“I believe when we enter the market in 2020, this is exactly the time when e-mobility will accelerate out of its niche. Battery costs are making significant improvements. The charging will improve. There is no more range anxiety, the cost point is down, we will be able to serve the new customer demand.”
VW’s electric vehicle chief Christian Senger fends talk that the carmaker is waiting too long to launch the I.D. Volkswagen has never been an early mover, but waited long enough to introduce its products to hit a nerve with the masses. And it seems to aim for the same strategy here.
“In 2019 we will launch our first electric car, but for this to succeed we need to have a range of 400 km (250 miles) and charging in 30 minutes, and we will need partners to ensure the infrastructure is there.”
Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson makes it clear, which side the Swedes are taking in the hen or the egg discussion. Yes, battery technology has to improve, but without enough places to plug in, the carmaker won’t push the issue too far.
“We could have a range of 1000 km, but then there is the cost to balance. Eventually, the customer will choose their EV just like they choose a car now – picking the best balance of performance and cost for their needs.”
Mercedes’ chief electric vehicle engineer Jürgen Schenk believes that in the future, battery prices will continue drop, while performance continues to increase. But he says that while range anxiety plays a key role today, it’s not everything.
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