While most automakers are slowly starting to announce an end date to their combustion-powered cars, BMW is not ready to commit to an expiry date. At the production launch of the new BMW iX, Milan Nedeljković, head of production for the BMW Group told reports that “An expiry date for combustion engine cars is not sensible.”
BMW is still heavily invested in their “Power of Choice” strategy which will give birth to several plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2025. But past the middle of this decade, BMW will introduce the Neue Klasse, an EV-oriented platform which will open new possibilities for the Bavarians.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that Nedeljković also refused to be drawn in on the various exit strategies of others. “It’s very difficult to predict how quickly demand for electrified vehicles increases and for combustion engine cars decreases, and as long as that’s not clear, not only is it risky to predict that date, it’s not even sensible,” he said to Fortune.
So far, several automakers have been firm with their exit plans of combustion engines. Among those we count Audi, Volvo and Jaguar. Audi already announced that their final gas-powered model will be phased out in 2026. The last combustion engine car Audi builds will be built no later than 2033.
Yet, the upcoming European Green Deal can have a major impact. On July 14, European Commission is set to unveil a new climate legislation package for the EU.
The new regulations are expected to impact fleet emissions targets for new cars by 2023 and to achieve those targets, a major shift towards electrified cars is certainly required.