BMW boss warns electric cars “will never be cheap” – Drive

Electric cars will become less expensive but never cheap, according to BMW’s CEO.

The CEO of German car-maker BMW has predicted electromobility and electric cars “will never be cheap” – despite previously claiming the company will not leave affordable market segments when it switches to a battery-powered line-up.

In an interview with US publication CNBC – first spotted by BMW BlogBMW CEO Oliver Zipse claimed prices of electric cars won’t be considered cheap by existing standards, even if costs go down as production increases.

“BMW offers electric cars in all segments, and of course, if we scale things up, there will be a tendency that things will become cheaper – but electromobility will never be cheap,” Mr Zipse told CNBC.

“That is the next task for this industry, to bring the prices down even further.”

2023 BMW iX1

In Australia, the least-expensive BMW electric car on sale is the iX1, which starts from $82,900 plus on-road costs – $17,000 more than its petrol-powered BMW X1 counterpart.

BMW’s previous cheapest electric car was the i3 city car, which was sold at its lowest price of $63,900 plus on-road costs in 2014.

Australia’s cheapest electric car – the MG ZS EV – is priced from $43,990 plus on-road costs, a significant premium compared to the petrol-powered ZST it is based on, which starts from $25,990 drive-away.

Mr Zipse’s recent comments come less than two months after the executive said BMW won’t phase out affordable cars when it goes electric, claiming the company won’t leave the lower market segment.

“Even if you consider yourself a premium manufacturer, it is wrong to leave the lower market segment – that will be the core of your business in the future.”

As reported in September 2022, respected BMW insider and BimmerPost forum author ‘ynguldyn’ revealed plans for the BMW i1 and BMW i2 – electric equivalents to the petrol-powered BMW 1 Series and BMW 2 Series.

The electric models are expected to enter production in Germany in November 2027 and July 2028, respectively.

BMW’s i Vision Dee concept

At CES last week, BMW previewed its upcoming Neue Klasse platform with the i Vision Dee concept car. 

The concept provides a glimpse of BMW’s future electric 3 Series sedan, which is expected to headline the debut of the Neue Klasse platform in 2025.

In December 2022, BMW said the Neue Klass platform would benefit from its next-generation electric-car batteries, which it claims can deliver up to 30 per cent more driving range for half the price of its current battery packs.

The cylindrical-shaped batteries are 46mm wide and will reportedly be built in two different heights, one of which is expected to be 80mm – all but a direct copy of electric-car giant Tesla’s upcoming ‘4680’ battery packs.

BMW has previously announced a target of 50 per cent of its global sales to come from electric cars by 2030.

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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