The future of urban mobility is unquestionably electric, and we have a pretty clear roadmap of what the future looks like.
The world is currently morphing. We’re aware that the roads of fuel will sooner or later lead to a dead-end. Hence, we’re taking the electric path. Reluctant, for sure, this is undoubtedly new territory for every petrolhead. However, we’re eager to know how green the grass is on the other side. This transition isn’t just an evolution, but a revolution — a sharp right turn towards a sustainable future. And we agree, even though batteries used in EVs today can be harmful, they’re still causing less damage to the environment than petrol and diesel guzzlers.
We’re taking a drive on the sustainable road of electric cars to understand the near future of electric cars. While so, we’re also going to be answering a few common questions — Which brands lead the race today? Which models lead regional markets? What does ‘electric luxury’ look like? And well, how fast will electric hyper-cars go?
Where the world stands today
This is a worldwide affair; UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to ban the sale of all new non-electric cars by 2030. So what happens to the market? In a report by BNNF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance), 58% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will be electric models, and that’s the majority chunk of the market. While that’s talk from governments and markets, what about the circle of automakers who make these cars? Jaguar Land Rover’s Jaguar is checking to go fully electric by 2025, followed by Land Rover getting a 100% electric line-up five years later. They’ve even started to spend £2.5 billion every year on developing newer tech. In 2022, Mercedes-Benz said it’ll be bringing forth 10 new EVs through its EQ brand.
While new models will come into the picture, let’s not forget that the classics are being sustainably reinvented, too. The Ford Mustang Mach-E, the quintessential American muscle car, turned electric. So did the Mini Cooper, getting its ‘SE’ badge in 2019. Don’t forget the electric return of the Hummer.
Where does India stand today?
India’s electric story is slightly different compared to the rest. There are two big hurdles. First, having adequate charging infrastructure and second, the reluctance to switch electric. But yes, a few strides in this affair have already happened. Back in November, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stated that they’re working on installing e-charging kiosks at around 69,000 petrol pumps across the country.
While so, brands too are placing their chips on the table and introducing electric variants, hybrids, and more to Indian streets. Volvo recently introduced the all-electric XC-40, the Jaguar I-Pace is on its way, the Merc EQC has arrived, and many more options have flooded the market. However, you might be wondering, do you need to go luxury to own an electric? Well no, we already have the Hyundai Kona, the Tata Altroz EV, the Mahindra eXUV300, and more. Which gets us to say, the electric switch doesn’t need to be too expensive.
The automakers ruling the game
The top of the food chain is undoubtedly Tesla, making a grand debut in India very soon. Once they enter, the floodgates for more electric vehicles and competitors will open. After them, in the luxury sector, there’s Mercedes and JLR that are taking this very seriously. As stated before, they’ve recognized the future and have big plans.
We’re also expecting non-car makers to enter the market. At CES 2020, Sony came forth with their Vision-S. Recently Apple also decided to enter the smart electric car market; we did a full report. In India, more commercial brands like Hyundai or Honda will thrive, whereas, in the US, there’s already a market dominance by Toyota, Tesla, and Nissan. In the UK, Porsche, VW, and Volvo have a higher market stake, all being European market leaders.
What electric supercars and luxury cruisers will look like tomorrow
Now let’s talk about how extravagant things are [already] getting. Before we talk about the two sides — supercar and luxury — let’s explore what they have in common. First, intelligent driving. I mean, we’re going electric, so we might as well get a better AI, right? This is something we’ll see in terms of self-driving abilities, parking, collision detection, and even anticipating road conditions. Technologies have been put in place where cars will also be able to connect and function much like a hive mind, eliminating road errors. For supercars, I think McLaren takes the crown for the Speedtail. We also see Audi create a wave with their E-Tron GT and BMW’s I division, which will also be a major player tomorrow in both fields. Let’s not forget the Tesla Roadster and the Pininfarina Battista.
In the premium department, however, things are very different. We have the Porsche Taycan, the Cadillac Celestiq, the upcoming Jaguar XJ EV and more from BMW and Mercedes. There’s also a special section where cars like the Hummer EV and the Tesla Cybertruck fit.
However, the future of luxury is still unclear, but three concepts have our attention. First, the Bentley EXP 100 GT, which was a present from the brand to the world marking their 100th anniversary. The car isn’t only electric but also built sustainably inside out. This is what the brand envisions grand touring to look like in 2035. Second, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 or the 103 EX; it is a car built for the future. It’ll the pinnacle of automobile extravagance in the year 2035. And finally, the Mercedes Maybach Vision 6, which would come sooner than the other two.
All images: Courtesy brands