The BMW Group has released first details of its next electric powertrains – the fifth-generation family is set to be incorporated into production vehicles starting from 2021. Munich promises optimised interaction between the motor, transmission, power electronics and battery, along with greater range, reduced costs, significantly lower weight and improved flexibility.

Key to this is the integration of the first three items into a single electric drive unit, taking up considerably less space than the separate components used in previous generations. It also uses fewer parts to save costs, and its modular design makes it scalable for use in different vehicle packages and at varying performance levels. What’s more, the new motor dispenses with rare earths, ending the group’s dependence on them.

The batteries have also been made more powerful – again scalable and modular, they provide an all-electric range of up to 700 km on an electric vehicle, and up to 100 km on a plug-in hybrid. The electric motor and battery are developed and produced in-house, which the company says enables it to secure know-how in new technologies, gain systems expertise and leverage cost benefits.

In addition, the flexibility of the drivetrain ensures the BMW Group’s freedom of action in the future, making it possible to fit any powertrain to any model according to demand. The new systems can be fitted to front- and rear-wheel drive platforms, and is capable of all drive forms. With that, the company says it will be able to meet the predicted demand for several hundred thousand electrified vehicles by 2025.

This comes as the BMW Group is projected to sell 100,000 electric vehicles worldwide by the year, having already delivered 78,096 BMW i, BMW iPerformance and electrified MINI vehicles between January and October this year – an increase of 63.7% over last year. In 2019, MINI will build its first series production electric vehicle based on the standard Hatch , while BMW will follow suit in 2020 with an all-electric X3.