FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW (BMWG.DE) will not mass produce electric cars until 2020 because its current technology is not profitable enough to scale up for volume production, the chief executive said on Thursday.
Munich-based BMW unveiled its first battery electric car in 2013, and has been working on different generations of battery, software and electric motor technology since then.
The i8 Roadster model, due to hit showrooms in May, is equipped with what BMW calls its fourth-generation electric drive technology. Advances in battery raw materials and chemistry has increased its range by 40 percent over the previous version, BMW said.
BMW is working to make electric car technology more modular and scalable to make mass production commercially viable.
“We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive,” Chief Executive Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich. “We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation.”