BMW aims to have sold 500,000 hybrid, electric cars by end-2019

BMW is gearing up for the mass production of electric cars and aims to have 12 fully electric models by 2025 with a range of up to 700 km. (Reuters)
Updated 21 December 2017

BMW aims to have sold 500,000 hybrid, electric cars by end-2019

FRANKFURT: German carmaker BMW aims to more than double the number of electric and hybrid vehicles it has sold to 500,000 by the end of 2019, CEO Harald Krueger told German weekly WirtschaftsWoche.
In 2018 alone, deliveries of electrified vehicles are to rise by a “medium double-digit percentage,” he said.
A pioneer in electric cars, BMW launched the i3 hatchback in 2013 but sales have been relatively low and management has wrestled with whether to go all-out for electrification.
But that changed in September when the Munich-based group said it would gear up for mass production of electric cars and aimed to have 12 fully electric models by 2025 with a range of up to 700 km.
The group said on Monday it had hit its target of selling 100,000 fully electric cars this year around the world, benefiting from strong demand in western Europe and the United States for models such as the i3 and the 2-series plug-in hybrid Active Tourer.
He said the automaker would nonetheless keep making and selling cars with combustion engines to help finance a gradual shift to electrified cars.
Unlike his peer Matthias Mueller, the CEO of Volkswagen, he rejected the idea of doing away with tax subsidies for diesel.
“Bearing customers in mind who bought diesels, that is unjustifiable,” Krueger said.
Mueller earlier this month called for subsidies for diesel vehicles to be shifted gradually to incentives for green cars, such as electric vehicles.
Acting Transport Minister Christian Schmidt had shot down the idea, though, saying that diesel was still needed during the transition to greener vehicles and there was therefore no reason to change tax rules.


Algeria reopens mosques, beaches after 5-month lockdown

Updated 15 min 47 sec ago

Algeria reopens mosques, beaches after 5-month lockdown

  • Restaurants were also allowed to reopen, and mosques that can hold more than 1,000 people and ensure social distancing measures
  • Crowds packed beaches Saturday in the capital Algiers, celebrating the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean Sea

ALGIERS: Algeria started reopening its mosques, cafes, beaches and parks Saturday for the first time in five months, gradually relaxing one of the world’s longer virus confinement periods.
Curfews remain in place in more than half the country, and masks are required outdoors as Algeria tries to keep virus infections down. But authorities decided to start reopening public places starting Saturday, saying the virus infection rate is believed to have stabilized.
Crowds packed beaches Saturday in the capital Algiers, celebrating the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean Sea amid the August heat.
Restaurants were also allowed to reopen, and mosques that can hold more than 1,000 people and ensure social distancing measures.
However, mosques remain closed to all women, children and the elderly until further notice, and the main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday will remain banned to limit crowds. Mosque-goers must wear masks and bring their own prayer mats.
“This reopening will depend entirely on the discipline of each person to respect protection measures,” said the minister for religious affairs, Mohamed Belmahdi, who was among those attending the first services Saturday at Khaled Ibn El Walid Mosque in the resort town of Heuraoua east of Algiers.
He warned that authorities would close mosques again if Algerians show even a “slight indifference” toward preventive measures. “The health of citizens comes before faith.”
Algeria has reported more than 37,000 virus infections and 1,350 deaths as of Friday, the third-highest death rate reported in Africa after South Africa and Egypt.