BMW is one of the global car manufacturers in the forefront of electrification, but it has announced that it will continue to invest heavily in internal combustion engines (ICE) – both petrol and diesel – for the foreseeable future, according to Klaus Froelich, BMW Group board member for development. He was speaking on the side-lines of the company’s NextGen event in Munich in June, according to an article written by Luca Ciferri in Automotive News Europe.
He expects diesels to survive for at least 20 years and petrol engines for at least 30 years.
“A best assumption of 30% sales of battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2025 means that at least 80% of BMW’s models will have an internal combustion engine,” explained Froelich. “We see areas without a recharging infrastructure such as Russia, the Middle East and the western, central part of China, will continue to rely on petrol engines for another 10-15 years.
“The coastal part of China and its big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will be battery-electric only in about 10 years. Europe will be more receptive to plug-in hybrids, while in the United States battery-electric vehicles will sell mainly on the West Coast and part of the East Coast but will not become mainstream.
“The shift to electrification is overhyped,” Froelich said. “Battery-electric vehicles cost more in terms of raw materials for batteries. This will continue and could eventually worsen as demand for these (scarce) raw materials increases.”
While internal combustion engines are set to remain at BMW for a while, their portfolio will shrink drastically due to build costs, complexity, and an ability to meet ever tighter emission regulations.