An all-electric coupe for your imagined retro-future
While much of the automotive world is focused on the New York Auto Show, a small car startup has unveiled its first-ever vehicles on the other side of the country in Santa Clara, California. SF Motors, the US arm of Chinese company Sokon, has just an…
Engadget RSS Feed
Mini really wants everyone to know that it's embracing the EV future. At an event ahead of the New York Auto Show, the automaker unveiled the Classic Mini Electric that's exactly what the name implies: an older Mini that's been electrified.
Engadget RSS Feed
At a press conference today in New York, Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced the world’s first premium electric self-driving car. The first collaboration of a planned long-term partnership with British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, the Jaguar I-PACE will form part of Waymo’s autonomous car fleet in 2020 after testing begins later this year.
Krafcik started by talking about different use cases for its self-driving cars, and how they can improve people’s lives.
Waymo and Jaguar announce world’s first premium electric self-driving SUV was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
FedEx is the latest company to invest in Tesla's Semi electric trucks. It recently ordered 20 of the vehicles to be deployed in its FedEx Freight department. Still, that doesn't compare to UPS, which reserved 125 of them, making it the largest Tesla…
Engadget RSS Feed
Bird electric scooters have officially taken over Southern California. They are inexpensive to rent and can make transportation through a busy city like San Diego or Los Angeles absolutely painless. These scooters are fast and fun to ride, so whether you just need to get from point A to point B, or are looking for […]
We may soon be in the era of the electric car.
Today, they’re around of course, but they’re not yet ubiquitous. That may soon change, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts — by 2025, some EV models could cost less than their gas-guzzling competitors.
The biggest reason? Lithium-ion batteries, a key component of tomorrow’s electric cars, are getting cheaper. Analysts suspect that is enough to make the price of electric cars go way, way down.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — the global electric car revolution is coming, but its timeline may not be speeding up so much. And there are a bunch of practical reasons why.
First, the researchers caution that for the price of electric cars to dip lower than that of petroleum cars, the cost of the battery pack needs to keep going down, even though the price of lithium and other components may increase in the future. Granted, a price drop may still be possible if they’re mass produced. China, for example, is racing to become a leader in EV manufacturing
China’s pushing EV adoption, too, going as far as suggesting a ban on oil-guzzling cars “in the near future,” according to CityLab. France and the United Kingdom also announced they will ban gasoline cars by 2040, a sign of their commitment to alternative forms of transportation.
But ultimately, if electric cars are to really take off, countries will need a charging network big and efficient enough to actually work. When cars first became popular, gas stations started popped up, first in cities, then in smaller towns, eventually reaching even the most remote rural settlements. This spread was haphazard and over a long period of time, but today’s drivers know that wherever they go, they are almost certainly not going to run out of fuel.
The same can’t be said for electric cars. At least, not yet.
Numbers-wise, China is way ahead, with around 150,000 public charging points already; the U.S. has around 16,000. While China’s numbers may seem impressive, “I don’t think there are more than a couple dozen publicly available charging stations in any city,” Sabrina Howell, a New York University finance expert, told CityLab.
Beijing plans to boost its network of charging stations to meet the demands of 5 million electric cars by 2020, but experts say that simply upping the numbers is not enough. For example, charging several EVs at the same time may cause brownouts if there’s not enough voltage in supply. Souping up the existing electric networks to make room for charging points would likely cost a fortune, studies found.
“I don’t get a sense that China has thought through the charging issue, and the economics of it,” said Henry Lee, the director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard University, speaking with City Lab, “Nor do I think that they have a business plan for it.”
When you think about it, putting charging points where drivers will need them most really doesn’t seem all that hard. After all, we equipped the world with gas stations without a business plan or a strategy at all.
But — but — it took a very long time to get there. As climate change threatens the way of life of billions of people around the globe, we don’t have that same luxury.
Even the coolest, cheapest electric model won’t win people over if they don’t know where to charge it.
The post Electric Cars May Be Cheaper Than Gas Guzzlers in 7 Years — If People Actually Buy Them appeared first on Futurism.
The following is a guest contributed post by Ted Annis, the manager and co-founder of Transducing Energy Devices, LLC.
As automakers try to plug into consumers’ future needs, electric cars are stirring boardroom curiosity – but not a lot of sales.
Some car manufacturers are banking on a different story in the future, though.
Electric cars comprise less than 1 percent of U.S. auto sales, yet some major automakers are planning to manufacture many more electric models in the near future. According to an article on Bloomberg.com, General Motors plans to roll out 20 models by 2023 and Toyota 10 by early in the next decade. Researcher LMC Automotive predicts 75 electric models will be produced in the U.S. over the next five years.
“The 21st century will see the return of electric cars, as we are witnessing with Tesla, Porsche, GM, Ford, and others,” says Ted Annis, manager and co-founder of Transducing Energy Devices, LLC (www.tedmagnetics.com) in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Environmental, economical and market factors will meet to make the electric car prominent in the American culture.”
LMC forecasts gasoline-powered engines will still make up about 85 percent of U.S. new car sales in 2025, but that electric cars’ market share will continue to accelerate. Bloomsberg New Energy Finance’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017 projects electric cars will comprise over 50 percent in sales of new light-duty vehicles by 2035.
Annis gives four advantages of an electric car that will increase its popularity:
- Fuel cost savings. Electric cars are entirely charged by the electricity you provide, meaning you don’t need to buy any gas ever again. An average American spends $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 on gas each year. “From the gas standpoint alone, the electric car makes a lot of sense,” Annis says. “Keeping these cars charged isn’t free, but overall the electric car is far cheaper in operating costs.”
- Environmentally-friendly. Cars and trucks are responsible for roughly 24 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, according to Scientific American. With no emissions, electric cars are eco-friendly as they run on electrically powered engines. “The growing popularity of these cars is partly an outgrowth of our global environmental concerns,” Annis says. “You’ll be contributing to a green climate. And some manufacturers will offer incentives through the government for going green.”
- Low maintenance. No more oil changes, spark-plug replacements, or the many repair possibilities associated with an internal combustion engine and transmission. The electric car motor has far fewer moving parts. Brakes on electric cars receive less wear and tear. “Expensive engine work is a thing of past,” Annis says.
- Quiet. Engines of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles contribute to noise pollution, which is harmful to health. A study published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reported that nearly 100 million Americans had annual exposures to traffic noise that were high enough to be harmful. Electric vehicles are extremely quiet.
“The advantages are many,” Annis says. “Technology tailored to a changing consumer base is steadily making improvements in electric cars, and in the next decade the roads will be filled with them.”
About Ted Annis
Ted Annis (www.tedmagnetics.com) is the manager and co-founder of Transducing Energy Devices, LLC, which is engaged in the research and development of a fuel-less electricity energy device. He received a BS in physics and an MBA at Xavier University. He formerly was with Ford Motor Company and was CEO and co-founder of SupplyTech, Inc.
The post 4 Reasons Electric Cars Will Create A Buzz In The Next Decade appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.
Electric vehicles, many believe, will save the planet, and the humans that live on it. But that only if making them doesn’t decimate it (and us) first. How’s a car owner to choose?
Most traditional cars run on lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries are fairly cheap, perform well in cold temperatures, and don’t put drivers at risk if they’re not charged properly.
But there’s something sinister at play. One of the reasons lead-acid batteries are so much cheaper is because they’re recyclable. But that process comes with its own host of problems. It’s often workers in developing countries doing the recycling, using highly unsafe methods, as a recent investigation into a spate of debilitating — and even fatal — lead poisonings in Kenya showed. Wealthier nations like the U.S. have laws that require more careful (and, therefore, more expensive) processing for these batteries. So instead they export them to places with fewer regulations, causing workers to suffer.
So some automakers have shifted to lithium-ion batteries. Primarily used in electric cars, these batteries are lighter and can store a charge longer, but they’re much more expensive ($ 1700 per battery, compared to $ 120 for a top-end lead-acid battery, according to Road and Track). And if they get damaged, the highly reactive lithium inside can, well, explode. Not ideal.
Lithium-ion cells also rely on a limited supply of rare-earth metals, which are environmentally hazardous to mine. Workers, including illegal child laborers, operate under harsh conditions to produce them.
That leaves the conscientious car owner with an impossible choice. Do you buy the electric vehicle to minimize your carbon footprint but with the knowledge of the human suffering and environmental damage it takes to make it?
What we really need, if EVs are going to become truly widespread, is a new kind of battery.
There seem to be plenty of candidates, from the much-hyped but not-yet-realized solid state batteries, to rapidly-charging supercapacitors, or even batteries that run on just carbon and water. Indeed, according to Financial Times, venture capitalists have already invested a record $ 1 billion in advancing next-generation battery technology in 2018. That’s already double that of 2017, and we’re three months into the year.
But none of these battery concepts is mature enough to even come close to powering something like a car. To be viable alternatives, they’ll need a lot more development, time, and money. In the meantime, though, lithium-ion batteries have still gotten the most funding over the past two years, Financial Times reports, because investors already know they work.
That’s not going to push the technology forward. For green technology to become widespread, experts believe advanced batteries are one of the biggest needs. If we’re going to cross that threshold, we’ve gotta break away from what has worked in the past.
The post Electric Vehicles Are the Future, but Their Batteries Are Stuck in the Past appeared first on Futurism.