BMW joins VW in supporting German government’s target of million electric cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 31, 2013

BMW Group is supporting the target of the German government for about a million electric cars to ply the country's roads by 2020. Just a week ago, Volkswagen Group declared that this goal can be attained if partly battery-powered cars like hybrids, for example, are included in this category.

Last Monday, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer made a speech in Munich at an industry conference where he said that the support of authorities is required in attempts to develop the electric-vehicle market in the European Union. He added that the official support in the bloc falls behind programs set in the U.S. and China. Reithofer said that he hopes that the talks between national governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission result in a “viable” package.

He revealed that presently, the proposals being discussed by the commission do not provide incentives to hasten the launch of alternative options. Automakers are working to meet the more stringent rules on emissions throughout the world. To do so, they’re promoting electric-powered models. BMW dealerships in Germany will be getting the 34,950 euro ($48,200) all-electric i3 car next month.

Last week, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said that the carmaker will "contribute" to the German target for EVs to have a bigger role in the market by 2020. Winterkorn said that the government’s plans are feasible if plug-in hybrids are included. To those who don’t know, these are vehicles that could switch between rechargeable battery power and conventional combustion engines.

They’re said to have the biggest market potential. Last September, Volkswagen revealed plans to sell up to 40 electric or hybrid models if there’s more demand for low-emission cars. The producer will release 14 vehicles with alternative drives in 2014 after having presented electric versions of the Golf compact and Up minicar at the recently held Frankfurt auto show. In addition, VW Group will soon be launching plug-in hybrid versions of the Porsche Panamera four-door coupe and Audi's A3 compact. [source: bloomberg]

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