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The Exciting Evolution Of The Electric Vehicle (EV)

Futuristic battery technology is transforming the latest models of electric vehicles (EVs) but has it got the legs to transform the entire automotive market? Potentially, sole use of EVs could alter how, why, when and where we drive. The newest awaited technology, boasts an impressive one minute charge for a 500 mile range. It’s a far cry from the original, green supercar from California, the Tesla Roadster Sport, which took a mighty 13 hours to recharge from a regular plug. This meant journeys beyond its range of 394 km (245 miles) were simply not possible. But it’s all change as accessibility in the US is improving at a rate of knots and more and more cutting edge EVs are joining the market. They are worlds apart from the humble bicycle which was previously our only road warrior with zero emissions.

Oh The Places You Will Go

Obviously commuting by car may not be convenient when driving an electric vehicle with a limited range, so the EV may not be for everyone, particular if you are going to experience range anxiety. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining how the hybrid has established its niche in the market.  However, if you look closely at the average American’s driving logistics, taken from a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute, they spend 46 minutes on the road driving 29.2 miles for two trips each day. If you are looking for more ways to protect the planet, leave fossil fuels in the ground and reduce your carbon footprint then an electric car may be the answer.

Electric Car = Zero Emissions The Real Impact On The Environment

Driving a car with zero emissions sounds glamorous and green but it’s never that simple.The more mileage an electric car logs, the more environmentally sound it is as its overall carbon footprint (including its manufacture) is reduced. Unfortunately there is a fine line as extending the mileage may call for a need to replace the battery thus negating the benefits to the environment.  On a positive, EVs are subject to lower fuel and tax costs overall, so with the correct choice of model for your driving intentions, you could be rewarded financially over time for your choice. Especially since discounts are offered on car insurance from specialist providers  as well. Do remember to check the terms and conditions carefully though to ensure that it adequately protects your car and is the right policy for your needs. Manufacturers are taking these impacts seriously and are modifying the EV with some fancy technology; the more environmentally friendly your vehicle, the lesser its impact and insurers may well begin to recognize this by rewarding policy holders. 

Current Developments in Charging Capacity

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have developed a new battery that has the capacity to be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes over an incredulous lifespan of over 20 years. Their research involved making small improvements to the lithium-ion batteries that could have a huge impact on the EV market. Today’s batteries are able to be charged around 500 times to capacity before they need to be replaced. NTU Singapore’s team expects a whopping 10,000 charging cycles. This is particularly ground breaking as it will mean batteries will no longer need to be replaced to fulfill the lifespan of the car and as a result will improve the EVs overall burden on the climate.

Case Study Of Europe’s Top Electric Car

The Renault Zoe has the longest claimed range of 400 km, this is more than any mainstream EV available today. However, the demands on an electric car are more complex and in the winter, heating, a head wind and carrying heavy loads can all have a significant impact on that available range. Astonishingly it can lose considerable range  – up to 160 km – simply because of how the vehicle is used in the conditions it is subject to. Thankfully, you can pop the Zoe into Eco Mode whereby the dynamic performance and air conditioning is automatically limited in order to maximize its driving range. One of the best features is a rapid charge variant which swallows any voltage. Consequently, you’ll be able to take advantage of more charging points as well as opt for the rapid charging points (slow and fast are the other options but of course the charge takes longer).  Lastly, a lease on the battery itself means that its price is the same as the regular gasoline vehicles around it.

Hop Over To Hydrogen

The Toyota Mirai is one of the hydrogen cell car options available now. With a single 152bhp electric motor it can travel for up to 650km or 400 miles between refills. Could this be the solution for the anxiety range of the EV? Japan is certainly putting itself out there as a champion contender to the future vehicles on our roads. Twenty years ago, Toyota revolutionized our thinking with the Prius. Nowadays, they produce one a minute. The Mirai handles just like a regular car but its emissions are merely water. What’s the catch? The immaturity of the hydrogen fuel cell market means challenges exist in building up the infrastructure to support the running of these vehicles. The production, transportation and bulk storage of hydrogen demand energy from fossil fuels. Alike to the EV, the hydrogen powered car creates the majority of its emissions in its creation.

The Future With Fisker

The patent application is in for its super fast charging, far ranging solid state battery that would suit anyone’s needs. Honda, Toyota and BMW have since announced that they will be making the switch to solid state batteries. The prototype appeared in January at CES. These are fast charging, non-flammable and affordable. Instead of the conventional lithium-ion battery, this solid state battery boasts a 3D electrode design composed of solid electrodes and electrolytes capable of holding more energy and able to draw in a charge at a far faster rate. Its luxury, autonomous sedan running on the solid state, the EMotion, is Tesla’s biggest competition.  Imagine your mobile phone losing less charge over the course of a day or managing to retain its original capacity. This is what Fisker is proposing it can solve in the EV battery battle. It’s a fight worth watching.

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