BMW says its future is electric

BMW Group's Mini brand will be exclusively fully electric by the early 2030s and it will release the last Mini model with a combustion engine variant in 2025.

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BMW AG management board chairman Oliver Zipse confirmed this last week, adding: “We are electrifying BMW and picking up the pace of electromobility.”

Zipse said fully electric products could also be expected from Rolls Royce.

If demand in certain markets shifts entirely to fully electric vehicles (EVs) within the next few years, BMW will be able to deliver, he added.

Zipse said BMW would have delivered a total of about 2 million fully electric vehicles to customers by the end of 2025 and will be growing its sales of fully electric models by well over 50% a year over the next few years.

He said the fully electric BMW iX is the group’s innovative and technology flagship that will enable all future BMW vehicles. The BMW iX has a range of up to 600km and short charging times, he said.

Zipse said sales of BMW xEVs are expected to grow by more than 75% this year compared to 2020, and BMW aimed to have delivered more than 1 million EVs to customers by the end of 2021 since 2013.

He said 2023 will be a key year for BMW in e-mobility because it will have 13 fully electric models on the road.

“Positioning our BEVs [battery EVs] in the high-volume segments will enable us to ramp up quickly and achieve swift market penetration.

“By 2023, we would already have at least one fully electric model on the road in all key segments - from the compact car segment to the ultra-luxury class. Our production network is swiftly and efficiently integrating electrification into our existing plant structure,” he said.

BMW AG management board member for development, Frank Weber, said the markets and not BMW will decide the end of the internal combustion engine (ICE).

“The ramp up of electric driving depends a lot on the charging infrastructure and what kind of infrastructure will be available in individual countries. Therefore we can only say that we have a degree of flexibility between electric and combustion engines so that we are ready to support both and can respond whether the end of the combustion engine comes sooner or later,” he said.

Zipse added that the automotive industry will only be able to meet the current and future mobility needs with an open-technology approach for all drivetrains, including e-fuels and hydrogen, which will be an alternative worldwide.

He said the electromobility growth curve will continue to climb between 2025 and 2030, and BMW’s BEVs will grow by an average of more than 20% a year during this period.

This will coincide with BMW launching a radically new product offering in 2025 called the “New Class”.

Zipse said the “New Class” is BMW Group’s global product offering for the markets of the future, comprising a combination of an entirely new IT and software architecture, a newly developed electric drivetrain and battery generation, and a new level of sustainability geared towards a circular economy.

“By 2030, at least 50% of our global sales will be fully electric vehicles. Over the next 10 years or so, we will be releasing a total of about 10 million fully electric vehicles onto the roads.

“How quickly each individual market gets there will depend on the availability of charging infrastructure,” he said.

Zipse also stressed that BMW is present in more than 140 markets globally and it is not realistic that the same technologies will prevail equally in every country at the same time.

“That is why it does not make economic sense to pull certain offerings from markets that still enjoy demand. Companies with a strong ability to serve different markets with the right technologies and products will have the best prospects for further growth and profitability,” he said.

Deliveries by the automotive segment, comprising BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce, declined by 8.4% to 2.33 million vehicles in 2020 from 2.53 million in 2019 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group reported a 23.2% decline in group net profit to €3.85 billion from €5.0 billion in 2019.

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