François Isaac de Rivaz designed the first internal combustion engine powered car in 1808, but little did he know he created the germ of an idea which will provide humankind with one the most important discoveries in our history.
Only 20 years later, Ányos Jedlik invented an electric motor, and 60 years after his invention the world saw the first electric automobile of the world – German Flocken Elektrowagen.
130 years after the first electric car we are facing the fact that electric vehicles are bright future of automotive industry.
According to newest reports, electric vehicles will go mainstream by 2035, repressing fossil fuel cars from European roads.
Although some people and companies still resent electric automobiles because they find them too slow, or the engine too weak, Gandhi’s words precisely describe the truth behind electric vehicles, the truth we all need to realize when it comes to making the choice of buying a new car:
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Gandhi
Types of Electric Cars
There are three types of EVs:
1. Pure electric or battery electric
An electric battery fully powers these cars, and they require battery recharging from an external source.
The cost of recharging is meager, and depending on the type of the car, it might require 6-8h of charging at home (or 2-6 hrs in public).
2. Plug-in hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)
Plug-in hybrids can be connected to an external electrical source and charged.
The engine uses both petrol/diesel and energy source.
For longer journeys, you’d need to use a conventional motor, while using only electrical energy, you can travel up to 50km.
3. Hybrid Cars
Hybrid types of EV’s are a combination of two driving(power) systems.
Switching from electric to diesel or petrol engine, the vehicle uses the most economical way to get you where you are going.
Batteries recharge from regenerative breaking, so you can’t plug them into an external source.
The least efficient of three, hybrids are more efficient than petrol or diesel only powered engines.
Why are they taking over the market?
EVs are not taking over the market by storm, but rather more gradually: predictions are that electric vehicles will become an everyday reality in less than two decades due to low prices and cut costs.
Although they are more expensive compared to conventional cars, they surely pay off in the longer run.
This is evident to everyone now, and owning an electric car will become a norm in the future.
Some of the reasons why e-cars will take over the market:
- Electric automobiles have low tax bands.
- The government gives generous grants for the purchase of an EV.
- Owners get free charge point installed at home
- Charging is cheap – approximately 15 DKK to fully charge batteries
- E-cars are eco-green: low emission of CO2 and less air pollution help prevent climate changes caused by gas emissions.
So, how is this affecting European automotive industry?
Using other sources than fossil fuels brings up a simple, but rather disturbing question answer:
If everyone wants an electric vehicle, what will happen to diesel and petrol engine car automakers?
They will have to adapt or go extinct.
Volvo is one of the first automotive titans who pledge to produce more plug-ins and hybrids by 2019.
Volkswagen sees the future is here and they decided to act upon it: they announced that targets for 2025 are 3 million battery-electric cars sold per year, and 30 new, different BEV models under all Volkswagen brands (Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley).
Other titans of the automotive industry will have to follow if they want to stay on the market.
“I really do encourage other manufacturers to bring electric automobiles to market. It’s a good thing, and they need to bring it to market and keep iterating and improving and make better and better electric cars, and that’s what going to result in humanity achieving a sustainable transport future. I wish it was growing faster than it is.” – Elon Musk, product architect of Tesla Inc, company specialized in electric cars.
It is understandable why some influential corporations and individuals object to the popularization of electric vehicles.
There is a huge issue behind the stage: we’ll have reduced oil needs, meaning the cost of oil will drop.
This will lead to some of the huge oil players being out of the game.
On the other side, there is a group of ignorant people who prefer denying the truth instead of trying to find the solution to the problem:
“I think there are more politicians in favor of electric cars than against. There are still some that are against, and I think the reasoning for that varies depending on the person, but in some cases, they just don’t believe in climate change – they think oil will last forever.” – Elon Musk
On the other side, European automotive manufacturers are leading in the production of combustion engines.
When it comes to their share in lithium-ion production, however, their share is only 3%.
This makes it easy for Asia and North-America to get majority market share in Europe in future.
When will EVs take over European roads?
According to newest reports, EV’s will be cheaper than conventional cars by 2022.
Reduced CO2 emission and decreased air pollution are important factors when it comes to comparison of the petrol/diesel engine powered cars and electric cars.
“At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices. Lithium-ion battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kWh in 2015. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in.” – Colin McKerracher, lead analyst at BNEF
Forbes stated that UK’s Committee on Climate Change claims that “60% of new car sales in the UK should be electric by 2030 to deliver the nation’s carbon cuts at the least cost”.
Also, reports by Dutch Bank ING predict that electric cars won’t be wowsers by 2035 – they will become a normal part of our everyday life just like smartphones.