Business / Auto China

BMW leads the auto industry in new-energy vehicles

By Du Xiaoying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-16 11:31

BMW leads the auto industry in new-energy vehicles

A female tries BMW's all-electric i3.[Photo provided to China Daily]

China's new-energy vehicle industry is booming because of a rising awareness of saving energy, protecting the environment and traveling in an environmentally friendly way.

China sold 74,800 units of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars last year, 3.2 times more than in 2013. Dozens of new-energy car models were launched in the market last year, giving more choices for environmentally conscious drivers.

Thanks to the Chinese government's strong policy support and car manufacturers' focus on new-energy vehicles, China sold nearly 30,000 plug-in hybrid cars last year, almost nine times the sales of the previous year.

With its global influence on branding and position as an industry leader, German premium car manufacturer BMW Group plays a key role in China's promising new-energy vehicle market.

Industry pioneer

BMW has been researching electric car technology for a long time as it considers saving energy and cutting emissions a social responsibility.

Back to 1972 during the Munich Olympics, BMW's first electric car, the BMW 1602 was already used to lead the Marathon and road walk events. In 2002, the company launched its " EfficientDynamics" strategy, and since then advanced energy-saving technologies were used on all production models. The strategy also set a road map for electric-drive vehicles from 2010 to 2020.

BMW not only earned fame for improving the internal combustion engine with better efficiency, but has also strengthened its research and development of electric cars over the past decade.

In 2008, BMW started the MINI E's world's largest field test in Europe, the United States and China. Together with the BMW Active E, the total distance of the road tests was more than 20 million kilometers.

BMW collected a huge amount of data through those road tests and shared it with governments, industrial organizations and scientific institutions.

Based on the results of those road tests, which showed that most electric car owners drive 40 to 60 km each day, most auto manufacturers have set an electric mileage of 150km on a full charge.

BMW made a historic decision and established the BMW i sub-brand in February 2011 to provide new-energy products and services, and planned to release two new models - the all-electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8.

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