Things are starting to change…
It wasn’t too long ago just about everyone in the automotive industry with one voice agreed that battery-electric cars not only were the future, but that they had to be ushered in this decade while killing ICE engines entirely. Now the tides are starting to turn, perhaps in part because the reality of manufacturing so many batteries and offering EVs at prices consumers can afford is starting to set in. We’ve featured other automotive executives telling the truth about the unrealistic nature of such an approval, and now BMW CEO Oliver Zipse has joined in.
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Zipse didn’t have favorable things to say about governments mandating all vehicles are EVs. He pointed out the obvious, that such heavy-handed measures can come with unintended consequences. There are plenty of examples of this in the immediate past, yet politicians and bureaucrats have such hubris they either can’t admit their foibles or don’t even perceive them.
"If someone cannot buy an (electric vehicle) for some reason but needs a car, would you rather propose he continues to drive his old car forever?” asked Zipse during a roundtable discussion at the New York Auto Show.
Other points Zipse brought up during the discussion was the scarcity of certain minerals necessary for making batteries. He warned that would “increase dependency on very few countries” which have a stranglehold on those materials, which includes authoritarian China. He also hammered on the lack of a charging infrastructure for electric cars and their much higher prices, keeping lower-income individuals from being able to afford basic transportation if mandates were put in place.
Instead of just banning gas- or diesel-powered cars, Zipse thinks a better solution is to make ICE engines even more fuel-efficient.
This isn’t the first time Zipse has spoken out about the lemming-like march to cancel ICE engines. Back in March of this year he said BMW would keep developing internal combustion engines, even after Audi and other competitors have stated they’re pouring all R&D into improving EV tech. In Zipse’s view, a lot of people will still want gas-powered vehicles for quite some time. In other words, he doesn’t think this immediate switch to electrification different people have been fantasizing about is going to happen.
Photos via BMW