Vincent Cobée, the current CEO of the French vehicle manufacturer, recently made some statements that sparked heated debate on the internet and in the automotive community. The Citroen CEO believes that, despite their current popularity, beloved SUVs are not the future of mobility and will soon become extinct. He also shared his thoughts on why he believes SUVs are on their way out.
On the surface, these words may appear absurd, but in order to reach this conclusion, we must first comprehend what he truly means. So, to understand where he’s coming from, let’s deconstruct his remarks about why he believes manufacturers around the world will stop building SUVs.
Transition to Electric Vehicles
Because of the rapid shift to electric, conventionally built SUVs, according to Cobée, will no longer be produced. According to him, the aerodynamics of a car will be given greater care, and “anything high or squarish” will most likely not be as efficient with range. He went on to remark that the transition to EVs will usher in a new era known as the “post-SUV world.”
He added that automakers may easily enlarge the fuel tank on SUVs powered by internal combustion engines to provide extra range. In the case of EVs, however, this is just not possible. As a result, manufacturers will have to say goodbye to large SUVs in the future in order to attain more range and performance.
Higher Weight Problem
Cobée further stated that the added weight will make producing EVs in SUV classes more more difficult. He remarked that while reducing the weight of an EV may increase its range, this is easier said than done. A low-slung aerodynamic vehicle, on the other hand, is much easier to build. He meant that, rather than focusing just on reducing the weight of boxy SUVs, automakers may begin to consider designing cars that sit lower and are more aerodynamic in the near future. He went on to say that improving an EV’s aerodynamics or engine efficiency has a considerably greater impact on its range than simply lowering its weight.
Government rules and regulations
In an interview with Autocar UK, Citroen’s CEO warned that governments around the world will soon impose vehicle taxation laws that would penalise heavier and larger automobiles, threatening the marketability of SUVs even further. The CEO added that he is confident that in the future, there will be a rule or an incentive to lower weights and sizes. When automakers choose to build vehicles weighing less than 2 tonnes and with batteries weighing less than 60-70 kWh, the SUV body type will suffer significantly.
What we Think
Although the words may appear to be a little contentious, given the market’s current love of SUVs, we believe the Citroen CEO’s points make a lot of sense. Producing SUVs will not make sense if global manufacturers truly want to push for EVs in the future. However, we predict that SUVs will remain in the market for the foreseeable future and will continue to be the most popular segment choice.