the Philips Electrical Vehicle PEV1

philips imagesImagine you are living in Brazile. Some years form now. You want a new car. Most cars by now are electrical vehicles. There is nearby a Philips store. The big news today is that you now can buy the  Philips Electrical Vehicle PEV1!

Back to 2013. Automotive is changing fast and with a major paradigm shift: from classical mechanical engineering towards high tech embedded and electronics. Moreover, the change towards electrical driving even further makes the next generations of vehicles in fact rolling High Tech Systems.

Challenges include smart semi-autonomous driving, human support systems, multi-sensor systems, smart energy management and battery management systems, vehicle mechatronics, human-centered design, reliable software and electrical components, system integration,  intelligent lighting systems, etc etc.

This sounds like a Philips Product!

The Automotive sector is one of the largest industrial areas in the world, and the home base of Philips is the Netherlands, where no classical OEM is present. Moreover, a concentration of high tech automotive within the Brainport region already has been established, with a high support level of the government. The time seems perfect to start a discussion about possible models to develop a businesscase for the development of a PHILIPS ELECTRICAL VEHICLE!


This is an idea i suggested to various people inside and outside Philips more than 2 years ago. From someone i got a good further analysis:

Competitive environment:

  • Conventional car makers
  • Electrical car makers (e.g. Tesla)
  • Battery makers
  • SME
  • Startups

Reasons to believe:

  • Philips has all technical competencies for developing an electrical car (battery and energy management, mechatronics, reliability engineering, design, interaction design, lighting, electronics, sensors & control)
  • Philips has strong knowledge of sustainable product development (life cycle analysis, c2c)
  • Philips has a huge supplier network and huge experience with effective, global outsourcing of manufacturing
  • Philips has a global distribution
  • Philips has a strong brand

 Reasons NOT to believe:

  • Philips’ vision is to lead in health and well-being. Transportation is so far not considered part of it.
  • Philips has no track record in transportation (Stirling engine never made it to the mass market)
  • Return on investment may be too low for the years to come, electrical infrastructure needed
  • Electrical car market will be similar battle field as mobile phone market, hard to control the critical success factors, chance of having poor or no return on huge investments


  • Philips’ strength in end-user driven innovation will lead to electrical cars that are fully tailored to the user needs.
  • Philips can successfully involve its Chinese supply base to deliver a branded car at the lowest cost

Brand positioning:

  • Designed around you: the car that fits to your body as a second skin
  • Advanced: connectivity, multi-media, lighting
  • Easy to experience: the electrical car that is as easy to handle as a shaver

Fit with Vision 2015: YES! (see red)

Vision 2015 defines several company-wide key priorities for the next five years:

  • Philips aims to expand its existing leadership positions whilst benefiting from several of its markets growing faster than global GDP.
  • Philips wants to be the preferred brand in health and well-being in the majority of the markets it operates in.
  • Philips is committed to being a leading company in matters of sustainability. The company looks at sustainability through the lenses of its sectors and defines specific ambitions for each of them, as communicated in its recent EcoVision5 program.
  • Philips wants to be seen by all stakeholders as making a positive difference in people’s lives.

One thought on “the Philips Electrical Vehicle PEV1

  1. Nice Article. Thanks.
    Another business model – Maybe Philips can just develop the knowhow and license it to other Electric vehicle makers. Earn from royalties! This will be its comfort area with minimal investment, given that it has done the same to the mobile phone industry.

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