Volkswagen and former nemesis Greenpeace recently kumbaya'd to pledge to meet the European Union's strict 2020 emissions standards. Not everyone is feeling the love.

BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer says the standards, which would require about a 30-percent improvement over current levels, are "impossible to meet." That is, they are impossible to meet without huge technology investments that will require extra help from government, Australia's Drive website reports.

Reithofer accused the EU of playing politics and said the 2020 standards were set without sufficient analysis. He also added that, when compared to China and the US, the EU undercredits makers of advanced powertrain vehicles in their efforts to meet emissions standards.

This doesn't mean BMW isn't trying to make cleaner vehicles. The company will start selling the i3 electric vehicle, the successor to the lease-only ActiveE, later this year, while the i8 plug-in hybrid goes on sale next year. BMW also showed off a coupe concept version of the i3 at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. Automotive News recently reported that the i3 will be priced at about $40,000, about the same as a well-equipped 3 Series gas-powered sedan.

*UPDATE: Reithofer's full quote, which puts everything into context, is as follows:

As always, companies need the most reliable framework possible in order to plan for the future. But this can only be achieved with parameters that are based on sound analysis. One example where this is clearly not the case is the recent proposal by the European Parliament to tighten CO2 limits in Europe from 2025 on. This proposal was politically motivated and published without conducting any kind of technical feasibility study. The EU's 95-gram CO2 target for 2020 is already impossible to meet without the use of alternative drive technology. The European Union must decide - as other countries have - whether or not it wants to combine reductions in emissions and fuel consumption with boosting incentives for technological advancements. It is hard to understand why alternative drive trains should only be credited with a factor of 1.5 in Europe – while the same drive train technology is credited with a factor of five in China and a factor of two in the United States. This is not only counterproductive for the industrial base in Germany but also in Europe. And Europe is not currently in a strong enough position to isolate itself from global competition in this way. Automotive markets are already developing unevenly.



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  • 45 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Republicans: "it's impossible to be as honest as you ask of us" Light and aerodynamic, numbskulls. It's very simple but you mindlessly want to continue to do the same crap tech cars and then yes it's quite impossible.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        And cheap, with performance... Don't start slipping on us...we depend on you for consistency.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        @ Giza Plateau The Republican Party is American, not European.
      krisna.andrean
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's Italians who don't want to pay taxes.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla has done it.
        Giza Plateau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Not really, no. 2.1ton is not doing it. That's doing an EV cost be damned. That's doing an EV with no regard for efficiency. Even at 98k$ average sale price they are struggling to make the cars profitable let alone pay for Tesla's many other expenses. Even though Tesla sold 4900 cars at 100k each they lost 70m$. It was sale of ZEV credits that covered the rest. Not their business. Model S is very wrong. Just not quite as wrong as most of BMW's cars.
          Neil Blanchard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          The Model S has one of the lowest, if not the lowest Cd of any production car at the moment. We need to equal or exceed the EV1 and then we will be getting close to ideal. The Edison2 VLC and the VW XL1 are what we need to emulate. Neil
          Samuel Look
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Your posting this on almost exactly the same day that Tesla announced it's first profitable quarter...
      FREEPAT75014
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW could match these gools. If instead of just making these ridiculous iGadgets, just good for the press, plus the endless ,as much as useless, Gen 1 Hybrids good for nothing, BMW was to start working on "the real EV car of future", taking the Tesla Model X as THE exemple with its World Class Battery Packs and its genius Full Electric tracting base with 1 x Electric engine per axis, just adding to that marvel a good BMW Range Extender ICE engine, working as pure Generator (never directly tracting, so cinematics can be simplified and huge costs saved), plus the BMW X6 or X4 design, quality, and comfort, even staring that with just a limited 40KWH Battery Pack with 10C capability, to never end short of Instant Power, that would both fit Europe gools very rapidly, and the very frustrated BMW customers like me who will soon loose patience and buy Tesla.... assuming Tesla adds the missing Range Extender to Model X, one way or another....
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      All of the talk below about Tesla raises a simple question - why aren't more companies trying their method? It isn't magic on how they have their cells set up, and (yes, Dan) the car is large and heavy, but BMW makes many large, heavy, expensive cars. It may bit be perfect, but a BMW electric that has a 250 mile range? Why not?
        Neil Blanchard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Yes, the Model S is about 2X as efficient as the Prius, and it obviously is far larger and much higher performance - so the all electric drivetrain is the key! The Edison2 electric Very Light Car is a model of what all cars should be like, and so is the VW XL1, and the GM EV1, and the Gordon Murray T25 and T27, and the Illuminati Motor Works 'Seven' - very high efficiency can be done! And it will be (primarily) electric drivetrains that does it, and the chassis have to be as efficient as possible. Gasoline has made car designers lazy, I think. Efficiency is demanded now, and I'm sure we will rise to the challenge. Neil
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Neil Blanchard
          @ Neil Blanchard Have you ever wondered why successful manufacturers don't attempt to manufacture vehicles the The Edison2 electric Very Light Car,VW XL1, and the GM EV1, Gordon Murray T25 and T27, and the Illuminati Motor Works 'Seven' ? Mostly because very few consumers will purchase a vehicle that sacrifices all comfort, safety, convenience, and practicality, just to own an engineers idea of aesthetic 'efficiency ! The Model S is a very fine EV. ( It's a damn fine car, period ! ) But it cost's more than most consumers can afford. Tesla hopes to sell 30,000 units per annum. That's a remarkable achievement, and is quite respectable numbers in the luxury car segment, but it's 30 times less than Prius ! The success of a model, depends on many factors, engineering efficiency is just one factor.
      pmpjunkie01
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well how about an i5 or i7 then? You know you can do it! Stop lobbying and start innovating!!!
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pmpjunkie01
        Is there really much of a market for that?
        Giza Plateau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pmpjunkie01
        they don't have innovation in them. it's gibberish to them. they would need someone like me telling them what to do and what are the odds of them gaining the wisdom to do that..
          markkiernan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Are you a troll or just jealous of Tesla.
      Reggie
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW have one of the highest CO2 combined model averages in Europe of 140 g/km according to JATO. Even so they have 1 Series ED 116D with 99 g/km C02, 3 Series EF 320D 109 g/km C02 & 5 Series ED with 119 g/km C02 that all fall well below the 2015 EU target of 130 g/km C02. By the time 2020 comes these models with have had to have 1-2 major refreshes, normally when BMW do the major refresh it includes complete new engine designs as well, so they won't need be spending finding any extra money for the development costs it will just have to be incorporated in the the next set of major model refreshes in the next 7 years which l hope BMW should have put money aside for.
      Rich
      • 1 Year Ago
      Impossible to beat when you cram the twin-turbo V8 into every bloated chassis you make... I'd start by making BMW wheels not 90 lbs a piece and go from there.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 1 Year Ago
      So this is about CO2 and nothing else. BMW falls short because they build large cars with large engines, and they've been bloating their fleet with oversized engines since they stopped offering 4 cyl cars in the US (kept building 4 cyl for other markets, but neither small, nor particularly efficient ones). Now they're getting back in the bus. of smaller engines, but they're not moving fast enough. News of 3 cyl turbos from BMW were a welcome pivot, but in the meantime, Euro manufacturers have been selling motors under 1.5L and evolving them for 15+ years. That's what BMW has to adapt to, if they want to meet ever more stringent CO2. This is why Lotus built a 1.6L Elise in ~2010 when the market wasn't really pleading for it.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        karlinSanDiego: As Jesse Gurr points out, most of the "28" models in the US are now 4-cylinders. It also includes all "20" models. This includes the BMW 328i sedan, the 328i wagon, the X1 28, the X3 28, the Z4 28, the ActiveHybrid 3, the 320i sedan and the 528i. It does not include the 328i coupe, 328i convertible, 128i or 128i convertible. The latter group are still inline 6 cylinder engines. You're right, before that they did stop making 4 cylinder engines in the US for quite some time.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        They do have 4cyl cars in the US. Look before you talk. www.bmwusa.com
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        In Europe ( where they will have to deal with european regulations ..... ), they sell a ton of cars with 1.6L engines. You can even buy a 5 series with a 2.0L non-turbo engine. That's slow enough, i understand why they'd complain about higher standards. BMW will have to start making penalty boxes if they want to survive out there. That sucks :/
      • 1 Year Ago
      the same old story, european carmakers lobbying again. This is another chapter of "business as usual" european style. BMW then will ask you in the tv commercials: "Do you like driving?". BMW's poor ambition will teach them that customers don't want/don´t need such vehicles. Just thing for one moment: when was the last car company created in Western Europe? Loremo, Qbeak and some others in Europe have yet to prove that they can build and market anything drivable. But I'm not sure whether BMW (or VW, or Daimler...) is more scared to EU law or the USA and China competitors. IMHO
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      And Dirt is Impossible to EAT. http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whiny bi+ch says what?
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