Alpina boss says its drivers do long distances, high speeds
Will adapt 48v BMW mild hybrids, no plans for further electrification
BMW has made it clear that it understands the future of the automobile is electric. But what about the BMW modifiers and rebuilders at Alpina? That company is not expecting to go electric, saying there is no demand from its customers for EV models.
Speaking with German publication BimmerToday, Alpina boss Andreas Bovensiepen spoke about electrification plans for the company and the move to 48v mild hybrids.
“Three quarters of a year ago we carried out a customer survey on the subject of hybrid and BEV. Our customers currently feel no demand for battery-electric models,” the executive said. He said that Alpina customers in Europe frequently drive 30,000 to 50,000 km per year. Equally important, he said that company customers want to “drive fast and accelerate strongly, especially in Germany.” At that point, range still becomes an issue for EVs.
Bovensiepen said that if a customer drove an EV like a V8 Alpina, range would likely drop to 200 km or less. “That’s why we’re deliberately holding back. The market is not yet ready for our customers.”
Alpina is moving to 48v mild hybrids as BMW converts more of its models to that system. The Alpina D3 S is the first, and the XB7’s V8 will be the second. The popularity of that X7-based XB7 could lead Alpina into more serious electrification sooner, though.
Bovensiepen said that Alpina had its own CO2 emissions agreement with the EU, but that if the XB7 sold extremely well in Europe that Alpina could come too close to the target. In that cse, he said they may need to offer a hybrid in the medium term.
Lastly, the exec was asked about Alpina’s plans regarding the ever-growing BMW kidney grille, if they might make their own unique nose styling. “Every BMW ALPINA bears the BMW emblem on the trunk lid and on the bonnet,” Bovensiepen said. “The BMW kidney grille is a unique BMW component. If we were to make changes there, we would have to coordinate that very closely with BMW. I think the discussion may have been a bit heated. In reality, the design looks significantly better than in some photos. There is also a differentiation between BMW and M. And in America, where the cars often have no license plate at the front, the front looks harmonious. I think this debate will settle again.”