Weekly News Review | 3 January 2017 | Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain

Talking Point

Automakers pressured to leave range anxiety in 2016

A new start is upon us. 2016 was flooded by innovations that impacted the entire automotive industry, such as autonomous software, the car-sharing boom and the development of alternative fuels. One could argue that this has been the best year for the automotive world in the last decade, setting the foundations for the next five to ten years of accelerated growth through advanced technologies and new ideas. However, the aggravating issue of EV range anxiety continues to loom over us all, despite automakers promising us that these vehicles would soon be a common sight on our roads. With EVs still falling short of the targeted 300 mile mark, which would persuade consumers to make the switch from internal combustion engines, automakers are under increasing pressure to improve their electric powertrains to lead the pack. Until this improves, many will still refuse to give up their more accommodating petrol-powered vehicles.

A few automakers stated that they were hitting this desired mark, however people soon discovered that this was only possible on a dry summer's day, without the use of necessities such as the heater, the radio and headlights. Staggeringly, using these accessories, fairly popular in the UK with its inclement weather, can almost halve the available range, which would make a customer feel cheated by the maker of his expensive purchase.

On the other hand, 2016 saw a number of automakers teaming up with prolific battery manufacturers like LG Chem, which will significantly improve efficiency over time. In addition to this, many automakers significantly updated existing models which also helped raise the status of EVs. So, 2017 could finally be the year that EVs obtain a significant chunk of the automotive market, especially after diesel’s horrendous year. Now we must see whether EVs will be here for good, or if they will just fill the void before the arrival of advanced, cost effective and superior ranged fuel cell vehicles.

Alex Kreetzer

Alex Kreetzer - News Editor

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