BMW Commits to Full-on Crusade for Electrification

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2018 BMW i3

While lawmakers argue hand over fist about emissions, BMW is already ahead of the EV game.

Electric vehicles are still working on gaining acceptance with the public. Even automakers are slow to embrace electrification. BMW, however, is prepared for our electrified future and plans to introduce new electrified vehicles.

According to Green Tech Media, Andreas Klugescheid, head of external affairs and sustainable communications at BMW said, “We understand what the issues are, and we have no question mark when it comes to the Paris accord, nor do we have a question mark that decarbonizing the transportation sector is clearly a target that we should pursue.” Klugescheid made his comments at the California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference in San Francisco.

2019 BMW i8

There are currently more than four million electrified vehicles on the roads worldwide. Yet plug-ins account for only 2 percent of passenger vehicles in Germany. BMW also said that only 4 percent of its sales in Germany are electrified vehicles. There’s a long way to go toward getting rid of the good old internal combustion engine.

BMW is undeterred. It recently opened a new factory in Hungary that can pump out 150,000 EVs annually. It’s also adding EV capability at its other factories in Europe. These changes are necessary for producing electrified models like the upcoming iNext. In addition to increasing production and introducing new models, BMW is investigating infrastructure improvements to support electric vehicles through key partnerships. BMW plans to lead the way on electrification, not follow.

2019 BMW i8

Klugescheid said that having the right vehicles and a supporting infrastructure are important, but that policy is a huge piece of the puzzle. He pointed to Norway, where 74 percent of BMWs sold are battery-powered.

“There’s nothing different between Norway and Germany and other countries of the European Union when it comes to the product we’re selling. It’s very much the same product, but it has very different outcomes,”Klugescheid said in an interview with Green Tech Media.

Germany and Europe have aggressive emissions targets. In the U.S., those targets may be rolled back. Regardless of what policy makers do, it’s abundantly clear that BMW is focused on moving forward with electrification.

Photos: Mercedes-Benz

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