FreeWord – Electric Vehicles

Hello folks! It’s the FreeWord time. Today I will write about the electric vehicle (EV) industry which has been booming over the last few years and continues to do so. Even though EV’s have received a lot of attention, there’s a lot of confusion regarding EV terminology. First of all, let me state the obvious. When we talk about electric vehicles, we don’t just talk about electric cars, but also about electric trucks, buses, bikes, trains, trams, planes, electric boats and so on. EVs are vehicles that run at least partially on electricity. Unlike conventional vehicles that use internal combustion engines (ICE), run by gasoline or diesel, EVs use an electric motor powered by electricity from batteries or a fuel cell.

The key to this successful development of the EV industry has been the advancements in battery and charging technology. Battery-vehicles use electricity as their only fuel, so it is important to match the battery range to the intended use of the vehicle. However, recharging away from home is becoming easier as public and workplace charging stations are becoming more widely available. E.G. big names from multiple fields such as Audi, Amazon, Electrify America and Arcadia Power teamed up for an EV charging collaboration. It is assumed that development will continue to be staggering.

EV Benefits

It’s good for the environment. EV’s don’t even have an exhaust system, meaning they have zero emissions. It’s all about how electricity is produced and since we are transitioning to renewables, making the switch to an electric vehicle will help contribute to cleaner air and a healthier planet.

Electricity is relatively cheaper than gasoline. You’ll most likely charge your car in your garage, so installing solar panels at home can save you even more money while powering both your residence and charging your EV.

Maintenance is less frequent and less expensive. You can forget the oil changes or any other maintenance related to ICE due to their countless moving parts. Also, the brakes on an EV don’t wear out as quickly compared to a conventional vehicle because of the regenerative braking.

They’re quiet. We all know how much noise pollution ICE engines make. EVs, on the other hand, can be so quiet that in fact, some legislators have proposed the installation of noise-making devices to alert pedestrians.

Other EV incentives. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for EV incentives from your state, city or utility. Monetary and non-monetary incentives may include additional tax credits, vehicle or infrastructure rebates or vouchers, vehicle registration fee reductions, loans and special low-cost charging rates.

They can save you time. If you live in a high-traffic area, driving an EV means you have the privilege of using the “carpool” lane any time of day – even if you’re riding solo.

EV Disadvantages

Short range. Although the range is constantly improving, it’s still one of the main points for consumers deciding between electric and conventional.

Recharging time. Recharging your EV is a much more significant time investment than filling up a conventional car. Nowadays most batteries take about four hours to reach a full charge. However, there are kits available that can cut charging time in half and even more. Tesla supercharging stations are charged with up to 135 kW of power distributed between two cars with a maximum of 120 kW per car. They take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100% on the original 85 kWh Model S.

Relatively large initial investment. Consumers can expect to pay more for an EV. Even the most affordable electric car models start at around $25k at the moment. However, as technology advances and popularity rises, these prices will fall.

Charging station availability is inconsistent. If you are lucky and you live in an area where electric vehicles are relatively common, there might be wide availability of EV charging stations for your convenience. If you live in a remote area, the lack of them is another major grievance for consumers.

There are fewer choices. The selection of electric cars is relatively limited at the moment. On the upside, this will definitely change as EV prevalence continues to grow.

EV vs ICE, And The Environment

We’ve been through the pros and cons, but how much of a positive impact on the environment do you achieve by purchasing an EV? Check out the video below.

Blockchain And EV

For decreasing costs, retaining profits and sustaining consumer purchases is where blockchain technology can help. Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT), allows manufacturers to track materials from the source which leads companies to reduce costs on their end and increase profit margins by cleaning up their supply chains. Essentially ridding the manufacturing process off of counterfeit parts diversion. As a result, supply chains will become leaner and more efficient. The emerging smart grid, equipped with IT systems that manage the flow of energy, could allow electric cars to perform services like demand response and frequency regulation  –  helping out the grid during peak times with surplus energy either by charging or feeding back to the grid. In addition, new digital services for sharing vehicle data will improve driver safety and convenience.

Most EV drivers have home chargers. All of that can be shared and expanded by the EV charging network way beyond its current capacity. There is already an existing company called PlugShare where you can share your EV charger through their app. Thus, using this bartering of electrons is quite undeveloped compared to the DAV platform.

The DAV platform is a blockchain-based platform for transportation. It creates an entire ecosystem for vehicles, mobility services, riders and shippers. Meaning if anybody wants to share their vehicle or drone – whether to become an Uber driver or make their trunk available to carry a package across town –  it can be arranged via the platform and the DAV tokens.

Conclusion

EVs are set to oust ICE’s from its market dominance over the next decade or so. As prices drop and performance improves, they will become more and more economically viable for consumers. Eventually, we will reach a tipping point where governments will push for taking the ICE’s off the market completely. Ten years from now, in Sweden it will be impossible even to try buying a new ICE vehicle (Source). Among analysts, the transition is believed to be inevitable, with the actual timeline remaining the only point of contention.

Image Credit: Bruce MacKinnon

Disclaimer

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of The Energy Bit or official policies of The Energy Bit.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: