“Electric vehicles will be a force to reckon with by 2015”
The headline above is a statement of a report conducted by Frost and Sullivan, a global technology consulting major, in 2010 to determine what the state of affairs will be in a few years from now in the automobile industry. Now, that’s a bold statement. Although the incentives for developing technologies that bring EVs into the mainstream are many, the hurdles have always seemed simply too overwhelming to overcome.
Electric Vehicles Will Become Connected Vehicles
Now it appears as though someone has waved a magic wand powerful enough to turn the automobile industry, worth billions of dollars annually, on its head. We didn’t have to look too far to locate the wand. It is right there in the same report and is called ‘telematics’. Telematics is an application of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to automobiles. Let’s have a look at how telematics is set to change the industry norms by reengineering electric vehicles into connected vehicles.
Connected Vehicles and the Fuel Crisis
The world is facing a fossil fuel crisis. The facts are obvious. These fuels take millions of years to replenish themselves. But since our demand for these fuels is increasing, we may run out of supply by the next century. As scarcity increases and wars are waged for the control of fuel, prices are skyrocketing and consumers are bearing the brunt.
The average man is finding their fossil fuel powered car increasingly expensive and longs for a more affordable solution. Moreover, burning fossil fuels is as bad for the environment as it is for the wallet. The pollution that such fuel causes is a big source of carbon emissions, which is responsible for the gaping hole in the ozone layer becoming even larger. There are both fiscal and environmental imperatives to coming up with a solution.
Electric vehicles were touted as a possible replacement for fossil fuel driven cars. But the first attempt to commercialize them failed miserably for the following reasons:
The customers were clueless with regard to how far they could go with their vehicles. These vehicles did have a limit to how far they could be driven. Based on their capacity, they were termed as neighborhood, city, all terrain or performance vehicles. Moreover, the driver was uncertain as to how long they could travel before the charge would be over and they would become immobile.
Charging difficulties and time:
The infrastructure for charging these vehicles was, and still is, abysmal. There was a lack of information about the location and availability of charging points. Moreover, the time taken for charging was too long. What to do if you were in a hurry? Even if you were at home, you had to ensure that you put the vehicle to charge and this could be a problem in case of unexpected trips or if you were not really disciplined or organized in your schedule.
There was an electrical battery on board and the driver had no information about how the engine was functioning. Since the technology was very new, people feared that they might be electrocuted in their vehicles.
The size of these batteries was huge, further limiting their fuel efficiency and therefore their range. The size of these batteries has significantly reduced today and the problem is almost solved.
But if you consider the fact that adding more range to these vehicles still entails incremental costs, you will know why the development of telematics is so important. Since you cannot go very long on a single charge, the charging mechanism simply has to be made more efficient.
The Big Solution in Electronics
Telematics is capable of eliminating virtually all of these issues, which have crippled the successful commercial application of EVs. Let’s see how connected vehicles deliver cheap and environment friendly solutions to the world.
Find out more about Wireless Technology as an Antidote to Range Anxiety by downloading the pdf-document here.
Posted on March 16, 2011, in Electric / Electronic and tagged communication technology, connected vehicles, connectivity, e/e, electric vehicle, electric vehicles, emobility, telematics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.