Automotive industry debates EV challenges at EurotaxGlass’s event
The event, which is held annually, took place this year at Seeheim, near Frankfurt and saw more than 70 experts from all parts of the automotive industry in attendance, including representatives from the world’s major car manufacturers and fleet operators.
While it is increasingly apparent that EVs are here to say – market outlooks are already predicting that EVs could hold a market share of more than 10% in Western Europe by 2020 – the debates held at the EurotaxGlass’s event shows that there are still some challenges to face, including the issues of higher list prices, uncertainty around battery longevity and lower annual mileages.
Steffen Schick, managing director global services at EurotaxGlass’s, commented: ‘One way out of this dilemma is to offer government subsidies, but they are not going to last forever. Manufacturers need to quickly generate scale efficiencies to reduce cost. In addition manufacturers should offer piece of mind related to battery quality and longevity. For example, by offering vastly extended warranties on the battery or by choosing business models which associate the entire battery technology risk with the manufacturer (rent the battery).’
He added: ‘Lastly, longer holding periods and higher mileages should be encouraged. This way the true advantage of an EV (much lower running costs vs. traditional powertrain types) can begin to compensate higher value depreciation.’
However, he highlighted that battery prices are expected to reduce over the coming years, with some suggesting that a 50% reduction in cost per kWh could be possible by 2020 (although some of this reduction would be taken towards range extension).
He concluded: ‘As a society we are moving towards implementing a green agenda and becoming more sustainable, and so it is only natural that investment into the further development of EVs will come. Perhaps EVs will play their part without dominating the entire market. On-road testing and real-life performance is what will finally determine the full potential of the Electric Vehicle.’