BMW AG launched its first battery-electric vehicle way back in 2013, and it has been working to advance the technology ever since. But its CEO said on Thursday that it won’t begin mass-producing electric vehicles until 2020.
Why not? Because the technology still isn’t profitable, and BMW isn’t willing to sell those cars at a loss.
Why BMW is waiting to mass-produce electrics
BMW has made great strides in electric-vehicle technology since 2013. The latest electric BMW, the i8 Roadster sports car, uses what the company calls its “fourth-generation” technology: Better batteries give the new model about 40% more range than its predecessor.
But CEO Harald Krueger told investors on Thursday that the leap that BMW made from its third-generation technology to the latest fourth-generation version wasn’t enough to make it viable for mass production. It needs one more leap:
We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost-competitive, the jump from the fourth to the fifth generation. And the fifth generation [will be] available first in 2020.