BMW has confirmed it will place a major emphasis on plug-in hybrid for the United States and mostly ditch diesel engines, but elsewhere, the automaker is taking a more cautious approach. BMW research and development chief, Klaus Fröhlich, specifically said the conversation about electric cars’ rollout is somewhat “irrational.”

Speaking with Australian publication GoAuto, he said it’s highly unlikely every single market will adopt electric cars at the same time. In the process, he also confirmed diesel engines will remain a part of BMW globally for some time.

“A very optimistic scenario says 30 percent of BMWs will be pure electric or plug-in hybrids and 7 percent will be combustion. If you assume that, from this 30 percent, half of them are plug-in hybrids—I have 85 percent in my portfolio in 2030 with a combustion engine,” he said.

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While he said the “discussion about electro-mobility is a little bit irrational,” he also added that BMW is still prepared should demand swing in the favor of EVs. He noted the automaker has already bought up cobalt and lithium for production of electric cars through 2035. And the company has thought about batteries’ second lives and grid stabilization for customers plugging in at once.

And unlike many automakers developing specific platforms for their future electric cars—notably VW’s MEB platform—Fröhlich detailed a next-generation platform that will handle multiple kinds of powertrains. A future BMW platform will, therefore, handle an internal-combustion engine, plug-in hybrid system, and a battery-electric powertrain.

Finally, he said BMW’s production iNext coming in 2021 will showcase what the automaker is capable of in the electric-car segment. Following the iNext, its next-generation electric powertrain will provide “big, big progress,” per Fröhlich.

[Source: GoAuto]