This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of BMW's plug-in hybrid ambitions, Kia's Kia Rio GT, complications of PCP deals, the future of hydrogen power and Mazda outlines the hardest part of creating an EV.
BMW's plug-in hybrid and electric ambitions
BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson expects the company to sell 100,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles this year. That’s the same number it has sold overall since the BMW i3 went on sale in 2014. He put the growth down to the increasing popularity of the technology and the wider choice of models on sale.
Read more: BMW i3 review, BMW readies radical battery technology for 2026 launch
Kia's Rio gets a hot hatch makeover
Kia will reveal its Rio GT hot hatch in 2021, when the just-launched fourthgeneration car will be due a facelift. Kia’s Ford Fiesta ST rival has been rumoured for some time, but other projects, including the Stinger sports saloon and an upcoming B-segment SUV, have taken priority.
Monthly cost or the list price?
List prices of cars are almost becoming irrelevant due to the popularity of PCP deals, according to a senior UK executive. They said the monthly cost was now by far the most important factor in determining a car’s true cost to the consumer.
The future of hydrogen power
Hydrogen will eventually become a big-selling fuel type, almost as popular as petrol, according to Hyundai UK boss Tony Whitehorn. He believes fuel cell powertrains will one day be as ubiquitous on cars as sunroofs or sat-navs.
The problems when creating an EV
Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara has revealed that the most complex part of developing EVs is making the power management systems that control the batteries communicate with the car. He pointed to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and its tendency to catch fire as evidence of how badly it can be if you get it wrong.