As countries move to a green economy, car makers recognise that future profits can be made through the production of electric vehicles (EVs) with low environmental impact.
However, the take-up of EVs by consumers has so far been frustratingly slow. Popular concerns – many of them unfounded – about EVs’ limited range, high running costs and lack of a reliable charging infrastructure mean many consumers have given a cool response to manufacturers’ best efforts so far. There is a widespread belief that EVs are all about reason and sacrifice, rather than performance, passion and fun.
By combining their respective technological strengths through high-profile collaborations, car makers can produce high-performance, desirable cars that challenge popular misconceptions about EVs and open up the market to a lucrative new consumer base.
Sharing expertise to improve performance
Collaboration between car makers enables them to share their knowledge and, in so doing, develop exciting new concepts. The announcement by BMW and Toyota that they plan to work together on sports-car and EV technology is a good example. The two manufacturers will play to each other’s strengths in developing low impact vehicles: Toyota excels in battery know-how and hybrids, while BMW’s expertise in this area lies in light-weight technologies and electric vehicles. By bringing light-weight and EV technology from BMW’s i8 sports car and combining it with Toyota’s insight into the architecture and components used for powertrain electrification, the two manufacturers are well positioned to develop an innovative electric sports car.
Challenging assumed thinking about EVs
Developing high-performance EVs is about more than just improving power, ride, and handling. Next generation electric sports cars, such as those produced by BMW and Toyota in collaboration, have the potential to transform EVs’ image and make them aspirational products. By creating a new consumer base for EVs, car makers can persuade consumers to reconsider their preconceptions about electric vehicles and thereby kick-start the growth of the EV market.
Creating new opportunities through connectivity in EVs
As technology evolves, enhanced connectivity allows for the development of vehicles that are connected to communication and energy networks. By working together, car, transport and energy companies can exploit these technological advances to develop innovative features that will differentiate EVs in the automotive market. For example, EVs could be equipped with smart energy devices and be linked up to the grid and the cloud to benefit from autonomous service and maintenance as well as tailored smart interfaces, scheduling and social networks.
PA Consulting Group is working with car and engine manufacturers and facilitating collaboration to develop the vehicles of the future. This includes working with Magna Steyr to reduce production costs for a lithium-ion battery which reduces emissions from vehicles, and meet the target price agreed with the customer.
To find out how we can work with your business to win new customers for electric vehicles, please contact us now.