Pure electric vehicles will not become mainstream sellers within the next 15 years, according to former Volvo boss Stefan Jacoby.
“I have made myself unpopular before by saying this, but I do not believe they have a mainstream application in the foreseeable future,” said Jacoby, who left Volvo late last year and is currently pursuing other opportunities in the automotive sector.
“The reasons are clear: the price, the uncertainty of what happens to the batteries as they lose charge-holding capacity and the emotional distrust of a car that can leave you stranded on a highway in traffic and 40-degree heat are all problems.
“Think how you feel when your mobile phone runs out of charge and there’s nothing you can do – the feeling of sitting in a car that has run out of charge would be much worse.”
Jacoby added that electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, would likely only thrive in niche areas of society. “Some countries have adopted them energetically, and legislation means that some niche applications will take off, such as with short distance taxis, but overall I do not believe electric vehicles will have a role in the next 10-15 years.
“Instead, I believe we’ll see hybrid vehicles dominating in different forms. Today an 89g/km car is a reality without much assistance, and that would have been thought impossible even five years ago. The industry is pushing improvements that are affordable and convenient, and that is how I see the future of electric cars developing.”