With the exception of a few markets worldwide, SUVs and crossovers are now among the dominant vehicle segments. Like it or not, these modern utilities bring huge profits to automakers and are, in a sense, the cash cows that allow models like the Porsche 911 and Toyota Supra to continue to exist. However, in the new era of electrified and all-electric vehicles, the days of sport utility vehicles are numbered, according to a senior auto industry executive.
AutoExpress recently had the opportunity to chat with citroen Chief Executive Officer Vincent Cobee during the UK launch of the new Citroen C4 X. What Cobee told the online publication sounds pretty radical to us given the current crossover and SUV market share. “The world of SUVs is finished,” Cobee said, but honestly we’ve reached the point where we can’t even imagine a world without new SUVs. At the very least, Cobee admitted that the “numbers don’t tell me right now that I’m right.”
So what’s the rationale for the CEO’s prediction? The SUVs just aren’t aerodynamic enough, and with the growing aerodynamic demands on electric vehicles, these generally larger and less streamlined machines could become a dying breed. “With a battery-powered electric vehicle, the range is massively reduced if the aerodynamics are not right. You can lose 50 kilometers between good and bad aero, and between an SUV and a sedan you are very easily talking 60/70/80 kilometers,” summarized Cobee.
But there are other reasons too. An SUV is generally significantly heavier than a hatchback, sedan or even station wagon. And more weight means more resources needed to craft the vehicle. And when you add that larger SUVs need bigger batteries to get decent range compared to lighter vehicles, the situation looks even worse, Cobee said. In the future there will also be restrictions on battery size and vehicle weight. “People will start limiting weight and battery size, either through taxes, through incentives, through regulations, through naming and shaming,” Citroen CEO added.
Don’t get us wrong – we understand everyone who buys an SUV. But we believe the world will actually be a better place with fewer of them. And if Cobee’s words are any indication of what’s to come in the future, we can’t wait to be a part of that future.