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Not Too Fast, Automakers Should Reconsider Electric-Only Strategy, BMW CEO Warns

Auto manufacturers are finally ready to play ball after a lot of pushing, shoving, and intervention from global authorities to shift from combustion engines to EVs. But nothing new comes without teething problems. At a roundtable meeting in New York, Oliver Zipse, BMW’s chief executive officer, said companies need not be too reliant on a few select countries by focusing on EVs and that there’s still a market out there for ICEs.
Oliver Zipse 8 photos
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Electric vehicles might be the future, but the auto industry needs to do a lot to ensure a smooth transition. Industry stakeholders feel there’s still a lot of leg work needed to improve infrastructure, policy, and availability of raw materials for production.

Zipse warned that the industry needs to be careful not to increase reliance on a few countries, citing the supply of raw materials and batteries is overly dependent on China, Reuters reported.

The CEO is prevalent for his strong stance against an all-out ban on combustion vehicles, and he might be right. Switching from combustion vehicles isn’t as simple as it seems on paper.

There’s a lot to consider for consumers, including their driving habits, residence, and the type of vehicle they are looking to get. Hybrid cars offer a better transition into going fully electric for the more informed consumer.

Zipse also felt that producing more fuel-efficient vehicles is a better proposition for profit and decreased emissions. He pointed out the main issues affecting the transition, including the cost of buying an EV and gaps in charging infrastructure.

According to Edmunds, the average retail price for an EV in the U.S. in February was $60,054 compared to the $45,596 average for all new vehicles (inclusive of fully electric variants).

BMW CEO added that auto manufacturers need to plan for high energy prices and raw materials by having efficiency in their production and turning up their recycling processes for cost reduction.

Editor's note: Images featured are for illustration purposes


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