When potential new car customers were interviewed they all shared a common goal for their next purchase and that was efficiency. Today we are witnessing a joint goal between individuals that demand efficiency due to the environmental aspects and the individuals that simply want to save at the pumps. After fuel prices spiked we watched as auto manufacturers quickly retooled and redesigned with efficiency in mind. Now we are reaping all the benefits of the 4 to 5 year funnel that new cars take to get to dealerships. The oil prices spiking was the shock that many individuals needed to wake up and demand a more efficient vehicle but as fuel prices fall once again many loose that incentive.
What is interesting is that manufacturers such as Ford let their engineers run wild when it came to engine design and overall efficient technology and as a result helped in the production of more energy out of each ounce of fuel. Through direct injection, CVT transmission, lower drag coefficients and turbo charging we see companies are delivering more efficient models. Sure these are not free of emissions but we are witnessing a shift in industry dynamics and this is certainly big.
With auto manufacturers seeing the awakening of many customers and how lifestyles and vehicle choices add up to saved carbon emissions means that we will see more models using a hybrid or full EV powertrain. We are in a sort of energy renaissance and it is happening because of customer demand. With new vehicles coming out such as the Honda Fit EV that are showing improved charging times as well as distance capabilities means that more individuals will start to accept the technology. Too many individuals will continue to sit on the fence when it comes to the acceptance of new technology so it is up to brave individuals that can cope with some shortcomings of the technology. This intern will continue the advancements from the auto industry and especially if auto manufacturers can see a profit in the future. The automotive market is now incredibly competitive and if they sense a niche in EV’s then they are going to have a production paradigm shift.
Through competition we are seeing companies like Hyundai place a lifetime warranty on their Sonata hybrid batteries in order to compete with other hybrids. Although this is a sales tactic is also helps bring in the customer that is hesitant to purchase a hybrid because of fear of a costly battery failure.
What is so incredible is the evolution of the technology being used, especially when it comes to battery technology. We see billion dollar contracts with battery manufacturers such as Panasonic and joint developments with auto manufacturers such as Tesla and Toyota. With as many electronics and now vehicles that can benefit from more efficient batteries equals big business for companies and universities that can develop and pioneer new technologies.
Something that has simply amazed me is the performance EV’s and Hybrids that are being built from everyone from small shed weekend warriors to companies such as Tesla and BMW. The same goes for luxury manufacturers such as Tesla and Fisker that are making some of the best looking vehicles in the entire market not to mention EV’s. It shows that you really don’t have to sacrifice beauty and luxury for some quirky EV.
Thanks to individuals around the world that have the foresight and common sense to see that we need change, we are now watching as even my fellow Americans are changing lifestyles in order to benefit more than just ourselves. It’s pretty incredible and glad to be a part of it.