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Published on March 21st, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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How Does BMW’s 100,000 Electric Cars By 2020 Target Stack Up?

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March 21st, 2014 by Zachary Shahan 

The jury is out on the BMW i3. Some love it (count me in), while some very much don’t. The BMW i8 is a cool electrified sports car, but many point out that it doesn’t stack up to the Model S despite costing nearly twice as much. Nonetheless, BMW seems more electric-oriented than most auto manufacturers. So, how does its sales target of 100,000 electrified vehicles per year by 2020 stack up? Have a look:

BMW Aims For 100,000 Electric Vehicles Per Year By 2020, Compared To Tesla’s 500,000 & Nissan/Renault’s 1.5 Million (via EV Obsession)

BMW is considered to be one of the major auto manufacturers that is more bullish about electric vehicles. It has built the BMW i3 and BMW i8 from the ground up, and it has already stated that it plans to have electric versions of all of its models.…



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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Jim Seko

    The only people who can afford plugin cars are those who can do math.

  • http://cultoclock.wordpress.com/ Cult O’Clock

    Apart from Tesla there are no companies building electric cars as if their life depended on it. Mainly because it doesn’t. Most of them are hedging their bets, waiting for electric cars to “catch on” or not. They produce and sell ICE cars and will be happy to do that for as long as it is profitable. Even Nissan, with the Leaf, is essentially an ICE auto manufacturer. This isn’t a criticism, but rather an observation. BMW has invested a little skin in the game. Perhaps they’ll be serious when the potential profit becomes serious. Until then I don’t expect much from ICE manufacturers and I’ll bet that’s what they’ll deliver.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Tesla was started, not because Musk wanted to own a car company, but to push the process.

      Tesla will push. Other manufacturers will be forced to follow.

      And do give Nissan some love. They have put a large amount of skin in the game. They’ve even built dedicated EV and battery plants. Through their partner, Renault, they backed the battery swap attempt.

      • http://cultoclock.wordpress.com/ Cult O’Clock

        Yes, agreed. At least Chevrolet did something with the Volt and Nissan has done a fine job as well. Nevertheless, neither company is as invested as Tesla. We have a Volt and were encouraged by Chevrolet’s production, but they seem to be dropping the ball now, sadly. I was hopeful.

        • Bob_Wallace

          GM recently increased the Volt range and has been hinting about a significant range coming.

          All EVs are currently hampered by battery capacity/cost. I can’t prove it but it feels like battery prices are dropping fairly fast and those drops will show up in a couple of years. (EV manufacturers lock in purchase price for a year or so in advance.)

          The LEAF has a $28,920 MSRP (no subsidy). Boost the range to a solid 100 miles in all driving conditions and drop the price to about $25k and I think the EV market will explode.

          Other manufacturers are positioned to get into the game quickly.

          • sambar

            Let’s not leave out the worlds biggest market, China. They have a pressing reason (pollution) to go electric and a government with the power to make the change. BYD and others are moving fast and will build affordably.

          • Doug Cutler

            Underrated story I think but China sells about 20 million per yr electric assist bikes and ebike scooters to their citizens. ICE motorcycles and scooters have been largely regulated off the road.

            Downside: right now these vehicles are still largely powered by massive coal gen. There are indications China will soon cap coal CO2 as it continues to turn hard toward renewables and nuclear. I’m not so crazy about the nuclear. But all in power from wind is now out-pacing nuclear in China so we shall have to see what the future holds.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Just to add to the ‘wind is now out-pacing nuclear in China –

            Note: the graph is produced electricity, not nameplate.

            Zoomin’

          • Doug Cutler

            Yes, thanks. That’s actual power, not just nameplate – unrealized potential of nameplate capacity being the common counter-argument.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is China’s installed solar. It’s ‘nameplate’, not produced, but the slope tells us what is happening.

            This amount of solar is likely producing 27 TWh (15% CF) to 36 TWh (20% CF).

            12,000 MW out their total 20,300 MW was added in 2013.

          • Doug Cutler

            Hey wait . . . there’s that hockey stick shape again.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Once more, one of my favorite graphs….

  • mikefas

    BMWs twin turbo V8 churns 400+ HP at a paltry 14mpg – real world. They’re being pushed, clearly.

  • timerbeltkiller

    Of the 100 million private cars manufactured in 2020 I guess just one million will be EVs. Remember EVs are only saleable in more than micro quantities in countries subsidizing them. Today that is mainly the US, Norway and Japan.

    Tesla grabbing 500 K and BMW 100 K seems realistic.
    Nissan/Renault group is lite yrs off target.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      Elon Musk predicts that in 2025 there is sold 50 million fully electric vehicles.

      • Kyle Field

        Well…tesla cars are subsidized. Buyers in the US get 7500 back from the federal govt and in california, another 2500 from the state. I would say that even at $10k more, they would still sell here.

        Also, just between these 3 auto makers, this is 2.1 million cars per year being produced. Not changing the game in and of itself…but definitely worth noting.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          actually they are not. that $7500 “subsidy” does not compensate fully the economical and ecological footprint of ICE cars. United States has spent quite considerably billions on waging wars in the Middle East in order to secure oil assets, so that people can continue driving ICE cars. Is this not subsidizing ICE cars? Also agricultural subsidies for biofuel production are worthy to mention.

          Also Tesla sales would not be different if there was not any subsidies. $7500 for 100 kilodollar car really is not that significant.

          • Kyle Field

            Clearly…but that’s a different discussion completely.

      • timerbeltkiller

        Check the number of EVs they currently are selling in Norway and in Sweden!
        Proves EVs do not require any subsidies?

        • Jouni Valkonen

          There is only one EV that is designed to be better than comparable ICE cars and that is Model S. All others are designed to take maximum advange from Government subsidies. And indeed Model S outselling e.g. Porsche Panamera that is its most direct competitor.

          Tesla S is a best selling car in its class, so I would say that it is not subsidy depended. Having 10 kilodollar subsidy for 100 kilodollar car is not that significant.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Agree Tesla S is not subsidy depended. No luxury item produced in small quantities is.

            Hence it is to be expected the average income of Tesla buyers is far above what most people earn. And so it is.

            Less likely to be expected is the fact that buyers of Leaf & CO also earns a lot more than the average.

            Which might prove EVs must either become far more price competitive or be even higher subsidized to conquer the volume market.

            As stated above just check sale statistics worldwide!

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Today Electric vehicles makes only sense among the top 2 % of the most expensive cars.

            But this share gets wider by time as batteries are getting cheaper. Even 2 % would be significant market share for electric vehicles at this point.

            This is the reason, that instead of electric vehicle subsidies, there should be 100 % punishment tax for ICE cars that are more expensive than $50 000 before taxes. This would incentivize car companies to produce luxury electric cars where EVs make perfect economic sense.

            It does not make any sense to expect the middle class to pay the development cost of electric vehicle technology. As the rich 1 % buys about 2–4 % of all cars, at this point, only the rich 1 % should be encouraged to buy electric vehicles.

          • timerbeltkiller

            RE “…instead of electric vehicle subsidies, there should be 100 % punishment tax for ICE cars that are more expensive than $50 000 before taxes.

            There should be a punishment tax for all expensive cars.
            For the simple reason big luxury cars are (far) more ecologically damaging than small cars.

            There is no such thing as an environmentally friendly car.
            All cars damage the environment.
            Big cars more than small cars.
            ICEs more than EVs.

            Hence luxury Tesla S has probably a heavier ecological footprint both re manufacturing and use than a small gas car – for instance VW Up, Polo or even Golf.

            Exchanging the 100 million ICEs in the world with 100 million EVs will reduce their ecological damage. But will not eliminate it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We aren’t going to put a price on ICEVs. Unless we get very much more concerned about climate change, and that won’t happen in the next couple years.

            EVs will cause some environmental damage, but they will allow us to stop using petroleum for personal transportation. While not perfect, they will be close enough for now.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Nothing is close enough for now.
            Man today is simply disregarding the fact unlimited consumption and pollution is impossible on a planet limited in size. A few more EVs will hardly diminish this suicidal behavior noticeably.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’re moving car manufacturing to more sustainable materials.

            Sunlight and wind are sustainable.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Sunlight and wind sure are sustainable.
            But will fossil energy disappear before it is too late?

            Same question for unsustainable materials.

          • Bob_Wallace

            (I’m going to leave environmental/climate change aside for a moment.)

            It’s highly unlikely we’ll run out of fossil fuel energy.

            We’ve used the cheap, easy to get stuff. Now we’re going after sources that are harder to extract and are often lower quality. That makes fossil fuel energy more expensive.

            We’ve probably got well over 100 years of coal were we to burn at today’s rate. Maybe 40 years of natural gas (or we could find a lot of shale gas in other countries). And we can cook poor quality oil out of shale for a long time.

            That’s our window of safety.

            We could, were we motivated, get coal off most our grids in 20 years, off all in 30. (My guesstimation based on studies by others.) We could reduce our use of oil for personal transportation by 85% in ten years. We could drastically cut our use of natural gas in 20 years, perhaps eliminate it in 30.

            So, I see no danger of running out of fossil fuels.

            Actually I see fossil fuels lasting a long, long time because we are very likely to make significant cuts in their use.

            I suspect that we’re going to see very significant cuts in coal use over the next decade. I think that within ten years of introducing more affordable EVs we will have significantly cut our petroleum use. The alternatives (wind, solar and EVs) are just too affordable to allow us to keep on using fossil fuels. Economics will drive us away.

            Take coal. Coal plants have about a 40 year life. US coal plants are getting old. We won’t build any more coal plants, the electricity from a newly built coal plant is much more expensive than wind or solar. Our plants will age out.

            And some of them will go bankrupt. It’s happening in Australia and it will happen in the US as wind and solar become larger producers. When wind and solar with their zero fuel costs come on line they dominate the market.

            Now, back to the environment and climate change.

            We’ve probably already bought ourselves a different climate. We’ve changed it and we have no way to change it back. We’re going to get hurt, the question is how badly we get hurt and how much longer we’re going to keep adding to the problem.

            Other materials? We are probably OK. We are learning how to make plastics, etc. from plant stocks. We won’t run out of steel, aluminum, etc. and can use renewable energy to extract and refine.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Your “coulds” will not materialize.
            Remember Big Coal, Big Oil and Big Business in general
            defend their interests far more efficient than green people manage to have a say in world affairs.

            We have coal for at least 300 yrs and petroleum for 100.
            Most of it must remain untapped in the ground if human civilization is to survive. Only poor nations should be allowed to mine/drill small quantities of it.

            Producing 100 million cars a yr is ecological suicide whether they are EVs or ICEs or any combination of the two.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You might want to check out what is happening to coal use. It’s down in the US and Australia and will continue to fall. Big coal is working to slow their fall, but they can’t prevent it.

            “Producing 100 million cars a yr is ecological suicide whether they are EVs or ICEs or any combination of the two.”

            That’s simply bunk.

            You’re new around here. Why don’t you spend some time reading articles and see if you don’t gain some insights about the options we have?

          • timerbeltkiller

            The options are here.
            But they will not be taken before it is too late.

            The US and China are the main culprits in destroying our environment.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s your opinion.

            There’s some agreement among climate scientists that if we get our carbon emissions down 80% by 2050 we will avoid extreme warming.

            80% by 2050 won’t be easy but it can be done. We can easily get gasmobiles off the street. We can easily replace coal and most NG by then. That’s 34 years from now. Look back to 1980 and see how much we’ve changed the world since then.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Agree all you state here is theoretically possible.
            But so far it is politically impossible.

            To make renewable energy commercially outcompete fossil energy you just need for a short introductory period a combination of taxing fossil energy and subsidizing green energy. Not just in the US, but world wide.

            After all sun alone has the capacity of at the very least one hundred times the present global energy use. In addition we have wind, waves, currents, waterfalls and bio.

            But it will not happen. All nations on earth stick to “not in my backyard” meaning “everybody but we should contribute”.

            That adds up to nothing being done. Which all climate conferences so far have proven.

            And then climate change is far from being the most negative hazard resulting from man multiplying in numbers and in technology to an unsustainable extent.

            More serious is destroying the habitat of species and thereby making them extinct and killing the biological diversity all living species are dependent on. Man on top of the food chain most of all.

            So is using far more resources than nature is able to renew. And polluting more than nature is able to clean up.
            In sum disregarding the fact unlimited growth on a planet limited in size is not sustainable.

            Politicians and business leaders talk about climate change.
            But does close to nothing.

            Habitat destroying and reducing biological diversity they do not even talk about. Same goes for overusing and overpolluting the resources of the planet.

            Hence being pessimist is far more realistic than being optimist.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It would be nice if you threw in a few “in my opinion”. You do not know exactly what will happen going forward.

            “To make renewable energy commercially outcompete fossil energy you just need for a short introductory period a combination of taxing fossil energy and subsidizing green energy. ”

            In general, that is not true. Electricity is expensive in many parts of the world. Renewables are already competitive. Building coal capacity is expensive, renewables are relatively cheap.

            “But it will not happen. All nations on earth stick to “not in my backyard” meaning “everybody but we should contribute”.”

            It is happening. Spend some time learning about how other countries are moving to renewables.

            ” unlimited growth on a planet limited in size is not sustainable.”

            We can grow as long as we use sustainable inputs, materials and energy.
            “Hence being pessimist is far more realistic than being optimist.”

            Pessimism is the route to failure. It’s not wise to be overly optimistic. Being hopeful and willing to work presents our best chance of getting past this mess.

          • timerbeltkiller

            By not including a lot of “in my opinion”s in the text I do not try to state my subjective viewpoints as objective facts.

            I simply like the great majority of contributors take this for granted without any need to be spesifically mentioned.

            And it looks like you follow same procedure.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “It’s highly unlikely”
            “We could”
            “We’ve probably”
            “I suspect”

            You might want to review your posts. You seem to be making absolute statements about what will happen.

          • timerbeltkiller

            Disagree.
            Your quotes indicate rather that here you read the opinion of the poster.

            In discussion sites you see very few “in my opinion”s.
            This in spite of there are far more arguments which
            are speculations of WHY it happened and predictions of WHAT it might lead to than the ones that merely state objective facts.

            My point is the way web discussions normally are written the reader has to sort out objective facts from subjective views.
            And assume this is seldom a very difficult task.

            EXAMPLES:
            “There’s some agreement among climate scientists that if we get our carbon emissions down 80% by 2050 we will avoid extreme warming.

            80% by 2050 won’t be easy but it can be done. We can easily get gasmobiles off the street. We can easily replace coal and most NG by then. That’s 34 years from now. Look back to 1980 and see how much we’ve changed the world since then.”

            1.
            This agreement among climate scientist is a fact.
            But no way excepted as a fact by those who either deny negative climate change taking place or man’s part of it.
            And they do not throw in “in my opinion” when they oppose it.

            2.
            “80% by 2050 won’t be easy but it can be done.”

            This is clearly a personal opinion.
            Whether a fact or not we only know in 2050.

            My personal opinion is theoretically possible but politically impossible. I then assume present unwillingness to implement reductions will continue in the yrs to come.

            3.
            Even with 80% by 2050 increases up till now do have lasting negative effects.

            My opinion based on predictions from climate scientists.

            4.
            Your “we can easily”s are personal opinion clearly based on optimistic views of how easy it is to change present behavior of governments and Big Business.

            My personal view is as above practically easy but politically anything but easy.

            5.
            “That’s 34 years from now. Look back to 1980 and see how much we’ve changed the world since then.”

            Looking back I would say ecologically the changes have been far more negative than positive related to the species man’s future on the planet.

            As long as the global economy is based on not sustainable accelerating growth both as engine and as medicine against bad times man is on a suicidal course. Is this solely my personal opinion or an objective fact due to the impossibility of unlimited growth on a planet limited in size?

          • Jouni Valkonen

            I disagree. If we have sustainable renewable electricity/energy production, then there are no significant global problems if we have one active car per family.

            Non-agricultural urban infrastructure, including roads, takes only about 1.5 % of Earth’s land area.

            The real problem is non-renewable energy production and agriculture — especially biofuels and meat. Cars are very minuscule with their ecological food print and the car’s ecological foot print comes mostly from non-renewable energy generation.

            Solar powered electric cars are indeed greenwashing personal transportation.

            I can imagine utopian future, where self-driving electric cars allow 250 km/h cruising speed in autobahns. This will kill public transportation!

    • Ronald Brakels

      Electric cars are simple to build so once built in bulk they will be cheaper than internal combustion cars before the battery pack is included. Battery costs are coming down so it is possible a Leaf sized battery might only cost $5,000 by 2020. So in Australia people like my parents should easily be able to get an electric car for $20,000 in today’s money in 2020. They would be able to charge it at a cost of 0 to 8 cents a kilowatt-hour from rooftop solar since it would often be sitting at home during the day. This low fuel cost combined with the fact that it would need very little maintenance means it should be very hard for any internal combustion engine to compete. So if gasoline prices in Australia stay around where they are now I think electric cars could be quite popular in six years time. By then new conventional gasoline vehicles may be a minority compared to hybrids and electrics, particularly since Australia has little oil left and soon will have no car industry which means the country may actually get some fuel efficiency standards before too many years have passed.

      • timerbeltkiller

        If we accept this ICEs will be close to worthless.
        Which means secondhand prices close to zero.
        Which again means your parents could either spend 20K
        on an EV or 1K on an ICE + 19K on gas.

        For people without any ready cash the second option might
        be the only available.

        But then I think you are overoptimistic re sinking battery prices.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          There are not much inherent cost in lithium batteries. So it is hard to see why it is not reasonable assume that the cost of batteries will decline at least by factor of ten by 2020′s.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Not worthless, but the value of ICEVs will shrink as EV began to dominate the market.

          I expect what we will see is less efficient ICEVs go to the crusher with many fewer miles on their odometers than they acquire today.

          • Ronald Brakels

            We saw what happened to the second hand prices of big SUVs and Hummers when oil went up to $147 a barrel. They didn’t become almost worthless but their prices on the second hand market certainly fell and since there wasn’t much room to lower prices on new ones and still make a profit manufacturers reduced volumes and I believe the Hummer is now extinct.

        • Ronald Brakels

          I didn’t assume there would be any decrease in battery prices. While I am sure battery pack prices will continue to fall, the $20,000 figure I mentioned was about how much an electric car with a Leaf sized battery pack could cost without any decrease in battery prices. While Nissan doesn’t advertise how much they pay for battery packs they could easily be under $10,000 for each extra unit produced right now. Not including the cost of a battery pack, electric cars produced in large numbers will be considerably cheaper than internal combustion engine cars as electric motors are much cheaper and EVs don’t require catalytic converters, mufflers, transmissions, liquid cooling, etc. So without any decrease in battery prices a Leaf style electric car may only cost $20,000 in six years time.

      • timerbeltkiller

        RE “Electric cars are simple to build so once built in bulk they will be cheaper than internal combustion cars before the battery pack is included.”

        Before the power train is installed comparable EVs and ICEs cost the same to build. Ask VW that builds Ups and Golfs with all kinds of power trains!

        Hence the end cost is dependent on the cost difference between the 2 drive-lines. So far the ICE one is the cheaper.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I suspect you’re going to be far off the mark.

      Over the next 2-3 years we are likely to see lower battery prices and falling EV prices. As prices drop and people become more acquainted with the advantages of driving electrics sales numbers are likely to soar.

      • timerbeltkiller

        2-3 yrs are not far away.
        So far prices of EVs have not dropped relatively to ICEs.

        Fact is today EVs are not commercially competitive and sell far less than 1% of total world production. I predict they might grow to 1 full % in 2-3 yrs. You predict how many %?

        • Bob_Wallace

          The price of both the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt have dropped.

          • timerbeltkiller

            OK due to diminishing sales relative to production.
            But pse state your opinion of how many % EV production
            will be of worldwide total in 2-3 yrs from now..

            Read you to be sure 1% is far off the mark. Hence you must be able to state a figure closer to the mark.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s where you started.

            “Of the 100 million private cars manufactured in 2020 I guess just one million will be EVs.”

            2020 is 6 years from now, not 2-3.

          • timerbeltkiller

            OK, my misunderstanding.

            Had in mind your:

            “I suspect you’re going to be far off the mark.

            Over the next 2-3 years we are likely to see lower battery prices and falling EV prices. As prices drop and people become more acquainted with the advantages of driving electrics sales numbers are likely to soar”

            So maybe you should be able to give a percentage closer to the mark than my 1% – in 2017 as well as 2020?

          • Bob_Wallace

            If we get “affordable”, good range EVs by 2017 (three years) I would expect EVs to be far higher than 10% of all new car sales by 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 25% or higher market share.

            By affordable I mean no more than $3k to $5k more than same model ICEVs. By good range I mean something close to 200 miles.

            50% of all US annual miles are driven in cars that are 5 years old or less. That tells us that higher mileage drivers are buying and driving newer cars. Those are the people who will save the most by switching off fuel. When someone can walk into the salesroom and see a car that will pay for its price premium in a couple of years and then save significant money from then on they’re likely to jump to EVs.

          • timerbeltkiller

            OK, thanks for stating your opinion in numbers.
            2020 will show whether 1 or 10 is closer to the mark.

          • JamesWimberley

            The industry is too young to have a proper learning curve. I should say, the propulsion battery industry. The platform or box the powertrain goes in is mature and costs will only change slowly. The unsubsidised breakeven with ICEs is a tipping point, and after it is reached demand will explode. I’m guessing 5 years to the tipping point – making 2019.

            We may well get a foretaste with electric taxis, buses and small urban fleet vans. These are nearly competitive today, and only need a little assist from pollution-minded city leaders. (These uses are not subject to range anxiety.) I hazard a prediction that by 2020 they will have 50% of their respective markets in more than one OECD country.

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