The electric car revolution is finally upon us and just as there have been advances in autonomous car production, EVs are all the rage this year what with the CEOs of Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler having sealed a deal on 20th March, committed to shifting to electric fleets. Sale units are higher than ever. In Canada, for example, 70,000 EV units were sold in 2018 compared to 50,000 units in 2017 according to Fleetcarma. In Canada, this rise can be attributed to a variety of factors that include government incentives offering rebates in provinces such as Ontario. However, the main reason for an increase in electric car usage can be attributed to tech advancements that have increased their reliability and accessibility.
Advanced Wireless Charging Systems
Charging time has been the greatest bottleneck in electric vehicles. Proper charging systems ensure maximization of a car’s value. Walking with charging cords, limited charging stations or waiting for approximately 7 hours to attain battery life to last 300 miles can be a turn-off. Tech advancements have, however, been developed to deal with this. Enter the development of wireless electric vehicle charging systems. Leveraging on magnetic resonance and wifi technology ensures that one no longer has to put up with bulky plugs and cords. Further advancements are expected to enable electric cars to charge as one drives by the road with charging systems fitted in the roads.
Fast Charging Stations
Another aspect is the development of fast charging stations. Shell’s acquisition of electric vehicle charge supply has enabled development of fast charging stations along petrol stations. These charging stations come coupled with the development of medium Voltage Fast Charger, that is 10 times smaller, and avoids power wastage of about 60 % during charging which makes it all the more efficient.
Further developments into chargers that can power up multiple vehicles are underway. The Jaguar I Pace, for example, is able to attain an 80 percent charge within two hours, enough power for the car to cover 230 miles. Charging stations with 440v output are able to attain 80 percent charge within half an hour.
The Smart Meter Technology
Smart meters enable an electric vehicle owner to determine the real cost of the vehicle’s fuel usage. This meter measures energy generation and usage. Excess energy generated can be supplied into the grid at peak times. This stored energy can later on be used by an electric car owner to charge their car during off-peak hours, making it cheaper.
Electrical Vehicle battery Advancements
Electric vehicle prices have been prohibitive due to high battery costs. Since their inception, however, average costs have dropped from 1,000 dollars/kwh to 227 dollars/kwh. This has had a significant effect on their final prices making them affordable to more people. Developments in Lithium-Ion battery technology has helped increase the rechargeable capacity of electric vehicle batteries. Development of batteries that increase the amount of readily available energy instead of focusing on the amount of energy it can store have also been helpful, consequently enabling electric car manufacturers to manufacture faster cars. This technology has been used in the Tesla Model S making it attain 60 mph in 2.3 seconds which is faster when compared to any Lamborghini or Ferrari.
The switch to environmentally friendly electric cars should be embraced. Their simplicity in design, building, and maintenance make them all the more intriguing. 2018 saw major leaps in the electric car revolution, what with the rolling out of Jaguar I-Pace, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona to compete with Tesla models. 2019 is only bound to be bigger this year. Don’t be left beh