Charged up and ready to roll! Electric vehicles take to the road
A glance at statistics – electric vehicles only account for about 2 % of EU registrations – could easily lead us to believe that the EV era will not be upon us anytime soon. Yet, recent turmoil in the car industry, new EU emission standards and fresh innovations are likely to accelerate the transition. This issue of the Research*EU magazine sheds light on some of the most recent technological breakthroughs in this sector.
Is the electric vehicle era finally closing in?
There are always two sides to the same coin, and the electric car market is no exception. On the one hand, you could say the glass is half full, with European sales having soared by 40 % in the first half of 2018. But the downside is that electric cars still account for only 2 % of all new registrations… So if the future is indeed electric, it’s not here yet – not by a long shot.
Still, there have been some signs pointing in the right direction as of late. While ever-stricter EU emission standards have been weighing in automakers’ plans for a while, the so-called “dieselgate” has also pushed European cities’ agenda on getting rid of diesel-powered cars and even gasoline-powered ones in a not so distant future. Cities like Paris, Copenhagen and Oxford have all committed to this objective, and this will undoubtedly provide an unprecedented boost to electric vehicle (EV) sales.
For research centres, car manufacturers and SMEs, now would be the time to overcome current obstacles to a wider market adoption – namely a lack of infrastructure (charging stations), limited and inconsistent driving range, and practicality. Whilst the first two are obvious enablers, the third is particularly important in the scenario where cities will be first to massively adopt EVs: customer response will largely depend on how handy it is to drive an EV in cities where congestion is a growing problem and parking space becomes ever scarcer.
This month’s issue of the Research*EU magazine prominently features means to these ends. These include research focused on making less greedy heating systems, temperature-resilient batteries, fast-charge solutions for e-buses, semiconductor technology to make EVs more efficient, a new generation of electric light vehicles (ELVs) and innovative hybrid powertrains. Last but not least, and as reminder that the electric revolution will touch upon all transportation sectors, we look into a brand new, fully-electric ferry.
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