BMW CEO no fan (yet) of dedicated EV platforms
Recently, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse gave a series of boardroom interviews entitled “Delivering Net Zero”. He told the news agency Reuters, for example, that he’s no big fan of dedicated EV platforms and that BMW is ready to compete with Tesla.
Meanwhile, he stresses that BMW doesn’t lag when it comes to energy transition and electrification. “We waited for the moment when electromobility is really getting into higher volumes,” Zipse clarifies.
BMW currently builds combustion engines, hybrid, and electric models on shared platforms, which can compromise electric vehicles’ performance and will not launch a dedicated electric platform until 2025.
Other competitors reacted quicker here. Volkswagen has developed its own electric vehicle platform from the ground up. Next month, Daimler AG will unveil its first Mercedes-Benz model on a dedicated electric platform.
“If you look at what’s happening in the market with these (dedicated electric) platforms, the cars all look alike,” Zipse said. “BMW serves very specific, high-paying customers; I think they don’t want cars that all look alike.”
No lagging behind
“There is a perception that we took a break, but we actually didn’t,” Zipse continues. “BMW has timed its shift to electric cars well, and its upcoming products will upend the perception that we are behind on electrification.”
Zipse told Reuters that BMW’s sustainability plans include reducing its CO2 emissions from the entire lifespan of its vehicles – from raw materials and production processes to their use on the road – by a cumulative 200 megatons by 2030.
The company also announced it had signed a €285 million contract with U.S.-based Livent, which will supply the German carmaker with lithium, a key ingredient in battery cells, from 2022 onward.
CO2 emission targets
Being the actual president of the European car manufacturers association (ACEA), Zipse also commented on the EU CO2 targets. He said he expects the European Union will further tighten its CO2 emission targets for 2030.
He warned that the bloc should not overreach on Euro 7 car emission proposals for pollutants including nitrous oxide and lung-damaging particulate matter due this year.
Germany’s auto industry says some proposals under consideration could effectively ban combustion engines from 2025. Zipse: “We should do it in a reasonable way to keep the combustion engine alive because engine improvements will help reach climate goals.”
Compete with Tesla
Zipse said BMW’s market cap of around 55 billion euros is lower than its equity of around 60 billion. “Something is wrong there, that would assume that you don’t have a future.”
Asked if BMW could become a ‘story stock’ like electric carmaker Tesla, which is valued at more than $500 billion, Zipse said: “Of course we can, we could make our stock compete with the likes of Tesla Inc.”
“The equity story is not finished for BMW,” he concluded. “We have a great future; we will grow.”