BMW reiterates commitment to e-mobility, but focuses on plug-in hybrids

BMW reiterated today its commitment to e-mobility and its goal to “ensure we have a world worth living in for our children,“ but the automaker’s plan is still mainly focused around plug-in hybrids.

At BMW’s Annual General Meeting in Munich on Thursday, Harald Krüger gave a speech about the company’s electrification:

“Our market is global. We don’t want to tell people what to do; we want our products to inspire people all over the world. Our flexible electrification strategy underlines this approach and enables us to serve very different regions of the world, as the introduction of alternative drive trains is proceeding at a different pace in different markets. Technological openness is key to being prepared for the regulatory requirements and customer wishes in different markets,”

By flexible, BMW means that it offers plug-in hybrid versions of most of its vehicles.

He explained why they are pushing for hybrids:

“The effective role plug-in hybrids can play in achieving emission-free mobility in cities is demonstrated by the example from the Netherlands: In conjunction with the City of Rotterdam, the BMW Group has implemented a pilot project to increase the use of electric power by plug-in hybrids in the city. Preliminary results indicate that participating customers drove over 90% in electric mode in a specially defined “e-zone” within Rotterdam.

This underlines the fact that plug-in hybrids are both an important building block in ramping up e-mobility and a long-term requirement for customers who depend on flexibility. For this reason, the BMW Group has a strong interest in influencing user behaviour to increase the percentage of miles driven with electric power.”

But BMW is not giving up on the combustion engine.

Krüger says that they still believe that they can make more efficient engines:

“Technology openness also means continuing to improve our already efficient combustion engines. We are systematically driving e-mobility with both fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and investing in new technologies such as fuel cells. We believe it would be a mistake to rely on just one technology, as that could jeopardise prosperity in Germany.”

As for all-electric vehicles, BMW hasn’t released a new one since the BMW i3 in 2013, but the German automaker now says that it’s finally launching new fully-electric models.

They have the BMW iX3, an all-electric SUV, which is due to go on sale next year and the BMW i4, an all-electric sedan, and the BMW iNEXT, an all-electric crossover, are being brought to market in 2021.

Earlier this year, BMW revealed the latest iX3, i4, and iNext electric vehicle prototypes during winter testing.

A Mini electric is also due later this year.

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