We have long ago heard here and there that the era of electric cars is just around the corner. Yes, over the past 5 years, you can hear or see people driving Tesla cars more often. But as a rule, it speaks rather about the prosperity of its owner, than that electromobiles are everyday. Nevertheless, electric transport is present in many cities. After all, we often ride on trams or trolley-buses. And we use the metro. However, all of them are connected to one city electric network and are considerably limited in movement. Because they depend on power transmission lines, and if something happens, not only transport, but also the entire city will be stuck. Active development of electric transport would help with another problem – air pollution, especially in big cities.
But is the future of electric cars so close, as predicted? What are the problems associated with electric transport? Perhaps it will cost a fortune to the state? And what about the reality of the introduction of electric transport in the lives of ordinary people? Let’s figure it out.
Now the ability to charge an electric car is not as simple as refueling with gasoline. On average it takes 15 minutes to fill a gas tank, given that you need to go to the cashier, pay, put the gun in the tank, close the tank and start the car. But the standard electric car will be charged for at least 3 hours. And it’s not enough for the whole day. Most cars with an electric motor can not drive even 4 hours. And traffic jams are not taken into considerations. How to deal with this serious problem in urban transport?
There are two possible outcomes of such events at the moment. The first taking its own way, is an increase in the power of the batteries. But how many years will it take to create such a battery, which would not be the size of the car itself, but would ensure the work of the engine for at least 8 hours? And even with such a battery, the question remains – how long will it take to fully recharge?
A second possible way of solving the problem has appeared recently. It is not as relatively simple as increasing the battery power, but in the long run it will create an almost endless and comfortable use of electric vehicles on the roads. It is a question of creating such a road, allowing to recharge the car on the move. This project is called DEVC (Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging).
The American company Qualcomm, engaged in the development of wireless communications, decided to create such a grandiose project. The beginning of the electric road is laid: in Versailles, one of the famous cities in France, have already installed 100 meters of such a road, on which the Renault Kangoo ZE drove at a speed of 60 km / h. Despite the fact that there is no official data on how much the car was recharged, the very possibility of such a road is encouraging. The company is not going to stop there and continues to work on the electric road, which was named Fabric.
The issue of recharging during the trip is also a big concern to other countries. For example, Sweden is also developing various prototype systems that would increase the long-term use of the electric vehicle. So far the most realistic for Sweden is the principle of a trolleybus: over the route there are wires with a power of 750 volts. The cars with an electric motor are installed with the “horns” similar to the trolleybus, which allows the car to constantly recharge the engine. But this method is very uncomfortable both for highways and the cities. After all, what if the power line breaks? How long will I have to wait for help? And most importantly – how long will it take to install the “horns” so that cars can reach the wires?
Sweden tried the lines on hybrid trucks. They always left a gasoline engine in reserve, just in case. On highways, this method would actually help to reduce the level of exhaust gases to the atmosphere and clean the road, but the use of such a motorway is still available only for large modes of transport. Therefore, Sweden began to develop a prototype road, similar to tram tracks: it will be laid rails, from which an electric car of any size can recharge the engine.
Electric transport in Europe
Europe is struggling with the problems of air, soil and water pollution for many years. So the question of using electric transport in the European region is unambiguous for the governments of the countries: electric transport is needed at the state level.
In England, the introduction of electric transport into everyday life has long been active. In autumn of 2017, the government purchased more than 50 electric vehicles of the brand BMW i3 for the needs of the fire department. Of course, they are not equipped with water hoses and sliding ladders, but they are not needed to extinguish the fire. They will patrol and guard the city.
Also, tourist cabs, these same cars with a capacity of up to 6 people, which will take you and your friends comfortably along the streets of London, also switch to hybrid engines. Of course, this is not yet fully electric, but in the new “carriage” TX eCity it will be possible to drive as much as 100 kilometers using only an electric motor. Already, more than 300 charging stations are being actively installed throughout London, so that drivers can more easily recharge their cars between trips. A full charge of this cab is promised in 45 minutes, during this time you can just drink a cup of excellent English tea at 5 pm. LEVC formerly called London Taxi Company will develop business cards of the roads of London.
France plans to switch only to electric vehicles by the year 2040. The draft law is being developed, which would allow banning the sale and purchase of cars with a gasoline engine by 2040. These solutions have not only an economic motive, in this way France plans to reduce its dependence on the supply of petroleum products. And the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wants to ban the transport with an internal combustion engine on the territory of the capital since 2020.
Such a decision, however, has economic consequences: for some families in France it will be quite difficult to buy another car. But the government promised to solve this issue by 2040. In many respects, the government also takes into consideration the fact that the world situation in relation to electric transport will change and they will become more accessible on their own.
PSA Group, which owns such famous companies as Citroen and Peugot, supports the plans of French deputies. PSA Group has already adopted a new plan, which will have to replace 80% of produced cars with electric vehicles and hybrid models (ie with electric motor and internal combustion engine as spare).
Finland and Slovakia are also switching to electric vehicles. The Slovak government is even ready to provide funds: Slovaks can get a one-time payment of 5,000 euros for electric cars bought and registered in Slovakia. Germany has also joined the program “5000 euros for electric cars.” Also the European Union has obliged developers to equip houses with electric gas filling stations starting in 2019. Everything to ensure that electric transport is maximally available and convenient to use.
Electric transport in Asia
Currently the leading role in the region for electric transport is unequivocally claimed by China. Since 2000, there were 4 electric vehicles in China per 1000 population. After 10 years, this number increased 10 times. By 2035, it is expected that there will be 300 electric vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants.
The government of China plans to ensure the availability of electric transport due to the widespread distribution of charging stations. It plans to allocate more than $ 15 million for this.
South Korea is also not far behind: the government allocated $ 180 million to improve the infrastructure, adapted for electric cars. Korean Electromonopolist Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPC) plans to build 150 stations with this money, equipped with more than 300 devices for super-fast charging of not only cars, but also heavy trucks. Or even entire tax stations.
Now in Seoul alone there are 60 stations equipped with 240 such devices. Of course, Seoul is the most developed part of the country, but other regions are developing in this direction. Also, KEPC plans to build stations for maintenance, car shops and points where anyone can rent a car for a day, a few hours or a month.
Such large companies as Korea Hydro (water power) and Nuclear Power Co. (nuclear power) also joined the development of electric transport in Korea. The companies plan to allocate more than $ 40 million by 2030 to stimulate the domestic market of electric vehicles.
But the Ministry of Energy of India plans to transfer the whole country exclusively to electric transport by 2030. According to government estimates, this will be possible even without long-term government assistance. The government expects that the market and infrastructure will develop independently, at the expense of buyers’ demand.
The situation with air pollution in India is one of the most critical in the world – more than 2 million people die every year because of bad ecology. Now the country has the same problems as the European countries – a bad infrastructure for electric transport and a small number of stations for charging. There are settlements in India that do not have access to electricity at all.
In 2016 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gave an inspiring assessment to the electric transport market at one of its meetings. Analysts predicted the emergence of 50 million electric vehicles by 2040. This year the experts’ assessments look even more impressive – over the next 20 years we are likely to see up to 250 million electric vehicles on the streets of the world. This means that more than 10% of all cars in the world will be equipped with electric motors.
Bloomberg experts believe that by 2040 electric vehicles will become more affordable and even outperform ordinary cars, and they will account for exactly one third of all cars in the world – up to 500 million cars.
The International Energy Agency predicts 60 million electric vehicles by 2030. But the Norwegian company Statoil – 500 million electric vehicles by the same 2030.
In general most of the companies believe that the electric age is not far off. And all car manufacturers shall not only consider but already produce vehicles supplied with an electrical motor.
For example, Volvo plans to stop the production of cars with a gasoline engine by 2020. According to Bloomberg experts China will be the leader in the production of electric vehicles. This leadership can be observed already in 2017: the Chinese company BYD now outperformed the sales of electric cars, even the famous and promising Tesla Motors.
In Russia, the Subcommittee on Strategic Innovation believes that 10% of all vehicles will be electric by 2020. About this figure, They can speak about this figure based on the development of the standard of electric power stations of recharging. If by 2020 it will be introduced, it will become convenient and familiar to use electric transport. In general, Russia expects to produce 200,000 electric vehicles by 2020. While the United States plans to produce 1 million, and France – 100,000. China is still in the first place and plans to produce 5 million electric vehicles by 2020.
There is also a trend to reduce prices for electric vehicles for both private and corporate or even state level. On average, the price of electric transport is expected to fall to 50% in the next 15-20 years. Such a decline in prices is expected in connection with the increase in electric transport production.