Author: Vinith Joel Patel
One of the first things a lot of automakers did when they decided to invest heavily in electric cars was to develop a modular platform. That’s what automakers like Ford, Volkswagen, General Motors and Tesla have done. BMW was doing things a little differently, but finally realized that if it wanted to compete with its rivals, it would have to align it with coming up with a modular platform for its upcoming electric cars.
More flexibility modules
Rather than building its electric cars on a modular platform, BMW is currently using a flexible platform called “CLAR” for both its gas and electric vehicles. Now, according to Automotives News Europe, BMW has found a better way to do things and is planning to come out with its own custom and modular EV platform called Neue Klasse, which stands for “New Class”.
In a recent call with investors, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed that BMW will start production of the Neue Klasse platform in 2025. The platform will be built at the automaker’s plant in Hungary. The first vehicle to use the platform will be the upcoming third generation.
What platform will be used
“When it hits the market, it will focus on the 3 Series and at that point in time the market will develop to a size where it is reasonable to have only one engine in that structure,” Zipse said. Zipse stated that the platform’s first uses will “primarily focus on the mid-size segment. It does not cover from the lower segments all the way to the luxury segments.”
The great thing about the modular platforms and electric powertrain is that they can be used to support a variety of vehicles and that’s exactly what BMW plans to do with the Neue Klasse. BMW plans to use the platform in everything from high-performance cars to mass-market vehicles.
The modular platform will help BMW produce more electric cars at a cheaper price. The German automaker’s current EVs – the i3 and iX – use bespoke, unique chassis that will not be used in any other vehicle. The upcoming Neue Klasse platform will also allow BMW to manufacture and design more advanced engines for future electric cars. The current BMW Gen5 powertrain combines the transmission, electric motor and essential electronics into one unit. This should remain the same for the new platform, but we expect to see improved electric motors and cell chemistry for the upcoming electric vehicles.