BMW Boss Warns that an Electric-Only Car Strategy is Dangerous
While carmakers continue to dupe the public that EVs are the answer to the world’s problems, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse seems to think otherwise. In the latest of a quietly growing number of EV rebuttals, Zipse told Reuters that automakers should not rely on EV strategies that only work in select markets.
SINGLE LINE SUPPLY CHAIN IS DANGEROUS
“When you look at the technology coming out, the EV push, we must be careful because at the same time, you increase dependency on very few countries,” Zipse explaind. “EVs are primarily popular in highly developed markets like China and Europe and also depend on raw materials that flow mostly through China. “As the pandemic and current trade sanctions on Russia show, depending too much on any one set of market conditions or single chain in a supply line can be dangerous.”
“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 we do not sell combustion engines anymore, someone else will…”
Mr. Zipse’s comments come as BMW leads the renewed internal combustion engine charge. “One thing is certain,” BMW Development Director Frank Weber promised earlier in 2022. “We will still need state-of-the-art combustion engines for a good many years to come. “BMW is working on a new generation of petrol and diesel straight-sixes and V8s that will most effectively reduce CO2. “We will reduce emissions via more advanced engines, or electric powertrains.
NEW BMW STRAIGHT SIXES, V8S COMING
“We looked at our power options and found a promising approach while reconciling emissions needs on the one hand and performance requirements on the other. “Our next six-cylinder engine alone, will reduce CO2 emissions much more effectively than ever. “They will be nothing like they were before. “Our new engines will have something completely new in the cylinder head to reduce emissions in the crucial fight against climate change.
“Most importantly, we will not force our customers to choose between combustion and electric vehicles,” Weber concluded. “BMW will always offer the most sustainable and innovative cars, regardless of their drive type, in line with standardised future emissions legislation around the world.”
Unlike its rivals, BMW has not rushed to bring its EV battery cell production in-house. That in spite of its transition to EVs ramping up more rapidly than than expected. BMW EV sales have doubled off full order books. “We are in no rush to scale up battery cell production,” BMW finance boss Nicolas Peter admits. “We are not yet at the point where we can say what technology will accompany us for the next 10 to 15 years. “That’s why it’s important to invest with worldwide partners in a lot of resources.”
BMW IS NOT ALONE
BMW is not alone in its commitment to combustion engine propulsion. And Zipse is not the only carmaker CEO to speak out recently. Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares in January slammed ongoing government abolitions of combustion engines. “Electrification of cars is a political move,” he suggested. “Battery electric vehicles are by no means the auto industry’s preferred future green technology silver bullet.owerful hybrid cars are a far better and more immediate solution.”
And then like Munich, Stuttgart is also developing gas powered alternatives to its future battery vehicles. In spite reports to the contrary, Benz has startd rolling out 4-cylinder SL and the new C43 this week. AMGs new C63 is also likely to be a 4 cylinder hybrid, and Mercedes-AMG sill doesn’t appear ready to abandon its V8s just yet, either. “I think for the next 10 years we will see the V8 for sure,” AMG boss Philipp Schiemer admitted recently. “We have a lot of customers who love their cars and I still think that we will see those people buying V8s for a long time to come.”
Make no mistake, all carmakers will offer electric cars. But not all of them are prepared to throw their entire hat into that battery pond. Many remain committed to keeping ICEs alive. BMW, Mercedes and VW will keep on building combustion cars. So will Ford and Stellantis. Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, along with Yamaha and Kawasaki too. And even Korea’s Hyundai and Kia. Some of them are developing new engines. Others are embracing hydrogen, biodiesel and synthetic fuels. And much more, too… — Michele Lupini