Electric BMW 5 Series on the way

BMW will offer customers “Power of Choice” with next-generation 5 Series available as petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric

The next-generation BMW 5 Series will be offered as a pure-electric zero-emissions model, the company has confirmed. Continuing its commitment to its “Power of Choice” philosophy, BMW will launch the car with “fully-electric, plug-in hybrid, diesel and petrol with [mild hybrid] technology.”

In a statement about responsibility and sustainability, BMW confirmed the electric saloon, saying: “comprehensive electrification will be rolled out throughout the model line-up. Further examples of the “Power of Choice” will be the high-volume BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series.”

As well as the future electric 5 Series, BMW has confirmed it'll also offer the larger 7 Series as a fully electric model. The company will have 25 electrified models on the roads by 2023 – half of them pure electric.

While this is the first time BMW has confirmed its intentions with regards to a pure-electric 5 Series, it previously dabbled in the idea of a zero-emissions version of the executive saloon with the ‘Power BEV’ concept. This test vehicle, built from a 5 Series production model, showcased some of its latest electric-car technology.

For the trial, BMW stripped the car of its combustion engine, replacing the powertrain with a trio of electric motors. The result was a total system output of 710bhp and a 0-62mph time of less than three seconds. The battery size and range of the Power BEV weren't confirmed.

With two independently controlled electric motors on the rear axle, BMW is working on what it has termed ‘e-torque vectoring’, where maximum power can “be translated into forward propulsion even in extremely dynamic driving manoeuvres”.

At the time, BMW said this is preferable to a limited-slip differential setup, as the “result is more effective and precise”.

Using its fifth-generation drive units, BMW’s main goal for the Power BEV was to explore "what is technically possible" in terms of driving dynamics. However, in what could be a sign of future manufacturing standards, it says the Power BEV is completely free of rare-earth elements.

It’s not clear when the electric 5 Series might launch, but with the current model recently facelifted, an all-new car isn’t due before 2023 at the earliest. With current plug-in hybrid versions costing upwards of £45,000, a pure-electric variant of the next-generation car is likely to start from around £60-65,000 depending on specification.