Tech

BMW wants 1 million EVs on roads by 2021 and it’s already halfway there

500K

The number of electric cars BMW has on the road.

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German car-maker BMW announced on Twitter that it’s sold 500,000 electric vehicles. As Engadget points out, that milestone demonstrates how rapidly interest in EVs is growing, and more importantly, how sales are ramping up; it took three years to move the first 100,000.

A million by 2021 — BMW has said it wants to double that number by 2021, and at its current pace, that looks likely. We’ve driven multiple iterations of the BMW i3, and given how good it is, it’s no wonder it continues to sell well.

What could stimy BMW’s EV ambitions is the pushback it’s been getting from some quarters about its design decisions for the iNext range. Last year it unveiled the Vision iNext at the LA Auto Show and came in for criticism of the vehicle’s revised grille design, which some argued looked more like buckteeth than the evolution of the company’s iconic kidney design.

That grille’s since been ditched, but many of the other iNext style decisions remain. Even though it looks like a concept car, BMW says it will actually produce the Vision iNext, but only in 2021, by which time there’ll no doubt be some design changes. We see other iNext products before then, like the iX3 that’s due next year, and possibly the iX5.

Everyone’s doing it — Tesla may be the posterchild for EVs, but every major carmaker outside of the exotic brands has an EV in its lineup already, and multiple forthcoming models in the works. BMW says it wants to offer 25 electrified cars by 2023, half of which will be fully electric. Its rival Audi, meanwhile, says its own E-tron is the first of a dozen EVs it plans to launch by 2025. Jaguar’s expected to try and capitalize on the success its I-Pace is seeing, and Volkswagen’s got a whole roster of EVs on its product roadmap.

One thing’s clear: The future of motoring is inescapably electric. Musk must be feeling smug. Well, smugger than usual.