While electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for quite some time, more consumers are looking to reap the benefits they have to offer. Now, it’s becoming more common to see EVs navigating the streets and parked in charging stations. Maybe you’ve even considered purchasing one yourself, or someone you know has purchased one.
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A critical turning point in the world of EVs was the introduction of the Toyota Prius back in 1997. The Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid EV globally and became a success, especially for celebrities, which helped establish a good reputation for the car.
Without innovative technology, electric vehicles wouldn’t be where they are today. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and an economic downturn, the outlook for the EV industry shows promise.
What are some technological advancements driving demand for electric vehicles? Below, we’ll discuss some critical technologies that will likely lead to accelerated growth in the EV market.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported in 2020 that more than 10 million EVs were in use worldwide. Overall, consumer spending is increasing and government support has stabilized.
The Biden Administration unveiled a plan to spend around $5 billion to build thousands of charging stations across the country.
Because of advances in EV-related technologies, the EV market has experienced strong growth in recent years. Some EV market trends are driving increased adoption, including:
- Charging stations: More charging stations to accommodate the growing number of EVs on the road will be necessary.
- Cost of EV batteries: Improved technology and mass production of EV batteries have contributed to a reduction in costs for EV batteries.
- Standardizing charging stations: Cities that implement standard EV charging infrastructure with universal charging capabilities will further drive the adoption of EVs.
- Government initiatives and support: Governments, including the U.S. federal government, encourage consumers to consider purchasing EVs to reduce carbon emissions and make transportation more convenient.
There’s no denying that EVs will be staples in the automotive industry. It’s reported that the most efficient EV to date has a maximum range of more than 400 miles, but it seems more EV manufacturers will try to push those boundaries.
Consider how dominant Tesla has been in the EV market – with their innovative Autopilot features, drivers benefit from self-driving capabilities, such as steering, acceleration, and braking systems. What other technologies will transform the EV industry?
As EVs become increasingly important during the global transition to clean, renewable energy, improving the foundational technology of EVs is just as important. EV manufacturers are looking to overcome common challenges facing these new vehicles to deliver drivers the best experience possible.
Below are some examples of new EV technologies that will likely impact the industry and speed up EV adoption.
Compared to traditional one-way charging, bidirectional EV charging allows energy to flow in various ways:
- From the grid into the car
- From the vehicle to the grid (V2G)
- From the vehicle to your home (V2H)
Due to improvements in bidirectional EV charging, it’s becoming more affordable, efficient, and smaller, meaning homeowners can leverage it for different purposes.
Wallbox, a smart EV charging and energy management provider, debuted its bidirectional charger for homes. Its product went on to win four awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2020.
Battery technology plays a vital role in the development and growth of electric vehicles. OneD Battery Sciences, a leader in EV battery technology, introduced SINANODE, a type of technology that shows promise for the future of silicon-based EV batteries.
The SINANODE process fuses silicon nanowires onto graphite powders. OneD Battery Sciences claims this technology triples the energy density of the anode and cuts costs per kWh in half. When a battery has a higher energy density, it can increase its range and the nanowires shorten charging time.
Optimizing performance and reducing costs can greatly benefit the EV industry and support EV adoption.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) rely on electricity to power an electric motor, similar to how traditional electric vehicles work. However, FCEVs use a hydrogen-powered fuel cell to produce electricity, whereas EVs only draw electricity from the battery.
The heart of an FCEV is its fuel cell stack, and this technology offers many benefits for vehicle manufacturers and drivers. FCEVs can reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change because they do not emit harmful tailpipe emissions.
Hyundai is looking to pioneer hydrogen fuel cell technology, as it introduced the first fuel cell SUV called Nexo. Nexo was introduced at CES 2018 and is expected to incorporate semiautonomous and driver assistance technologies.
While the batteries in an EV play a significant role, so do improvements to the electric motor. Electric car motors typically follow basic principles in design. Tightly wound wire coils interact with powerful magnets to spark rotation.
One company, Equipmake, is looking to provide a solution for electric motors where the motor’s magnets are rearranged to look like the spokes of a wheel. This could increase the torque and make magnets more accessible so cooling water can run over them to prevent overheating.
It will likely take more time for electric motors to improve, but plenty of companies are looking for viable solutions to challenges regarding traditional electric motors.
These technological innovations will likely spark growth in the EV industry. More manufacturers are working to deliver EVs with enhanced capabilities, connectivity, and range, among other important factors.
The future looks promising for EVs. In due time, more EV technology will emerge to make these vehicles more reliable for drivers. EVs are better for the environment, can lead to fuel savings, and offer a range of other benefits. Expect more innovations in the EV industry soon.
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