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Detroit Auto Show 2018
Talking the future of BMW EVs with Stefan Juraschek in DetroitWe sat down with BMW's head of Electric Powertrain to talk about what's next for the i Series.
Welcome back, everybody. I'm Brian Cooley, Editor at Large at Road Show, and we're continuing with industry insights today. We've gone through the majority of the press conferences here at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday, the North American International Auto Show, which really describes it more accurately. This is one of the very biggest auto shows in the world each year. Continuing now, discussing In a topic area that is one of the biggest talking points coming out of this show, not a new one, but one that is really ascending to the top of the headlines across all auto makers, and that is electrification of their powertrain. Who better to describe that than the folks with BMW. Joining me now is Stefan Juraschek, who is the head of the Electric Powertrain Development at BMW. Stefan, thanks for being here. [INAUDIBLE] Let me ask you first off, big picture, what will electric mean in a BMW language or expression? Because everyone's going to have plug in hybrids, pure electrics, they do or they will soon. You obviously have a very big investment in that driving experience. How can you make electric different and BMW ish on your vehicles? Now as we start some years ago with the i models, i3, i8. Yeah. We make it dedicated development for electrification. That means that we interpret the electric driving in a BMW way. So the acceleration of an i3 and also the combination of A combustion engine, an electric motor on the I8 is really extraordinary. That means for us electrification is what we, dynamic is one of the major issues. For BMW. Now we were talking, before we started here, a little bit about where and if this will make its way into the M cars. The M cars are very, very important for your brand, very popular in the United States. And yet, we don't associate them with electrification in our minds right now. Is there a marriage of M and electrification? Any time sooner is it good in more traditional manners? What we are doing right now we are looking very far into the future and at the end of the day we have to be in a position Options for a wide range of the whole product portfolio, maybe starting with a mini, ending up with an X5. Mm-hm. To be able to be in a very short time that we can and do [INAUDIBLE] these cars electrified cars. Even [INAUDIBLE] PHV. Tell me about electrification versus turbocharging. Both seem to be able to get you some really exciting. Instant, right now performance when you need it. Turbo's have their known challenges to work with. Is electrification gonna solve anything for turbos or am I just mixing two things that don't cross? There's a, they are fitting very good together because- Both at once? Both at once because if you are going what we presented right now It's quite serious, it's high performance. It's a hybrid, it's a PHEV. And in these types of cars. That's a 530e high performance? That's right. Okay. And there is a combination of electric motor and there's a combination of the turbo engine. And you are recognizing if you overtake, Touring on a countryside, you are really recognized as an improvement of dynamics. It's really a new driving experience at that point, and it's fascinating for people who have the possibility to drive this car. And coming up and say okay, it's a complete different driving behavior. If you look at the electrification challenges that you have, what are the things you can share with us that are the biggest hurdles? Is it battery, is it motor, is it size and weight, is it complexity? What do you think you spend the most on if you were to make a pie chart of the time you spend working on obstacles in your department? Yeah, I think at the end of the day, right now, it's. To go into mass production and to do a module kit out of it, you have a scalable, a scalable motor design, what you can put in the front axle and rear axle in different models. So, like a front driven car or a rear driven car. That's one of the biggest issue, to prepare the next architecture, that electric motors are fitting into the existing architecture. Right. The battery itself is anyway an issue. Because in terms of designing, we have to keep care, let's say, on the lifetime. We have to keep care on the safety. Right, right. On the safety, though I would say, both activities are on the same level on the engineer's side, what we have to is right now. A lot of consumers will look at BMW and they'll see the main line that we've always known, and then there's the i cars, the three and the eight. And they see that as I guess an adjacent series of vehicles. They know that they are different from the main number cars. What's coming next to eye, that will tell us about the future of BMW? So, we take the eye, not only as an electrification issue, we take the eye as an innovative There's just an innovative band. All right. And we announced already for the year 2021 the Ion Next. The Ion Next is the next big thing at BMW, I would say. It's an electric car. And we try to establish in this car autonomous driving. And that's the reason why we are looking forward at the year 2021. All right, that'll be our next chapter of the I-line. Now in your department, working on electric engineering, is it all power train you work on? Do you have to get involved in the autonomous side as well? Where do you draw the lines within your teams? The impact on our side is that in terms of safety and all these engineering aspects, in safety development issues, we have to take care in the function and software development that we are compliant with the regulations, what we have in terms of [UNKNOWN] development and all that stuff. That's our task what we have to fulfill to bring our products into this autonomous driving environment at the end of the day. The role of electricity going forward is one that's often driven by government or incentive. They wanna see certain goals. And that would seem to me to To inform or direct some of what you put into vehicles. Is there a case to be made that the government regulators in most of our major regions are determining what electric cars are like today? Would you have done something different with electric cars? If you didn't have regulatory goals, didn't have compliance goals that some countries have. If you had a clean sheet to do whatever you want. Just look at the consumer. Would there be a difference in electrification today? I think we have seen now that we are on the right track, because of the [UNKNOWN] behavior of the different [UNKNOWN] we have. Three tier and five tier and seven tier. The hybrids, they are very, very, let's say convenient in driving towards the customer. If your typical driving, driving Driving cycle starting in the morning. You have a fully charged battery. You are completely quiet. You are running electrical out of your Suburban, take a little bit country road. going to the highway when you have a Switch to the combustion engine takes additional 15 kilometers only, in combination combustion and motor, electric motor, and then maybe, going downtown lowers the speed, going back to electric [UNKNOWN] Bribing, and it's much more convenient in terms of noise. It's a noiseless driving. And you would've wanted to deliver these attributes regardless of government incentive or regulation. They're good on their own. They're good on their own. It's really an improvement in driving behavior [CROSSTALK] Tell me a little bit about wireless or cordless charging for vehicles. Where are we and what kind of expectations do you have? It seems extremely convenient. A lot of us at least in the US don't park our cars in the garage, we park them in front of the garage. And we are dealing with a cord that maybe laying in the rain, getting dirty and wet. It's not a very pleasant part of charging a plugin. Where are we with the Contactless charging. There's a lot of activities right now worldwide. And right, we are waiting on the standardization. There's a standardization process right on its ongoing. Mm-hm. We are looking forward in the next few weeks or months that we finalize the standardization. Okay, so it could be very interesting the first part of this year? Yeah. Okay. And if this happens, I think The next step will be really to get really fast in the development phase so that we can offer the inductive charging on a wide band or for a wide range of application, starting on the 2AV application on all the forms from the PHV. Yeah, can we- But right now, it's a little bit difficult because there is different solutions available. And they are not compatible. That's the reason why we try to find a standard, that you have an interchangeable, going from one chrome plate to the other one. Better than scale. You need to have a universal drive over inductive charger for the global market, really That's right. You didn't even want national standards. Yep. Global. Yeah, we need it global. Do you think it can have, ever approach the efficiency of a plugin, or is that just a physical impossibility in terms of transfer of power? Can you repeat that? Is it ever possible for the inductive charging to be as efficient as a wired solution? No. I think we will have some, maybe Maximum 5%. It depends on the positioning, it depends on the positioning of the [UNKNOWN] or we have, any way we have- So 5% as efficient or 5% less efficient? Less efficient, less efficient than conductive. But I think that might be the range, and it depends anyway how you locate the car [UNKNOWN] And there's anyway they might be a cheater, let's say inefficiency Yeah that air gap can vary. Air gap, so on. And I think the most important issue is right now is standardization and then everyone can go ahead. Okay, it's exciting to know that the next few months you think might bring some standards to then Unlock Yeah. developments. Yep. Okay very good. You've been at BMW 30 years you were telling me? Yep. Obviously a dyed in the wool BMW guy. What are you driving personally these days? These days I'm driving a seven series Hybrid. Very nice. And I'm waiting for my five series. So in four weeks I will get the five series hybrid. And I'm looking forward and I'm very happy. Get to drive your own works. Yeah, that's right, that's right. [LAUGH] Very good, Stephan, thank you very much. You're welcome. All right, ladies and gentlemen. As Stephan [UNKNOWN] who's the head of electrical development there are BMW and This is an enormously important area for all car makers. It's no longer a green only story, it's a performance story, an efficiency story. It's also environmental and a low emission story. And it's just becoming woven into and breathed into, so many power trains from so many car makers today. We've crossed the tipping point for sure. We're going to take a break right now, catch our breath and be back live from here in about 60 minutes, less than an hour or so. In between we've got a lot of videos we're going to round up now from the Road Show teams. They've been shot this morning and yesterday. You are right in the thick of things. This show's not even open to the public until this weekend so You're getting an early taste. Continued coverage of the Detroit Auto Show, from Road Show, here in Detroit. [MUSIC]