Many automakers are currently aboard the hype train that is electric vehicles, but BMW CEO Oliver Zipse has warned against becoming too dependent on EVs in selected markets. He told Reuters there was still a market for combustion engine cars.

“When you look at the technology coming out, the EV push, we must be careful because at the same time, you increase dependency on very few countries,” Zipse said at a roundtable in New York. He also pointed out that the supply of raw materials for batteries was largely controlled by China.

“If someone cannot buy an EV for some reason but needs a car, would you rather propose he continues to drive his old car forever? If you are not selling combustion engines anymore, someone else will,” he went on.

Zipse is a proponent for clean energy vehicles but has long advocated against all-out bans on combustion engine car sales. Regulators have dialed up the pressure for players in the auto industry to curb their carbon emissions and environmental impact, prompting the creation of a slew of ambitious electrification roadmaps.

The BMW chief argued that offering more fuel-efficient combustion engine cars was key, both from a profit and environmental perspective. He alluded to obvious gaps in charging infrastructure in some markets, as well as the high price of EVs. Mercedes-Benz’s chief technical officer Markus Schäfer shared the same sentiment and recently said EVs are years away from achieving cost parity of ICE vehicles.

Besides that, companies also needed to plan for necessary cost adjustments, and prepare for energy and raw material prices to remain high. They can do this by streamlining production and making them more efficient, as well as stepping up recycling efforts to keep costs down. BMW recently committed to using use sustainably produced aluminium wheels from 2024, a move that will trim CO2 emissions by 500,000 tonnes annually.

“We have a peak now, they might not stay at the peak, but they will not go back to former prices,” he said. “How much energy you need and use, and circularity, is important – for environmental reasons but even more for economic reasons.”