If you look back in history you will see an array of attempts to bring electric vehicles to the mass market falling by the wayside. Over the years billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into this industry only to see consumers turn their backs and revert to gasoline/diesel vehicles. However, there have been some major developments in the electric vehicle market in recent times and experts are now wondering whether it is now time to take a closer look?
There are many factors to take into consideration when looking towards electric vehicles, which we will cover below.
Basic Cost Of An Electric Vehicle
When you take into account the fact that the US recently reported the sale of the 100,000th electric vehicle this perhaps reflects the growing demand from consumers. The basic cost of electric vehicles is still significantly in excess of the traditional gasoline/diesel vehicles but when you take into account government incentives, fuel savings, running costs, not to mention the fact that many of the more popular electric vehicles are available for lease, then maybe now is the time to take a closer look?
The reality is that for the first time in many years we have seen the likes of Ford and Nissan, to take just two examples, fighting to reduce the cost of their electric vehicles to grab the attention of more environmentally friendly motorists. The kind of price competition that we see today has been severely lacking in years gone by which gives the impression that perhaps electric vehicles are not as far away from the mass market as some sceptics might have you believe?
The electric car of today is very different to that of just 10 years ago, perhaps the last time that the electric vehicle market made a major play for the mass-market, and the technological advances are certainly gathering pace. We have seen a number of companies working together on new electric drive systems, we have seen the licensing of high spec technology and the fact that companies are now regularly announcing joint ventures should continue to speed up the delivery of new technology.
The electric car today takes into account the new mobile/wireless world we live in offering you the ability to literally control your vehicle via special phone apps. While these may be seen as gimmicks by many people, they are the kind of advances which certainly catch the eye of the mass public which should eventually lead to the promised land of the mass-market. Technological advances have also been completed by physical changes in the way these vehicles are manufactured taking in much lighter materials while at the same time improving not only the safety but also the aerodynamics. When you’re talking about such small margins in relation to current battery technology, the aerodynamics of the modern-day electric car certainly comes into play.
If you look back 10 years to the controversial General Motors EV1 electric car, which came and went very quickly, you will see that the battery journey capacity of this particular vehicle was around 100 miles. While the Nissan Leaf 2013 can currently reach around 129 miles per full battery charge you could be mistaken for assuming there has been little in the way of development in this particular area.
The reality is that investment funding for new battery technology is only now coming into play with the US government recently announcing a major battery technology investment programme together with an array of car manufacturers. We also have substantiated inside knowledge which suggest that IBM is on the verge of finalising a new technology which would extend battery journey capacity to up to 500 miles per full charge. There is even intense speculation of a further development by a mysterious third-party which could in due course increase journey capacity per full battery charge to over 1000 miles.
The vast majority of US motorists, by far and away the largest automobile market in the world, have expressed an opinion that they would not look at an electric vehicle until the journey capacity per full charge was 300 miles. When you bear in mind how quickly battery technology is advancing we are not too far away from breaking that barrier.
The electric vehicle market that we see today is very different to that of just 10 years ago and technological advances are being announced on a regular basis. Thankfully these advances in basic electric car technology have been replicated in the electric car battery sector and the potential Holy Grail of entry into the mass-market does not seem to be too far away. We have also seen an array of new electric car charging companies appear on the horizon with more electric car charging points available today than ever before.
When you take into account government funding, private company funding, the changing views of motorists, falling prices and technological advances, perhaps electric vehicles really are on the verge of breaking into the mass-market?