Instant replay department: An auto exec makes a passing comment about future electrification plans; the pro-EV press hears what it wants to hear, and reports that the company is making a major new push to get charged.
A couple of weeks ago, VW announced that it would continue several EV development programs – most of which it had already revealed months earlier – while also developing ever-more-efficient gas, diesel and CNG (!) powertrains. EV industry pundits gushed about the company’s “dramatic pivot” to EVs.
The latest target of the rose-colored glasses is BMW. In a recent interview with the German magazine Die Zeit, CEO Harald Krueger spoke about the diesel debacle, and insisted that BMW complies with regulations.
He also made it clear that diesels would continue to be a big part of the company’s product mix, at least in Europe. “Around 80 % of the BMWs we sell in Europe are diesel; in the USA, just 6 %,” said Krueger. “I am a big fan of electromobility. But for the next few years, we won’t be able to do without diesel, especially when it comes to meeting CO2 targets. Alternative drive forms, such as electromobility or hydrogen, are not yet able to fulfill all the applications of the modern diesel engine.”
As for new EV plans, Krueger confirmed something that has been rumored for some time: “Alongside the BMW i3 we will soon be bringing another electric i model onto the market. The new BMW i model will be larger than the BMW i3, that’s all I will say for now.”
BMW remains one of the most forward-looking automakers – it recently introduced four new plug-in hybrid vehicles, and has said that it will eventually offer a plug-in model in all of its product segments. However, nothing in the recent Krueger interview indicates any new voltage surge right now.
“We want to expand our e-mobility offering to accelerate the transition towards electric vehicles,” Krueger said. “Today, many buyers still decide against buying an electric car; demand is still low overall.”
On the other hand, not all the good news out there is exaggerated. This week, Volvo announced several future plug-in models, Nissan confirmed that a super-battery is in the works, and execs from both companies boldly predicted that EVs would make up 10% of their sales in the near future.