BMW's 7 Series flagship sedan is getting juiced with an all-electric version.
The next-generation 7 Series will be available with four drivetrain variants: gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid and full electric, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said at the automaker's Annual Accounts Press Conference last week.
"All drivetrains will be based on a single architecture," Zipse said. "And the top, most-powerful 7 Series will be fully electric!"
Production of the 7 Series EV is expected to begin in the second half of 2022 and be launched first in China and Europe, according to AutoForecast Solutions.
The flagship EV is expected to arrive stateside about a year later.
While the 7 Series EV will share its basic structure with traditional and hybrid versions of the sedan, space for the battery will be compromised, reducing the vehicle's range, said Conrad Layson, alternative propulsion analyst at AutoForecast.
The EV is expected to have a driving range of about 183 miles, based on European test cycles, Layson said. Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., a China supplier, is building a new plant in Erfurt, Germany, to supply the battery cells for the 7 Series.
The electric 7 Series is part of BMW's ambitious target to market 25 electrified models by 2023.
Despite axing plans to bring its first electric crossover to the U.S., BMW will launch two new EVs in the U.S. in the next couple of years. First is the iNext crossover, which goes into production in the middle of 2021. That will be followed by the i4 sedan, which begins production toward the end of 2021.