German automaker BMW has halted production of gas-powered vehicles in its Munich plant, focusing its efforts on EVs instead.
The company has poured significant resources — to the tune of €400 million ($438 million) — into converting the Munich plant to all-EV production. After first announcing the shift in Nov. 2020, the all-electric BMW i4 started being built in Munich in Oct. 2021, Electrek reports.
That’s not to say that the company has completely turned away from internal combustion engines (ICE), however. It has instead relocated ICE production to the U.K. and Austria. In fact, BMW has stayed somewhat on the fence about an official timeline for discontinuing the manufacture of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
Still, the automaker is making some impressive gains in EV development as of late. In 2023, Michigan-based Our Next Energy announced its partnership with BMW to develop a battery that would help the BMW iX go 600 miles on a single charge.
These investments into EVs and infrastructure could have far-reaching impacts.
As EVs become more mainstream, it will lead to cleaner air. For instance, one study predicted that increased EV adoption in California would save Los Angeles residents $12.6 billion in annual health-care costs linked to air quality (such as asthma-related hospitalizations).
Over on the Electrek forum, people had mixed responses about the move.
“Smart,” one person commented. “ICE is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.”
Another person was a bit more cynical, bringing attention to the fact that BMW was continuing its ICE production elsewhere.
“Very nice! Or very hypocritical!” they said. “Keep your house clean… and [throw] the dirt in your neighbor’s [house]!”
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