The real electric revolution is yet to come, at least according to the promises of European automakers. New platforms, more economical engines and more compact batteries will come. However, some of them do not want to rush the transition to electricity and expect that internal combustion engines will remain on offer for at least another twelve years.
While politicians have planned the end of internal combustion cars for 2035, many European automakers do not want to wait that long. For example, Fiat wants to be a purely electric brand as early as 2027, a year later it intends to add Citroën and Opel. Ford, Renault, Volvo, Mercedes and even Rolls-Royce are to follow in 2030. However, manufacturers suspect that a lot has to change by then. Both in technology and in prices.
At the same time, the year 2025 is supposed to be a turning point, when a whole range of new products will arrive on the market. Some of them promise a low price, such as the Volkswagen 2all or the Renault 5. Others are new platforms that aim to reduce fuel consumption and increase range.
For example, Mercedes will introduce the new MMA platform for compact models next year. Although it still allows the installation of an internal combustion engine, its design is primarily aimed at electric cars. Markus Schäfer, head of development at the Stuttgart brand, promises significantly less energy consumption from the new platform. As the German weekly Automobilwoche reports, thanks to the new design of the battery cells and their chemical composition, the new generation of traction batteries can be half the size and two-thirds lighter than the current EQS class.
Only a little later, the MB.EA platform for larger models will follow, the construction of which will also allow the construction of sports models of the AMG division. In addition, powerful Mercedes cars are to receive engines of a new design with axial magnetic flux, which the car company is developing together with the British specialist Yasa.
While some automakers’ stance on electromobility seems unwavering, others are leaving the back door open. Škoda’s plans assume that in 2030 electric cars will make up the majority. But the Romanian Dacia has already made it known that it will keep the production of internal combustion cars until their administrative end.
Probably the most challenging path to the electric future was chosen by BMW. Its boss, Oliver Zipse, recently declared the automaker’s readiness to have at least one “uncompromisingly electric, digital and circular” model for the vast majority of its model lines by 2030. However, the German daily Handelsblatt came with information that in Munich they do not want to get rid of combustion engines right away. It is said that gasoline and diesels will remain in the car company’s offer “well into the 30s”, even on newly planned platforms.
Unlike the competition, BMW is planning further development of four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. In the background of this “dual strategy” is an uncertain forecast of what type of drive customers will prefer in the next twelve years. Unlike other car manufacturers, BMW also relies on synthetic fuels. “I very much agree with colleagues who support it. If only because our engines are ready for synthetic fuels,” Zipse said at the March balance sheet conference. BMW will thus keep the back door open to the offer of combustion engines even after 2035. However, experts often doubt that such fuels could be produced at a price that consumers would be willing to accept.
For example, the German Frauenhofer Institute produced a study according to which energy losses for fuel conversion are up to five times higher than if the electricity were used directly in a battery car. The study assumes that the cost of producing one liter of synthetic fuel could reach 1.20 to 3.60 euros in 2050, i.e. roughly 28 to 86 crowns. And that’s without taxes, shipping costs and merchants’ margin. For comparison: the price per liter of fossil fuels net of taxes and duties is currently around fifteen crowns.
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