Electrification is a must for meeting emissions targets, says BMW product chief
29 November 2013

BMW’s head of product development has warned that electrification is the only way of meeting stringent emissions regulations in the future.

Herbert Diess, BMW’s board member for development, says that all BMW models will soon need to be sold with some form of electrification - be it in hybrid form or pure electric drive - even if it is not what customers are asking for.

Speaking to Autocar, Diess said: “The motivation is always sheer driving pleasure, whatever we do. Not everyone wants to take the bus or train. But that philosophy is under environmental pressure. Automotive is one of the most heavily regulated industries. What is coming in the future is not just a reaction to customer requests, but also regulation.”

Diess explained that European customers are likely to see most of the new electric-drive technology first, as regulations here are stricter than elsewhere.

“Europe is five to seven years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of where it is pushing us,” he said, citing European regulations that call for fleet average CO2 emissions of 95g/km by 2020. In comparison, the target in China is 119g/km and Japan’s is 117g/km by the same date, while the target in the US has been set at 102g/km by 2025.

“The challenge is in meeting 95g/km and delivering real driving pleasure,” said Diess. “We must also recognise that we are now hitting against a physical limit and it will be very difficult in the next 20 years to go to a 99g/km average, let alone 50g/km for the future. The only way to do that is to rely on a high percentage of electric cars.

“Electricification will be a central thread in what we do, be it plug-in hybrid, hybrid or full electrification. The i8 shows what’s possible even below 50g/km, but we will also offer all standard models with entry-level electrification. We will try to use the modular kit developed for the i3 and i8 on a kit basis.” 

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29 November 2013
If BMW are to focus on electric vehicles they must make them as safe as possible! The Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf are Euro-NCAP five star cars. Extremely unimpressed that the i3 only managed four stars!

29 November 2013
[quote=BenC30]If BMW are to focus on electric vehicles they must make them as safe as possible! The Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf are Euro-NCAP five star cars. Extremely unimpressed that the i3 only managed four stars![/quote] i wonder if it is due to the carbon fibre body and elastic/deformation properties that are different to metals. I remember when the Matra Espace was first tested, it was either much safer in terms of deceleration loads than comparably sized vehicles or much more dangerous, depending which test you looked at. I suspect that there is something similar going on here.

29 November 2013
I understand the need for manufacturers to get the official figures down, but if they stop making cars people want there is a big risk more people will decide they dont need to own a car, or maybe keep their older cars longer, or just buy a cheap car. BMW need to be very careful. They already sell cars that are expensive (justified by being 'premium', whilst not being as long term reliable as much cheaper Japanese stuff) but with the added cost of electrification they must be far more expensive still. We already know that cars like the i3 range extender and Vauxhall Ampera use more fuel than conventional cars once the electricity has been used (even if their official CO2 is very low), and we cant expect the electric power side of things to remain untaxed for ever Of course the big joke is that by not counting the CO2 from electricity conventional cars really dont stand a chance unless they are tiny, yet the actual fuel used wont hardly have changed

29 November 2013
BMW has long been a leader when it comes to producing high-quality, technologically advanced cars, so it is no wonder that BMW owners have been waiting (sometimes rather impatiently) for a BMW electric car. BMW has researched electric cars for decades, but, like other companies, never made any real strides in the area because of all the politics around the gasoline/electric debate.

29 November 2013
Assuming these cars take off, has anyone worked out yet where the power's going to come from? Britain can't be the only country relying on filthy power stations which are so old they need shutting down, and the drive for ever lower emissions, and even 'zero', seems to rely on a childish belief that electricity grows on trees or can be plucked out of thin air.

29 November 2013
Having been a BMW driver for almost 20 years I have just bought my 10th BMW. It is not a new generation F10/F20/F30 model. Why? Because as a BMW customer I do not want a 4 cylinder turbo-charged petrol or diesel engine which is all that is available in any of these cars at a reasonable price. Instead I have purchased a 2012 330i Coupe with a naturally aspirated straight 6. That is what this customer wants. From speaking to a number of salesmen at various BMW dealers I am no the only one. They suggest that they have lost about half of their private buyers. So BMW are already making cars that their traditional customers do not want so the process of making cars just to meet emissions regualtions has already started. Looking at the i8 drivetrain; provided they can bring the prices down to realistic levels and still keep the performance of the petrol electric hybrids the same as a 330i then I will probably skip the F generation of cars and keep my "old" car for several years until the new BMW i range is in full swing. So it seems that artill is correct in his conclusion that drivers will hang onto their cars for longer until there is something they want to buy.

29 November 2013
Not a mention of hydrogen power and bear in mind they, James May the Telegrapgh, were all for it with the Hydrogen powered 7 series some 6 years ago. Hopefully the H bomb idea can now be buried. The only bad thing with all these manufacturers coming on board with the plug-in electric car is that the goverment will bring in road charging, remember they can't charge tax on the same power source as what powers your toaster and if they charge a form of Car electric road tax was does that say for their green policies!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 November 2013
While I get the argument of where the co2 to make the electricity comes from, for that argument to be valid, you need to add in the co2 for the creation of petrol/diesel to conventional cars

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

29 November 2013
[quote=superstevie]While I get the argument of where the co2 to make the electricity comes from, for that argument to be valid, you need to add in the co2 for the creation of petrol/diesel to conventional cars[/quote] Not forgetting the enegy to create and supply the oil for the use in making Petrol build extra Oil rigs, run them, build the tankers, sail them, supply the garages etc..

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 November 2013
What a pity some do not seem to understand that EVs are a waste of time space and money, and I don't care what BMW say.

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