BMW won’t go fully electric: states if they don’t make petrol engines ‘someone else will’
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BMW has pledged to continue producing internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as it warned against becoming too dependent on some countries only wanting to drive electric vehicles.
It comes as many manufacturers have pledged to make their range of cars completely electric as countries like the UK ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
The European Union has a deadline of 2035 to ban the production of combustion engines.
But BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said the “EV push” increases dependency on “a very few countries”.
He added that “If someone cannot buy an EV for some reason but needs a car, would you rather propose he continues to drive his old car forever? If you are not selling combustion engines anymore, someone else will.”
Mr Zipse said the more efficient combustion engines were more important, both for company profits and for the environment.
And he said that the EV market faced several problems, including the high price of the cars and China’s control of the materials required to make them.
BMW announced in January that it would not scale up its own battery cell production for EVs until the technology has developed further.
BMW finance chief Nicholas Peter said: “We are not yet at the point where we can say what technology will accompany us for the next 10-15 years.
“That’s why it’s important to invest a lot of resources with worldwide partners in battery cell development.”
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Although BMW has recently released several all-electric vehicles including the i4 saloon and iX SUV, it has refused to follow the likes of Volvo in completely phasing out petrol engines.
But it will have 50 percent of its models using only battery power by the year 2030.
It said it plans to adjust production among battery, hybrid and efficient ICEs as different parts of the world adopt cars that produce zero emissions at different speeds.
Meanwhile Toyota, which has partnered with BMW on producing cars in the past, said it will invest $383million (£300million) in four US factories to produce a new four cylinder combustion engine.
The possibility of traditional engines continuing is being propped up by the development of new synthetic fuels, like one currently being developed by Porsche.
Lamborghini has also said it would seriously look at continuing with ICEs – alongside its planned move to have electrified models – if a sustainable liquid fuel was available.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said the company has not confirmed it will be fully electric and plans to retain ICE production – including plug-in hybrids – beyond 2030.
The Italian Government has asked the European Union to relax its ban on ICE production and exempt low-volume manufacturers including Lamborghini, Ferrari and Pagani.
In the UK the switch to EVs is moving ever-faster however, with the likes of Vauxhall stating they will be fully electric by 2028.
That’s two years before the full ban on new petrol and diesel car sales comes in.
And five years after that, the Government will ban hybrid vehicles as well.
A Department for Transport document stated: “There is a level of uncertainty based on the form of wider policy measures and future demand, but this modelling assumes that by 2030 a minimum of 80 percent of all new UK car sales are zero emission.”
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