To introduce the Electric vehicle section, I will write here the most important aspects that you can find in Wikipedia about this automotive innovation domain :
An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle which uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. Today, we can find 3 main types of electric vehicles :
- Directly powered from an external power station.
- Powered by stored electricity.
- Powered by an on-board electrical generator (an engine for hybrid vehicle or a hydrogen fuel cell).
Electric vehicles first came into existence in the mid-19th century because electricity was the preferred methods for motor vehicle propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time.
Today, environmental impact and price of the petrol has led to renewed interest in electric vehicle. The electricity consumed by these vehicles can be generated from a wide range of sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable sources such as tidal power, solar power, and wind power or any combination of those.
The electricity may then be stored on board the vehicle using a battery, flywheel, or supercapacitors. A key advantage of electric or hybrid electric vehicles is regenerative braking and suspension. This ability allows them to recover energy normally lost during braking as electricity to be restored to the on-board battery.
The power of a vehicle electric motor, as in other vehicles, is measured in kilowatts (kW). 100 kW is roughly equivalent to 134 horsepower, although most electric motors deliver full torque over a wide RPM range, so the performance is not equivalent, and far exceeds a 134 horsepower (100 kW) fuel-powered motor, which has a limited torque curve. Usually, direct current (DC) electricity is fed into a DC/AC inverter where it is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity and this AC electricity is connected to a 3-phase AC motor.
Electric vehicles typically charge from conventional power outlets or dedicated charging stations, a process that typically takes hours, but can be done overnight and often gives a charge that is sufficient for normal everyday usage.
One other proposed solution for daily recharging is a standardized inductive charging system. Benefits are the convenience of with parking over the charge station and minimized cabling and connection infrastructure.
Battery replacement is also proposed as an alternative but swapping requires standardization across platforms, models and manufacturers. Swapping also requires many times more battery packs to be in the system.
Electric vehicles are :
- safe : The United Nations in Geneva (UNECE) said that electrical vehicles are as safe as combustion cars.
- good for environment : Electric vehicles release almost no air pollutants at the place where they are operated.
- comfortable : Electric vehicles provide quiet and smooth operation and consequently have less noise and vibration than internal combustion engines.
- efficient : It does not consume energy when it is not moving, unlike internal combustion engines.
- cheap : The Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity, compared with 12 cents a mile on gasoline.
The average distance driven by 80% of citizens per day in a car in the US is about 50 miles. This statistic, with all environmental and economical aspects, show that electrical vehicle will take a big part of the market during the next years.