With the exception of a few markets around the world, SUVs and crossovers are now one of the dominant vehicle segments. Like it or not, these modern utilities generate huge profits for automakers, and to a certain extent, they are the cash cows that allow models like the Porsche 911 and Toyota Supra to exist. However, according to a high-ranking executive from the auto industry, the days of sport utility vehicles are numbered in the new era of electric and fully electric vehicles.
Auto Express recently had the opportunity to chat with Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee during the UK launch of the new Citroen C4 X. What Cobee told the online publication sounds pretty radical to us considering the current market share for crossovers and SUVs. “The SUV world is finished,” said Cobee but to be honest, we’ve reached a point where we can’t even imagine a world without a new SUV. Cobee at least admits that “the numbers don’t tell me I’m right” at this point.
So, what is the reason for the CEO’s prediction? SUVs just aren’t aerodynamic enough and with the growing aerodynamic requirements for EVs, these generally bigger and less streamlined machines could be a dying breed. “On a battery EV, if you get your aerodynamics wrong, the penalty in terms of reach is huge. You can lose 50 kilometers between good and bad aero, and between SUV and sedan you’re talking 60/70/80 kilometers very easily,” Cobee sums up.
But there are other reasons too. SUVs are generally much heavier than hatchbacks, sedans or even station wagons. And heavier means more resources needed for vehicle production. And when you add that larger SUVs need bigger batteries to provide adequate range compared to lighter vehicles, the situation looks even worse, Cobee said. Limitations in terms of battery size and vehicle weight will also be present in the future. “People will start limiting the weight and size of batteries, whether through taxes, through incentives, through regulation, through naming and shaming,” added the Citroen CEO.
Don’t get me wrong – we understand everyone who buys an SUV. But we believe the world will be a better place with less. And if Cobee’s words are any indication of what the future holds, we can’t wait to be a part of that future.