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BMW accelerates EV plans, shows 720hp electric 5 Series prototype

by Justin King

The Power BEV test car can hit 62 mph in 'comfortably' under three seconds.

BMW has revealed a high-performance prototype EV and announced plans to accelerate its EV rollout plans.

Known as the Power BEV, the prototype is based on a 5 Series production car. The sedan omits an internal combustion engine in favor of three electric motors, two driving the rear wheels and one up front.

Together, the trio of motors provides a maximum system output of more than 720 horsepower and launches the car from zero to 62 mph in "comfortably under three seconds."

The Power BEV serves as a test platform for the electric motors that will be used in the production iX3, though the iX3 will only be equipped with a single motor. With three motors, the prototype allows engineers to refine electric torque-vectoring technology.

"The result is more effective and precise than with a limited slip differential, because actively targeted inputs are possible in any driving situation," the company explains. "By contrast, a limited slip differential always reacts to a difference in rotation speed between the driven wheels."

BMW has shaved two years from its EV roadmap, now promising to launch 25 electrified models by 2023. More than half will be all-electric models. The automaker expects sales of such vehicles to more than double between 2019 and 2021.

"We expect to see a steep growth curve towards 2025: Sales of our electrified vehicles should increase by an average of 30 percent every year," BMW chief Harald Krüger says.

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