While many automakers active in Europe have been rushing to set a deadline for the internal combustion engine, BMW is in no rush. Well, not the main brand, as Rolls-Royce will become a pure EV brand in 2030, while MINI will follow at the start of the next decade. Oliver Zipse, Munich’s big boss, has repeatedly said it would be too premature to ban sales of new ICE-equipped cars from 2035, and he had a new opportunity to do so.

Speaking at the Innovation Day event in Erlangen, Bavaria this week, the 58-year-old reiterated his warning about a potentially premature ICE ban: “We believe it is wrong to turn off the combustion engine in Europe. The industry will be different in scale and structure than it is today if it turns to one technology. »

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BMW iX5 Hydrogen at Arjeplog on February 22

He went on to say that a “sudden shutdown” of the internal combustion engine would generate “distortions that no one here can control anymore”. As for an alternative to this increasingly likely scenario from the middle of the decade, Oliver Zipse again promoted fuel cell technology. He argues that it would be faster to build the necessary hydrogen filling stations than the time it will take to get the infrastructure ready for battery-powered electric vehicles.

The top brass at BMW explained that it would only take two days to convert a traditional refueling station that has gasoline and diesel to hydrogen. He also expressed his commitment to fuel cells: “That’s why we strongly believe in hydrogen. It will come and it will come at BMW, I am very, very sure of that.”

To that end, BMW is launching a short production run of the iX5 of no more than 100 hydrogen SUVs. A mass-production model will follow as soon as 2025 with help from Toyota, and we recently learned that the Neue Klasse platform is designed to accommodate a fuel cell.

Source: Wirtschaftswoche