BMW making an all new electric car

Recently, BMW announced that they will be building an all new model of car that will be exclusively an electric vehicle. As you probably noticed, I have not attached a picture to this post, that is because the drawing BMW released for this future car is meaningless as it will likely look nothing like it. Plus, I don’t really think the illustration looks that good. This Megacity vehicle, as it is currently being called will run on a battery and incorporate a lot of carbon fiber components. They plan on starting sales of this car in 2013 and they appear to be the second company (Nissan Leaf will be the first) to build a completely new car model that will operate solely on electricity.

Mercedes has plans to sell an electric-only car in 2012 but, it is basically a reconfigured two-seater Smart car like the ones that we all point and laugh at when we drive by one on the road. BMW plans to even put their company initials in the badging, instead of distancing their name from this very different type of car like other companies tend to do (like Mercedes with their Smart car, for example). From the way they are speaking about this project, it sounds like they plan to make this car as refined as other BMW cars which is also different from what all other companies have been doing thus far, which is not focus at all on comfort, luxury and refinement and only concentrate on the alternative energy source.

This means the price will also be higher, but some of that cost will be off-set with savings in fuel costs and maintenance that fuel powered cars require and battery ones do not. Although this is currently just one relatively small project for the German automaker, it is an important part of their long term strategy because they are well aware that the future of the automobile industry does not rest in gasoline but, in alternatives like electricity from batteries and/or other no-emission energy sources. This could be the beginning of the future for BMW.

Although these types of projects are very important for all car makers to do, BMW is taking on more risk than they might need to by putting their BMW name on the cars. They will likely change the badging a bit for it or alter the name a little, but by putting the initials on the car, they risk their reputation on something that is unproven and has many unknowns. The potential benefit by doing this is that if this car works well in the market and becomes a benchmark for future electric-only cars, then their name will be synonymous with viable alternative fuel cars and that can be very lucrative. By putting their name on the car, it can also help sell it which gives them a better chance to achieve the goal I just mentioned. I guess they think that if they’re already going to put a lot of effort into this, they might as well put their name behind it to give it the best shot at success.

We will see this car in about three years if everything goes as planned and that is also when we will see the potential future of the auto industry or a punch in the gut for BMW.