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BMW joins push for electric cars

2 min

Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

German luxury carmaker BMW on Thursday said all of its brands would offer electrified cars by 2025, including the iconic Rolls Royce, as the dieselgate scandal and pollution concerns force an industry-wide shift towards cleaner engines.

The Bavarian group, which also owns the Mini brand, said it would make 12 electric and 13 hybrid vehicles by 2025.

The announcement came on the same day that high-end rival Jaguar Land Rover said its entire stable of cars would be electrified by 2020.

"We will be increasing the share of electrified models across all brands and model series," BMW chief executive Harald Krueger said in a statement.

"And, yes, that also includes the Rolls-Royce brand."

Traditional carmakers have stepped up their push to go electric since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating emissions tests in millions of diesel cars. Suspicions later spread to other carmakers as well, triggering a scandal that has rocked the industry.

Concerns about environmental pollution have since prompted dozens of German cities to mull diesel bans, while Britain and France declared they plan to end the sales of petrol and diesel engines by 2040.

BMW introduced its first fully electric car, BMW i3, in 2013, giving it a head-start in the competitive sector compared with German rivals Volkswagen and Daimler.

BMW plans to show off its first electric Mini, set for release in 2019, at the IAA car show in Frankfurt next week.

The BMW group plans to be "the leading provider in the premium segment" in e-mobility, Krueger added.

Jaguar Land Rover for its part said it would launch its first fully electric model, the SUV Jaguar I-Pace, next year.

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