BMW Isn't Done Developing Internal-Combustion Engines, But EVs Are Still Coming

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【Summary】Unlike a few other German automakers, BMW claims it’s not done with the internal combustion engine yet, but will still focus on coming out with electrified vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 27, 2021 4:30 PM PT
BMW Isn't Done Developing Internal-Combustion Engines, But EVs Are Still Coming

With cities and countries around the world introducing strict emissions regulations, a few automakers have announced that they would stop developing internal-combustion engines. Both Audi and Volkswagen have stated that they will not develop any new engines, as they've shifted their focus to electrified powertrains and fully electric vehicles. In the future, nearly every automaker will have to stop pouring money into internal-combustion engines as things will certainly shift toward the electric side of things. For the time being, BMW stated that it has no interest in ditching the internal-combustion engine anytime soon.

BMW's Doing Things Differently

According to CNBC's Phil LeBeau, BMW isn't ready to pull the plug on internal-combustion engines. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, according to a tweet by LeBeau, stated that the automaker would continue to develop internal-combustion engines, as he believes demand for gasoline-powered vehicles will remain strong for years. It's a vague statement, but it reveals how serious BMW is about sticking with internal-combustion engines. It's also a large departure from other automakers, like Mini and Mercedes-Benz that have timelines in place for when the internal-combustion engine would be discontinued.

With that being said, BMW isn't going to only focus on gasoline-powered cars. The German automaker officially stated that it wants half the cars it sells to be battery-powered vehicles by 2030. By 2023, BMW wants to have more than 10 all-electric vehicles on sale. So far, all we know at the moment is that the BMW i4 sedan is expected to go on sale soon and the compact BMW iX3 won't come to the U.S.

How BMW Is Different

That alone explains BMW's philosophy. While other automakers, like Mercedes-Benz and Audi are coming out with standalone electric models, BMW is focusing on electrifying existing vehicles. The iX3 is based on the X3 SUV, while the i4 is an electrified version of the 4-Series Gran Coupe. Clearly, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are investing more money into EVs than BMW. So, they're better prepared for an electrified future than BMW.

BMW believes that vehicles with an internal-combustion engine will account for 85 percent of its sales in 2030. With that thought process, it's easy to see why the automaker is still sticking with the traditional engine.

Instead of fully electric vehicles, we expect to see more hybrids and plug-in hybrids from BMW. The automaker currently offers five plug-in hybrid models, which include the X3 xDrive30e, X5 xDrive45e, 330e sedan, 530e sedan, and 745e sedan. For the next decade, we expect PHEVs and hybrids to be BMW's main focus before it completely switches gears into the world of EVs.

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