avatarby Brian ReighDecember 5, 20160 comments

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Oh, batteries – they’re the most important element in electric vehicles, yet at the same time, they are the most limiting factor. And that’s why BMW is expecting some difficult years ahead in terms of electro-mobility.

BMW to set aside its EV plans

We all know why electric vehicles are the next big thing: they are efficient (at least somewhat) and they are eco-friendly. Given the current state of affairs on planet Earth, and given the increasing pressure to decrease pollutants, it is not surprising to see so many governments offering financial incentives for people who own electric vehicles.

However, in the manufacturer’s perspective, electo-mobility is a very difficult question. Financially, it’s far from appealing. The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spoke out about the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles earlier, and we recently reported that Chevrolet is actually losing thousands of dollars per each Bolt it sells. Not only that, current technologies simply do not provide the necessary battery power for electric vehicles to be true viable replacements for traditional gas-powered ones.

Now, the German automaker recognizes this, and that’s why the company is putting its EV plans on the “back burner.” While it is true that BMW recently celebrated the 100,000th electric vehicle sold, the truth is, sales of electric vehicles won’t be substantial for the next decade or so.

Batteries, batteries, batteries

It essentially comes down to batteries. As Friedrich Eichiner, BMW’s CFO explains, we are not likely to see any significant developments in electro-mobility batteries for the next few years:

We’ve learned that people aren’t prepared to pay a higher price for an electric vehicle. I don’t see some kind of disruptive element coming from electric cars that would prompt sales to go up quickly in the next five to six years.

Without the ability to double the current battery capacity, BMW expects some difficult times ahead in terms of electric vehicles. To be precise, its executive says the company will have to “walk through the valley of tears” for the next five to seven years. With the next generation i3 reportedly on its way, we will have to see in which direction the German automaker is headed, but the transition from traditional cars to electric ones is likely to remain slow.

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