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We Hear: BMW to Build Electric Crossover in U.S.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/10/2015 Megan Stewart

Tesla Motors changed the electric car game when it released the Model S, and with the impending introduction of the Model X crossover, German automakers are scrambling to develop competitors. Now, rumors are swirling that BMW plans to build a battery-powered SUV here in the U.S., which will mark the third model to join the i brand.

Research

According to company sources cited by German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, production of the electric CUV at BMW's Spartanburg, S.C., plant is awaiting approval from BMW's board of management. The plant currently builds BMW SUVs, including the X3, X4, X5, and X6. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

In an investors' note, Arndt Ellinghorst, head of global automotive research at Evercore ISI, said, "In our view an iSUV makes perfect sense for BMW. SUVs are in demand and given the market's reaction to Tesla's Model X so far, it seems to be a good fit for families and suburban commuters." Ellinghorst went on to say that we shouldn't expect the new BMW crossover before 2018.

We've previously heard rumors that German automakers would add a number of electric vehicles to their lineups to rival the offerings from Tesla, with the first being a BMW sedan based off the long-wheelbase 5 Series. However, this may be the first time we've heard that the German automaker will be introducing an electric crossover.

Other automakers like Audi have confirmed that it will electrify some of its lineup over the coming years. By 2018, the German automaker will bring an all-electric crossover with a range of over 310 miles. It will be built on the second-gen MLB platform, but not much else is known at this point.

Source: Wirtschaftswoche via Automotive News (Subscription required)

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