BMW no longer sees itself as simply a car manufacturer; it now sees itself as a tech company. And it has revealed its plans for an emission-free future.
By the end of the year, it claims that there will be 200,000 "electrified vehicles" (fully electric and hybrid) on the roads worldwide. By 2025 it will have 25 electrified cars available in its line-up, including 12 fully electric models.
Its BMW Concept X7 is expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, having been leaked in the last few days, and it is proof positive that the company's plans carry weight. It is a large sports activity vehicle, but with an electric drivetrain.
BMW will also release its all-electric Mini in 2019 and a fully electric core model, the X3, in 2020.
This doesn't mean the manufacturer will be turning its back on conventional road cars, however. Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW, explained during a speech ahead of the International Motor Show that customers will ultimately decide what kind of cars the company should make: "Customer demand cannot be forced. Customer needs must be anticipated and met. Therefore, we do not advocate driving bans and quotas," he said.
But he does believe that, by working with government bodies worldwide, change will come about organically: "The challenge at hand is that industry, government and NGOs work together on realistic solutions and timeframes. Only so, can we achieve the requirements for sustainable, emission-free mobility - and deliver attractive solutions for our customers."