Electric Luxury Is A Hard Sell In China, But That’s Good For BMW

BMW Propelled By Combustion Power.

BMW has recently demonstrated its dominance in the luxury electric car market by unveiling two highly acclaimed models: the i7, presented last year, and the newest addition, the i5, which just made its debut in Italy. What is particularly noteworthy about this manufacturer is that it has managed to offer identical exterior qualities with both EVs and combustion-powered options, ensuring its clients have an identical experience whatever the powertrain variant.

Whilst this could provide a trouble-free transition from regular to EVs for those who buy luxury cars, the phrase ‘electric luxury’ gives a conflicting impression in China. Despite BMW’s global growing sale of EVs, certain divisions in China appear to be an exemption to this movement.

“We are witnessing some fascinating developments in China,” Domagoj Dukec, BMW’s Head of Design, revealed during a roundtable at Villa D’Este. “The combustion engine 7 Series models are selling far more than the electric version in China.”

China is determined to electrify transportation, providing all sorts of incentives for electric vehicles and advocating local output of EVs for all. Subsequently, the bulk of modern electric cars are low in cost yet practical, causing well-off purchasers to perceive all EVs as unremarkable.

“Electric cars are not seen as luxurious in China,” Dukec divulged, “so luxury electric cars don’t have much of a market there.” He went on to explain that, “They don’t associate electric with luxury, so the concept of a luxury electric car doesn’t really make sense in the country.”

Searching for something out of the ordinary, Chinese automobile purchasers will investigate vehicles driven by an internal combustion engine.

“They even go to Nio and say, ‘I like Nio the brand but when will you bring a V8?'” quipped Dukec. This sentiment is echoed by many car enthusiasts, who often wonder when Nio, the popular electric vehicle manufacturer, will release a V8 model. Since its inception, Nio has been known for its electric cars, but many people have been asking when they will introduce a V8 option. Although the company has yet to announce any plans to do so, it is clear that there is a demand for a V8 model from Nio. For now, car enthusiasts will have to wait and see what the future holds for the brand.

Nio recently unveiled the all-new EC7 and ES8 flagship electric SUVs. Making it initially famous, however, was the EP9 supercar which held a formidable 1,360 hp as well as an acceleration of 0-62 mph inside just 2.7 seconds. Even though it produced exceptional performance along with a savage design, buyers who came from a higher financial background didn’t take an interest due to its electricity-powered motor.

“Electric cars are often seen as being more affordable than ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, and this is especially true when it comes to expressing wealth – a number plate for a combustion engine can cost up to 100,000 Yuan ($14,100). As such, ICE cars are considered to be rather pricey in comparison.”

In China’s great metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, there is a stringent limitation when it comes to acquiring license plates for new vehicles. Bidders typically invest more than $14,000 in these auctions in an attempt to secure a plate for their car. Nevertheless, electric car buyers are exempt from this cost as they receive permit plates free-of-charge, thus encouraging citizens to switch to eco-friendly automobiles.

Dukec posits that states have the potential to jettison their Electric Vehicle regulations with as much speed as they embraced them.

“You can never predict what the governments will do next,” he declared. “It’s always a mystery, and that’s why it’s important to stay informed and be prepared for whatever comes our way. We must remember that the decisions made by those in power have the potential to affect us all, so it’s important to stay abreast of current events and be ready for whatever the future may bring.”

He believes that the Chinese government never had plans to revolutionize the entire automotive industry. Rather, their aim was to provide motorized transportation to a billion people who don’t own cars, and this can only be done through electric vehicles in accordance with current policies.

Whether or not ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) automobiles get a brief reprieve, likely when somebody figures out the best way to universalize e-fuel, it is evident that BMW will stay on benefitting from offering combustion powered high-end cars in China.

BMW is determined to keep combustion alive in all markets, as evidenced by CEO Oliver Zipse’s frequent visits to Brussels. “Our CEO spends a lot of time there trying to convince politicians that EVs make no sense in the long run,” said Dukec. The European Union has proposed banning the sale of combustion-powered cars by 2035, but with the possibility of synthetic fuels being a viable long-term solution, BMW still has a chance to argue against the complete prohibition of ICE vehicles. If they can show that these cars have a place in the future, then there may be hope for them yet.


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