BMW has been dealing with charging electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure for more than a decade. According to its own statement, the company is pursuing a holistic approach that covers the entire value chain and combines three main directions. Charging should become even more convenient than refueling – available nationwide, user-friendly and with high cost transparency. The path to success towards e-mobility leads past the charging station – the corresponding infrastructure is therefore a top priority at the BMW Group.
In an interview published by BMW itself and reproduced in an abbreviated form by us, the three board members Ilka Horstmeier (responsible for human resources and social affairs, labor director), Pieter Nota (responsible for customers, brands, sales) and Dr. Nicolas Peter (responsible for finance), as the BMW Group does the topic of loading, which advantages and potentials loaded and what role load should play during the further startup of electromobility.
The BMW Group recently transferred its a millionth electrified vehicle into customer hand. One aspect that is inextricably connected to the startup of electromobility is the charging infrastructure. What is your assessment?
Peter: The loading infrastructure does not last step with the sales of electrified vehicles at the moment. Therefore, a fast infrastructure expansion is urgently needed, especially in urban, densely populated areas and for the long-distance. Here, politics is also required: Economic operation must be given in the expansion phase of the infrastructure and possibly promoted. Who builds a second charging station if the first cannot be operated to cover costs? In the long term, however, the market must be able to regulate itself in the interests of the customer. What we need for this are clear objectives and incentive systems. This also applies to fleet and vehicle fleet operators, whose switch to electromobility should be supported.
Is it done with the rapid development of the infrastructure?? Or are there other hurdles?
Horstmeier: The focus on quick assembly falls short in some places. Of course, we need many public charging points in the near future to cover the increasing demand. But above all, the customer needs easy access to as many charging points as possible – nationwide at attractive conditions.
One aspect that is often viewed critically when charging is the longer duration compared to refueling. How do you judge that?
Peter: Charging already has a great convenience advantage today – namely when our customers can charge at home. I can confirm that from my own experience. I have been driving a BMW i3 for years, which I connect to my wall box at home. Every morning I get into a loaded vehicle.
Are there any other options apart from public charging and home charging?
Horstmeier: At work. The vehicle is parked there during the day anyway. Here, too, there is a major convenience advantage compared to filling up: which employer has its own filling station for employees?
How would you briefly describe your approach to charging?? And how important is the topic in your company as a whole?
Horstmeier: Charging is an interdisciplinary topic that attracts a lot of attention and has reached the heart of the company. You can see that from the fact that the Management Board is actively involved as a team. At the BMW Group, we take a holistic view of electromobility – with vehicles, products and services that make charging easy and convenient. Our involvement in charging therefore extends across the entire value chain: from products and services to the strategic investments mentioned to the development of our own operational charging infrastructure. I drive a BMW i3 and a BMW iX myself and use all charging options: at home, at work and in public. Shops already have so many strengths and possibilities today. Further digitization and automation offer huge potential for the future.
Will you set up your own, exclusive public charging network for your customers in the future?? Other manufacturers have already presented their plans for this.
Peter: We rely on open networks. This is the most effective way to support the ramp-up and availability of the infrastructure for our customers. At the same time, the high capacity utilization that is essential for the profitability of the networks can be achieved. With our participation in IONITY, we are intensively involved in the development of a public charging network.
What can we expect from the BMW Group in 2022 when it comes to charging??
note: We have set ourselves ambitious goals for electromobility next year: We want to more than double sales of our purely electric vehicles compared to this year. When it comes to charging, the focus will therefore be on two further directions in 2022 in order to make charging even more attractive. On the one hand, we will integrate the charging scope even more deeply into our myBMW and MINI app. This means that our customers have everything that is relevant to their vehicle in one app – including access to public charging points. On the other hand, we will continue to promote connectivity when charging and thus further simplify the charging process.
Horstmeier: We will make charging even easier and more convenient in 2022. We plan to further expand the already very high coverage of more than 90 percent in Europe, even with an increasing number of public charging points. We are also examining how we can focus even more on sustainability when it comes to public charging, for example through voluntary CO2 compensation or the further integration of green electricity offers. We are also staying on the ball with bidirectional charging, as we see great potential here, especially with regard to the contribution of electric vehicles to security of supply and thus to the energy transition.
Peter: E-mobility should become even more suitable for everyday use next year – that is the prerequisite for the acceptance of electric vehicles to continue to grow. High-quality electric vehicles speak for themselves – they impress with their performance, driving dynamics and range. Adequate charging infrastructure is the bottleneck. If it is available, the switch to e-mobility can be even more dynamic. I am very confident that this change will succeed in the near future. For example, in markets such as China and some European neighbors, we see how fast e-mobility can win. Important is: The overall package for our customers must be right. That’s what we stand for.
VW works councre Osterloh gave to understand in March: “The customer would be ready for the electric car if the infrastructure would be available for…
The inadequate charging infrastructure still in some points is considered to decide on many potential e-auto buyers as a reason for a plug car. Although…
How a powerful charging infrastructure for e-mobility in urban space could look like, the city of Wolfsburg and the local car concerts show Volkswagen….
The AG 5 of the National Platform Future of Mobility (NPM), which deals with the linking of transport and energy networks, the sector coupling, has…
Volkswagen is aiming for a rapid breakthrough in e-mobility and is also stepping up its efforts in charging infrastructure . The group will build a total…
Prevention is a term that applies in the electromobility in some points. Car manufacturers, for example, go to billions in advance to develop a…
Opel Russelsheim converts the development center at the headquarters to the real laboratory for electromobility. Together with the University of Kassel…
Contrary to the fears of a negative impact on jobs in Germany, the conversion of mobility to electric cars should create numerous new employment…
Private investors, cities and municipalities can now return applications for funding for the construction of charging infrastructure for electric cars….
Sixt goes in this country not only as the largest landlord of vehicles, but also the most important customer of the auto industry. Sixt himself is to…