It was a great question but he wasn’t expecting this answer.
A few months ago we had some guests visit our new-vehicle assembly facility in Epping, just outside Melbourne. They were keen to discover more about our business so we showed them what we do and shared details about our 25-plus-year journey so far.
They seemed impressed.
But one of the guests hit me with this at the end of our first presentation:
“It seems companies like yours are just milking the last of the auto industry before petrol and diesel-powered vehicles are no more. This being the case, what’s your future plan?”
I didn’t expect his comment, especially given how much research he and his colleagues had done before visiting us.
“Do you mean ‘future plans in terms of zero-emissions vehicles’?” I replied.
“Yes,” he said.
Now it was his turn for an unexpected answer.
“It’s already underway. In fact, we implemented that plan more than a decade ago.”
He seemed surprised.
Having just shown him details of the more-than 200,000 new vehicles we’d so far either designed, developed, co-developed, manufactured or assembled (sometimes all five), along with the 55,000-odd Premcar-developed new engines that have gone into many of them, I don’t think he was ready for my answer. Or ready for some of the high-level details that came next.
Such as our first electric vehicle (EV) conversion of an Australian-made vehicle, a Ford Territory SUV, which we completed back in 2010.
Or the full ground-up design and development of our latest twin-motor EV platform we recently completed for an all-new EV model in a large overseas market.
Or the number of future-model EV programs – from cars to light trucks – we’re currently working on.
And then there’s our EV-related work with Europe-based RLE International Group, our partner and one of the biggest players in the world of new-vehicle development and global car making.
The list is long.
In fairness to the gent who asked the question, it’s reasonable he wouldn’t know a lot of this. He’s a venture capitalist and his daily working life isn’t inside the carmaking world.
Also, like any OEM, the details of our work are confidential.
But his question raises a big point about the public’s view of the motoring world and its move to zero-emissions propulsion, and specifically electric powertrains.
Fact is, internal combustion (IC) engines (that currently run on fossil fuels) will be around for a while.
In Australia, it’s unlikely petrol and diesel engines won’t cease to exist from one week to the next in the near future. There’s likely to be a long-ish overlap as official new-car importers gradually add EVs and other zero-emissions models to their local catalogues – and as IC-powered vehicles get replaced with cleaner versions.
It’s a change that will take a while. But it’s not a reason to wait.
Because when global automaking giants such as Ford announce they’re spending US$50 billion on future EV models through 2026, and when Mercedes-Benz’s parent company reveals it’s investing €60 billion into software and emissions-free vehicle technologies between 2022 and 2026 as part of its plan to go all-electric by the end of this decade (where market conditions allow), these aren’t signals of change. They’re evidence of a complete shift that’s already well underway. Which is why we started to focus on EV development and manufacturing so many years ago.
So, even though we continue delivering new-vehicle enhancement programs and engineering projects for global carmakers and official importers, we’re well underway with the car industry’s next chapter. We’ve had one foot in today and the other in the future for a while now, which means our plans are more than solid. They began delivering results years ago and it’s our customers who are milking them, not the other way around.
Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd
About Premcar – Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. As the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines, Premcar’s body of work is extensive and has delivered technical and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit premcar.com.
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