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BMW won't quit development of combustion engines anytime soon

By Tom Fraser, 20 Mar 2021 Car News

BMW won't quit development of combustion engines anytime soon

BMW’s announcement not to ditch the combustion engine comes just days after Audi CEO says his brand will

BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse says his brand isn’t done with the internal combustion engine (ICE) yet – a declaration that comes in stark contrast to German rival Audi, which will end development of new combustion engines immediately, 

Both revelations were made this week, but the latter was the most surprising as an ever-increasing number of automakers including Jaguar, Volvo and Bentley set targets to go all-electric by 2030.

BMW i4 revealed as an electric 4 Series Gran Coupe

According to a tweet by CNBC journalist Phil Lebeau, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse claimed “Demand for ICE vehicles will remain robust for many years to come.”

This comes a day after Audi CEO Markus Duesmann cited tightening European emissions regulations as the reason Audi will no longer develop any new combustion engines. That said, it will continue to update its existing fleet.

Duesmann also stated that Euro 7 standards, due by 2025, "have little benefit for the environment."

BMW sees reason to continue its research and development into combustion engines, however, despite intentions for sub-brand Mini to go electric-only from 2030.

Mini to go all-electric by 2030 - report

That announcement was made during BMW’s annual group report this week. While BMW says it won’t abandon petrol and diesel engine development for now, it’s obvious the brand sees the future as electric.

Read Mini to go all-electric by 2030

BMW expects electric models to account for at least half of its annual global sales by 2030. The brand will also move its ICE production to its Austrian outpost away from its current location at BMW’s Munich headquarters. Electric powertrain development will take its place. 

Other EV-related announcements included BMW launching the electric i4 sedan three months ahead of schedule, over 90 per cent of BMW’s models will have a full-EV variant by 2023 and deliveries of full EVs will grow by “well over 50 per cent” year-on-year on average by 2025.