Over the last few years, we have seen a flurry of electric concept cars hitting the Internet and capturing the attention of many consumers around the world. These cars are often very different in shape, very different in performance, and ultimately they tend to have an array of gadgets and technology, the likes of which we have never seen before. But how many electric concept cars actually move into full production?
The idea behind concept cars
As the name suggests, a concept car is basically an idea for a car of the future which manufacturers have put together as an example of what they can do. The cost of putting together a concept car can be enormous, although the reality is that a number of ideas for the future will be taken from various concept vehicles. The electric car market continues to grow and this has attracted more than its fair share of concept electric cars from the likes of McLaren, Lamborghini, etc. Concept cars are a vital cog in the electric car market!
How many concept cars go into full production?
If you look back in history you will see that only a handful of concept vehicles have actually made it to the full production line and consumer market. There are a number of reasons why few concept cars actually make it over the finishing line, which include the cost, changes in technology, as well as various research programmes ending. Perhaps the major benefit of concept cars is to give people a taste of the future, a taste of what's to come and the technologies they can expect to see further down the line?
It will be interesting to see whether we see an increase in concept cars making it to the major markets in the medium to longer term as electric power technology improves. We have seen cars which have solar panels on the roof, cars which are more efficient than any vehicle you have ever seen and we have seen vehicles with the latest gadgets and remote-control technology available today.
Investing in the electric car market
While there have been a number of false dawns with regards to the electric car market, there is no doubt that progress has been made over the last five years or so. We have seen the arrival of groundbreaking vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf which have opened up the mass market to electric car manufacturers. These two cars, as well as many other ones which have also become very popular, have given many consumers the confidence to even have a look at the electric car market.
Governments, car manufacturers, and consumers will be investing record amounts of money in the electric car market in the years ahead. Many governments around the world have already committed themselves to various emission targets and these are often directly linked to an increase in the use of electric vehicles. We have now passed the point of no return for the industry, despite a number of false starts, and we await the future with anticipation.
The idea of concept cars is quite literally to see if technology in principle will work in practice and perhaps this is the main reason why very few concept cars actually make it to market. That would suggest that concept cars do not have a place to play in the future, but this is certainly not correct because very often ideas from concept cars will be used in future vehicles on an ad hoc basis. It may be financially unviable to create a specific concept car for the mass market but it may be viable to use some of the technology and systems which were presented.
Many car manufacturers will also get inspiration from the array of concept vehicles available today many of which have cost millions of pounds to create to prove a point. The technology associated with electric vehicles continues to progress at a very quick rate and ultimately some of the more far-fetched technological advances we see in concept cars of today will become more commonplace in concept cars of tomorrow.
Who knows which concept cars will be around tomorrow? Who knows what technology will be taken from the concept vehicles of today? If they serve as an inspiration to car manufacturers in the future then they have more than played their role in developing the electric vehicle market!