The BMW Concept i4 in a landscape
Sustainability 14.12.2020 3 Min.

The BMW Group is actively shaping the mobility transformation and is in the midst of a progressive transition. The evolution of the BMW 3 Series from 1975 until the BMW i4 of 2021 is a fitting metaphor for the BMW Group’s unrelenting drive.

The story of BMW’s most successful model is the story of the BMW Group’s transformation. The first BMW 3 Series rolled off the production lines in 1975, at the BMW Group’s home plant in Munich. Its efficiency was already the talk of the town, even back then. But in the mid 1980s it became even more significant, as the letter “e” was added to the name to create the “BMW 325e”, signifying “eta”, the symbol for maximum efficiency. Later, in 2007, the BMW Group developed Efficient Dynamics – a package of technologies for the entire fleet that gradually reduced fuel consumption while increasing sheer driving pleasure.

Another important topic at the BMW Group from a very early stage was the electric future. The orange-coloured electric BMW 1602 that supported the Munich Olympics in 1972 remains a vivid memory. By the early 1990s, an electric BMW 3 Series Touring was out on the roads and was even used as a test car for the parcel delivery service of Deutsche Post. So when series production of the first fully electric BMW i4 gets under way in 2021, it will be the result of decades of experience and drive expertise.

The BMW i4 in the factory, front view
The BMW i4 in the factory, view from the rear


In 2021, the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and i4 will all roll off the same production lines at BMW Group Plant Munich. In keeping with its Power of Choice approach, the BMW Group will offer customers exactly the drive they need: state-of-the-art combustion engine, plug-in hybrid or fully electric. This approach offers maximum flexibility for the BMW Group and enables highly efficient production. And as the transformation enters its next stage, Plant Munich will be consistently upgraded over the coming years to deliver future mobility.


At the BMW Group, artificial intelligence is not just found in vehicles, where the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, for example, responds to the call “Hey BMW” and operates key functions from classic navigation to extended digital services by voice control; it is also found in production systems, where it combines with digital solutions to ensure maximum efficiency and quality.

BMW Group plants also set standards in sustainability. Since 2006 energy consumption in vehicle production has fallen by over 40 percent per car produced. Waste and CO2 emissions are down by more than 70 percent. And from 2021 the home of the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and i4 will be powered with a high degree by green energy as well, just like all other BMW Group plants around the world. The high-tech paint line at Plant Munich is one of the most resource-efficient in the world, and the roof is a luscious green for a very good reason: specially planted moss on the rooftop helps to protect the climate. The roof is also home to several bee colonies.

A BMW 3 Series body in the paint shop


Sustainability also plays a key part in the production of battery cells to power BMW Group vehicles such as the BMW i4. Over the next ten years, the company and its suppliers will save ten million tonnes of CO2 – which is about the amount a city like Munich, with 1.5 million inhabitants emits every year. The savings will be made possible in part by the fact that our partners source the energy they need to produce the latest generation of battery cells from local wind and water.

Electrified, sustainable, digital – The BMW Group is driving into the future with a clear conscience.

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