BMW wants to ramp up sales of electric cars to 100,000 in 2017

Rebecca Smith
The i3, BMW's only fully-battery powered car, sold 25,000 units last year
The i3, BMW's only fully-battery powered car, sold 25,000 units last year (Source: Getty)

Things are really heating up in the electric car race.

First Toyota decided it would explore long-range electric vehicles (EVs) after previously saying it would reserve EVs for short-distance commuting. Then Jaguar Land Rover got in on the action, with the launch of its first electric car imminent.

Now BMW is ramping up its EV focus: it's got its sights set on 100,000 electric car sales next year. That'll involve boosting its sales by two-thirds.

Read more: Jaguar Land Rover is set to unveil its first electric car

According to Sü​ddeutsche Zeitung, chief executive Harald Krueger said: "Electric mobility will come, but demand is not going through the roof at the moment."

The Munich-based firm expects to bump up its deliveries of electric and hybrid vehicles to around 60,000 units this year, Krueger said in an interview published today. Sales of battery-powered BMWs have reached around 100,000 since 2013.

In an effort to accelerate sales, the company is also increasing the battery range of its i3 city vehicle by 50 per cent this year. The i3, BMW's only fully-battery powered car, sold 25,000 units last year.

It wants to expand the share of electric cars and hybrid models to between 15 per cent and 25 per cent of sales by 2025.

Read more: Mitsubishi's gearing up for an electric car revolution

In the UK, thousands of BMW workers voted in favour of strike action earlier this month after the company announced plans to close its UK final salary pension scheme from June next year.

The Unite union held a consultative ballot of 4,000 of its members on strike action in response to the BMW decision. It said that 75 per cent of members voted, 96 per cent of them in favour of taking industrial action.

The next step is for Unite to hold a full statutory ballot on strike action, which would pave the way for production disruption.

The union's members account for most of BMW's production workforce, which includes staff at the Rolls-Royce Goodwood plant and Mini factories in Oxfordshire and Swindon.

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