Stefanie Wurst, Managing Director of BMW Netherlands, tells us why the world can take the Netherlands as an example when it comes to sustainability. She tells us how holistic thinking will shape future mobility, and why she thinks the Open Space at the IAA MOBILITY is so important.
As managing director of BMW Netherlands, you are actively pushing sustainability issues. To what extent can the rest of the world learn from the Netherlands in that respect?
The Netherlands is definitely leading on this. In the Netherlands, we will sell 40% electric BMWs and 30% electric MINIs this year. The proportion of battery electric cars sold is higher than for plug-in hybrid vehicles – even though the tax advantages are reducing. Together with the City of Rotterdam authorities, we have positioned ourselves at the head of this movement and are developing many innovative mobility projects which are becoming standard for the BMW Group. For example, “Electric City Drive” was the pilot for what are now close on 100 “eDrive zones” in Europe, where BMW plug-in hybrids automatically switch to electric mode in the city centers.
What do you consider to be the most important factors for more sustainable mobility?
We have implemented a comprehensive program specially tailored to a distribution company and comprising nine thematic areas. Sustainability starts with the company management and is an attitude towards which everyone feels an obligation. Activities range from incentivizing battery electric cars for employees to a voluntary commitment by our Dutch distributorship on sustainability. We are also demonstrating social commitment through the BMW i3 “For the Oceans Edition”, where EUR 1,000 per car sold is going to the organization ‘The Ocean Cleanup’.
Which sustainability issues are currently the most challenging for the car industry?
The most important of all is a holistic approach. Mobility only becomes sustainable if, as at BMW, the entire value-added chain is optimized and all players society-wide are joining in; for example, by ensuring there is green electricity and charging points in sufficient quantity. For our customers, transparency and measurability are really important: They need to know what we are doing and why. Only then can they make the right decision – for brand and model. For instance: How sustainable are the materials and the production process? How much CO2 was saved before we hand the car over to our customers?
What means of transport do you most like using? And do you mix mobility?
Essentially, I drive everything that BMW offers. Motorbikes, plug-in hybrid cars, battery electric cars and also petrol and diesel cars, since I know that we source energy from renewable sources for the production of all BMW Group products, and we save as much CO2 as possible in our whole value-added chain and in our consumption. In Amsterdam, Berlin and Munich I use SHARE NOW, and at the weekend I do practically everything by bike – the Dutch are big on riding bicycles, and regardless of the weather!
IAA MOBILITY is putting a particular emphasis on sustainable mobility. Which exhibitors will you definitely be checking out?
I am particularly interested in the “hubs” in the center of Munich this year. I will be looking in on all of them. And I like the new dialog-oriented, interactive formats at IAA Mobility. It simply sits well together. That’s why the conversation is so important.
(Photo: © BMW/Louis Blom)
IAA MOBILITY is transforming itself from a pure car show to an international mobility platform with four pillars: The Summit, the Conference, the “Blue Lane” and the downtown Munich Open Space. Under the slogan of “What will move us next”, it stands for the digital and climate-neutral mobility of the future. From 7 to 12 September 2021, the car, bike and tech industries come together at IAA MOBILITY in Munich.