One of the most significant factors that hinder the acceptance of electric cars is its limited battery capacity. Depending on the charging system, it takes 45 minutes to a few days, to fully charge the battery of an electric car. There are further disadvantages of using wired cables for the purpose.
A wired cable requires the car to be kept stationary for an extended period. This point gets even more pronounced in case of emergency, or when the user forgets to charge his car in advance. And the wired cables are especially dangerous if the charging doors are not closed while driving out.
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An electric car fares better than its gas fuelled counterparts in several aspects such as pollution control and reduced noise levels. It is also safer due to the heavy battery frame that brings down the center of gravity thereby enabling a better balance. But the major drawback lies in its energy storage capability. The prime potential fix includes supercapacitors. These energy storage devices are prone to energy leakage and capacity problems. Moreover, they are expensive. As their capabilities cannot be improved overnight, it’s better to focus on the enhancement of charging capabilities.
The new chargers that are up to 450 kW charge an electric car in almost the same time as it takes for a conventional vehicle to refuel at the gas station. Though there are a few problems with these chargers too. There are a few such chargers in the market, and their cost is comparable to that of a small car. Further, they require enormous power, thereby making their installation difficult. Wireless Charging Capability is still another alternative that addresses these challenges.
A wireless charger meets many of the above-listed challenges. Wireless charging facility is available over the grid, or public areas such as parking places or at specially-build roads with charging capability. Thus, a wireless charging facility provides better user experience when compared with refueling at a gas station. Again, the main factor that limits the proliferation of this technology is its ‘cost.’ With WiTricity acquiring Qualcomm Halo, the two major companies are working toward addressing the cost related issues.
2.Are Self-Driving Electric Cars The Next Big Thing?
Austin hosted a self-driving electric bus demonstration this year. One of the very first passengers was a centenarian named Julia. As Julia was whisked around the route without a human driver, she remarked that as a child she rode around in a horse and buggy. As she departed the autonomous electric ride, Julia smiled and stated, “This is the future.”
The future of mobility is increasingly moving towards electric vehicles (EVs), and both industry and government are significantly investing in this future. Tesla, an all-electric vehicle company, valued at $51 billion surpassed the market cap of Ford and General Motors. France, the world’s sixth largest economy, recently announced that it will end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040. Volvo announced its plans to manufacture only electric or hybrid vehicles starting in 2019. The combination of market, policy, and industry innovation supports a bull market for transportation electrification. This trend is also supported by a historically strong growth curve as demonstrated by a 74 percent increase in EV sales from March 2016 to March 2017 in the U.S.
EVs are also much cleaner to operate as they have no tailpipe emissions and get their energy from an increasingly greener electric grid. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the transportation sector in 2016 became the number one contributor to the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.