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Electric Vehicles

The Electric Vehicle Revolution is Here!

Here’s our simple guide to breaking down the EV basics

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been around since the 19th century, although they were most likely very questionable machines back in 1839. Moving forward to 2019, recent advances in technology, cost and infrastructure have resulted in a resurgence of EV popularity, with an understanding of this new and improved technology important for the imminent electric future.

What exactly is an Electric Vehicle and how do they work?

EVs, specifically all-electric or battery, use an electric motor for propulsion, typically though the utilisation of chemical energy stored in a rechargeable battery. There are three major battery types that are used within EVs:

  • Lithium-Ion,
  • Nickel metal hydride and
  • Lead acid.
Did you know that lead acid batteries were used in the earliest models of EVs during the late 19th century up until 2010, however within today’s market nickel metal hydride and Lithium-Ion batteries dominate.

Lithium-Ion batteries have recently become the popular choice of battery used, with a key factor of their increased popularity being a dramatic 80% reduction in the price between 2010 to 2016.

These batteries are a superior choice as they are much lighter, more powerful, and have a greater lifecycle compared to other lead-acid batteries. There is also a wide array of Lithium-Ion battery compositions, which can provide different specific battery characteristics.

Of the different compositions, the nickel-manganese-cobalt combination proves to be a great choice, with benefits such as good specific energy and specific power density. EVs however are not just magical machines that can run off a battery forever, they do need to be ‘’fuelled’’.

In order to ‘’fuel’’ EVs, the car is plugged into an external outlet, which does present the added beneficial option of having a personal one at home. This charging process can be a brief 30 minutes, or take up to 12 hours, depending on the size of the battery within the vehicle and the speed of the charging station used. Once charged, the vehicle can have a range of 80km up to an impressive 565km, which depends of the vehicle model. On top of the external charging outlet, EVs also charge their battery when the brakes are applied, which is termed ‘’regenerative breaking’’, as well as minimizing wasted energy through turning the car off when stopped.

So why the recent demand for All Electric Vehicles?

A popular and well-needed campaign for a greener environment is currently taking place, with a natural product of this movement being an increased global demand for cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Regarding this global initiative, an important question needs to be addressed: ‘how will this movement gain traction?’ The answer is EV.

EVs utilise battery packs to power their engines which is different to a fossil fuel guzzling car which incorporates an internal combustion engine (known as ICE). This absence of an ICE within EVs subsequently results in the removal of the exhaust system from the vehicle.

With no exhaust system, no exhaust emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere, meaning the environmental impact of driving an EV is dramatically lower than ICE cars. EVs wont independently solve the worlds environmental problems, but they are set to displace 7.3 million barrels of transport fuel per day by 2040 according to Bloomberg, which is a dramatic influence.

With the technology here to support the global growth of EVs, as well as to make them a viable product which stands strong against fossil fuel cars, the future opportunities for this market are exciting and bright. With Bloomberg estimating sales to increase from 1.1 million in 2017 to 11 million in 2025, it’s safe to say the EV revolution is here.

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