Here PDL AE rant of the week. www.autoextremist.com
We’ve reached the point in this young year where everything is in play. Assumptions are worthless, gut feelings are suspect, at best, and a cloud of doubt hangs over everything.
What, you might ask? You mean the best and brightest who are hard at work on the future of this business have doubts? Yes, even the True Believers who are swelled with confidence from previous product successes have doubts. Every day, in fact. That’s why they question things every step of the way, and it’s because they’ve come to understand that hard-won assumptions learned from previous projects don’t always apply. Especially in this “Grand Transition” to electrification.
This cloud of doubt even hangs over the readers of this website. As highly knowledgeable enthusiasts and automotive consumers of all stripes and passions, the doubt plainly oozes from the emails we receive. As in, a majority of them are not buying this transition to electrification one bit. Oh, it sounds good for quite a few of them – at least on paper – and the environmental benefits are clearly understood and embraced, but the practical realities of EV ownership are simply not showing up on their radar screens (except for the Tesla zealots, of course).
And even though my acquisition of a Chevrolet Bolt several months ago has allowed me to learn about – and embrace – the positives of EV driving and ownership, I understand where the negative perceptions about electrification are coming from, to a point. But beyond range anxiety – which with every new EV that arrives in-market is frankly a moot point, especially in the urban environment – and the perceived challenges of charging (which is rapidly improving by the day), what else is there?
Price? Yes, Tesla put paid to the notion that EVs are affordable early on, because of the high price points of its Model S and X models. But even though the Model 3 and the Model Y can still be pricey when optioned-up, price really isn’t the factor it used to be for that manufacturer. And even though the new Ford EV crossover* can be optioned-up to be considered “pricey,” at least its base price is realistic. (*We refuse to call it by its given name. Not sorry. -WG)
And GM is doing its part by strategically cutting the price of its revamped 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and new Bolt EUV as well. Although our readers have weighed in with disappointment that GM didn’t go far enough with the design changes on the Bolt – a recurring criticism – the value of these excellent EVs is undeniable, especially in the larger scheme of things. Yes, manufacturers are rolling out pricey, “show pony” EVs at a prodigious rate to grab attention and headlines, but as EV technology becomes mainstream, the manufacturing efficiency will accelerate, and EVs will become competitive in all segments, price-wise.
It seems that every day now we’re seeing a manufacturer announce its definitive commitment to EVs. GM and VW have already come out swinging with very aggressive plans for an all-electric future across all of their various divisions. This is very real, folks. I keep saying that, but judging by comments from our readers they’re refusing to believe it. The latest manufacturer to go “all-in” on EVs? None other than Jaguar, which announced it will be an all-electric brand by 2025. And Land Rover will follow suit by 2030. Other manufacturers from around the world are offering new EVs seemingly every quarter, so again, this “Grand Transition” to EVs is picking up speed.