Et tu, BMW?

After the recent "we never said we were really going to do plug-ins" news from Audi, rumors are floating around that BMW may delay or even discontinue many of its plug-in "i" line of vehicles because of concerns over lack of demand, Automobile is reporting.

The German automaker had originally planned for annual sales of many tens of thousands of i3 battery-electric vehicles after its 2013 launch (some said 30,000 a year, others 100,000) and about 10,000 annual units of its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car starting in 2014, according to the publication.

BMW executives are now talking about shelving plans for both vehicles because the governments in many countries where the models will be sold are pulling back on plug-in incentives. To further complicate matters, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure isn't as far along as expected. Automobile adds that BMW also put plans for the i1 city car and i5 van on hold.

BMW late last year said it planned to start selling the i3 in 2013 and that it would bring out the i8 – whose prototype was featured in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" with Tom Cruise – the following year. Earlier this year, BMW started leasing models of the ActiveE, the precursor to the i3, to customers in some U.S. markets for $499 a month.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 137 Comments
      krona2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh dear, well BMW are not really cheap anyway, I was hoping to see price reductions from Nissan and GM by now. They're the real trailblazers to our plug-in future. Base model Volt is meant to be available in the UK this month, I was hoping for £27,750 after subsidy but maybe I'm dreaming.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's try - after the rampages on this news - read between the lines a tad bit more objectively: As BMW is an automaker (which is a business), from their "selfish and blameworthy" or even worse "capitalist dog" point of view, they want to sell cars for profit (damn it). They also have ideas and standpoints - which they have the right to have - how to do that (it's their liability and risk). And their idea and standpoint on EVs happens to be this: DISCLAIMER: The following opinions are those of BMW. It reflects BMW’s best judgement, in light of the information available to them at the time of preparation. I accept no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party ABG commenter as a result of decisions or actions based on this report. (I'm just kidding) After the necessary preparation, let's see now their "scandalous" thoughts on EVs (please get ready for it): "BMW Doesn’t Think Electric Vehicles Are Right For Most People" "Sometimes it seems like a new flashy electric car is announced every week. But the CEO of BMW North America--which has at least two electric vehicles on tap--just announced that he doesn't think EVs will work for more than 10% of the population." "Jim O'Donnell, BMW's North America chairman and chief executive officer, recently told the Detroit News, "(EVs) won't work for most people. For at least 90 percent and maybe more of the population, (an EV) won't work..." http://www.fastcoexist.com/1677942/bmw-doesnt-think-electric-vehicles-are-right-for-most-people Then what will they do - instead of pure EVs - to be environmentally conscious and oil free? Just like the recent Department of Energy study concluded, that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%. "FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW and General Motors plan to join forces on the development of fuel cell technology, German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported, citing industry sources." http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7B90DQ20111210?irpc=932 Simply, that's what they believe in and most likely will do, as they - like most carmakers - concluded the same way as the DoE study (either like it or not). (Please don't kill me. I'm just the messenger)
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 2 Years Ago
        Rush is that you? In Europe where gas prices are rationally astronomical, the Efficient Dynamics (hybrid, plug in hybrid, range extended hybrid and otherwise) makes perfect sense. More with less. When you actually do some accounting, fuel efficient vehicles pay for their increased upfront prices with substantial fuel cost savings. Only short sighted mentally limited people fail to do this basic accounting math...... like Rush and this other "The Market this and the Market that" troll...
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Dear Aaron, Who is Rush? But, never mind... Having been lived (and actually born) in Europe (incl. London, UK and other countries) as well as, in the U.S. (NYC) and Canada too, I have a basic experience about gas prices (all over the world). Aaron says: "When you actually do some accounting, fuel efficient vehicles pay for their increased upfront prices with substantial fuel cost savings. Only short sighted mentally limited people fail to do this basic accounting math...) Then, automotive high executives must be among these short sighted mentally limited people as they somehow just can't understand you, since the short sighted mentally limited majority of consumers cannot do your math too, thus, don't really buy these cars. ABG: "BMW may delay or even discontinue many of its plug-in "i" line of vehicles because of concerns over lack of demand. Demand is demand (or its lack thereof). Aaron, I don't know who are you, but maybe you know better, than anybody else. Who knows? I don't wish to address your "troll" remark.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 2 Years Ago
        A plug in hybrid is not a Pure EV ... Period Hybrids and Plug in hybrids have a much larger market right now and that will remain so until battery technology is greatly improved (costs reduced per unit of energy stored/ cycle life/ charge rate/ ect)....
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Do you wanna get back on topic now, instead of trying to change the subject and attempt a personal snide remark? And how about linking that source I asked you for several times since yesterday? You know, that study from the DOE that concluded that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%???
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Aaron, I'd like like to quote again the ABG article for you: "BMW may delay or even discontinue many of its plug-in "i" line of vehicles because of concerns over lack of demand." That's their concern Aaron. That is, lack of demand.  They might be - as you say - "short sighted mentally limited people", but it's their concern. And they make business, consequently, they don't want to please you (but rather their shareholders etc.) That's what you have to understand Aaron.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Quoting the ABG article? Really? So many people are arguing that the article is full of crap and a derivative of an opinion piece, and thus should have never been written.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          I don't think this has been decided yet. I think most people can do just fine 95% of the time if they have 100 miles available each day. By being a pure EV, there is no ICE, planetary gear set, fuel system, exhaust system, etc. The money and area used by those components can be used for a larger battery instead. The PHEV does provide flexibility though. You can drive long distances when you need to. But it seems a shame to lug around all that ICE stuff when it is not needed 90% of the time. I don't think there is a clear winner yet. The Leaf started out with the lead in sales. But now the Volt leads in sales. Perhaps if there is a price drop on the Leaf after opening up the Smyrna plant, the Leaf will re-take the lead. The rest of the cars seem to be also-rans: Mitsubishi-i = Cute but very small, short range, not well known, no smartphone support, etc. Fisker = Rich man's toy Coda = Chinese conversion no one trusts Ford Focus Electric = $40K? Might as well buy the Volt for that price
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Joe, Regardless, that the ABG article might or might not be a derivative of an opinion piece, one thing is indisputable: BMW has a concern - as they clearly announced it - over lack of demand of their plug-in "i" line of vehicles. I quoted this particular ABG sentence, which is a derivative of an opinion piece of BMW itself (publicly announced). BMW's concern is not made up by ABG, but by BMW itself (therefore not a "made up").
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Joe, Your over complicated argument is simply called: nitpicking. If you care more about EVs, than e.g. your girlfriend, you should really be concerned about the increased demand for her by other guys (and her increased demand for other guys too)! Think about this now for a moment.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          Spec... Nissan Leaf actually still leads the Chevy Volt in total sales... by far. As of April 04, 2012... 27,000 Leafs have been sold. As of May 31, 2012..... 15,054 Volts have been sold. We Americans are so self-centered sometimes ;) We forget that the Leaf is sold in 20 countries. While the Volt (including the Ampera) is sold in about 10. And, until the Smryna plant opens, it is much more profitable to sell the few Leafs produced to Japanese and European buyers, not Americans. And from what I've read, with Renault models soaking up some of the battery production capacity... supply is very much still constrained. http://www.plugincars.com/nissan-leaf-sales-inflection-120047.html "pinpointing exact sales in Japan is difficult"... so I guess ABG and other here will just pretend they don't exist.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          "BMW has a concern - as they clearly announced it - over lack of demand of their plug-in "i" line of vehicles." BMW only said that "he doesn't think EVs will work for more than 10% of the population. But you are still interpreting that statement yourself to equal "lack of demand of their plug-in "i" line of vehicles." When we have both agreed that 10% is WAY WAY more than enough for BMW to sell MUCH MUCH more than the 30,000 i3 vehicles they promised. That is NOT "lack of demand of their plug-in "i" line of vehicles." You're inserting your opinion into the BMW statement. And using someone else's unsubstantiated opinions (ABG and Automobile Magazine writers) to give your interpretation credibility.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          But you're absolutely right Spec... it is too soon to tell true demand for EVs. The only ones we have available are so supply constrained that we CANNOT use sales to determine demand. Although it irks me that people still make ridiculous guesstimations about 2015, 2020, 2035, even 2050 and BEV, PHEV, and FCV sales. It is like thinking folks in 1963 could know what the price of gasoline would cost today. Foolish speculation.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          So bottom line, "BMW has a concern - as they clearly announced it" ... is false! They clearly announced something, but you and a few other reporters are jumping to conclusions that BMW is 'concerned' about their current production plans.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Joe, I've already posted the study on ABG - what you are asking for - and had a very comprehensive discussion about it. (If you missed it, it's here): ABG: "Honda finds that $5-plus gas is 'tipping point'" By Danny King Posted Jun 6th 2012 9:25PM The article's title - which contains the link to the study - is: "2030: The revenge of the hydrogen car" "The DoE published in October 2011 [7] an analytical method of the total cost of ownership. With the data used in the study, it appears that by 2030 vehicles equipped with fuel cells would cost the same as those equipped with an internal combustion engine, or a battery with a 160 km range. For intensive use over long distances the battery is not considered a viable solution: for a range of 320 miles (514 km) hydrogen costs $ 16.9 c / mile (euro 13.73c / km) while the battery costs 24.8 c $ / mile (euro 20.15c / km) which is an additional cost of almost 50%. Hydrogen would be the most economical solution suitable for long journeys."  http://sf.france-science.org/2012/03/01/2030-the-revenge-of-the-hydrogen-car/ The .gov site (study): "Oct 21, 2011 This Fuel Cell Technologies Program Announcement, originally posted on October 14, has been updated to include downloadable versions of the RFI and attachments and additional delivery instructions." "The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) requesting stakeholder feedback on a proposed methodology and basis for assumptions to be used to estimate the total cost of ownership of various advanced vehicle technologies. This RFI is a joint effort of the Fuel Cell Technologies Program (FCTP), Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP), and Biomass Program (OBP) within DOE-EERE." http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/cf/news_detail.cfm/news_id=17833 Please, read all of my posts (and replies) at the cited ABG article, before you reply or ask any further question about it.  
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          No, none of this is what I asked for. Let's not flood links to drown out my very specific request for information regarding... ... " the recent Department of Energy study concluded, that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%". And no, I should not be required to read a past ABG, searching for every post by you, to get an answer about you sourcing a claim that you quoted here. Since you referenced it here, you should be able to provide the source.
          • 3 Months Ago
          This is a well-known Internet meme to break off pointless and meaningless redundancies: C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER
          • 3 Months Ago
          I'm really glad Joe, that you could find the requested study, right below this one, (on which we already had a discussion recently). The reason of quoting the study above is very simple: It gives a background why automakers act like this (my initial post): ""FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW and General Motors plan to join forces on the development of fuel cell technology,
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          "It gives a background why automakers act like this" "BMW and General Motors plan to join forces on the development of fuel cell technology" That is just one interpretation. There are so many gov't incentives (in the U.S. and Germany) that encourage automakers to build FCVs rather than BEVs. CARB, for one, gives twice as many credits to FCVs. In Germany, the gov't is more pro-hydrogen too. The "studies" that supposedly prove more potential for the hydrogen economy, is actually a RESULT of what businesses and government already want to do.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Joe, And the other requested study about the BEV / FCV etc. market share: "Mid-project data from Oak Ridge study suggests hydrogen vehicles could have up to 70% market share by 2050" "A study by Dr. David Greene and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) presented at the DOE 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit Review meetings in Washington ." [Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) by UT-Battelle. ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system.[] http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/greene-20120516.html#more (But, we've already had a discussion about this study at ABG: "Obama administration rethinking support for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles")
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          "I finished the discussion." No, we are both still arguing obviously. "You are arguing on a scientific study, which you already argued on recently. but - despite this - you were repeatedly asking for it, obviously, since you simply forgot it altogether. How do you think anybody can take your redundant arguments seriously after that." -krisztiant I 'asked' for the report repeatedly... not argued on it. It took two days of ignoring my requests until you finally provided a link to a source YOU quoted. Why did I keep asking, redundantly as you say? Because I knew that your statement of , " the recent Department of Energy study concluded, that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%".... just had to be out of context and misleading. And I was right! Dr. Greene was talking about Plugin vehicles running mostly on grid electricity, and NOT the fuel cells cars that automakers are currently working, as you suggested. "You say: "I personally think..." Yes, that is how you are supposed to write. Stating opinion as opinion. Or speculation as speculation. Or educated guess as educated guess. Not every study or paper has a foregone conclusion. The closest statement that would qualify as a conclusion, would be, "...suggests that the fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle would have the highest probability of purchase." But the specific market share numbers like 30% and 70%, do NOT have any expectation of accuracy and are NOT part of the conclusion. That was an ILLUSTRATION on one of Greene's slides! Even the quote, "Hydrogen vehicles (H2V, including H2 ICE, fuel cell and fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicles) could achieve a market share ranging from 30% to 70% in 2050, according to preliminary results from a study by Dr. David Greene and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) presented at the DOE 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit Review meetings in Washington this week." ... was written by the Green Car Congress writer! And is an INTERPRETATION of Greene's illustration, and NOT A CONCLUSION by Greene, ORNL, or the DOE!
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          Okay, this is what I wanted to know. Thank you. BUT.... You were wrote, " the recent Department of Energy study concluded, that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%" Very misleading! Since the "fuel cell" term here, includes Plugin Hybrid Fuel Cell vehicles. In fact, if you read the whole article, Greene implies that the majority of sales, from that 75% market share, would be if batteries were so cheap, that most mile would be driven on battery power, and H2 infrastructure would rarely be required. ""An initial projection by the MA3T model for 2050, assuming successful development and cost reduction in cell fuel and battery technologies suggests that the ♦ fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle would have the highest probability of purchase. ♦ The much lower battery cost implicit in that scenario would potentially lower fuel costs, Greene suggested, and save time by reducing trips to the hydrogen fuel station."" http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/greene-20120516.html And with that assessment, I could agree. But that 75% market share... is really being held by Electric Vehicles with Fuel Cell range extenders.
          • 3 Months Ago
          I'd like to quote my words again, from our previous conversation on this very same study, as a reply: Joe says: "Very misleading! Since the "fuel cell" term here, includes Plugin Hybrid Fuel Cell vehicles." My previous words: "Specifically the study projects, that fuel cell plugi-in hybrid vehicles will have the highest probability of purchase / market share." So, nothing is misleading! (That's why I asked you to read my posts). Furthermore: the study clearly concludes (just like BMW). Probability of (highest) purchase (in 2050): BEV ~ 10% FCV ~ 30% FC  FHEV could reach even ~ 70% Joe says: "And with that assessment, I could agree." I'm very delighted, that there is at least one assessment in the whole automotive industry / government / science world, which you can at last agree with. All the Best
          • 3 Months Ago
          Now, let me get this straight Joe: You are arguing on a scientific study, which you already argued on recently. but - despite this - you were repeatedly asking for it, obviously, since you simply forgot it altogether. How do you think anybody can take your redundant arguments seriously after that. Only one thing now: You say: "I personally think that pure BEVs will be much more popular than..." etc. It is called: personal wish, which doesn't even reach the level of - as you call it - "speculation". Unlike this one: Probability of (Highest) Purchase (in 2050) BEV ~ 10% FCV ~ 30% FC PHEV - could reach even 70% It is called: scientific result (conclusion etc.) of a study (based on analytical methods, reliable data, variables, key parameters etc.) Governments and automakers usually rely on the latter (luckily). That's how they roll. I finished the discussion.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          Yes, omission of a pertinent fact like "Plugin vehicle with a fuel cell range extender" is considered MISLEADING! I do agree with many assessments in the automotive and government industry. But my 'agreement' falls sharply the farther out into the future they project. I tend not to agree with estimates that project 40 years into the future. That would be like agreeing with estimated 2010 gasoline prices back in 1970. The accuracy simply cannot be attained, so it is more likely a politically motivated claim, rather than one based on science. Also, I tend not to "agree" so blindly as you (and a few others) to studies, papers and statements... that are so disproportionately influenced by self interested lobbyists. They do have good facts, but their interpretations tend to be biased. I remain skeptical of the future projections and studies coming from the Oil/Gas industry that gives so much more money to commission those studies, and only serves to foster the very hydrogen economy that they will profit greatly from. Just like not believing every promise that a politician makes on the campaign trail... you should be skeptical of any interpreted data coming from those who will profit from that interpretation. -------------- Notice that I don't argue about facts and figures about current or past assessments... but the future is uncertain... and folks, yes even in the DOE, who claim to have specific knowledge of the future, are often full of bunk and have motives for even making such claims. --------------- "the study clearly concludes" what B.S., the DOE study doesn't "Conclude" anything. That is where you seem to make the same mistake over and over. BMW did not 'conclude' anything in their statement either. They expressed their estimates for total EV adoption (which still far exceeds their production goals for the i series). You claim that you're just "the messenger" but time and again, you are taking relatively benign statements and interpreting them to your own conclusions. As far as I am concerned, PHEV-FC will probably have a higher market share compared to pure BEV and pure FC vehicles.... I personally think that pure BEVs will be much more popular than pure FCVs. and PHEV-CNG and PHEV-gasoline cars would be mixed in quite a bit too. I am not stupid enough to make specific percentage claims for 2050 though. Greene was vague enough (30% - 70%) to have that estimate be proven technically correct in 2050, but predictively irrelevant today. But you went ahead and and interpreted, omitted the fact that he was talking about PHEV-FC and jumped to a conclusion that BMW and other automakers were thinking about reducing production of EVs in 2013 based on similar assessments.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        Like it or not: The DOE has been bombarded with reports from the Hydrogen lobby and Oil/Gas companies over the past 2 decades to exaggerate the viability of the Hydrogen Economy. Link that study, and the page that states 75% FCVs in 2050, please. Like it or not: Automakers have been given twice as much incentive from CARB to produce Fuel Cell vehicles than Battery Electric vehicles in the form of profitable ZEV Credits,... this is once again due to financial influence of the Hydrogen lobby from the Oil/Gas companies who have a BIG hand in the CARB regulations that get written. The playing field gets leveled in 2017 when ZEV credits are reduced to 3 credits per zero emissions vehicle, regardless of "refuel time". Right now, FCVs get 7 and BEVs get 3 or 4. ------------------- Regardless of the quotes you've mined here, that still doesn't give any credence to the 'very specific' rumors that BMW will reduce their initial sales plan for the i3 and i8. 10% of the entire automotive market is still WAY more EVs than BMW could produce. No where near the modest claims of BMW of 30,000 i3s per year.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          http://www.teslamotors.com/2012shareholdermeeting @ 37:15 a question about CAFE standards is asked @ ~40:20 Even Elon Musk mentions the disproportionate influence Oil, Gas, and Coal industries have on the politics of Energy, and how they have orders of magnitude more subsidies and tax breaks... and for long while now. Are the subsidies and tax breaks "a conspiracy"? Or just corporate powers staying in power, nature.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Oh.... and where's that study from the DOE that concluded that EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%. I wanna check the author. Just because something is found on the DOE website, does NOT mean it is the official position of the DOE. Like I said, in the past 20 years, hundreds of proposals and papers were 'submitted to' the DOE that advocate the Hydrogen Economy. Funded in large part by companies who stand to make serious profit if government subsidizes it. No conspiracy, just companies trying to do business.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Breaking News, GM doesn't think pickup trucks are right for most people. Duh! No ONE type of vehicle is "right" for MOST people. Period, I mean period! (10% is more than enough demand to build a whole car company.) ----------------------- "That's their opinion and you have to respect it (furthermore, you can't do anything else anyways)." Yes, that is their opinion.. but you, yes you, are doing much more with it... you're over analyzing a simple statement to conclude that somehow it verifies that BMW is actually going to reduce production on two models when they have already made clear statements about their production intentions. ---------------------- BTW, the fact that lobbyist and wealthy corporate interest influence government is no secret and certainly is no conspiracy. "an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot."... certainly does NOT fit what I am saying. It is perfectly legal (and clearly out in the open) for wealthy interested parties to influence politics and other industries to benefit themselves. Claiming that I am making up theories of conspiracy is another overblown statement. I never even implied that BMW is "run" by anybody else. But we both know that gov't incentives (rebates, credits, etc) influence their decision. And unless you think that politicians are never influenced by campaign contributions, then your denial is pointless. It is only getting tired and worn out because you haven't found a single argument against what I've said. Do you deny that language in CARB ZEV credits are favored toward FCVs rather than BEVs?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Joeviocoe, With all respect towards your passion and opinion on EVs, BMW's opinion is this: "BMW Doesn’t Think Electric Vehicles Are Right For Most People" Period. I mean, PERIOD. That's their opinion and you have to respect it (furthermore, you can't do anything else anyways). Also, your Hydrogen lobby and Big Oil conspiracy theories are getting really tired and worn-out. Do you really think, that BMW is run by the Hydrogen lobby and Big Oil.?! They just simply concluded - as most automakers / DoE etc. - that EVs will work for about only 10% or less of the population (as the clear signs and data already shows it). It's also not the end of the world:  if you happen to be part of this 10% of the population (as most ABG commenters do) you can buy your pure EV anytime and be part of the happy 10%. But, automakers are primarily focusing on the other 90%. What is so damn difficult to understand about their standpoint? Get real people.
        Tom Moloughney
        • 2 Years Ago
        You forgot to mention that after Jim O'donnell made those statements, he was ordered to issue a public apology by Munich. The apology didn't satisfy his superiors and a couple months later he was replaced by Ludwig Willisch, the current BMW North American President. You can tailer any story to meet your needs if you leave out the real facts. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/29/bmw-north-america-ceo-apology-anti-electric-vehicle-remarks/ http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/29/bmw-north-america-ceo-apology-anti-electric-vehicle-remarks/
          JakeY
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Tom Moloughney
          @krisztiant There's a big difference between: 1) O'donnell's personal opinion (clearly it's just his opinion and doesn't reflect BMW's views on EVs given his apology letter and replacement) that EVs will only work for 10% of cars at most. 2) "3% of VW vehicles delivered globally by 2020 will be EVs" which is just VW's internal production target, not a prediction of worldwide EV sales for the industry (given VW isn't the only automaker in the world). Nissan's Ghosn predicted 10% of global sales will be EVs by 2020. http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/14/carlos-ghosn-evs-could-account-10-percent-of-global-sales-in-20/ 3) "EV market share will be around 10% in 2050, while fuel cell vehicles will be circa 75%." The global auto market was about 70 million in 2011. EVs sold worldwide in 2011 totaled about 50k. So EVs made up 0.07% of the global car market. Fuel cell cars sold worldwide in 2011 totaled 0. So fuel cell cars made up 0% of the global car market. I'm skeptical of anyone who can project those kind of numbers to 10% and 75% in 2050 respectively and I think you should be too. So far you have not given any evidence why we should believe this will be the future, so until you can do so, I'm not sure what the point of trotting out that study in every single EV article.
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Tom Moloughney
          Tom, BMW is not the only automaker, which make similar statements (from the same article): "BMW isn't the first car company to make this kind of statement about EVs. Last year, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Chief Officer for Electric Traction at the Volkswagen Group, told us that approximately 3% of VW vehicles delivered globally by 2020 will be EVs.". And we could continue citing similar statements - from different sources - endlessly. Simply, that's how they see the situation. They might be wrong, but that's how they see it.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Joeviocoe, It's hard to keep up with your enthusiasm - especially, because I'm travelling now and using a "smartphone's" touch keyboard - so I address your replies collectively here (as you currently have 6 of them on this thread) Let's start with something we can easily agree. You wrote: "10% is more than enough demand [for EVs] to build a whole car company." Yes. Exactly. That's why I wrote previously this: "It's also not the end of the world:  if you happen to be part of this 10% of the population...  you can buy your pure EV anytime..." And not only you (or the 10% or so), but anybody else will have this possibility. So, we have NO PROBLEMS at all. After this realization, let's address some of your further concerns: "The playing field gets leveled in 2017 when ZEV credits are reduced to 3 credits per zero emissions vehicle, regardless of "refuel time". Right now, FCVs get 7 and BEVs get 3 or 4." FCVs do get higher credits due to their significantly faster refilling time (as opposed to recharging) and their virtually unlimited range. And this is not because of an "evil Hydrogen lobby or Big Oil conspiracy", but simply because that's the primary consumer demand about green mobility. And nobody can disagree with consumer demands (or else they will simply lose). You cited me (as I wrote this): ""That's their [BMW's] opinion and you have to respect it (furthermore, you can't do anything else anyways)" Then you replied: "Yes, that is their opinion.. but you, yes you, are doing much more with it... " Joe, I'm not doing anything with it, apart from quoting it word for word. Actually, I don't have any shares (or other financial interests) in the auto business, which would cause a "conflict of interest" kind of bias. I just like to see the world as it is, without creating a Hollywood like dreamworld for myself (and insisting on it, no matter what). Instead of further going into details, I would only like to remind you to this: - Competition is good. - Options are also good. Without them, we would live in a "dictatorship", what somehow nobody likes (except of course the dictators). Regards
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          I am trying to get to the point. You are trying to argue that BMW will probably reduce production of the i3 and i8 models because they are "focusing on the 90%". But BMW's statement is NOT proof of this. Now, leaving personal snide comments out, let's get back on topic. Changing the subject does not help your case.
          • 3 Months Ago
          Joe, Just shortly (bypassing any nitpicking): You cited me: "10% is more than enough demand..." "It's also not the end of the world..." Then asked: So why are you using that 10% quote as an indication that BMW thinks that there is poor demand? I answered this already (right after that sentence in the same post): "[Because]...automakers are primarily focusing on the other 90%." Now, take a brake... by a flower for your uncared-for girlfriend and take her out for a dinner to a nice place.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Months Ago
          "10% is more than enough demand..." ""It's also not the end of the world..." So why are you using that 10% quote as an indication that BMW thinks that there is poor demand? -- "FCVs do get higher credits due to their significantly faster refilling time (as opposed to recharging) and their virtually unlimited range." "but simply because that's the primary consumer demand about green mobility. And nobody can disagree with consumer demands (or else they will simply lose)." 1) The benefit of 'faster refueling' is offset by the need to go to centralized station. Why is the benefit of home refueling not awarded with equal credits? "Virtually unlimited range"... what utter B.S. The ZEV credits are not awarded based on the availability of infrastructure. The range comes to a complete stop when you run out of H2 and there are no H2 stations around. You can't even trickle charge at a friends house. 2) You must know about "Manufactured Demand"... and if you don't know, or deny it... you're living with blinders on and are quite naive. And don't even think about calling it a conspiracy, it is a fundamental part of modern day marketing. The demand for EVs that charge at home are not yet known since their availability is far from adequate. Right now, how everyone has been measuring demand, is consumer surveys. Which are biased based on their wording. Every time I've been surveyed about FCVs or BEVs.... they word the questions under the "assumptions" that hydrogen stations will be abundantly available everywhere... while public charging infrastructure is sparse and fast charging is not even mentioned. Under those survey terms... of course people choose FCVs because they are led to believe they can run them just like their current gasoline cars. Survey takers know this. And the lobbyists and automaker just take this false indication of demand at face value. So instead of giving them equal credits, and letting the market decide by awarding credits to whatever model sells more... they ASSUME demand would be greater. 4) I don't have any financial interest either. There is no such thing as JUST "quoting it word for word". You are posting it here. You are giving it context. You are trying to make the argument that BMW is really going to reduce production of the i3 and i8.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would think a big factor would be that it's very difficult to make a "BMW" EV right now. To make an EV right now means making significant compromises. Even with a Tesla Model S. Any EV that feels like a BMW would cost a mint. And low battery energy density means that if you make a true performance car, you end up with short range if you drive it that way. You can't just put in a bigger gas tank easily like BMW does with their M cars.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        by feel like a BMW you mean slower and poorer handling than the model S?
          Brian H
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Rotation, the car had to be street-legal before any non-employee drove it. Tesla doesn't need to worry about press opinion till they're ready to present a fully vetted product -- their output is presold for about the next 12 months, and climbing. A few are hitting the streets this month, and a tour giving test drives to pre-purchasers is hitting the road now.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Wow, why don't you tell me all about how great the Model S handling is? Tesla won't let the press drive it, so you'd be our best source of info. Or are you just believing the hype from Tesla? Like with the crummy-handling Roadster? I'm just saying no matter what the company, the only way that BEVs work at all right now is because they are in very efficient configurations. And you have to drive them relatively efficiently too. If you don't, the range drops rather low, so you're talking about either a $40K car (LEAF) experiencing 60 miles range or an $85K car (Model S 85kWh) experiencing 120 miles range. Make an EV that people drive very sportily, and it'll have bad range. And you can't just double the battery size because the battery is so expensive and heavy. I'm saying that right now EVs fit better with BMW's MINI division than with BMW.
      Change
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the take away from this, no corporate welfare then no cars that people don't want? Instapundit highlighted a story in Syracuse NY where all the electric charging stations in the town where just recently removed. Why? NOBODY used them. Even better, the company that won the contract to install the useless chargers was run by the local Democratic Party chairwomen. Whole thing stinks of corruption. So BMW seeing that this corporate welfare is dying, does the rational thing....pull the plug.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thread getting too long and too buried ----------------------- Here is what is happening: 1) Dr. Alan Greene from ORNL presents the DOE with estimates. One illustration is included showing FC-PHEVs probability for purchase is somewhere between 30% and 70%. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review12/an023_greene_2012_o.pdf 2) Green Car Congress picks up the story, does NOT link the presentation file, does NOT directly quote Dr. Greene. And makes interpretations based on at least two of the slides. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/05/greene-20120516.html 3) Automobile Magazine runs a highly speculative article regarding an unnamed unsourced rumor about BMW "talking about" reducing production of the i series. 4) Autoblog Green picks up the BMW story, drops the question mark (later added upon my request) and runs the Rumer as a definite possibility. 5) Krisztiant picks up the story from Green Car Congress. Interprets the article further, combines with another interpretation about a statement from BMW CEO regarding 10% market share of EVs over the next decade. And concludes that that the two are linked somehow. 6) Krisztiant then cites an Interpretation of the Interpretation of the Dr. Greene presentation... leaving out key context. And implying that an official DOE report CONCLUDED that Fuel Cell Vehicles will have 70% market share by 2050 and thus the BMW rumor is likely to be true. ------------------------- It's like the Telephone game... if you keep going, the information gets more and more corrupted. Just read the original paper. Dr. Greene is quite modest with his estimates. The word "Conclusion" never appears. It is a slide show. Not a Paper, not a Study, not a Report. A presentation with estimates. And those estimates are based on a LOT of factors over the next 40 years. The gist of the original presentation from Dr. Greene, is to illustrate how many different factors will affect H2 vehicle adoption of the next 40 years... it does not CONCLUDE anything. Conclusions are not always needed, warranted or included.
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I've lost count on how many times you have said, "Conversation is over." Yet, we are both still arguing. Picked up here: http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/14/london-calling-bmw-will-make-i8-plug-in-hybrid-engine-in-uk/#aol-comments
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I clearly announced below, that I already finished this discussion, but, as you restarted it here, I have to repeatedly point out your never-ending, redundant (and dull) mistakes. 1.) You write this: "Dr. Alan Greene from ORNL presents the DOE with estimates. One illustration is included..." He provided them with a study (not "estimates"), called: "AN023: Sensitivity Analysis of H2-Vehicles Market Prospects, Costs and Benefits (Dr. David Greene, DOE 2012 Merit Review)." Thus, not only "one illustration is included", but a study. You simply confuse the article, with the actual study at the "DOE 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit" The article does include one illustration. 2.) You: "Green Car Congress picks up the story, does NOT link the presentation file..." The title of the Green Car Congress article is this; "Mid-project data from Oak Ridge study..." "Mid-project data" means: the study IS NOT FINISHED yet. Green Car Congress: "So far, the team has analyzed technology status, energy markets and policies as factors likely to influence the competitiveness of hydrogen vehicles. Study of a fourth critical factor, consumer preference, is to come." The article clearly states too: "The presentations will be posted in several weeks on www.hydrogen.energy.gov Simply, when it will be fully completed (and not before). You again: "[Green Car Congress] ...does NOT directly quote Dr. Greene. And makes interpretations based on at least two of the slides. Green Car Congress: "The study project—which is 50% complete—is using ORNL’s Market Acceptance of Advanced Automotive Technologies (MA3T) discrete choice model, with the baseline calibrated to the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2011 reference case." They used the study itself. 3.) You: "Automobile Magazine runs a highly speculative article..." You are completely wrong about this and you can read it why, in my post at ABG: "London Calling: BMW will make i8 plug-in hybrid engine in UK" 4.) "Autoblog Green picks up the BMW story, drops the question mark (later added upon my request) and runs the Rumer as a definite possibility." You are completely wrong about this too and you can read it why, at the same place ABG: "London Calling: ..." 5.-6.) I don't address here your 5.-6. points, since they are simply outright ridiculous and I already clearly argued in my initial post (and replies) below. You have completely lost your contact with the reality. Conversation is over.
      Tom Moloughney
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is no truth to this rumor at all. It's amazing how journalism works today. About two weeks ago Automobile Magazine posted an article from a staff writer(no name) about a rumor that BMW may have a contingency plan for the i brand and that they are backing off their sales forecast of 100,000 i3's and 10,000 i8's per year. Anyone that has followed these cars knows that BMW has stated they hope to sell 30,000 i3's per year, and have never claimed to even be thinking about 100,000 per year. They couldn't even build that many if there was demand because they don't have the capacity to build that many CFRP passenger cells and SB-Li Motive isn't prepared to make 100,000 battery packs annually for them either. BMW just announced the "Born Electric World Tour" a few weeks ago and is going to be in Rome in a couple weeks to showcase the i3 & i8 and is going to have roundtable discussions, guest speakers and other events at the tour locations, staying at each locations for weeks to months at a time. This non story has been picked up and run by dozens of sites since Automobile posted it. Doesn't anyone investigate anything before they post it? How about giving BMW a call and asking for comment? I did and they told me it's ridiculous and not even worth them making a public clarification about it.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tom Moloughney
        If it ran on dozens of sites, it is worth making a public clarification about it. If they don't wish to restate their plans in response to this, perhaps there's a reason for it.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tom Moloughney
        sensationalism helps to sell adds and generate site traffic.... akin to gore gawking, people are also drawn to examine controversy.... psychology is the key to effective marketing: ref Apple et. al.
          Brian H
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Aaron Schwarz
          True. But, pliz, "ads", not "adds". Advertising, not addition.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never took the Audi seriously . . . it always seemed pure concept. But it would be a blow to lose these two. BMW seemed somewhat serious since they had their Mini-E trial, they have the current ActiveE leases, and they were working on these two cars.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I told you yesterday....the fence sitters are just building halo cars and seeing which way the wind blows. They'll delightedly help crush anything they mistakenly put out there if the politics allow it later.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Then i suggest to postpone any expenditure till they offer on the market for buying a green car. This is autobloggreen, there is green in the website name, so no green car equal no sale and no buying till they put on sale a green car.
      PaloAltoWorldView
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is some serious BS in the alleged reasons the BMW i3 and i8 are somehow not moving forward as planned. Two reasons are given why these two cars are somehow in jeopardy. Let’s deal with them in turn: (1) Lack of government subsidies and (2) Not enough public charging infrastructure. First, lack of government subsidies: Seriously, has BMW been building a business plan on government subsidies? If so, their shareholders should immediately fire management, right now. If anyone thinks that subsidies to buyers of expensive electric cars will be happening for long, you need to have your head examined. Most electric cars cost $40,000 and up (yes, I know there are some exceptions, but this is BMW), and you cannot believe that poor people should be subsidizing buyers of relative luxury cars. BMW cannot ever have built a business plan on that kind of premise. Please! Second issue, infrastructure: To begin with, it’s not needed for approximately 50% of people. 50% of people live in homes with garages, where there is electricity already. In particular, most people who will buy expensive cars live this way, so the addressable market for these BMWs is probably more than 50% among those who already have homes with garages. Yes, perhaps you will not sell these cars to close to 50% of people who live in apartment buildings, but so what? Getting 50% of the market from Day 1 is pretty good! The second point here is that among the 30,000 or so people who have bought electric cars so far in the U.S., most people have NEVER used a charging station so far. I would guess close to 90%. Why? Because they charge at home overnight, and that’s all they need. Some others charge at work. That said, we already have around 10,000 charging stations in the U.S. right now, and will have probably over 15,000 by early 2013, and probably well over 20,000 by the time the i3 launches in October 2013. Just go to almost any parking garage right now, and you will find a couple of them. Yet, the vast majority of electric car owners thus far have never used one, because they don’t need to, because they charge at home overnight, and some perhaps at the office during the day.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PaloAltoWorldView
        BMW's company line is that the i3 will have a 100 mile range - same as the ActiveE. Due to the reduced curb weight it will require much less battery capacity, however.
        .cj
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PaloAltoWorldView
        The i3 was planned as a Commuter Car or a city car as a typical second car for the middle class. So it could be priced similar or above of a BMW 1 or Mercedes A Class. So there is also no need for a charging infrastructure because they are mostly charged at home. For longer trips they still have their BMW X3 / X5 / 5 / 7 ;-)
          PaloAltoWorldView
          • 2 Years Ago
          @.cj
          We don't know what range the i3 will have. 70 miles? 100 miles? 130 miles? And how many miles do you need to drive when you swing by Safeway, your kids' school, and the soccer field? And exactly, you most likely have a couple of other cars in the garage as well -- a Chevy Suburban, a BMW 750, whatever.
          .cj
          • 2 Years Ago
          @.cj
          @PaloAltoWorldView In Europe the sum of alle trips/day are about 20 to 30 miles for a typical city car usage (or suburban commuting) so it doesn't matter, if the range is only 70 miles. But maybe, BMW is BMW, so the have to provide more (than e.g. Renault)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PaloAltoWorldView
        Actually BMW's company line is a 100 mile range for the i3.
        Tom Moloughney
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PaloAltoWorldView
        Good analysis. If BMW did decide to change course because of these reasons then the board should be relieved of their duties! The reasons you gave plus the fact the the source states that BMW is backing off their production estimates of 100,000 i3's annually (total fantasy) really proves this whole 'story' is fiction. None of it makes any sense. It's unfortunate that sites like this actually pick it up and run with it without any verification. Welcome to today's journalism
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please, read this article before you accept the rumormill story! http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/06/hams-20120612.html
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 2 Years Ago
      Two cancellations from german companies after this years " Bilderberg "!
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        They haven't cancelled anything. The article is speculating about BMW "might" do. They have invested in a carbon fiber plant and a battery plant, it's unlikely they are going to write all of that off.
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