It might sound crazy, but CEO Markus Duesmann’s recent statement about EV tech makes a lot of sense.
Right now, every carmaker is scrambling to position themselves in the growing electric market, and Audi’s e-tron GT is poised to take a big piece of the pie.
Along those lines, Ford, General Motors, and Jaguar are just a few of the companies which have recently set a hard stop for internal combustion engine production. And the European Union is looking to ban sales entirely by 2035 — which isn’t that far away. So given concerns about range anxiety, it sounds a little funny that Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently told our friends at Road Show that many next-gen vehicles will have less range than today’s machines. Here’s a snippet from that conversation:
Putting huge batteries for thousands of kilometers, I’m not sure that this is a trend that will go on. … Later on they will go down because charging infrastructure is denser and also the experience of customers.
Personally, I think this is pretty cool, particularly the “experience of customers” bit, and in his follow up comments, Duesmann explains why nobody should be shocked.
Now, if you’ve been thinking hard about electric vehicles, and how future drivers will use them, none of this sounds like rocket science. And the clarifying statement, at least for me, hints at an exciting future:
But once you’re used to [ charging a car ] that I think battery sizes will go down again, because they make the cars unnecessarily heavy and unnecessarily expensive. And unnecessarily big, too.
Honestly, this makes perfect sense, even if the technology to make cars go 1,000 miles through a blizzard on a single charge might soon exist. Because a big part of anxiety — range or otherwise — is unfamiliarity with the experience, just like Duesmann says. Once you start doing the things you feared, it tends to fade. So after people spend a few years with a machine and get a real feel for exactly how far they need to go in a day, they might accept smaller and smaller ranges from their vehicles. Especially if those vehicles are cool, tiny city cars.