BMW mulling launch of electric car for US market: report

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FRANKFURT - The German luxury car maker BMW is to decide this year on an environmentally friendly car for the US market which was likely to be battery powered, chief executive Norbert Reithofer said Tuesday in an interview.

Under discussion was whether to manufacture the car alone or in cooperation with a partner, Reithofer told the magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

"Both options are possible. Our goal is a cooperation but if it does not work out, we will do it alone. We will make a decision this year," he said.

The BMW boss said that starting in 2012, his company would be considered "in the United States as a 'large vehicle manufacturer'," a category that obliges car makers to offer a model that emits no carbon dioxide.

BMW would probably opt for electric power, the CEO said, adding that it might serve as a basis for the global launch of a new "mini car" designed for big cities.

"We could of course simply offer a few hundred cars starting in 2012 to respect the law," Reithofer noted.

"But we have asked ourselves if we should develop the basic concept for something other than an electric car."

len/wai/adp

03/11/2008 12:18 GMT

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