BMW says Budget sets high hopes for EVs

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The BMW i8 electric

BMW Group Australia says it is confident the Australian Government’s financial package to encourage businesses to trial new technologies and invest in electric car fleets will mark a ‘line in the sand’ for manufacturers and supercharge the local market’s adoption of electrified vehicles.

The Australian Government has announced a new $74.5 million “Future Fuels Fund” to help business and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles, and enable infrastructure for the growth of commercial electric vehicles.

BMW Group has created a tailored program for small to medium enterprises seeking to purchase a new BMW or MINI electric vehicle with a $1500 incentive for new vehicle purchases for company use. This is equivalent to the charging cost for up to 30,000km of travel in a BMW electric vehicle.

BMW Group Australia CEO Vikram Pawah said the incentives announced for business should act as the catalyst for local market growth and finally help Australia bridge the gap with high uptake markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

“For BMW Group, investing in electro-mobility technology development for business should be a given in Australia. Countries such as the USA, Norway and China have all invested in a strong charging network and offered monetary incentives to both commercial and private buyers of plug-in hybrid or fully electric vehicles, leading to high uptake across the board in these markets,” Mr Pawah said.      

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“However, the cost benefit of electrified vehicles is just one of the challenges facing uptake in Australia. Sustainable alternatives to electric vehicles are also in the dark, meaning concerns such as range anxiety are present among local buyers despite viable options such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) readily available in the market.

“For example, the MINI Electric has a driving range of 233km on a single charge and the same single charge endows the BMW i3 provides a range of up to 260km in daily use–both well exceeding the 36km driven by the average Australian every day.”

Mr. Pawah added: “We will continue to introduce as many of these vehicles to our local product line-up, but the government has an important role to play in influencing public mindset about the vast benefits of electrified vehicles. While these incentives are focused on business, they are a positive step in enlightening the wider public around electro-mobility and addressing the lack of knowledge about electric vehicles.”

BMW Group is a leading provider of electro-mobility and by the end of 2021 will offer five fully-electric production vehicles: the MINI Electric, BMW i3, BMW iX3, BMW iNEXT and BMW i4. The company will have 25 electrified BMW and MINI models on the road by 2023, with more than half of them fully electric.

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In Australia, the first-ever MINI electric vehicle was also introduced in early 2020, with the full year’s allocation already sold out. The MINI Electric complements seven other BMW and MINI Plug-in Hybrid models already available to Australian customers. 

“Our commitments are all part of BMW Group’s ‘Power of Choice’ ethos, which gives customers alternative options for sustainability without compromising the design and performance. The strategy is complemented by a diverse and extensive product portfolio, to cater to different regions of the world that are shifting toward electro-mobility at varying rates,” Mr Pawah added.

“These models will deliver enhancements in range, performance and usability within our electrified product range, to enable customers to effortlessly find a solution that suits their individual needs.”

BMW Group Australia also has a successful partnership with Chargefox, Australia’s largest electric vehicle charging network powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. This allows BMW to provide its i3 and i3s 120 Ah customers with a three-year charging subscription including a complimentary 250kW/year allowance.