SUVs are in vogue and continue to gain market share – will the electrification of cars change that? Is there a difference between electrifying an SUV or a compact car?
There is no fundamental difference between electrifying an SUV or a standard car, such as a sedan or estate. However, the underlying physics remains the same: the higher mass, larger wheels, and greater air drag of an SUV mean that your range is reduced and you need larger batteries. People buy SUVs these days because of the design and higher seating position. These factors will not change, regardless of the powertrain.
What about customers who own a relatively new internal combustion engine car and intend to keep driving it for years – how quickly will things change for them? I’m thinking of petrol stations, servicing and maintenance, spare parts, and the like.
If you’ve just bought a car with an internal combustion engine, you’ll be able to drive it for at least the usual lifespan of this car. The transition towards electric drivetrains will be gradual. Petrol stations, service centres, and so on will still be available for the next couple of decades. Unless you live in an area requiring a rapid change to zero emission mobility, you’ll be able to keep using your internal combustion engine car for a long time yet.
What do electric car customers want and what do they worry about? What sort of observations have you made so far?
We have known for a long time that what prospective buyers of electric cars worry about most is range. Our fist e-vehicle, the electrical CITIGO, will already have an adequate range of 300 kilometers and the next generation of electrical cars of around 500 kilometers. This is more than enough to manage the daily way to work and back. Associated with this charging times and density of harging stations are important key factors for the success of electrical vehicles in the future.