The German automaker, the largest premium carmaker in the world, looks set to put its mark on the electric car segment as well, judging from its latest move.
According to Klaus Draeger, BMW’s purchasing boss, the company wants to raise its battery orders from its exclusive supplier Samsung SDI. The automaker is set to increase by “at least” 20 to 30 % its purchase of electric vehicle battery cells by 2016.
The top executive disclosed the augmented purchases are not only for the “i” brand models – the all-electric city dwelling i3 and the hybrid sports car i8 – but for other upcoming hybrids as well – one prime example being the future X5 plug-in hybrid.
“If we have hundreds of thousands of cars, then of course one would think about additional sources. But at first we need to get more economies of scale,” Draeger said about electric cars.
The electric sales are still just a fraction of the automaker’s deliveries – even after investments of billions of dollars. In the first six months of the year the brand sold 1.02 million cars worldwide, but just 5,396 units were i3s. Also, the top executive acknowledged that many clients are deterred from electric car purchases because of the so called “range anxiety” – which is part of the reason some automakers are researching fuel cell electric cars. Draeger said BMW is among them, but declined to reveal further details.