BMW chief executive Oliver Zipse doesn’t support calls to completely kill of the internal combustion engine and believes more should be done to further the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
While speaking at the recent Innovation Day conference in Erlangen, Germany, Zipse said that politicians should remain open to all new technologies and shouldn’t only focus on electric vehicles.
“We think it’s wrong to switch off the combustion engine in Europe,” Zipse said. “The industry will look different in terms of scale and structure than it does today if it goes to just one technology.” He added that there will be “massive positive climate effects” if the industry had to improve its CO2 emissions by five per cent every year, noting that hydrogen technology is one way to do this.
Whereas many of its rivals are going all-in on electric vehicles, BMW is remaining committed to developing internal combustion engines, hybrids, electric vehicles, and production cars powered by hydrogen. Zipse explained that one reason behind BMW’s multi-pronged approach is that in many countries, the expansion of electric charging networks will take too long to adequately meet climate protection targets.
“[Hydrogen is] the only raw material that can be sustainably produced and stored,” Zipse said.
Zipse noted that hydrogen also doesn’t require the establishment of costly new infrastructure like EVs, stating that gas stations can be converted to hydrogen in just two days, WirtschaftsWoche reports.
“The way there is relatively short, unlike with electromobility, where you need connections to the medium-voltage grid and you need a charging infrastructure for every car,” he added. “That’s a lot of work. That will work, but not as the only solution. This is going to take far too long. That’s why we firmly believe in hydrogen. It will come and it will come at BMW, I am very, very sure of that.”