Electric 3-Series! BMW’s compact EV saloon spotted

Published: 30 July 2020

► BMW's electrification continues
► Uses second-gen EV tech
► Similiar in looks to the ICE 3-Series

Munich’s electric plans are sparking to life. Our spy photographers have snapped an all-electric variant of the 3-Series testing, as BMW looks to spin out an EV variant in every model range 

Our pictures show a car that is very similar to the ICE 3-Series you can buy right now – albeit covered in camo. Aside from the lack of exhaust pipes the only real feature that gives the prototype away is the ‘Electric Test Vehicle’ badge Munich helpfully slaps on its EVs. A single plug-in point also confirms this isn’t a PHEV version of the 3-Series either. 

Electric BMWs: a guide

There’s no intel yet on the range or performance of the electric 3-series, but we do know it’ll be based on the vastly improved eDrive tech in the iX3, and later the iNext. The new tech is around 30% power dense than the powertrain first shown in the i3. 

Styling-wise, we’re expecting something very similar to the current 3-Series, though the front of the car will look a little different. Like the iX3, the electric 3-Series will feature fewer inlets at the front of the car – partly for styling and partly to reflect its reduced cooling needs.

The pictures follow the launch of the BMW iX3 EV – making the crossover the first model to come with hybrid, electric and petrol power – as BMW looks to bring an EV option to every model. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast