Development of petrol engines will cease within a decade, McLaren's CEO tells the Financial Times, adding that he expects a large-scale transition to electric vehicles to occur around 2035
The CEO of McLaren has said the UK supercar manufacturer will stop developing petrol engines within a decade as part of a long-term pivot to electric vehicles, in an interview published yesterday in the Financial Times.
The firm expects to focus on hybrid supercars for the next 10 years before ceasing development of internal combustion engine vehicles altogether from 2030, McLaren chief executive Mike Flewitt said.
Flewitt added that he expects "a lot of the world to be aligning around the 2035 date" for a full transition to electric cars.
McClaren currently has two hybrid cars in its portfolio, the P1 and the Speedtail. But from next year, every major model will be hybrid, incorporating a new build that allows the vehicles to plug in to charge and drive for more than 30km solely on battery power, Flewitt said.
However, he added that the firm - which is traditionally a racing brand and has only built road cars for the last 10 years - did not expect to launch a fully electric car until after 2025. "Ours is an enthusiast product," he explained. "They will arguably enjoy the engine longer than commuter products."
Flewitt's announcement is a welcome development for supercar enthusiasts who also care about the climate, after Aston Martin announced earlier this year that it has delayed all plans for electric vehicle development to focus on its F1 vehicles.
The Financial Times reported that Aston Martin's decision was predicated on an urgent need for new investment, which was met by F1 billionaire Lawrence Stroll. However, Stroll's offer was chosen over another from Chinese automotive conglomerate Geely, which would actually have accelerated the production of electric vehicles, according to the FT.
Other firms have made more progress, with VW - whose cars are generally designed for the more mainstream auto market - pledging to introduce 70 new electric models by 2028.
Mclaren has also been focusing on sustainable innovation elsewhere in its vehicles, working with Swiss specialist Bcomp to develop a new flax fibre racing seat for its F1 vehicles, replacing carbon fibre. The firm claims the new seats have a 75 per cent lower CO2 footprint than its carbon fibre counterpart.
"For decades, F1 has been an innovation lab for technology that has transformed not just motorsport, but the automotive industry and beyond," said McLaren F1 technical director James Key.
"The sport must continue down the road of getting to an increasingly environmentally friendly set of conditions, and our development and application of natural fibre composites is an example of how we're accelerating this journey, as well as the ongoing evolution towards cleaner mobility."
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