Cleaner engines will keep combustion alive.
BMW is a brand known for remarkable performance machines, and it continues to produce them. But as the age of electrification draws ever closer, the automaker is working on electric bike concepts and production EVs like the BMW i4, iX, and more. With plenty of new electric vehicles on their way, it may seem that the German carmaker has already shifted its focus to silent motoring, but the truth is that BMW wants to keep internal combustion engines (ICE) alive for as long as possible. According to Automotive News Europe, BMW feels that the world is still a long way off from pure electric vehicles being the chief mode of transport.
In an interview with the European news outlet, BMW development chief Frank Weber said that there are still many hurdles to overcome: "When is the system ready to absorb all those battery-electric vehicles? It's about charging infrastructure, renewable energy. Are people ready? Is the system ready? Is the charging infrastructure ready?"
Not only is the world not ready but the very people who put the cars together are not ready yet either. Many of the employees at automakers across the globe have dedicated their careers to mastering the arts of the ICE powertrain, so although workforces are being gradually educated, this is a long process.
With Euro 7 regulations imminent and likely to be the last major investment in gasoline and diesel engines, BMW (and others) will continue to invest in cleaner engines, but once the end of the decade arrives, major changes will come to all. While some like Mercedes and Audi have said that they will no longer invest in ICE, BMW doesn't want to pull out too soon. The brand will be cutting down the number of ICE powertrains it produces by 50% in coming years, but won't phase them out entirely. Furthermore, BMW has invested a lot of money in hydrogen fuel cell technology too. We look forward to seeing what BMW plans to do to keep these engines as clean as possible, but EVs will be remarkably similar in driving characteristics thanks to the flexible Neue Klasse platform being set to underpin everything from the 2 Series to the X7.