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BMW defends diesel while pushing electrification

BMW has established solid electrification credentials. With BMW i, the BMW Group was the first German manufacturer to make a clear commitment to electromobility, notes BMW AG Management Board Chairman Harald Krüger. In 2017, the BMW Group expects sales of its electrified vehicles to exceed 100,000 for the first time in a single year, with the all-electric BMW i3, BMW i8, BMW iPerformance plug-in hybrids and the plug-in hybrid MINI Countryman all contributing to the figures. The company’s electrified range currently comprises nine electrified vehicles and will be further complemented in 2018 by the all-new BMW i8 Roadster.

Shortly after that, BMW Group will roll out battery-only solutions across its core brands, with Plant Oxford starting production of the battery-powered MINI in 2019, and the battery-only BMW X3 following in 2020. The following year, 2021, will see the launch of the BMW Group’s new technology spearhead: the all-electric BMW iNEXT. Nonetheless, says Krüger, “Future mobility will definitely depend on state-of-the-art diesels as well, because environmental protection has several dimensions: one of them is the fight against climate change.

Modern, efficient diesel engines ensure lower CO2 emissions and therefore make an important contribution to protecting the environment, BMW argues. In addition, when it comes to particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions emissions, diesels are just as clean or even cleaner than gasoline engines. In other words, BMW asserts, three of the four major diesel pollutant issues have been resolved and no longer have any adverse effect on air quality. As a result, the BMW Group is calling for objective discussions on the future of diesel based on facts and scientific evidence.

In this context, the BMW Group supports the measures of the “National Diesel Forum” aimed at further improving air quality in cities. (Earlier post.)

In addition to these measures, the BMW Group is preparing an EU-wide fleet-renewal campaign. Initially until 31 December 2017, owners of diesel vehicles that meet Euro 4 standards or less will be granted an environment bonus of up to €2,000 (amount dependent on model bought) when they trade in their vehicle and purchase a new BMW or MINI. Their chosen replacement must be either a BMW i3, a plug-in hybrid or a Euro 6-standard vehicle with CO2 emissions of up to 130 grams per kilometer (in the NEDC). This special campaign will begin soon, certainly before the end of August. The bonus is in addition to any other government incentives.

Averaged across the fleet, BMW Group diesel vehicles emit 40% less NOx than the German average, as reported by the Germany Federal Environment agency in April 2017. These excellent figures are true for both the Group’s Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles. In addition, experience gained through actual on-road driving between 2010 and 2015 means the BMW Group can offer an additional optimization of the exhaust-treatment system for 225,000 of the Euro 5 models currently on the road in Germany.

The BMW Group is investing in the Sustainable Urban Mobility fund and is using the opportunities offered by digitalization to support major cities to better handle increased traffic volumes, thereby reducing emissions. Based on projects such as the strategic partnership with Hamburg on the roll-out of electric mobility and the research project “City2Share” with Munich and Hamburg, the BMW Group is intensifying its dialogue with municipal authorities in order to establish better conditions for increased electric mobility and car-sharing.

For almost two years now, diesel technology which is cutting-edge, highly efficient and popular with customers has been deliberately and publicly discredited. This has caused tremendous uncertainty among millions of drivers and it’s not going to get us anywhere. The German automotive industry will remain strong in innovation: we will provide tomorrow’s mobility solutions.

—Harald Krüger

The BMW Group has repeatedly made clear that its exhaust treatment technologies are very different from others available in the market and the company continues to seek true competition in this area. The company categorically rejects allegations made by some media of non-compliant technology employed in diesel exhaust-treatment systems.

Investigations by authorities at home and abroad confirm that vehicles by the BMW Group are not rigged for testing purposes.

—Harald Krüger

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