On our Facebook page, some of our followers invariably react negatively to messages about electric cars. Not infrequently we come across posts along the lines of 'we do electric driving at the fair' and 'there is nothing like a big diesel'. If we look at the plans of the various car manufacturers, these inveterate enthusiasts of the combustion engine will have a hard time in the coming decades ...
The premium brand of the Volkswagen group will stop using combustion engines within five years. That is, with its development and introduction. From 2033, Audi aims to stop building petrol and diesel engines. But the brand does have one caveat: "The exact timing of stopping the combustion engine at Audi is ultimately determined by customers and legislation," according to a recent press release. However, the manufacturer expects demand for traditional powertrains in China to continue beyond 2033. "It is therefore conceivable that models with locally produced combustion engines will be offered there."
Audi's elite brother will start later with EVs, but the ambitions stretch further. In its own words, Bentley will present its first fully electric model in 2025, only to stop using combustion engines five years later. There is already a hybrid version of the Bentley Bentayga and a number of other models will also receive such an electrified powertrain. But if we are to believe the British, those models will not have a long production life.
Fiat was pretty late with the electric 500e, but the Italians seem to be planning to start a big catch-up race. They want to gradually make the model range fully electric between 2025 and 2030. The question is whether that is the intention worldwide. Because in South America, where Fiat is especially big in Brazil, we don't see it going that fast. In the important home market that is a different story, at least from 2040, because then Italy wants to ban the combustion engine.
Many brands have different sustainability strategies for different markets. So is Ford. From 2026, every Ford must be able to drive emission-free, the brand has stated, even if only partly. This probably means that from that year on, only (plug) hybrids and EVs will be produced. By 2030, Ford wants to sell only fully electric cars in Europe. The Ford Mustang Mach-E will therefore have a lot of brothers in the coming years.
Honda is less ambitious with its electrification plans than many other brands. We can also well imagine that it hurts Honda to say goodbye to the many engine innovations they have come up with over the years. Nevertheless, the new CEO of the brand, Toshihiro Mibe, has already mentioned a death date for the classic combustion engine. By 2040, not a single Honda will be built that says 'broom' or has an exhaust.
With the ambitious plans of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in mind, it is no surprise that Jaguar wants to speed up the electrification of its model range. From 2025, the brand will only build electric cars. But the ambitions go further: Jaguar wants to look higher and no longer compete with Audi and BMW, but with compatriot Bentley. We are curious ...
Compared to mother BMW (see below), Mini's electrification plans are quite concrete. The quintessential lifestyle brand has announced that it will gradually turn its back on fossil fuels from 2025. That year, the last new model with combustion engine is introduced. From 2030, at Mini it will be purely electricity that counts. The Mini Electric is of course already a fact and the Mini Urbanaut shows what the future may look like.
With the Leaf, Nissan pioneered an electric car for the common man. At the moment, the brand seems to have built up a bit of a restraining lead. That will come to an end with the Nissan Ariya, which will finally hit the market in 2022. The Japanese have announced that all their models for the European, Japanese, Chinese and American markets will have an electrified powertrain by 2030. But whether this means that Nissan only sells fully electric cars in those countries is unclear. The new Qashqai e-Power, for example, also has a petrol engine on board. Nissan does report that the entire fleet must be CO2 neutral by 2050.
Volkswagen is one of the few brands that gives concrete defined deadlines for its transition to a fully electric range. By 2025, 32 percent of Volkswagen models should be fully electric, and five years later this should have more than doubled to 70 percent. Only in 2040 does the German volume brand foresee that its portfolio will consist of purely EVs. There is one big but: all percentages apply to cars on the European market ...
The Swedes like to present themselves as an environmentally conscious people. The only remaining major Swedish car manufacturer emphatically agrees. Volvo does not miss an opportunity to indicate that all its models will be electric by 2030. Without ifs and buts. The preview of the Volvo Concept Recharge already gives a fairly concrete glimpse of what that future looks like.
Several well-known brands have indicated that they are not 'finished' yet. They have their own reasons for that.
According to BMW CEO Manfred Schoch, the car industry is far from ready to switch to fully electric cars en masse. In addition, there will still be a lot of demand worldwide for cars with a combustion engine in the coming years, according to Schoch. Those are quite remarkable views for a brand that was there early with the electric i3.
Ola Källenius may be a Swede, but as CEO of Mercedes he is not ahead of the electric troops. According to him, it is simply an economic necessity to sell petrol and diesel models. The revenues from cars with traditional technology should pay for the development of electric cars. Mercedes aims for a CO2-neutral fleet by 2039, but the brand probably wants to achieve that partly with (plug) hybrids.
Unlike competitor Bentley, Rolls-Royce is not too fond of electric cars. The noble brand claims that the clientele is not waiting for EVs. The very rich in the US, China, Russia and the Arab world just want a V12 in their Rolls. It doesn't matter what the gas costs. And the environment? Well, those are 'green things along the road'. But would the customers in the home market feel the same way? Boris Johnson certainly isn't. Well, of course he drives 'only' Jaguar.
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