German automaker BMW launched a highly anticipated electric concept car on Saturday, saying the “Vision Neue Klasse” represents the dawn of a new era for the company.
BMW’s latest design showcases a platform that will support the brand’s next generation of electric vehicles. The first electric vehicles based on the Neue Klasse – or New Class – architecture are expected to go into production in 2025.
The new range of electric vehicles includes BMW’s sixth generation of battery cells, which the company says will improve both the charging speed and range of the Neue Klasse platform by up to 30%. Thanks to these measures, BMW said that the overall efficiency of the vehicle will increase by up to 25%.
“With the BMW Vision Neue Klasse we are putting all the innovative strengths that BMW has on the electrical side, on the digital side and of course this car will also be prepared for the circularity industry,” said Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW, to CNBC’s Arabile. Gumede.
“In just two years, these cars will be on the road, and overall, we will be leading BMW into a new era of innovation and sustainability. That’s what our exhibit at IAA is all about,” Zipse said.
The Vision Neue Klasse is set to make its public debut in the coming days at the IAA motor show in Munich, which also serves as BMW’s headquarters. The IAA show is one of the largest mobility shows in the world.
BMW CEO Oliver Zipse speaks during the presentation of the new BMW ‘New Class’ at an event ahead of the IAA Munich Motor Show.
Alliance in pictures | Alliance in pictures | Getty Images
“We believe electromobility will be the most important growth segment in the world for the automotive industry and we want to be a leading force in this area,” Zipse said.
The BMW chief executive predicts that battery electric vehicles will account for 15% of the automaker’s global sales by the end of 2023 and that “we will further increase this figure next year and the year after”.
Frank Weber, BMW board member responsible for development, said the Neue Klasse range represents a “major technological breakthrough” for the automaker.
“Not afraid at all” of Chinese electric vehicle giants
In early August, BMW said it expected lingering challenges from supply chain issues and stubbornly high inflation to persist over the next few months. However, it raised the full-year outlook for its profit before interest and tax margin in the automotive segment.
Shares of BMW are up about 13% since the start of the year.
Asked about the presence of Chinese electric vehicle giants at the Munich Motor Show and whether he was concerned about the impact of Chinese exports to Europe on BMW’s business, Zipse replied: “No, we don’t. not afraid at all”.
“It’s a sign of attractiveness when global players like the Chinese, who are the biggest automotive market in the world, come here to Munich and present what they want. It’s much more than automotive, it’s It’s a tech show, it’s an innovation show,” Zipse said.
“And I think having everyone here, Americans, Europeans and now also Chinese, is super exciting. You can already hear it in my words, I’m more excited, and I’m not scared at all , and it’s good that we have a show that attracts a lot of competition. It’s great.”