Affordable EVs: the last piece of the puzzle
Will the transition to electric be Chinese? To some extent, it already is. The Chinese uptake of EVs has debuted early and will be reaching 20% of total car sales by 2022. The Chinese, in the meanwhile, have the most experience in building EVs, have successfully implemented incentivation programs and are investing massively in charging and manufacturing.
Western manufacturers are following suit, and doing a good job at it, but there’s an undeniable lag compared to what Chinese manufacturers are achieving.
And exactly that lag is becoming even bigger. Europe’s cheapest EV is the Dacia Spring, priced around 17.000 Euro (Belgian price for reference). The Dacia is a typical city car that offers a 230km range, not very big, but it does the job. For many people however, 17.000 Euro is still a lot of money and the Dacia buyer is pragmatic and looks for the best value/money ratio – a brand image that does not appeal to all consumers.
It is totally understandable if “Geometry EX3” this does not ring a bell at all. Geometry is Geely’s Chinese brand name. For information, Geely owns Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lynk & Co and the London Taxi Cab Company. The EX3 is a compact (4-meter-long) SUV that sits 5 people, has a 37.2 kWh battery and a range of 322 km NEDC.
And here comes the surprise: the EX3 is sold for EUR 7.900 or less than half the price of the Dacia. Geely says that the car will be exported “in due course.”
The majority of consumers are not in the market for a EUR 50.000 Tesla Model 3 and are looking for vehicles that are practical, suitable for their family needs and reasonably priced. At this point in time, no EV corresponds to that “fit for most” point of offering. In addition, the majority of consumers have other things on their mind than electrification.
Bringing EVs to market that appeal from both a pricing and convenience perspective, without delivering a sentiment of “downgrade” compared to a (second hand) ICE vehicle, is the missing piece of the puzzle for a successful EV transition. And if the Chinese manufacturers can deliver this…
Picture courtesy of Geely Global Media Center