In 2020, before the pandemic shook the world, especially the Indian automotive industry, electric vehicles were steadily moving into the limelight. The total annual sales of different types of electric vehicles such as battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles in 2019 passed the two million vehicle mark. But even due to the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn, the outlook for electric vehicles (EVs) remains very promising thanks to the rapid pace of innovation.
Fast charging in minutes and smart charging are just some of the technologies that have already accelerated the adoption of electric vehicles around the world in recent years. This milestone has been overshadowed by continued economic uncertainty, but certain value and technology trends continue to dominate the electric vehicle market.
Today, our economies are changing dramatically, triggered by the development of emerging markets, the rise of new technologies, government policies on sustainability, and changing consumer preferences for ownership. Increasing automation and digitalization have revolutionized other industries, and automotive will be no exception. Many disruptive technology-driven trends have supported these drivers in the automotive sector: connectivity, diverse mobility, autonomous driving and electrification.
The Indian EV industry will witness many product rollouts in the coming years. Many new solutions will need to be made to some of the long-standing challenges facing the industry. In 2021, many electric vehicle manufacturers have introduced low-cost technologies, this year and the years to come will see a growing increase in investment in these technologies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT – AI is one of the biggest trends in technology. With the rapidly growing technologies, AI and IoT are helping to develop many technology-based tools to recognize patterns. By 2024, AI-generated speech will drive more than 50% of people’s interactions with computers. However, many electric vehicle companies and manufacturers are still looking for ways to use AI effectively. While any business can get good value from AI and it is applied in less than a quarter of respondents, they report a significant impact on their bottom line. In the coming years, the electric vehicle segment and many companies will see more Internet of Things (IoT) integrations in their services and not just limited to the premium segment. AI and IoT can help understand and monitor a cyclist’s daily commute and suggest charging cycles are other areas to look forward to.
Vehicles with non-lithium-ion batteries – A lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is an advanced battery technology that uses lithium ions as the basic and main component of its electrochemistry and powers electric vehicles in this modern technology. With the rapid evolution of the electric vehicle industry, battery chemistry is also evolving and powering these vehicles. Many battery tech startups have already developed batteries compatible with InstaCharge stations, and many companies are developing graphite battery-powered electric scooters.
Technology in the production of electric vehicles: Improving battery technology will be a crucial step in increasing the demand for electric vehicles. Electric vehicle manufacturers also need production to keep up and keep improving. The manufacture of electric vehicles must become faster, more efficient and adapted to the deployment of more car models. More efficient mass production will also help reduce prices through economies of scale. In the coming years, EV players are also expected to focus on improving OEM scaling to increase production of EVs that will support wider adoption at much lower prices. which will help achieve cost parity with the ICEVs.
Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) – Personal electric mobility devices, or PMDs, are small electric vehicles for one person. PMDs will begin to proliferate as an affordable last-mile mobility solution, and low-speed, low-cost two-wheelers and e-bikes will find many buyers in small towns and remote areas.
Smart charging – Unlike conventional chargers, Smart Charging can communicate with the vehicle and the network to provide better energy consumption costs. It also promotes better use of energy. We’ve seen many EVs designed for long hours to fully charge and don’t charge quickly because drivers don’t always need a full battery. Vehicle needs depend on the amount of power, charges can be programmed to ramp up to 80% just once a week, which also helps extend battery life. Thanks to smart charging technologies, people can decide whether they want to charge a battery using renewable energy, reduce CO2 emissions and can also reduce energy tariffs.
Infrastructure Technology: Enable convenient charging for everyone – More electric vehicles on the road will also require better and more extensive charging infrastructure. Charging infrastructure has come a long way over the past decade, with the number of public charging stations in Europe growing from 2,397 in 2011 to 190,000 in 2020. EV players should make sure people easily adapt to this charging habit, for this they must increase the number of public charging stations. The common charging infrastructure in public places must be prepared to cope with this workload. The adoption of modern technologies can help increase the adoption rates of electric vehicles. Most public charging stations today are normal chargers that take several hours to charge an average electric vehicle. Fast and ultra-fast electric vehicle chargers are readily available in the market. It also contributes to improving the out-of-home charging experience by harmonizing the payment systems available at charging stations.
Load balancing – Load balancing can also be supported by smart charging, especially as demand for energy on the national grid increases alongside sales of electric vehicles. Load balancing is a growing technology trend that allows available capacity to be distributed across all active charging stations. It also makes it possible to ensure optimal charging of 100% electric vehicles at a specific location, within the limit of the capacity of the charging stations. Thanks to this technology, instead of paying more on a single charger, charging station owners will be able to balance the load and the maximum current between the units. Load balancing is more dynamic, cost effective, and far more sustainable than the current method that sends power to each station.
In the coming years, the electric vehicle segment is surely going to take over the automotive industry with its growing innovative technology trends. These growing modern battery technology trends will make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible than petrol, diesel or gas-powered cars, driving demand. Rapid production technology will make electric vehicles available to the masses by ensuring supply can keep up with growing demand. Different charging technologies such as bi-directional charging will prepare the grid for more electric vehicles and support the transition to clean energy in the years to come. Plus, growing infrastructure technologies will ensure that electric vehicle charging is convenient for everyone, whether you’re at home or on the road.
Dr Irfan Khan
The author is founder and CEO of eBikeGo (https://ebikego.com ) India’s largest two-wheeled smart electric mobility platform.
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