Charging you car – world-wide
The global energy transition and climate policies of European countries are not only prompting leading carmakers to work out plans for mass production of electric cars – they are also tearing down the foundations of contemporary pop culture.

By 2025, Agent 007, James Bond, is likely to be on the lookout for a charging station for his Aston Martin. Victories in Formula 1 races will no longer be marked by exhaust fumes, but rather by the smell of processed oranges and corn. And you will only be able to buy a car strictly on the Internet.

    Charging rather than blending

Aston Martin is to produce two “green” electric models from 2025 – a sports car and a crossover, the British company’s main shareholder, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, told the Financial Times. Its racing car will be built to designs similar to the company’s petrol models, including the D811. It will have its motor in the front and the drive on the rear wheels.

    And along with the sports car, Aston Martin plans another new development – an all-wheel-drive crossover with an electric power train. The design for both vehicles has not yet been finally confirmed.

    Producing electric cars was an obligatory step for Aston Martin. Britain plans to cease by 2030 all sales of cars with non-hybrid petrol and diesel engines. The company has already expanded its production line of cars with hybrid and electric-driven models. The hybrid model of the company’s first SUV, known as the DBX, is expected in 2021. Other hybrid models will follow in 2023.

    But for its true admirers, Aston Martin will continue to produce cars with internal combustion engines.

    A state and climate classic

    Another patriarch of the European car market – Volvo — announced recently that by 2030 it will make electric vehicles exclusively, withdrawing all petrol vehicles from its production lines. It will also end production of all hybrid models.

    Volvo believes that petrol cars simply have no long-term future. And it believes that legislation and the development of the necessary infrastructure and batteries will lead to a rise in the use of electric cars throughout the world.

    Volvo, naturally, acted in response to pressure from governments that have declared their intention to ban cars with internal combustion engines in the future as well as plans by local governments to bar cars from city centres.

    The company said its decision was based on expectations that “legislation and rapid expansion of accessible, high-quality infrastructure for charging will speed up the acceptance by consumers of fully electric cars”.

    But that’s not all.

    Volvo has decided go further than anyone else in marketing electric cars and announced that it will only sell them on the Internet. Test drives and delivery of orders remain available, but purchases will have to be made on line at fixed prices.

     So much for family outings to the car showroom and winter tyres as a gift option.

    As Volvo belongs to the Chinese company Geely Holding, any announcement about ceasing production of “traditional automobiles” reflects trends in China concerning electrification of transport. Geely Holding is banking on Volvo to help it take on its Chinese competitors.

    Volvo at the moment sells only hybrid and electric models in Europe.

    Hybrid cars cannot work strictly on batteries – their electric engines merely help the petrol engine. And they are unlikely to be much more environmental than ordinary petrol cars.

    Last year, Volvo presented its firs fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge, and more recently a second model, the C40 crossover, the company’s first model intended to work specifically from a battery.

    The company believes that by 2050, one half of all car sales world-wide will be of electric cars, with the remaining half hybrid cars.

    American electric

    The U.S. company GM announced in January that by 2045 it will have completed a transition to producing cars with zero emissions – and ceased producing cars operating on diesel or petrol as part of a new plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2040. Electrification will come five years earlier at GM, in 2030, and the company sees the transition as profitable.

    At the moment, 38 % of GM’s sales are of cars with internal combustion engines. Its main sources of income are from popular pickup trucks and off-road vehicles—the most energy-efficient models. These, too, will become electric.

    Over the next five years, GM intends to launch 30 new models of electric vehicle throughout the world and to invest $27 billion in their production. The company has even changed its logo to underscore a new orientation around electricity.

     General Electric would be a fine name for such a company – but, sadly, the name is already taken.

     Ford has pledged to sell from 2030 in Europe only cars powered by batteries, ruling out sales of petrol cars. The company is investing $1 billion in construction of a new plant in Germany that will produce electric vehicles. The first car will roll off the assembly line In 2023.

    And in the rest of the automobile world

    Nissan is also undergoing a transition to electric and hybrid models by 2025 – on the Chinese market. KIA is not stopping production of petrol cars, but forecasts a 40 % share of sales for electric vehicles within 10 years.

    Groupe PSA, which owns Peugeot, Citroën and Opel, announced it would no longer invest in internal combustion engines and Renault has ended all development of diesel engines.

    Luxury makes have also announced transitions of their own.

    Audi plans to confine its manufacturing activities to electric cars within 10-15 years. Jaguar Land Rover has similar plans for the 2040s and will present electric models for Jaguar and Land Rover within five years. Within 10 years, Jaguar will sell only cars equipped with batteries. The company is also considering development of a hydrogen-powered car.

    Mercedes Benz and Porsche are also banking on cars with batteries. Porsche’s plan is for 50 % of its sales to be from electric cars  by 2025 – and 80 % by 2030, And the company is investing 15 billion euros in electric vehicles.


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March 2021