Rrecently, I have been wondering what cars will be like 15 years from now, this is a perspective from somebody living in the UK. Recently, the Government very quietly said (well... more of a whisper) that petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2035, which is 5 years sooner than originally planned.
This leaves the question: "What will car ownership be like in the future?" well... the concerning thing for me is the sheer amount of leased cars on the roads today. It means you don't share the same connection with the car than you would have if you owned it. Even more concerening than that though is car subscription services.
Volvo are one of the worst for it too, but that to me is a real issue. When people start to look at a car as a subscription, like Netflix, that can be worrying. What if years from now, you got a new car every 28 days, or every 6 months, that's not the point of cars. If you want a car with no heart or soul for a short time, lease a Dacia.
COVID-19 is also changing how you buy a car, mainly for the better though. Now, more places than ever deliver cars, some dealers also send you a video of the car in question talking through everything, from spec to the infotainment system, like Carwow videos on YouTube, and Arnold Clark videos upon request.
If you look at car design of the past 15 years, BMW have gracefully evolved. Renault has gone under some botox and plastic surgery quite a few times, and Volvo have turned from something quirky and old, to something desirable and cool, Alfa Romeo have gone from making mainly rebadged Fiats to some truly awe-inspiring cars, especially the Giulia Quadrofoligico. 15 years ago, SAAB looked like they were in perfect financial shape, Mercedes and McLaren had teamed up to build the incredible SLR.
Now, I wonder which brands look like they're in great shape, like SAAB. Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi look like they're going that way, although, I suppose nothing too bad will happen to any of them. In fact, 15 years ago, car manufacturers were racing to make the fastest cars, now they're giving up speed records.
Not only have cars evolved and changed so rapidly, 15 years ago, the iPhone wasn't around. It wasn't commonplace to have screens the size of most people's TVs 15 years ago as the infotainment system. Nobody could have imagined electric cars having quite the impact they're having today.
Rewind 60/70 years ago, nuclear and jet cars were seriously considered, but none were ever really made, that could be the same as hydrogen, or hydrogen and electric cars could be commonplace.
The main issue with electric cars is not many, if any will be sold with a manual transmission, as they add weight and aren't exactly necessary when using an electric motor. Unless some car manufacturers put a proper gearbox in, which is unlikely because manual electric cars are much less efficient and more complicated, car enthusiasts (in the UK anyway) will need to drive petrol/diesel cars until it is to hard. Then the most logical way to get a manual (if no car manufacturers made them) would be to convert a petrol car to electric.
5 years from now, petrol and electric cars won't be too much different in cost. In fact, the Committee on Climate Change thinks the cost of electric vehicles will be similar to the cost of petrol or diesel vehicles by 2024/25. A lot of people will probably make the switch to electric too, because electric cars are dirt cheap to run, are more reliable, more eco-friendly and the government are kinder to EV owners. I'm going to stick to petrol for as long as possible, as I imagine many other car enthusiasts will too.
So, 15 years can see a lot of change: electric cars will be running Britain, there will be more charging infrastructure, a lot of car manufacturers may not be here, looks will evolve or completely change, the concept of owning/leasing a car could be different than we've ever seen. In the future, will kids even learn to drive a manual, or will they just drive an automatic for all eternity?