BMW boss delivers ICE warning

Chief executive says setting deadline for sales ban risks taking “cheap cars” out of the market.

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Locking in a date to stop manufacturing vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) risks taking “cheap cars” out of the market and putting vehicle ownership out of reach for some people, warns the chief executive officer of BMW.

Oliver Zipse, pictured, says his company has not set a deadline to end production of ICE vehicles and says banning their sale risks being “politically dangerous”.

He adds that BMW supports ambitious vehicle regulations but notes setting a firm date to end ICE sales may lead to in people continuing “to drive their old cars – and that is not what we want”.

“We don’t want cars to be taken away out of the base segment,” he says. “If you all of a sudden make car ownership only for rich people, it’s a dangerous thing.”

A number of marques plan to cease sales of petrol and diesel models by 2035, with lawmakers in several countries or states worldwide also setting similar goals.

While Zipse acknowledges the electric vehicle (EV) market is growing, he says “there is no signal” that on a global scale the ICE will be obsolete within the next 15 years, reports Reuters.

BMW expects at least 50 per cent of its sales by 2030 to be zero-emissions and it is set to more than double the number of its EV sales this year.

Zipse’s comments came ahead of an announcement that BMW will invest US$1.7 billion (NZ$3b) to build EVs and assemble batteries at sites in the US state of South Carolina.

The luxury carmaker plans to build at least six fully electric BMW models in the US by 2030.

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