Europe has waged two battles that go hand in hand. The first is the implementation of more sustainable mobility at a continental level. The second front is conditioned by the first and involves the elimination of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Although everyone takes the new horizon for granted, some voices are not at all clear about putting all the eggs in the same basket. Oliver Zipse, the head of BMW, warns of the dangers of betting everything on the electric car and the fixation that exists on the disappearance of combustion cars. It is not the first time that he has raised his voice critically about European politics.
It is curious that he does it, since the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) is one of the companies that is most focused on its electric range. In fact, BMW was one of the first to launch into the electric car, when at that time it was almost an adventure, but one thing does not take away the other. Although the company focuses on offering new products in line with new trends and demands, it does not neglect its more traditional fleet., which for the moment continues to gain in number of sales. To get an idea, suffice it to say that BMW’s best-selling model is the X1 sDrive18d.
Oliver Zipse has always been a strong advocate of keeping all avenues open, including the hydrogen one. BMW will start manufacturing hydrogen cars in series from the year 2025. So far this year BMW has experienced an explosion of electric sales. In the first three quarters of the year enrollments have doubled compared to last year. Only in the last period of what we have been doing, electric sales have grown by 121.6%. The fleet is growing every day, and in the future electrification will reach all models in the range with the corresponding i variants.
just a few weeks ago another member of the company’s board of directors made other controversial statements that again demonstrate the firm thinking of BMW. Mark Weber, CTO of the brand, openly admitted that not all countries are ready for electric cars. Although by 2030 BMW expects that 50% of its sales will be 100% electric, he knows that this percentage will not be reached in some markets that are lagging behind in the electric commercial expansion, Spain among them.
This brings up Zipse’s statements once again. Electric cars will sell well, no doubt about that, but they will do so at a price considerably higher than any corresponding version with a combustion engine. This will cause prices to go up and up, driving away many potential buyers who cannot access them. The CEO of BMW is totally opposed to the idea of disappearance of the basic segments due to the danger it could pose to the company’s balance sheet. “If you suddenly make car ownership only for rich people, it’s a dangerous thing”.
Asked about the lack of development of thermal engines, Oliver Zipse himself made statements completely opposed to European policies: “There are no signs that on a global scale the combustion engine will be obsolete in the next 15 years”. Unlike other companies, BMW has not set a date for the cessation of production of combustion engines. They do not know directly when such a moment will occur, although those from Munich are clear that the next step is to electrify the range.