With the world rapidly moving towards electric vehicles, a segment of the market is holding steady until there are improvements in battery technology and infrastructure.
Talking to auto expert at the premiere of New AmarokPeter Sulc, Volkswagen’s global product manager for commercial vehicles, said there are hurdles to overcome before electric vehicles are truly ubiquitous.
He drove a Volkswagen ID.4 to determine the performance impact of different weather conditions on battery performance. And it’s the winter equation that makes purely electric technology unlikely to work for a dark horse like Amarok right now.
“You really see the complete difference between summer and winter. And I personally brought this up internally – city people wanted to come and have some picnics here. [in reference to the winery we visited] and then standing next to a very nice car… it was somewhere near the charger and they were happy.
“But I still don’t see the time as in the next two or three years, so if you ask me, I’ll see somewhere in the second half of the decade.”
So while VW has committed to electrifying its Ford-based dual-cab, it likely won’t be for at least another three years or so.
When asked specifically what barriers are slowing the development of battery-powered dual taxis, Sulc went on to talk about both infrastructure and battery technology.
“I don’t know what the situation is like in Australia [in reference to charging infrastructure]. You can see we have good infrastructure in Germany, but the situation in Germany is not the same as in the UK where it is horrible.
“So if you go somewhere and you see that you have a distance of 20 km and you see where your navigation is taking you when you get there and then it doesn’t work… then this is the problem.
“And the European Union says there is indeed a mandate to double or triple the infrastructure, but it will also come around 2027.
“So it’s going to be exactly like this, with the combination of a new level of battery that you can put it into mass production, and not just [for] who are coming here for a picnic.
Mr. Sulc also highlighted the impact that rapid advancements can have on the rest of current generation technologies.
“The problem with BEVs is the residual value of the car [resale value] not so high as you get with ICE [internal combustion cars] because new cars, new batteries, much cheaper,” he said.
“So you are losing value completely. Because we can do very well with ICE right now because if I buy a Tiguan or a Golf, I can sell it in two or three years and I will lose 10% or 15%.
“But if I do this with a new Amarok [battery electric version] then I can sell it for two years at a 50% discount. And the new one will be 30% cheaper [due to enhancements in battery technology]. And this is exactly the problem [with] business case,” added Sulc.
When brand like LDV rushed to market electric dual taxis in Australia, their extremely high cost, poor towing capacity and poor range made them unviable for most consumers using their vehicles. they are like horses.
Cost to produce the battery is also increasingThis is likely to affect the cost of electric vehicles in the short and medium term.
Volkswagen and Ford’s strategy will see an all-electric Amarok and Ranger hit the market as battery prices stabilize and the technology is advanced enough to make an all-electric ute capable of driving. usable for the intended market.
When asked if Amarok will share its EV components with Ranger, Sulc confirmed that both brands will share components to take advantage of economies of scale.