MINI and Roll-Royce will entirely switch to electric power around 2030 but BMW has a different strategy in place. Several higher-ups from the German luxury brand have been quite vocal in recent years about why the demise of the internal combustion engine shouldn’t be rushed. EVs are still significantly expensive compared to similarly sized cars fueled by gasoline and diesel, so there are a lot of people who can’t afford them. In addition, the charging infrastructure is far from being ready all over the world as in many regions, drivers mainly rely on fossil fuels.

With that in mind, the luxury brand has not set a cutoff date for ICE. In an extended interview with Automobilwoche during which he hinted at an i3 replacement; the company’s development boss was asked about when BMW will build its last gasoline/diesel car. Frank Weber answered it’s not going to happen during his career. His exact words were: “the world will not be able to do without combustion engines even after my active time.”

Born in Wiesbaden, BMW’s Chief Technology Officer is 57 years old. The retirement age in Germany is currently at 66 but it will gradually increase to 67 by 2031. In other words, the CTO believes the ICE will still be around in the late 2030s, even though some high-end automakers have already announced when they’ll completely phase out conventional engines. Jaguar will do it as early as 2025, with Volvo to follow in 2030 and Audi in 2033. Mercedes has said it’ll have an EV-only lineup as early as 2030 “where market conditions allow.”

Although traditionalists will be happy to hear the ICE is not going anywhere, Frank Weber spoke at great length about the Neue Klasse platform and how it will underpin a full array of models. He reiterated a fully electric M3 is coming, promising that it “will bring performance to the road in an unprecedented form.” It’ll use what BMW refers to as the “Heart of Joy,” a new control unit developed entirely in-house together with the M division.

Source: Automobilwoche (subscription required)