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BMW appears to poke fun at Elon Musk with live Twitter countdown of electric car sales

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Via CNBC

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse gestures towards a BMW Vision Next electric car during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on Sept. 10, 2019.

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg via Getty Images

The BMW Group announced Thursday that 500,000 of its electrified cars had been sold, live-tweeting the milestone in what many will see as a light-hearted jab at Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Toward the end of November, Musk sent a series of tweets relating to what he described as “orders” for his firm’s Cybertruck. On November 24, for instance, the billionaire simply tweeted “200k,” followed by “250k” a few days later.

The tweets have generated a great deal of discussion, especially regarding what Musk actually means by the word “orders.”

BMW began tweeting a series of numbers on Wednesday evening, starting with “499,820”.

By Thursday, the tweets had ended with the countdown on a figure of 500,000, with an explanation that half a million BMW Group electrified vehicles had been sold. It said this equates to one every four minutes.

“Half a million vehicles is the best proof: our broad range of electrified vehicles is meeting exact customer needs,” Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management at BMW, said in a statement issued Thursday.

Zipse added that the business “was stepping up the pace significantly” and aiming to have a million electrified vehicles on the road “within two years.”

The BMW Group currently offers 12 electrified vehicles. By the year 2030, it wants half of its vehicles sold in Europe to be electrified.

Alongside firms such as Tesla, some of the automotive industry’s major players are now making significant moves in the electric vehicle sector.

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In November, the Volkswagen Group officially started series production of its ID.3 electric car. The German carmaker is planning to launch “almost 70 new electric models” by 2028.

In March, Japanese car giant Nissan said its compact hatchback, the Leaf, had become the first electric car to exceed 400,000 in sales.

The BMW Group’s announcement of 500,000 electrified car sales comes in the same week that car sharing service Share Now – a joint venture between BMW and Daimler – announced it was leaving the North American market and also ceasing operations in London, Florence and Brussels.

In a statement on its website, Share Now explained the decision to leave North America was down to “the volatile state of the global mobility landscape” and the “rising infrastructure complexities facing North American transportation today.”

CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report


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