Stand by for Super Passat

Stand by for 'Super Passat'

The future for vehicles is electric, but it's fair to say the roadmap to that inevitable end-point is far from fixed. Timescales are pretty uncertain. A forecast put out by BP caught my eye. In its latest projections of long-term global energy trends, BP forecasts that electric cars will form around 15% of the global car parc in 2040. However, because of their higher intensity of use - in worked hard shared autonomous vehicles - BP also forecasts they will account for a higher 30% of total passenger vehicle kilometres. My guess is that the global distribution of EVs in use will vary quite a bit.

Volkswagen gave us a tantalising glimpse of the electric and autonomous future it envisages and there will be more to see at Geneva with the I.D. VIZZION. Volkswagen, of course, is keen to stress its clean strategic direction and plans twenty new electric vehicles by 2020. Other VW Group brands are heading down the same path, naturally. It's a bit awkward then, when prosecutors make raids that remind everyone about current diesel scandal issues. Porsche, meanwhile, seems to have decided that it will play the diesel issue very carefully.

Hybrids are also an important part of the electrification picture and it was interesting to note this week that the new Volvo V60 comes with two plug-in hybrid powertrain options. Nice looking car, too.

Still on the brave new future theme, Nissan is about to trial robo-taxis in Japan and Bosch is entering the rideshare space in the US with an intriguing acquisition. If you have ever questioned the size of the company car park and the apparent nonsense of so many people getting into a car by themselves, only to sit together in jams on major arterial routes to the 'burbs, SPLT may be for you.

We also came across some rare rideshare data. More people are doing it in the US (and everywhere). Lyft is up. And talking of Lyft, I cannot resist linking to this uplifting tale again: Lyft drinks in the big data with beer tie-up.

Also this week, we published a nice potted history of Subaru in the US. We also ran an in-depth interview with Jaguar Land Rover's global purchasing director (chassis systems), Neil Marsons. It is well worth a read for an OEM perspective on supply chain matters.

Have a good weekend,

Dave Leggett, Editor, just-auto