Alain Visser, Thomas Hemmerich.
“We want to be ahead of the game and be simple in our offering so we will only sell cars that are hybrids, plug-in hybrids or pure electrics.”
Lynk & Co chief Alain Visser when asked about the plans the Geely subsidiary has in store for Europe. He also said that Berlin will be the starting point after China.
“The industry could find itself in a situation where electric trucks emerge more quickly than the charging infrastructure that is needed to support them.”
Thomas Hemmerich, Managing Director of MAN Truck and Bus UK is most worried about the strain on the grid, and considers power suppliers a potential “bottleneck.” Opportunity charging may help though.
Thomas Beermann, Lu Qun, Alain Visser.
“In the long term we see the future of carsharing as purely electrically powered, but there needs to be a considerable expansion of the charging station infrastructure in many cities to achieve this.”
Carsharing helps reduce traffic in cities, but parking [at a charger] is still an issue, says Thomas Beermann, head of car2go Europe. car2go’s main competition DriveNow seems to think otherwise, as it is already pushing electrification of its fleet in i.e. Berlin or Copenhagen.
“Tesla has huge symbolic significance because it is the first company to make people believe a business model solely around electric vehicles is possible.”
Lu Qun, chairman of Qiantu Motor, says the Chinese manufacturer is not looking to become the Chinese Tesla, but that he and his company can definitely learn a thing or two from Elon Musk.
“Because of the cost structure we have, we would be able to offer an electric car at the price of a normal combustion-engine car.”
Alain Visser, Lynk & Co senior vice president, says the brand’s first cars for Europe and the U.S. will most likely be plug.in hybrids. Fully electric models are, however, a possibility as well.
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Alain Visser, Brian Johnson, Katsushi Inoue.
“In China we will also sell cars powered by a gasoline engine only. The strategy for Europe and the U.S. is to focus on hybrids and electric models, but ultimately the customers will decide what they really want.”
Senior Vice President of Lynk&Co., Alain Visser, said Berlin was a conscious choice for the launch event of the brand as he sees Germany as one the key markets in the future and wanted to prove Chinese engineering could stand up to German standards.
“Selling a vehicle with the latest and greatest hardware, but an unproven self-driving software package is a risky strategy.”
Barclays analyst Brian Johnson comments on Tesla’s announcement of a supercomputer to steer its Autopilot. It is the latter he is doubtful of.
“We are thinking about it. After the [Volkswagen] emissions scandal, we have to think about it. We are big on hybrid in Japan and the US. We have that technology and we are thinking about it.”
Honda’s chief operating officer Katsushi Inoue muses on an electrified Civic, an exercise his development leader Mitsuru Kariya only recently engaged in as well. Still, Honda considers fuel cells a superior technology in the long run.
Ian Robertson, Alain Visser, John McElroy.
“The legislative framework in the U.S. and Europe, China and Japan is clear, and it’s not going to change. The advent of zero-emission cars is coming, so our strategy remains on that track.”
Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing at BMW, says that he does expect sales of electric cars to drop in i.e. the U.S., due to falling petrol prices. But Robertson says, it is only a short-term shift and not enough to change a winning strategy.
“I rank Formula E as the most competitive motorsport series of right now. That’s all I can say.”
Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo, says that while racing is generally off the table for Volvo due to the high costs, the Formula E is in comparison to other motorsport series a “much better value for money.”
“In fact electric sales were all up last month, when we saw gasoline prices coming down the most. So, it’s not as if Americans are suddenly getting amnesia and running away from hybrids.”
John McElroy from Detroit-based Autoline.tv explains dropping Prius sales not with falling petrol prices, but the fact that U.S. customers are ready for the new model.