The Electric Car Future Is Finally Here, But More Needs To Be Done

Electric cars are the future, and automakers are adding more EVs to their lineup every year. Global sales of electric cars went up quickly in 2020 (by 43%). This was despite overall car sales slumping because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tesla sold the most electric cars, almost 500,000, followed by Volkswagen. In an attempt to reduce emissions from highways, president Biden has pledged to build 500,000 new charging stations for electric cars over the next decade. But more still needs to be done in the EV space to make the cars mainstream. Here are three things we feel should be prioritized.

Battery Longevity

EVs will never become mainstream until they offer the usability, affordability, and convenience provided by conventional cars. The focus should be on improving their performance and reliability by creating a battery solution that matches the performance of gasoline and diesel which are used in traditional vehicles. Current EVs use large batteries with long charging times. The batteries have to be large to attain the desired electric range capability. But because they are large, they are also heavy, so electric cars consume more energy in a journey. We need battery systems with high power density cells and highly energy dense solid-state cells. They should be more efficient, have better energy storage, come in a smaller package, and be able to charge fast. These batteries should have a simpler cooling system, a decreased dedicated crash structure, lower charging time, and weigh at least 10% less compared to the existing solutions.

Power in the Right Place

EVs have been around for some time now, but mass adoption has not happened. People are concerned about charging between journeys and also have range anxiety (the fear that EVs have insufficient range to reach their destination). These are the key barriers to buying electric vehicles. Many people who own EVs also own internal combustion engine vehicles (conventional cars) for traveling longer distances. However, as the cars become more widespread, people will want to travel greater distances with them, and that’s why we need more public charging stations. Charging plugs located on motorways and along main roads will allow for long-distance travel. Tesla has created superchargers for this purpose, and BP and National Grid are looking to build fast-charging centres. On-street charging solutions are also being developed.

Enhancing the Grid

EV technology should be used efficiently once it’s improved, and this calls for a network that can withstand high levels of EV charging across the country. There is also a need for a sustainable system where surplus energy can be repurposed. For example, we can come up with ways to access and utilize the energy stored in electric vehicles when they aren’t in use. V2G (vehicle-to-grid) can create an energy connectivity landscape. V2G technology involves sending unused power from an electric car to the smart grid. This technology can help an energy grid supply energy during peak hours. As EV technology keeps advancing, EVs will become more common. One day soon, you may even use your electric vehicle to access a loan by simply searching “loan offices near me.”

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