BMW is set to fill the void between its i3 and i8 electric cars with an expanded range of zero-emission vehicles. Company chief executive Harald Krueger said "there is space" for a number of new cars to fit between the cheapest and most expensive electric and hybrid options.
Speaking to German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (translated), Krueger said: "Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view." He refused to expand on this, but it seems obvious now that BMW's electric and hybrid 'i' range will follow its regular car numbering system, ranging from three to eight, with the potential to including an i1 and i2 as well.
Krueger also responded to widespread reports that BMW has been in contact with Apple, and that the iPhone maker is interested in using the i3 as a starting point for its own electric car project. The CEO acknowledged that BMW is in regular talks with major technology companies, including Apple, over connected cars, but did not elaborate further.
It has been claimed by Reuters that Apple is looking to rekindle a relationship with BMW which was left to fall by the wayside in recent months. Apple executives are said to have visited the car maker's German headquarters and shown interest in using the i3 platform for its own car, which is claimed to have a target release year of 2020.
Speaking to Reuters, a senior BMW source said: "Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too." Another source said that, while no partnership to build a car currently exists, exploratory talks between senior managers of each company may be reviewed at a later stage."
Earlier in 2015, Peter Schwarzenbauer, who runs BMW's Mini brand, accepted that the motoring and technology industries are growing closer. "Two worlds are colliding here. Our world, focused on hardware and our experience in making complex products, and the world of information technology which is intruding more and more into our life."
Schwarzenbauer added: "We need to get away from the idea that it will be either us or them. We cannot offer clients the perfect experience without help from one of these technology companies."