Citroën has all the time been an organization that sees the world from a unique perspective than its friends. “Quirky” is perhaps the perfect adjective to described the corporate, whose present choices embrace the determinedly totally different Ami metropolis automobile. Final 12 months it unveiled the decidedly unconventional oli, a automobile so outdoors the norm it defies description.
In a latest interview in the course of the launch ceremony for the corporate’s newest electrical automobile, the E C4 X, Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée instructed Auto Categorical the demise of the SUV is inevitable. “The world of SUVs is finished,” despite the fact that he says proper now the info about new automobile gross sales present the “numbers should not telling me I’m proper.” Certainly, these gross sales numbers point out that SUVs have accounted for 50% of all new automobile registrations in Europe over the previous few years.
One main motive for the trade pivoting away from SUVs to vehicles just like the C4 X will likely be aerodynamics, he says. “On a battery EV, in case your aerodynamics are flawed, the penalty when it comes to vary is very large. You’ll be able to lose 50 kilometers between good and dangerous aero, and between an SUV and a sedan you’re speaking 60/70/80 kilometers very simply.”
The proof, claims The Drive, could be discovered by evaluating the Tesla Mannequin Y SUV (though the IRS says it isn’t) to the Mannequin 3 sedan. Each automobiles are powered by the identical battery pack and electrical motor driving the rear wheels (the RWD-only Mannequin Y is just not accessible in all markets). Tesla says the sedan has a variety of 491 km whereas the Mannequin Y is rated at 455 km — 7% much less.
Cobée factors to the BMW iX SUV, which has a bigger battery pack than the extra aerodynamic i4 sedan. However this received’t all the time be potential, he says. “Individuals will begin limiting weight and battery sizes, both by taxes, by incentives, by regulation, by naming and shaming,” he mentioned. France, for instance, is making ready to tax automobiles based on how a lot they weigh. “The A phase has been killed by regulation (and) the D phase (SUVS) will likely be killed by aerodynamicism and weight,” he claims. He additionally takes a swipe at so-called SUVs which might be little greater than sedans with jacked up suspensions which might be “referred to as SUVs simply because they’re a bit increased.”
Citroën Focuses On Small, Gentle, & Environment friendly EVs
The burden achieve merely isn’t acceptable, says Cobée. “Within the Nineteen Seventies, a automobile was weighing 700 kg. Immediately a median automobile is weighing 1300 kg. Tomorrow a median automobile will weigh two tons. So we’re utilizing 3 times extra sources to ship the identical service, simply to be ‘inexperienced’.”
He compares shopping for a automobile with a big battery that’s used solely as soon as in awhile to taking an enormous backpack meant for a multi-day hike to the workplace. “Do you go to the workplace with that backpack? The reply isn’t any. So why would you go to the workplace with a automobile with one ton of battery?” As a substitute there ought to be a better emphasis of a greater charging expertise on the transfer, he says, one thing Citroën is meaning to make simpler by way of route planning instruments that determine the place charging can conveniently happen alongside the best way.
The reply to vary anxiousness is a extra sturdy charging infrastructure, not greater and greater batteries, he says. The corporate has began providing quick time period loans of typical vehicles to its EV clients who often have to journey additional than their EV can go comfortably. It has began providing that service in France and plans to broaden it to different markets as properly.
Lastly, it’s a easy case of fixing perceptions, with SUVs seemingly regarded to be more and more problematic in years to return because the local weather disaster deepens. “In case you stay in an enormous metropolis, 5 years in the past for those who drop off your children with an enormous SUV you’re a person. Now, for those who do that, you’re a ‘terrorist.’”
Citroën is bucking the development amongst different producers with its EVs. As a substitute of creating vehicles with large batteries, it’s specializing in smaller, extra environment friendly vehicles with 50 kWh battery packs or much less. Cobée doesn’t deny that there’s a threat in transferring away from the sorts of vehicles clients need now, however he suggests doing so may keep away from a bigger drawback later. “If we stick with ‘SUV bins’ till 2030 and uncover there’s no buyer, it’s going to be a tough touchdown. You don’t need to be the final one to go away the dance ground.”
The oli is probably the right distillation of the imaginative and prescient Citroën has for the way forward for mobility. Stellantis, the father or mother firm of Citroën, says in a press launch, it’s a “radical, accountable, and optimistic strategy that initiates audacious future intentions for the model.” In different phrases, it’s like each different Citroën ever made — defiantly totally different and happy with it.
Vincent Cobée says the time is true for oli. “Three societal conflicts are taking place concurrently. First is the worth of and dependence on mobility, second is financial constraints and useful resource uncertainty, and third is our rising sense of want for a accountable and optimistic future. Shoppers can sense the period of abundance could also be over and rising rules in addition to rising prices could restrict our potential to maneuver round freely. On the identical time, a rising consciousness of the necessity to speed up efforts to stop local weather change is making us extra eco-conscious and discerning.” That “finish of abundance” theme is one thing we hear lots about today however it isn’t one thing most firms discuss in public.
“Authorized and security necessities have pushed a few of this, but when the development continues and we supply on parking these automobiles 95% of every day and driving 80% of journeys with a single occupant, the battle between the necessity to shield our planet and the long run promise of sustainable, electrified mobility won’t simply be resolved,” he provides.
“Citroën believes electrification shouldn’t imply extortion and being eco-conscious shouldn’t be punitive by proscribing our mobility or making automobiles much less rewarding to stay with. We have to reverse the tendencies by making them lighter and cheaper and discover creative methods to maximise utilization and refurbish for subsequent house owners. In any other case, households received’t be capable to afford the liberty of mobility when all-electric automobiles turn into the one choice accessible to them. oli is a robust demonstration of how Citroën is confronting these conflicts head-on and with optimism.”
And other people say Elon Musk is a visionary!
Respect CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech information protection? Think about turning into a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Do not need to miss a cleantech story? Join day by day information updates from CleanTechnica on e-mail. Or observe us on Google Information!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, need to promote, or need to counsel a visitor for our CleanTech Speak podcast? Contact us right here.