German firm’s development boss labels reports as “complete nonsense”
BMW has denied speculation that it will abandon internal combustion engines after its research and development boss, Frank Weber, labelled the reports as “complete nonsense”.
Sources close to the German firm had claimed that it would not continue with its involvement in combustion engines, particularly as rival firms begin to increase investment in electric drivetrains.
“Firstly, it’s not true. And secondly, suggesting there’s nothing more to be done is not true either,” said Weber.
The news comes ahead of the launch of the brand’s next-generation ‘Neue Klasse’ electric cars, starting with the concept car and now known to be extending to the next-generation iX3 and, eventually, the “crazy”, quad-motor M3.
Weber pointed to the recently confirmed Euro 7 emission regulations, set to be imposed from 1 July 2025, as just one example of why BMW remains heavily committed to ICE development. He said: “There’s a lot to do. And we don’t only do this in Europe, but also in the US and China as well.”
The firm has also set an objective for zero-emission cars to account for 15% of its sales in 2024.
BMW CEO Oliver Zipse spoke of his aversion to the European Union’s banning of the combustion engine, claiming that it would send European car makers into a price war with Chinese car makers, and sees the competition as an “imminent risk”. Zipse has also supported e-fuels as an “important” alternative to fossil fuels.
At the beginning of 2023, the firm culled its range of diesel engines on cars with the ’20d’ nomenclature, as well as some straight six diesels such as the M440d and 530d xDrive, and every X2. It cited a drop in demand as the justification.