BMW sustainability chief: Petrol and diesel car ban not the answer
Sunday 12 November 2023 2:02 pm
The government’s 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is not the solution to meeting climate emissions targets, BMW’s sustainability chief has claimed.
Thomas Becker, BMW’s global head of sustainability and mobility, argued that policymakers should focus on incremental targets in the coming years as opposed to an outright ban.
“Why is there this total focus in the policy debate about ‘When do I force the last customer who may buy an ICE [internal combustion engine] car to go for an electric or take one of the ICE cars that are already there?” he told The Sunday Times.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense to say: ‘How can we get from 30 to 40 [per cent of sales, for instance] the fastest way possible?’.”
Becker also told the Sunday Times that the government’s decision to push back the deadline from 2030 to 2035, would not impact BMW’s electric vehicle production plans.
“We didn’t support it in the outset. We are critical towards banning,” he said. “We want people to spend a lot of money on our products because they say ‘It’s the best product for me’, because they want it and not because they have to.”
The decision brings the UK in line with the European Union (EU)’s own ban but came under fierce scrutiny from some automakers, who have invested heavily in electric vehicles (EVs).
BMW has been at the forefront of electric developments in the UK’s automotive sector this year. The carmaker pledged in early September to invest millions in its electric Mini plant in Oxford, a move which secured the future of Mini production in the UK.
The carmaker is aiming for 25 per cent of its sales to be electric by 2026 before hitting 50 per cent in 2030.
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- ^ The Sunday Times (www.thetimes.co.uk)
- ^ Rishi Sunak sparked controversy in September after confirming government plans to row back on a series of green pledges, including delaying the petrol and car ban. (www.cityam.com)
- ^ The carmaker pledged in early September to invest millions in its electric Mini plant in Oxford, a move which secured the future of Mini production in the UK. (www.cityam.com)
- ^ BMW: Mini production to stay in UK despite Brexit difficulties (www.cityam.com)