The internal-combustion engine has another three decades ahead of it, if you're asking BMW.
The German brand said it expects gasoline-powered engines will remain for another 30 years and that diesel engines would last for 20 years. BMW Group board member for development Klaus Froelich made those predictions this week at the NextGen event this week in Munich, Automotive News Europe (subscription required) reported.
2020 BMW X3 M Competition
Froelich, who's spoken out in the past about over-hyping electric cars, doubled down on that notion. He said electric cars are more expensive to produce, and that will only get worse before it gets better as more automakers scramble to fight for raw materials. He said Europe and the U.S. likely will be more receptive to plug-in hybrids, while China goes all-in on electric cars, mostly due to government regulations. He expects coastal areas of the U.S. to adopt battery-electric cars more quickly, though.
Although engines will stick around, their breadth will shrink. Specifically, the number of different diesel engine configurations will dwindle, the executive said. He added 6-cylinder engines with hybrid batteries will become more common; they're efficient and provide plenty of power. The V-12, as BMW has said in the past, will likely die off. Emissions regulations make updating the V-12 costly, and soon, Froelich said it may cost too much to keep the massive powerplant around.
2022 BMW iNext spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Shockingly, he also shared BMW is putting together a business case to keep the V-8, though it will be electrified in the future, too.
Forelich has a grounded and conservative approach to the expansion of electric cars. He said even if BMW meets its goal of selling 30 percent of its vehicles with an electrified powertrain by 2025, 80 percent will still have a traditional internal-combustion engine.