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BMW set to double electric vehicle sales by 2021

BMW's Vision M Next concept car

BMW is on track to double its electric and hybrid vehicle sales by 2021, the company said Tuesday as it unveiled its newest electric car.

The German automaker announced that it will meet its target of marketing 25 electrified vehicle models by 2023 — two years earlier than expected. More than half of those models will be fully electric.

Sales of BMW's electric models are expected to increase by 30% every year between now and 2025, the carmaker also added.

BMW also revealed the Vision M Next, an electrified concept car, which was complete with a prototype of "intelligent technology to transform (owners) into the ultimate driver."

Unveiling the sportscar at its #NEXTGen show in Munich, BMW said the car gave a glimpse of how driving may look in the future — offering people the choice between being driven by technology or doing the driving themselves.

The Vision M Next was complete with prototypes of BMW's "ease" and "boost" features, which will be incorporated into its autonomous vehicles. The "ease" function is selected when the vehicle assumes driving duties, allowing passengers to relax, talk or even watch a movie. Meanwhile, "boost" allows drivers to control the car themselves.

By the end of 2019, BMW is aiming to have more than half a million hybrid or fully-electric vehicles on the road. This year will see the company start production of the fully-electric Mini and BMW iX3.

From 2020, BMW plug-in hybrids will also feature a new eDrive zones function — smart tech that recognizes green zones in cities that are reserved for emission-free driving. Cars fitted with the function will automatically behave as a fully-electric vehicle when driving within those areas.

"We are firmly committed to emission-free driving," said Harald Kruger, chairman of BMW's board, in a press release Tuesday.

"Our vision is clear: sustainable mobility, produced in a sustainable manner. We have set ourselves the goal of only buying electricity from renewable energy sources for all our locations worldwide from 2020," he added.