BMW says electric vehicle prices will come down as it scales up production – but they’ll never be cheap.

“BMW offers electric cars in all segments and of course if we scale things up, there will be a tendency that things become cheaper,” CEO Oliver Zipse told CNBC at this month’s CES in 2023.

“But electromobility will never be cheap, and that’s the next task for this industry, to bring the prices down even further.”

The cost of entry for a new BMW EV has actually gone up in Australia, with the i3 discontinued without a replacement and the new iX1 priced $11,000 higher at $82,900 before on-road costs.

The iX1 also costs $29,000 more than the most affordable X1, though there are differences in specification beyond the use of an electric powertrain.

Likewise, the next cheapest BMW EVs – the i4, priced from $99,900 before on-road costs and the iX3, priced at $104,900 before on-roads – are around $22,000-$28,000 higher than their most affordable petrol-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe and X3 counterparts.

BMW has a new vehicle wearing the i3 nameplate overseas, but it’s an electric version of the 3 Series that’s offered exclusively in China.

There are no more affordable BMW EVs in the short-term, though Bimmerpost forum member ynguldyn – who claims to compile future production plans from leaks within BMW – says the brand will introduce an electric version of the 1 Series in 2027 and an electric 2 Series in 2028 as it rolls out EV versions of all its core model lines.

These would slot in under BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse models which, unlike existing BMW EVs like the iX1 and iX3, use a dedicated electric vehicle architecture.

The first model on these underpinnings will be a 3 Series-sized model, due in 2025. BMW’s i Vision Dee concept, revealed at CES, previews the production model.

BMW says Neue Klasse models will use newly developed cylindrical battery cells from Chinese battery giants CATL and EVE Energy, which it claims will reduce production costs by up to 50 per cent compared to its current, fifth-generation prismatic battery cells.

Before then, the iX1 will get a sleeker spin-off in the iX2, expected to be revealed this year. It will almost certainly carry a premium over the iX1.

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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