Lex Kerssemakers, Larry Nitz, Kevin Layden.
“We strongly believe in electrification. So much that if we want to sell 150,000 cars in the U.S., plug-in hybrid technology for the next four or five years will be the most common technology. And then, slowly, it will be taken over by electrical cars. So we are ready for it.”
Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, confirms that the carmaker will stick to plug-in hybrid cars in the near future. He adds that for electrification, manufacturers need the support of the government through environmental regulations and customers “willing to try it.”
“Most customers don’t even understand the benefits of electrification. Quite frankly, we’ve been bad at explaining our technology to customers.”
Larry Nitz, executive director-hybrid and electric powertrain engineering at General Motors, says that for people to dare to get behind the wheel of an electric car, companies first need to get the point across that it is easy and convenient.
“I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population. It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.”
Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, says that an EV with 100 miles of range is enough to suit commuters, while it also keeps cost and weight down. The manufacturer has no immediate plans for a long-range electric car.