BMW R&D Chief: “In 50 years, most of us will drive electric vehicles”

BMW i, News | October 30th, 2015 by 11
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Klaus Fröhlich – BMW’s R&D Chief – spoke with EngineeringNews about the future of the car industry. The development boss says BMW will be primarily …

Klaus Fröhlich – BMW’s R&D Chief – spoke with EngineeringNews about the future of the car industry. The development boss says BMW will be primarily working over the next 20 years on powertrains and digitalisation.

“Powertrains and digitalisation. These are our key challenges and they are more than enough,” Fröhlich said. Electrified powertrains are “clearly” one field where the German premium car manufacturer “has to invest a lot of resources”, notes Fröhlich. Yet he adds that diesel and petrol engines will still be around for the next 50 to 60 years.

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Fröhlich believes the world is likely to have an electric vehicle (EV) population of around 10% in the next ten years, but within the next half century, most drivers will be behind the wheel of an electric vehicle. Fröhlich also explains that the engineering of a petrol or diesel engines – to deliver the best performance – can take “10 to 20 loops”. In contrast, the current plug-in hybrid system found in the BMW 740e is on its third iteration, with the fifth one already planned for launch in 2020.

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“We have to go through these loops until we have robustness; until we have costs under control,” explains Fröhlich.

BMW is not giving up on the development of petrol and diesel engines, adds Fröhlich. “We sell cars in 160 countries and I have to find a tailor-made solution for all of these markets without investing too much in different technologies.” The other challenge for the German engineers is to account for different packages fitting in the same chassis – take the new 7 Series, for example, with its conventional engines and eDrive platform.

“It has to be modular. I have to find a way for it to work,” says Fröhlich. “We have defined a certain cell standard millimeter height so that we can build new batteries in 50 years that have the same cell standard, even if the chemistry and energy density will be very different. This means that, when your car fails after 15 years and you go to a BMW shop to have a new battery fitted, you can do so.”

11 responses to “BMW R&D Chief: “In 50 years, most of us will drive electric vehicles””

  1. raleedy says:

    In 50 years, most of us will be dead.

  2. CDspeed says:

    So then why is BMW fooling around with Toyota over fool cells? The future is unclear with BMW so I’m not sure if I should believe what he says or not.

  3. Icebreakerr says:

    FUCK THAT WE WANT PETROL

    • Senne says:

      Dude seriously, of course we do. But times change. The world is changing. We HAVE to do something and we have to do it NOW!!

  4. steven75 says:

    50 years? More like 25.

  5. mckillio says:

    I sure hope so and hopefully sooner. Ideally my next car will be electric less than three years.

  6. gerry says:

    Dec 2013 I joined the BMW i3 brigade after 40 years of 6 cil inline, never ever I want to go back to fossil driving this car is superior to al the beemers I drove in the past….

    • Duke says:

      To each his own. I wouldn’t call the i3 sporty or compare it to the silky smooth inline 6. I have also an i3 but I still drive my M5 f10 and my 335 coupe most of the time. I only drive the i3 for errands. I like the i8 configuration way better.

  7. […] Elas estão se preparando para esse futuro, que já tratam como um dado de realidade. Klaus Fröhlich, chefe de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento da BMW, disse que, por volta de 2050, praticamente não […]

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