Is the 2030 goal truly attainable?
Like the state of California and possibly Japan, the United Kingdom has publically announced a new goal to ban the sales of new combustion-engine vehicles by 2030 instead of the previous 2035 target date. Naturally, automakers everywhere are concerned about how this will affect future product lines. Large global automakers can more easily adapt but smaller niche ones will find this more difficult. McLaren is one of them.
Speaking to Automotive News, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt discussed several issues and the UK's ban was a natural topic. He reiterated the goal of having an all-electric supercar on the market by the end of the decade (by 2028 or 2029), but he also expressed some frustration with national governments.
"There's nothing in the new [UK] announcement that actually means we need to change our business plan," Flewitt said. "My challenge back to government is, why are we making these announcements right now? I'm a little cynical that it's because there's lots of bad news out there with Covid and with economic challenges, so 'Let's just announce something else to distract everybody.' Frankly, right now, the world needs to focus on dealing with this health concern that we have. And secondly, getting the economics of the world good again."
Flewitt also refuses to ignore the fact that an EV infrastructure hardly exists at the moment.
"What the governments almost don't realize is the bigger challenge, for them, is to put the infrastructure in place, not for the manufacturers to make the car." A 130-mile trip in a Porsche Taycan that took nine hours is evidence of how bad the UK's EV infrastructure is right now.
Late last month, the McLaren Artura was officially announced and it'll come powered by a new twin-turbocharged V6 and an electric motor with a combined output of over 600 horsepower. The Artura will be the firm's second-ever hybrid following the Speedtail, an ultra-limited-edition hypercar with a top speed of 250 mph. The Artura, which also rides on an all-new platform, remains on schedule in the first half of next year.