This is the new Volvo EX30. The interior has that sleek nordic feel.
However, check this out:
“This Volvo has physical switches only for the front windows (a supplementary button makes them operate the rears), the door locks (though this is a haptic pairing on the centre tunnel rather than feelable physical items) and, on the ceiling, for the emergency and hazard warning switches which it’s obliged to have.”
First of all, three buttons for four windows? Is there a world war going on and we have to ration switches? Were they unable to convince the politburo that the proletariat deserves to be able to roll their rear windows down?
But it gets worse… Almost everything is controlled on the touch screen including:
fog lights (requiring clicks through two screens to get to them)
glove box (uh, what?)
plus the typical audio, climate, navigation
I’m getting this from an Autocar review which I think was the harshest review for a car that I’ve ever read. Supposedly Volvo has been unapologetic.
Something has to give in order to get an electric car with decent range to meet price parity. Tesla and other startups have done it through vertical integration, but legacy OEMs with supplier commitments are doing it through interior decontenting (although to be fair, none of what you outlined is out of the ordinary for Tesla either).
The glove box? You have to add wiring and a solenoid to activate a latch in place of a latch with a button.
Cheaper to mold a single continuous surface than a part with a hole for the latch mechanism, cars already have a myriad of solenoids so it’s not that expensive to repurpose another one already in use, no need to design and engineer another a-surface in the interior. I’m not saying it’s always going to come out on top, but theyare already using a touch screen and solenoids everywhere else.
We are in a strange phase at the moment in the automotive world.
electrification and full autonomy are such big changes that change the whole concept of what a car is. Car companies are trying to guess what people will be doing in the car while its driving for you. When you can take your eyes off the road, there is less need for tactile buttons and switches.
Also consider the future car buyers, they have grown up with touch screens.
Its us old gits that want buttons
“Us old gits” also know the pain of having lived through generations of electronic kit that one day, due to internal melt-downs or external software updates, just doesn’t decide to work anymore. I can see how it could be less cost, and maybe even more reliable to not have independent controls for every adjustment point. But I still want buttons.
The other weekend I pulled apart my F-150’s dashboard to fix the climate control fan mix. Elbows deep into the center console, behind the CD changer. OK there are small circuit boards in one of the modules but they are basic electrical components. Why does ‘electrification’ have to mean ‘a passenger in a vehicle that XXX company is controlling’?
This is the biggest problem with the move to EVs I think.
So much electronics and computers are needed that they will all inevitably be scrap faster than an old ICE. There are Model Ts still running. You think that any EV will be still working 100 years from now? Nevermind the batteries being garbage or some new standard of plug. The computers needed to charge them and the software and OTA updates required to run I bet will make them obsolete sooner rather than later.
It certainly doesn’t cost less! The screens are really expensive. Not just the screens, but the computer that runs the infotainment system too.
I’ve heard this is a huge “cash cow” for companies like Harman, building the multi media electronics that are platformed into many different brands. Ops guy told me of a multi $B factory making what amounts to head units, 95% robotic, just a few human minders.