Today’s announcement that the UK will ban all sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 may have come as a shock to some in the boardrooms of German automobile manufacturers, but it’s a very welcome addition for us at MEV.
The 2030 cut off hands a huge advantage to innovative and agile companies, while the large established players with their 10-year supply chain plans will continue to be slow to move.
MEV was born out of the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering where performance, but critically innovation and agility are normal for us. Two years ago we asked a simple question, “Why are EVs £10,000 more expensive than their petrol counterparts?” and set out to find a solution. This involved looking at how automotive supply chains worked, taking apart existing EVs to understand the limitations, and finally designing a solution from scratch.
While building a new vehicle from a blank sheet of paper may seem counter intuitive in an industry where integrating components from complex and well established supply chains is the norm, it allowed us to avoid many of the traditional thought processes and groupthink that has resulted in a flat footed response from major manufacturers.
Our design thinking was clear. We needed to produce a vehicle that we could get on the road for the price of a small city car, it needed to be real vehicle not an e-bike or golf cart masquerading as a car, and it needed to be scalable to mass production.
It didn’t need to be capable of driving from London to Edinburgh on a single charge, but it did need to be useable for typical second car journeys of a few tens of miles, or for use in a city all day long.
Most importantly it needed to be cheap enough to encourage mass adoption of EVs, thus getting the older more polluting vehicles off the streets and changing the economics of car sharing.
The result is the BeeAnywhere, starting customer trials in January and going into production later in the year.
And one more thing…
Over the past few years we have seen a number of companies proposing low cost EVs proposed, taking orders and then companies stalling or disappearing. Rather than promoting a concept, we wanted to make sure that we could build the vehicle we wanted to make, at the price point we needed before we made any bold claims.
The wait is almost over, and the price? £8,000 looks about right to us. How about you?