BMW expects new EVs to match combustion-engine cars on profit

BMW cars underpinned by the company's Neue Klasse electric platform will be "as profitable as vehicles with state-of-the-art combustion engines," CEO Oliver Zipse said.

The Neue Klasse platform will have a new battery chemistry and new cell formats to increase power output, Zipse said at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

"That is also what our latest GEN6 drivetrain generation stands for: more output, a new cell chemistry and new cell formats,” he said, without naming the supplier.

BMW is targeting cost savings of 30 percent from the Neue Klasse platform’s new cylindrical cell format, which is similar in design to that used by Tesla, Bloomberg reported.

Zipse said on the company's quarterly earnings call last week that BMW will initially focus its Neue Klasse architecture on full-electric models for the midsize premium segment, such as future generations of the 3 Series.

The platform goes into production in 2025 at the automaker’s new factory in Debrecen, Hungary. The company will lay the foundation stone for the plant on June 1, Zipse said at the annual meeting.

BMW will sign contracts with suppliers for the first vehicles on the platform by the end of the year.

Two design prototypes for the first models based on the platform have already shown to board members, Zipse said.