BMW is planning a Tesla Model X-rivaling electric crossover, says a new report from Wirtschaftswoche, a German weekly business news magazine. Being a pure electric vehicle, the company could be considering it for the ‘i’ sub-brand which currently includes the i3 EV and the i8 PHEV. But unlike both the i3 and i8 which are built at the company’s plant in Leipzig, Germany, this one is planned for U.S. production at the Spartanburg plant in the State of South Carolina. The planned battery-powered crossover currently awaits board approval.
Even if this possible ‘i’ sub-brand model gets approval, it’s not likely to arrive on the market before 2020. It was reported in April this year that the next BMW i will be a plug-in hybrid sport sedan which will arrive in 2018, and hence the electric crossover may not arrive anytime before 2020. The company’s homeland rival Audi has already announced that its Tesla Model X rivaling electric crossover (expected to be the Q6) will be launched in 2018.
Moreover, apart from research and development, setting in place its production operations will also take a longer time for this EV, as it is planned to be built in the USA. Finding quality suppliers that fit in the planned budget for the EV can also take longer time than it would have taken in Germany where it already has a supplier base.