Mr Blume, what do you have to say to those
Oliver Blume: Electromobility means a high level of efficiency and outstanding performance, making it a fantastic fit for
Does this high level of demand surprise you?
Blume: Not at all. We designed the plug-in hybrid variants as high-performance vehicles, and the
Was your decision to make
Blume: The first thing I want to say is that
In that context, was any alternative decision ever possible, apart from electromobility?
Blume: As a manufacturer there are 3 options for offering vehicles that are locally CO2-free in usage: electromobility, hydrogen, and synthetic fuels. In the well-to-wheel consideration, which looks at the overall energy balance from fuel production to vehicle motion, e-mobility is 3 times more efficient than hydrogen, and 6 times more efficient than synthetic fuels; as the development of batteries advances, this advantage will expand even further. These are convincing arguments for a sports car manufacturer such as
The EU has further tightened CO₂- limits for the period up to 2030, stipulating a reduction of 35%. Are you one of the people that believes this to be an over-ambitious goal?
Blume: My opinion is that these figures are extremely ambitious – but we must achieve them in order to meet climate goals. That much is certain. However, when it comes to political discussion, I would like to see stakeholders calling in greater expertise, and being mindful of the feasibility of the goals they set. As an exclusive manufacturer that is only active in a few premium segments, I’m certain that we will achieve the limits by 2030, and where possible we will even come in below them.
Do strict CO₂- limits such as these support the route to electromobility?
Blume: Absolutely. Electromobility is currently the only available option that is capable of bringing about a significant reduction in CO2 emissions from transport. And another thing we must be clear about: we will only achieve a positive effect for the climate and our environment if energy for the production and use of vehicles is derived from regenerative sources. At
You’ve just driven the new
Blume: Definitely! My colleagues working on the chassis are very difficult to please, and it is their critical approach that has got
And did your eyes light up too?
Blume: So much! I’m incredibly excited about this vehicle. It is just fantastic to drive.
Can you see that the electromobility route you are taking presents something of a culture shock for many
Blume: We are aware of that. But I can allay their concerns: the purely electrically driven
What has the initial feedback been like for the
Blume: Extremely positive. We are overwhelmed by the demand, considering that customers have not yet seen the vehicle even once. It illustrates the high level of trust that our customers place in us.
In Norway, 3,000 advance orders for the
Blume: It is not yet possible to pre-order the
What does this high level of demand mean for delivery times? You had previously planned for just 20,000 units a year.
Blume: In light of the extraordinarily high level of demand, we will increase our production capacities. If there are waiting times, we might take the opportunity to gently introduce customers to the
And you won’t be offering any preconfigured vehicles, even to shorten delivery times?
Blume: No, we won’t be selling any vehicles off-the-peg. Every customer will receive the exact vehicle that they want.
Tell me, what will the price range for the
Blume: We will offer the
Your goal is that 50% of all
Blume: Yes, we do include the plug-in hybrids here.
Is it accurate to say that
Blume: We’ve never said that. As I’ve mentioned, for the future we are concentrating on a triad of drive systems, within which combustion engines will also continue to have their place, as we are continuing to refine them on an ongoing basis, making them even more efficient and environmentally friendly. And when it comes to our icon, we will be offering the 911 with a combustion engine for as long as it is legally permissible to do so; that said, the new eighth generation is already being developed to be hybrid-capable. And if one day we do offer it as a partly electric vehicle, then it will always be as an top-performance version.
Daimler has just announced that it will be releasing a plug-in hybrid with a range of almost 100 kilometres, in the second half of the year. When will you have one of those to offer?
Blume: The next generation of batteries will come in 2020, and will bring an increase in the ampere hours of our battery cells from 37 to 47. This will permit us to achieve larger ranges, which we will gradually introduce into our products.
Are you considering having your electric cars produced locally in China as well?
Blume: Although China is our largest individual market with around 80,000 deliveries per year, those volumes are relatively small in the context of setting up a separate production facility. So we have not so far been focused on producing cars locally in China, though it may be that we are forced to do so at some stage, because of customs regulations. We don’t want to jump the gun. And ultimately, our Chinese customers also value the fact that their
Blume: The Cross
This article first appeared on „autogazette.de“.