Which is wiser: creating a brand-new electric model or adding an electric powertrain to an existing one?
Car makers are slowly but surely outlining their electric vehicle strategies.
Most interesting is the divergence between those favouring an electric-only range of cars and those opting to incorporate electric powertrains into existing models.
Volkswagen‘s onslaught of ID electric concepts shows its commitment to throwing everything at an electric-only architecture on which it will base a family of all-electric models.
At the other end of the spectrum are brands such as Citroën. Its boss, Linda Jackson, recently told Autocar that its electric plans — including an all-new EV due in 2020 — would be incorporated into existing models rather than standalone versions.
Which is wisest? The use of a single electric platform must make engineering infinitely easier, rather than heavily adapting existing architectures. But the obvious upside of offering electric variants of existing models is the equity of that model’s name. Aren’t you much more likely to buy a well-regarded model that just happens to have an electric powertrain rather than an unknown?
BMW pioneered EVs with its i brand, but it is now wising up to keeping all of its options open — surely the quickest path to electric sales success.