“The Future is Electric”
Electrification in Automobile industry
In today’s fast paced world we all are busy with various activities but did you ever think that what has made world seem a minuscule place than actually it is? The answer is connectivity, its the connectivity that has made whole world seem like a miniature place where everything seems so accessible. But what do I actually mean by connectivity? Connectivity means in every sense, the way one individual is able to connect with another in just span of few seconds no matter how far the distance is, like wise apart from internet connectivity one more major aspect that world has witnessed enormous growth of, is “the transportation industry”. The word “transportation” has variety of applications but for time being we will be focusing particularly on roadways that too cars.
Cars have come a long way now, it was 136 years ago that first gas powered car was invented by Carl Benz. Flash forward to 2022, and, we have a complete new definition of what a car is capable of doing. Cars from 2000’s and up are generally termed as “modern cars” but I guess looking at today’s standards, cars from past 4-5 years shloud be termed as “modern cars”. The amount of technology going into each car is splendid. The new innovations into cars is just making life more and more comfortable. The level of automation in many things is a bombshell, which inturn is leading to severe competition among the giants of this industry.
One of the biggest technological change that automotive industry has witnesssed is electrification. “Electric vehicle” this term has been creating quite a buzz in the market since over a year now. But why all of sudden? The answer is simple: pollution has reached at alarming level in few parts of the world and cars have been one of the biggest polluters in the entire world. Electric vehicles don’t emit any sought of gases, which makes them pollution free. This is the most basic logic why every manufacturer is going towards EV’s. It’s not that this is a new technology, its been in market for over a decade now but its juts that now almost every brand is taking this very acutely.
Let’s look at the current market situation when I say manufactures are taking it seriously. 12 million+ EV’s are on road as of toady, sounds crazy right!! And that number has significantly has increased in past three years. Untill now we only had Tesla which was manufacturing some capable EV’s with promising range but now its a bit different situation, now we have the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, Renault, MINI, Kia, Hyundai, Lexus, Honda, Opel, Ford, GMC, Genesis, Fiat, Cadillac, Rivian, Volvo, Subaru, Smart, Rimac, Lucid and the list goes on. You will be surprised to know that most of the manufacturer have launched thier first EV model is past 3 years and not before that. In today’s date we have an EV available in every segment. By that I mean literally each and every segment. We have EV hatchbacks, sedans SUV’s, capable off-roading SUV’s like GMC Hummer EV, Rivian ST1, pick up trucks like Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla’s upcoming Cyber Truck, performance cars like Mercedes-Benz EQS AMG, Tesla Model S Plaid, Porsche Taycan, super cars like Rimac Nevera, Lotus Evija and the list goes on. This gives us a clear idea that how far this segment has expanded. We have got option right from $10,000 all the way upto $200k mark. This shows that manufacturers are willing to provide an EV that fits in everyone’s budget and also for those who want to shell a bit extra on performance and luxury.
Now that we have seen the current market situation of the EVs but what about its future? Looking at the present situation it’s safe to say that “future is electric”. All manufacturers, governments and environmental organisations are promoting EVs but did you wonder why even people are loving EV? There are many exemplary reasons behind it. Let’s get started!!
EVs are knows for thier instant pickup because of the availability of enomourous amount of torque present just at the press of the pedal. Unlike ICE (internal combustion engines, in short petrol and diesel vehicles) cars, EVs don’t have a engine and gearbox. Then how do they run? “Battery” and “electric motors” are the most basic and cardinal component of an EV. Unlike ICE cars EV don’t have various processes like combustion of fuel by pistons, fuel injection, engaging gears etc, they just have battery and motor as main components which are successful in delivering power with almost no time lag. Power is transferred from battery to the wheels via motors and axle which makes them go at desired speeds much quicker than a normal ICE car. Performance EVs produce some phenomenal numbers too, Lucid Air with over 1000 HP, Rimac Nevera with a top speed of 412 km/h, Tesla Model S Plaid with 0-60 mph time under 2 seconds!!
As I have mentioned above we have a vast price range to select an EV depending upon individual’s budget. Price depends on what kind of EV you want to have but what is common in all of them is they are highly cost efficient compared to an ICE car. Let me put things into prespective by taking this example to run an EV in country like India. Let's take ₹8 per kWh (electricity per unit rate) for example, then to charge this whole battery of 80 kWh it will cost 8×80 = 640, so ₹640 will be your total cost and in full charge if driven properly it can give a range of 300km, so your per km cost is approximately ₹2.1 and now let's consider petrol or diesel car, overall including all segments if we take average then mileage will be around 13kmpl and if you do same 300km in an ICE then it will take 300/13 = 23 litres fuel and now rate is on an average ₹100, So 23x100 = 2300. Just look at the amount of difference in cost, EV is almost 4 times cheaper comapred to an ICE car. If more the distance more cheaper it will turn out in comparison.
As I have discussed earlier that EV doesn’t have a engine and gearbox and also is free from various processes that I mentioned above which means that EVs contain less moving components which directly suggests less wear and tear of parts which contributes to huge savings on maintainance cost. Obviously they do have parts apart from battery and motors but they are significantly less than what we find on an ICE car which becomes the core reason for lesser maintenance cost of an EV.
Due to abcense of engine EVs are absolutely silent, there’s no noise in the cabin. The only sound you can hear is the road noise caused by tyres, that also comes down significantly when choosing a luxury EV like Lucid, Porsche, Tesla etc.
5. Government Funding and schemes
One of the biggest reason why people are considering EVs is because of added benefits given by the government. Like in New Zealand, citizens are entitled for cash rebate upto $8,625 on purchase of EVs, likewise UK government offers discount of $3,480 on buying new EV upto $48,670. In California incentives upto $7,000 can be availed on new EVs. Norway: Electric cars are not subjected to 25% VAT and also no tax on importing EV into the country. Germany: upto 4,000 Euros purchase incentive. France: Eco bonus upto 6,000 Euros can be claimed and additional 2,500 Euros on scrapping your IC car. These were few examples of how government is promoting the sales of EVs.
So, these were main key points why people are shifting towards EVs. EVs have really bright future ahead with advancing technologies in making more efficient battery packs which are capable of giving some incredible range on single charge. In fact right now we have capable cars already which are delivering amazing figures when it comes to range as claimed by companies. Lucid Air dream edition tops the list with a range of 832 kms on single charge followed by 729 kms and 651 kms of Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S respectively. These figures are claimed by company and are not real life figures. In real world conditions obviously the range differs by quite a margin. But still this shows we are progressing with a great rate towards an EV automotive industry. Mercedes has recently announced thier Vision EQXX concept EV with over 1000kms of range on single charge.
If I were to talk on disadvantage of an EV from an end user perspective then I guess charge time and range anxiety are only two reasons that I find EVs have large scope to improve upon, rest as discussed in detail seems pretty good.
At the end I would like to say that future is of EVs, the advancing technologies are making them better and better day by day. Range issues and charge time are two major issues as of now but I belive range issue has already a solution to it when looking at premium EVs and figures claimed by them and I certainly believe that day isn’t too far when one can top up their EV by spending the same amount of time as spent on a fuel station to refuel a ICE car.