Advanced Solutions for Electric Vehicles

Although EVs or electric vehicles have existed in some form or the other for many hundred years now, it is only in the past few decades that technology has advanced and companies have found success. With concern over the effects of air pollution, climate change, and an ever-diminishing supply of fossil fuel, more and more people are considering changing over to EVs.

Consumer demand constitutes the basis of the growing popularity of EVs. The role of governments also helps by tightening their regulations and mandates in reducing carbon emissions with an effort towards reducing global warming.

The rapidly increasing rate of growth of EVs is presenting a huge opportunity not only for EV manufacturers alone, but also for OEMs, and suppliers of aftermarket parts. Although there has been a significant advancement in EV technologies and solutions over the past few decades, there are still a few challenges that must be overcome, and which can quickly become hindrances. Manufacturers must develop new and innovative ways of addressing these challenges if they want to continue on the path to success.

At present, there are three important considerations that most consumers stipulate manufacturers must overcome—range anxiety, performance, and cost.

Even among modern EVs, many could not go very far without their batteries needing a recharge. For most people, this range was too small to seriously consider a changeover to fully electric vehicles. Although battery and motor technology have advanced significantly, range anxiety is still a factor.

Even two decades ago, EVs were struggling to match the performance and power of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

As with any new technology, EVs were initially expensive. Typically, modern EVs were far beyond the reach of most people, or what people were willing to pay for them.

Although car manufacturers are actively addressing the above challenges, an EV that is affordable enough for most consumers and does not compromise on performance, and one that requires only a single charge a month, is still only a mirage. Right now, manufacturers are busy balancing tradeoffs between range, performance, and cost. For instance, improving the performance affects range and cost, while cutting costs can severely compromise range and performance.

Fortunately, manufacturers are finding enhancing efficiency to be the key to the solution. For instance, the primary bottleneck to improving range is the capacity of the battery. Although the obvious solution is to use a bigger battery, that complicates matters further. Not only do bigger batteries cost more, but they also weigh more. Therefore, a bigger battery while increasing the vehicle’s cost can also decrease its performance.

Therefore, manufacturers are looking for ways to use the existing battery more efficiently. They are reducing the energy losses occurring naturally in the power-conversion system of the vehicle. This is mainly as lost energy in the form of heat in the EV’s motor, powertrain, and the power-electronics systems in the vehicle.

Weight is another factor affecting performance—a lightweight vehicle has superior performance. Therefore, manufacturers are trying for higher power density, where they add more power to the vehicle without increasing its weight. With lighter batteries and power-conversion systems, the vehicle can achieve better performance and speed.