Customisable architectures and cultural change could enhance EV lifecycles

Combining these strategies could yield sustainable and reliable EVs that could last for ‘100 years and beyond’. By Christopher Dyer

As the automotive industry invests in electric vehicles (EVs), more manufacturers are conscious of the need to ensure sufficient lifetime performance. For instance, a 2020 study by McKinsey found that 35% of drivers cited concerns around the longevity and reliability of EV batteries as an adoption hurdle. This is why manufacturers such as Bosch and BYD are exploring using alternative chassis constructions and modular architectures, in hopes of both extending EV range and durability.

Special report: Improving electric vehicle profitability

Lifetime performance concerns are also being compounded by shifts towards software-defined vehicle architectures, driven by manufacturers wanting greater development flexibility over their user experience. The same McKinsey study found that this is an additional concern for drivers, especially regarding automaker commitments to support vehicles in the long run. Subscription-based support could be a solution to this. Volkswagen is already implementing a subscription-based cloud service for software maintenance with its upcoming ID Buzz model. The company’s software development department, Cariad, was keen to assure consumers that it would be using cloud services to maintain vehicles for up to ten years after their end-of-life date.

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