As I was leaving the now empty showroom, disheveled from a gut-busting afternoon of Lynk & Co showmanship and an overnight flight to Berlin, I saw the brand’s new vehicle driving toward me being controlled through an iPad. No driver. What!?
The Lynk & Co 01 is a compact, hybrid gas-electric SUV set for release in China in 2017 and U.S. and Europe in 2018. It is revolutionary not in vehicle design, but in ownership models, sharing, and digital connectivity. Read more on the Lynk & Co SUV here in our early coverage of the vehicle.
This interview asks the brand’s leadership about how it fits into the outdoors space.
I spoke with the company’s two leaders with the launch event, David Green and Alain Visser, for insight into what role Lynk & Co could play when released in the US in 2018.
David Green, Chief Digital Officer
GearJunkie: Our readers enjoy road trips and traveling, how do you see this concept fitting in with that?
David Green: If you are in the Lynk & Co community, I can fly to Seattle, pick up your car, and you could fly to Gothenburg (Sweden) and pick up my car.
Normally I just use a small city car, but now I need a bigger car. I could swap with you, and you could swap with me and we could use them for our different journeys.
At the moment, we buy cars for the exceptional-use cases, we don’t buy them for what we normally do.
The outdoors is a place to get away from the commotion of society and technology. Isn’t Lynk & Co proposing the opposite with its cars?
I can put it into context with me and airplanes. For a long time, an airplane for me was a place where no one emailed me. I could watch a movie without feeling guilty, I don’t feel like I need to be sending anything out, and the ability to do that was a benefit.
And that’s what it’s all about, you come up with an idea and say that’s what I want to do, and then do that. You could geofence certain parts of the countryside, and as soon as you reach them the radio won’t come on, and no emails will come in, and there will be nothing. If that’s what you want, that’s what the platform is designed to do.
Alain Visser, Senior Vice President
Do you know the range of the fully electric vehicles, and do you foresee any pickups or all-wheel drive vehicles?
Alain Visser: No. Because it isn’t ready yet and we’re still developing it, we haven’t released a rating yet. But, we believe anything [up to] 300 km.
No pickups, all models have all-wheel drive.
How do you see environmental impact as an important build component for your cars when your marketing focus is mega cities and urban areas?
[Lynk & Co] is very urban, which is in contrast with Volvo, which is very rural. We have the social awareness, health awareness, and pollution awareness, and we believe with electrification we can do something about that. We are still considering if it is possible to offer only fully electric vehicles in the U.S.
From a product point of view, electrification can be a big argument. Research shows that there are two reasons people don’t buy electric cars: the price and range. If we can cover those, people are ready to buy electric and have a good conscience about it.
–Read more from our coverage of the LYNK&CO Brand launch here. The car is expected to release in 2017 in China and 2018 in the U.S.