Currently reading: 'Ignore EVs at your peril'
Vauxhall/Opel boss says ignoring EVs could be the downfall of European manufacturers

Europe’s car makers are in danger of abandoning the Continent’s prominent position at the cutting edge of automotive technology by ignoring electric vehicle developments.

That was the warning from Britain’s most senior car industry executive, Vauxhall/Opel boss Nick Reilly.

“I think Europe will lose its competitive edge unless we move fast to catch up on electric vehicle and battery technology,” said Reilly in an interview at the Paris motor show.

Read more on the Chevrolet Volt's clever new tech

Reilly reckons that car makers and governments need to work more closely together to develop production-ready battery technology, before Asia and the US corners the market.

“GM, for example, has its own battery design and manufacture for the Volt, but we’re in partnership with a Korean technology company for the batteries,” said Reilly.

His counterpart in China, Kevin Wale, issued a similarly stark warning in an industry speech in the UK this summer.

Wale warned that the Chinese government and car firms were working in tandem to develop EVs, partly for environmental reasons, but also because electric technology offers the easiest route to catch up with western car makers.Read Autocar's first drive of the Vauxhall Ampera

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shortbread 15 October 2010

Re: 'Ignore EVs at your peril'

This is just because the only major model development that has happened at GM is this car, and its highly overated. Eastern markets cannot fulfil their existing Electricity demands let alone supporting an electric automotive infrastructure. These cars at least have to provide the same levels of practicality and costs for them to be taken seriously. Till then it will only be the luxury of a few who are determined that electric cars will save the world.

The established car makers are taking a careful approach to sell these cars unlike china for whom make them cheap and stack them up is the only marketing philosophy involved.

Orangewheels 15 October 2010

Re: 'Ignore EVs at your peril'

There a several key pieces missing in the argument here: first that none of the car manufacturers have any direct link or personal responsibility to ensure there is enough supply available in the national grid - it's someone else's problem.

Secondly, customers again have the same mindset - only emissions produced during ownership are considered by the end user, not cradle-to-grave factors - this is general human nature and you're not going to change it. did you care how much CO2 was produced in making and shipping those cherry tomatoes you bought from Tesco when you bought them? See also how many customers think Prius are a low polluting good idea.

Third, assuming only a nationwide government re-education campaign is likely to change the above, and that would appear as politicians supporting the oil companies / shifting the blame so they don't have to build more power stations hated by Greenpeace. So which self respecting Politician is going to risk political suicide by telling everyone they should buy Petrol cars not those nice clean electric ones?

Nothing will happen until customers see real electricity shortages, then the complaints will start and something may be done, but by that point there will be so many EV's that the only option will be more power stations.

Back to the original topic of traditional manufacturers missing out - Battery manufacture is a dirty business, that is seen as best done in cheap labour countries with lax human rights / health and safety laws, so developing countries are likely to be the source of this new tech.

WooDz 15 October 2010

Re: 'Ignore EVs at your peril'

Governments seem hell bent on forcing EV's on the public even though public opinion is very much undecided. We can see the benefits of an electric propulsion system but they lack one fundamental advantage current IC-engines; an easy re-fill solution. I like the idea of electric motors but I don't want to wait 3 or 6 hours waiting to recharge. I like the idea of zero-emissions but I don't like the idea of charging from the power-grid.

If I'm going to have to have some form of EV because this is what ultimately will be the only new vehicles on offer in the future, then I want easily swappable batteries, I want a small engine/generator that burns non-fossil fuels to charge the battery. Is that too much to ask? Oh and I don't want to pay £20,000 for an EV that can only do the same job as a £10,000 normal car.

So to our governments, the EU and car manufacturers; unless you can come up with a real EV solution to replace our current forms of transport, unlike the pathetic examples you've come up with so far, and not charge what a house cost in the early 90's then you can stick this whole EV crap up your big, fat, overpaid arses.