicles.

BMW’s November sales were slightly below the same period’s sales last year. Chip supply chain issues continue to restrict their ability to sell more cars.

 

BMW Doubles Down on Mexican Production with Series 2

BMW, the German sports car, and luxury car maker started a new production line recently for their Series 2 Coupe compact sports car. The line was setup in they two years young factory in central Mexico. Experts see this as BMW doubling down on Mexican production to increase global sales.

BMW expects exports to N. American will probably begin at the end of 2021, while European sales are scheduled to start in early 2022, according to BMW.

BMW’s U.S. webpage states that the 2022 models’ base price will range from about $39,000 to $59,000.

$125 Million was invested in the new production line by BMW for its San Luis Potosi factory which expands its capacity beyond just assembly of its first model, the Series 3 sedan.

The investment in their Mexican assets comes amid fears that world-wide demand for high-end goods could slow significantly as new coronavirus variants spread and as the industry grapples with the semi-conductor shortage.

BMW made no mention of how many Series 2 Coupes it plans to produce at the Mexican plant which is the only plant scheduled to assemble the 4,000 some part sports model.

 

Apple Hires Former BMW VP Ulrich Kranz

Ulrich Kranz, formerly a BMW executive and autonomous electric vehicle startup Canoo co-founder, has been hired by Apple to work on its own electric car.
Apple Hired Kranz in recent weeks, just about a month after he stepped down from Canoo. He will report to Doug Field, who once worked at Tesla, and heads up Apple’s electric car project.
Apple’s goal is to build a self-driving electric car by around 2024 and has spoken with Hyundai, Kia and Nissan about partnerships according to online posts though Apple has not yet confirmed any electric vehicle plans.
Kranz worked at BMW for thirty years and was senior VP for about half of those years. Kranz worked on the development of Minis, sports cars and the company’s first SUV. He was also in charge of Project I, BMW building electric vehicles for large cities.
He worked for Faraday Future before leaving for the self-driving startup Canoo in 2017.

BMW Brings AI into Its Munich Paint Shop

BMW is piloting new usage of AI in its plants—this time they are giving it a shot in their Munich plant paint shop.

Even though BMW employees top-notch air filter tech, fine dust particles in paint lines will vary according to the ambient air drawn into the lines. If the dust content goes over a certain amount, the wet paint could trap particles making for uneven paint jobs.

Using AI, BMW engineers and AI specialists have found a way to avoid the problem entirely. Now, every newly painted car body goes through an automatic surface analysis in the paint shop. The data gathered during these inspections are helping BMW develop a massive database of dust particle analysis. Now the AI uses the database for comparison to live particle sensor data coming from the paint booths and dryers.

One example how the AI works is when dust levels are rising due to the season or a long dry period the AI can detect this trend and recommend and earlier filter replacement to help mitigate particle levels.

The AI might also use its analytical abilities to suggest that a factory use a different material to remove dust from car bodies before painting.

BMW AI monitors and analyzes 160 features of car bodies and is able to predict paint job quality with great accuracy. AI experts at BMW are confident once they’ve completed the project in Munich the technology will be able to applied widely to all their plants.

 

BMW iX3: More than Meets the Eye When Going Green

BMW now has plans to continue to electrify its line up with an EV version of the X3 compact SUV with the new iX3 (not to be confused as a sibling of their i3 EV). And while it may feel like BMW is a bit late in joining the party when it comes to EV SUVs they have announced plenty about their plans for the iX3 to get drivers excited.

Range is the name of the game when it comes to EVs and BMW is promising over 440 km from the 74-killowatt-hour battery pack. Where the range will end up when the iX3 is on the road driven by consumers it is hard to know as some vehicle’s ranges have ended up less than what one would expect based on EPA testing.

The iX3 will combine the electric motor, electronics and transmission into a single unit. This saves on space and weight—the latter always being of concern when it comes to EVs. So far BMW has only mentioned rear-wheel drive and initial ratings have the iX3 at around 286 HP and 295 pounds-feet of torque.

As far as “going green” BMW is attempting to go beyond reducing fossil fuel usage. The car maker claims they are trying to be eco-friendly in all areas of production such as where and how raw materials are gathered, daily usage and recycling potential. BMW is also trying to address the environmental issue of used batteries by planning a second life for the iX3 battery packs after their use in the vehicle.

The New BMW and Daimler Mega-Group of “Now” Vehicle Services

BMW and Daimler have joined forces to create a multimodal travel company mega-group. The new venture will invest a combined 1 billon GBP to create electric charging stations, ride hailing, ticket free parking and car sharing. The new mega-group will take the lead overtop of BMW’s short-term rental services Car2Go and DriveNow.

ChargeNow will become the biggest world-wide provider of electric charging stations with 100K access points in twenty-five countries. ParkNow includes a 30 million driver costumer base in eleven hundred cities on two continents. FreeNow has a fleet of a quarter million drivers and twenty-one million customers in Europe and South America.

The mega-group of five companies claims a massive total 60 million customers. The “Now” mega-group will stack its headquarters in Berlin among other German tech start-ups and will create, worldwide, another 1,000 jobs.

BMW to Invest in New Plant

BMW will spend 1 Billion USD to create a new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, where it will manufacture electric autos. The new manufacturing plant will have a limit of 150,000 autos every year, and will have the capacity to create both electric and fuel burning vehicles.

That in spite of the fact that the organization’s authorities have gone by our nation a few times and Bucharest authorities have talked about at the central station of the Bavarian manufacturer in Munich about the possibility of a plant in Romania.

BMW claims that the new speculation will help extend Europe’s building limit, offering around 45 percent of the gathering’s autos, with 1.1 million units sold.

Before the finish of June, the BMW Group has developed in numerous business sectors over the region, with auto conveyances totaling in excess of 560,000 units, a 1.2 percent expansion over a similar period a year ago.

The Hungarian city of Debrecen was picked for the plant, suitable strategic connections and vicinity to the system of providers. Notwithstanding the plant group, numerous occupations will be made for parts and specialist co-ops, both inside the new generation office and in the area.

A year ago, 2.5 million0 of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce autos were created, a notable high.

BMW Releases Info on New Performance SUV Generation

The newest generation of X5 and X5 M BMW models are on their way—they are currently being tested in Scandinavia on public roadways. At the BMW Annual General Meeting the brand boss, Harald Kruger, revealed they are looking at an October release.

The new X5 M is a sup’d up version of the M SUV twin turbocharged 4.4 liter V, which will probably give it 592bhp. This would place the X5 M at the top end of performance-focused SUVs—out doing the current X5 M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S by 25 and 30 bhp respectively.

The new X5 M will also feature a featherweight structure. It is based on the CLAR platform that the 7 series uses. This is a combination of aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber. This weight loss might result in the 0-62mph time of the line being reduce to below 4 seconds.

BMW has also decided to keep producing the plug-in hybrid variant. This will more than likely be a blend of a two liter gas engine with electric power. Similar to what is currently inside the xDrive40e. The all-electric range of the vehicle will be around 25 miles.

BMW to Build Electric Minis for China Market

BMW says it’s in considering electric models of its Mini cars for the China market. This would be the first time the vehicles have been made outside Europe. BMW it has signed a letter of intent with a Chinese manufacturer named Great Wall Motor.

China is the world’s largest market auto market; BMW was able  to account for 560,000 vehicles in that market last year. About 35,000 were Minis. BMW already works with the manufacturer named Brilliance from China.

The company says its main Mini plant in Oxford, England, will start producing the first battery electric models next year.

BMW said making Minis in China wouldn’t call into question its commitment to manufacturing in Britain. They noted they had made “significant investments”, insinuating that they wouldn’t abandon the UK market.

BMW to Build New Proving Ground

Representatives of the BMW Group, the Czech government and the Karlovary Vary region announced construction of a new proving ground today in Prague. The roughly 500-hectare property will be developed in Sokolov in the Karlovary Vary region, close to the German border town of Waldsassen and about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the BMW Group’s main development site, the Research and Development Centre (FIZ), in Munich.

BMW will invest over 100 million euros ($118 million) on a test track for self-driving and electric cars in the Czech Republic, as it expands its foray into alternative driving technologies.

The new BMW proving ground, which will create several hundred jobs, is slated to go into operation early in the next decade. Total investment will be in the three-digit million-euro range.

Dr. Herbert Grebenc, BMW AG, Human Resources, Senior Vice President Real Estate Management, Corporate Security, stated at the announcement in Prague: “The BMW Group is at the vanguard of technology. As an innovation driver, we aim to offer customers the best, most emotional mobility experience and create digital connections between people, vehicles and services. At the planned proving facility in Sokolov, we will continue to advance ground-breaking topics, such as electrification, digitalization and automated driving – for example, through safety-testing for assistance systems.”

Projects at the 500-hectare (1,200-acre) Sokolov site near the German border, picked out of 82 potential locations, will include the testing of driver-assistance and braking systems, Grebenc said.

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