German manufacturers are ramping up their plans to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) to their fleets with new investment and model plans surfacing as companies look to move on from the debate around diesel.
BMW has trademarked a series of model names as part of its plans to build on its existing two-model i sub-brand, and its recently introduced i-performance brand, with a range of new electrically powered SUVs. The model names include iX1, iX2, and iX3 up to iX9.
The i denotes the sub-brand use, while the X suggests they are related to SUVs, similar to the company’s conventional four-wheel drive numbering system. With its rivals Audi, Daimler and Jaguar having already signalled their intention to enter the electric SUV market, BMW needs to act to ensure it does not lose pace in this growing market. It’s unclear at this stage whether BMW plans to use existing X models as the basis for the proposed electric i SUVs or whether they will be dedicated models in their own right with individual styling and packaging.
Recent technical developments detailed by BMW research and development boss Klaus Fröhlich prior to this year’s Frankfurt motor show, including the existence of two new platform structures based on the company’s existing front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive architectures for the i brand, suggest that BMW is already well advanced on other electric SUV models.