Stefan Jacoby says hybrid solutions are the only alternative powertrain likely to achieve significant sales in the next 15 years
Jim Holder
5 February 2013

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.”

 

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Comments
20

5 February 2013

It makes me happy there are still some people with common sense left in the car industry.

 

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

6 February 2013

TegTypeR wrote:

It makes me happy there are still some people with common sense left in the car industry.

 

 

Agree!

5 February 2013

Me too, and I do not think Hydrogen fuel cell power will catch on either, irrespective of the governments newly announced foray into this technology. I suspect Renaults huge gamble with EV's will effectively bankrupt them. Audi had the right aproach by - for once - sticking to 'old' tech engines and watching the sales and profits grow......

5 February 2013

As he doesn't have to tow a company line he is free to speak more openly.  I don't think he is saying anything that others in the industry don't believe either.  From a company point of view what changes in 10-15 years and if there is a change in 10-15 years how do we best capitalise on it!  Or is this one of those 10-15 years that is 10-15 years for the next 40 years!

5 February 2013

This reminded me of an article on the BBC website.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/0/21245426

This covers why the steam engine went out of fashion in cars and given the technology we now have and a cleam sheet you would probably pick steam over ICE.  

5 February 2013

Give that man the common sense award, why are there not more like him in the industry. 

5 February 2013

Stefan Jacoby makes a valid point about hybrids achieving significant sales in the next 15 years. I agree with that. In the next few years we'll see an increasing number of car makers jumping on the bandwagon of hybridising internal combustion cars.

That will give the ICE a lease of life. But in the long term we'll have to make a switch from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy. I don't pretend to know what that's gonna be. But I do respect the car makers who're investing to bring about this change.

5 February 2013

fadyady wrote:

But I do respect the car makers who're investing to bring about this change.

quite: there is no long term future in any fossil fuel whatsoever, and if we have the technology to create, develop and improve alternatives then we should get on with it.

Of course, we are getting on with it. But part of what's making ordinary buyers nervous is the shit-or-bust strategy of companies like Renault, who genuinely seem to have bet the farm on EVs taking off in the space of just a few years. I think a lot of people are waiting to see whether they're right.

I'm pro EV but I'm not daft enough to realise that they're an illogical choice for many - perhaps even most - car buyers, particularly when they remain so expensive, and so many question marks remain over resale values, reliability and so on. They are being sold on the basis of being "green" and "economical" but the sticker price on a Nissan LEAF says otherwise, even after rebates, even after the recent price cut. It don't add up.

5 February 2013

I would've thought that the real way forward for the foreseeable future regarding performance, range and consumption are true range extenders such as Jag's XJ Limo Green Concept that was virtually production ready...

5 February 2013

spanco wrote:

I would've thought that the real way forward for the foreseeable future regarding performance, range and consumption are true range extenders such as Jag's XJ Limo Green Concept that was virtually production ready...

I think the way forward is the plug in hybrid like the Volvo V60, coupled with a decent diesel engine, there doesnt appear to be any disadvantages except the price, that will eventually fall anyway.

 

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