SUVs may dominate all markets around the world these days, but their days seem to be numbered.
It was and remains one of the biggest changes for sure the most important automotive trend in the last – at least – decade. The reason for SUVs which dominate everywhere on the planet, being the best-selling car category in every market.
The arrival of electrification, however, seems to be an occasion for changing this whole situation. And this comes from the lips of a competent person, of Citroen boss Vincent Cobée.
Cobée in an interview stated that the main reason the SUV dynasty is coming to an end is the poor aerodynamics of their tall bodies. And this is because low aerodynamic resistance is a critical factor for the performance and autonomy of electric cars.
He believes that fitting larger batteries to electric SUVs to remain competitive in terms of range is not the answer, as it will make them even heavier and more difficult to drive.
Cobée points out that in electric cars, if the aerodynamics are wrong, the impact on autonomy is very large. Over 50 kilometers can be lost between two identical vehicles but with different aerodynamic design, while between an SUV and a sedan the difference can easily reach up to 80 kilometers.
Cobée also addressed the issue of weight, which has skyrocketed with electrics. France intends to introduce taxation based on weight as well, and so the combination with poor aerodynamics, potentially leading to the end of SUV dominance.
As Cobée observed there is the following absurdity. Tin 1970 cars weighed 700 kg. Today an average car weighs 1,300 kg. Tomorrow’s electric cars will exceed 2 tons. I mean we need three times as much energy to do the same job, just to say we are ecologically correct.
Her boss Citroën argues that instead of making the batteries bigger, it would be better let’s deal with faster charging. This explains why Citroen insists on batteries around 50 kWh or less.
He places the end of SUVs towards the end of the decade. And he believes that it would be good for companies to start adapting to the new data. The question is whether consumers will follow, who have become comfortable with the SUV fashion and will hardly return to more rational proposals and categories.
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