Ford: We Need “C- And D-Segment Vehicles That Are Very Affordable” For EVs To “Take Off”
Finally, a top executive at a leading automaker has discovered the well-known-to-us formula for electric car success.
Jim Buczkowski, Ford’s director of electrical and electronics systems/research and innovation, tells Ward’s Auto at the SAE 2014 Convergence electronics conference:
“With gas prices going down, that’s a problem. People are looking at value.”
“If gas continues to go significantly below $3 a gallon, it’s not going to make electric vehicles more affordable.”
“I think that’s the challenge we face. We have to have C- and D-segment vehicles that are very affordable for customers to really get EVs to take off.”
Basically, we need an affordable Tesla Model S, then the EV segment will blow up.
Harald Kroeger, vice president of electrical/electronics and electric drive at Mercedes-Benz, somewhat agrees (or at least is against the current trend of stuffing batteries into small cars that have limited appeal):
“We stuff that super-expensive technology into inexpensive C-segment or below cars and wonder why customers didn’t really bite here because the customers who have a lot of money might not want to sit in a small vehicle. I think the first big step will be to have good EVs in the upper segments.”
Again, that sound like it’s linked to Tesla.
Kroeger concluded with this battery cost prediction:
“I would bet that 10 years from now, we’re going to have cells with twice the capacity at half the price. We have the first samples in our labs at home that show me it’s true. It’s coming – it’s not just wishful thinking. In that case, an EV becomes attractive for a lot of customers.”
The battery tech is there. Now, we just need it fitted to the proper classes of cars. Forget the 200-mile Chevy Sonic. Why not do a 200-mile Chevy Cruze, Malibu or Impala?
Lastly, Kroeger applauds Porsche for its efforts with the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Kroeger says Porsche proves there’s demand for such a vehicle (10% of Panamera buyers opt for the PHEV version:
“Who would have thought that among Porsche customers 10% would care for the polar bears? That basically shows there is something out there.”
Hat tip to Anton Wahlman!!!
Source: Ward’s Auto
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