Electric vehicle makers focus on range, recharging and inductive charging

Auto & Audio April 10, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE GLOBAL electric vehicle market is booming, with some 25 models likely to be launched later this year – the Chevrolet Bolt |and Tesla Model 3 being the most anticipated.



The availability of incentives and subsidies in the market, significant investment by original equipment manufacturers, new entrants and lower battery prices are factors propelling double-digit growth. 

However, the lack of standardisation in charging technology, absence of a fixed business model and the short driving range of EVs still need to be addressed.

“Incentives for battery EVs [BEVs] are greater than plug-in hybrid EVs ]PHEVs] as governments support emission-free mobility,” Frost & Sullivan mobility industry manager Prajyot Sathe said recently. 

“Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom will have the highest impact on EV prices due to availability of cash incentives, while the Netherlands EV market declined drastically due to a decrease in incentives.”

“Global Electric Vehicle Market Outlook 2017”, a part of Frost & Sullivan’s Mobility: Automotive & Transportation Growth Partner-ship Service programme, finds that the EV market grew over 15 times at a remarkable compound annual growth rate of 72.1 per cent from 2011-16. 

This year the global EV market is likely to grow 25.6 per cent to 950,000 units sold. 

In the European Union (EU), 48V mild hybrids and PHEVs are likely to be the key technologies adopted, while the Chinese government pushes vehicle electrification. 

In Japan, full hybrid standardisation is likely across models by 2025.

Last year, over 774,025 EVs were sold globally, of which 63.4 per cent were BEVs and 36.6 per cent were PHEVs. 

The Middle East, South Africa, South America and a few countries in Apac commenced sales of EVs in 2016. 

Though the market is not very attractive for automakers, the Middle East is likely to be a demand hub for premium EVs. 

The Chinese market grew 85.0 per cent, with over 351,071 unit sales capturing over 45.4 per cent of the market. 

The EV market is moving towards higher battery capacities of over 60kWh to increase the range of a EV up to 200 miles (322 kilometres) on a single charge. 

Charging infrastructure associations and companies such as CHAdeMO are focusing on geographic expansion, which includes Afghanistan, China, Colombia, Croatia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Ukraine. 

Samsung will compete with Tesla’s Gigafactory in developing battery packs. 

Tesla is focusing on reducing the cost of the battery pack, but Samsung is focusing on large battery packs above 100kWh that will provide a range of over 370 miles and recharge in less than 20 minutes. 

Combined Charging System and CHAdeMO will focus on launching high-power charging stations from 150kW-350kW of power capacity. 

EVs with a 200-mile range will be launched by General Motors (Chevrolet Bolt) and Tesla (Model 3). 

Most of the leading OEMs will relaunch their flagship models as second-generation models. BMW i3 and Ford Focus Electric will be launched with a facelift. 

“Tesla, the market leader, is set for strong competition. Premium German brands are planning to launch luxury EVs to compete directly with Tesla in terms of range, recharging time and inductive charging,” Sathe said. 

“A number of start-ups such as Lucid Motors, NextEV and Faraday Future aim to compete with Tesla by launching their plans to introduce EVs in the market.”