Are EV manufacturers holding something back?

by moveforward on June 17, 2013

Are EV manufacturers holding something back?

Are EV manufacturers holding something back?

If we take a look at the EV market it seems that we have barely moved on, at least in the mass market, since the General Motors EV1 debacle in the 1990s. Mainstream battery journey capacity is still roughly the same as was available for the EV1 despite the fact that the industry has received billions of dollars in additional funding from governments and private investors. So, are EV manufacturers holding something back?

Speculation

There is some speculation that various EV manufacturers are holding back the best of their technology until it has been fine tuned and thoroughly tested. There is speculation that while some of the “financially weak” companies are falling by the wayside, in the shape of Fisker for example, we are starting to see some stronger companies emerge from the market. This is potentially the perfect storm for the EV market, with companies falling by the wayside leaving the lion’s share of future investment to those looking further forward and able to give stability and long-term credibility.

Battery power

There has been speculation for some time now that battery power technology is perhaps a lot further developed than we may be led to believe in public. We have companies such as IBM testing lithium air batteries which may be able to accommodate 1000 miles per full charge. We also have other companies looking at various different technologies and different metallic mixes which could severely increase the mainstream best of today which is around 129 miles per full charge with the Nissan Leaf 2013.

What are the manufacturers waiting for?

There are a number of factors which will come into play in the short, medium and longer term one of them being the fact that many US motorists are looking for journey capacity per full charge of around 300 miles before they would even look at electric vehicles. Then there are the issues with battery cost and the fact that the batteries in production today are relatively expensive with a relatively short life, therefore impacting the overall cost efficiency of electric vehicles themselves.

Quote from ElectricForum.com : “We have the likes of the lithium air battery being developed in conjunction with IBM but what other developments in the battery technology market have caught your eye?”

It may well be that the EV manufacturers are waiting for the motoring public to become more switched on to electric vehicles, perhaps they are waiting for environmentally friendly groups to put more pressure upon governments or maybe, the technology is not there?

Has yet more money been wasted?

It seems inconceivable that both private companies and governments around the world have invested tens of billions of dollars into an industry which is dead. It seems inconceivable that these tens of billions of dollars have not seen the industry moved forward since the late 1990s. There must be more to this than meets the eye, the EV market is primed to go and potentially we are on the verge of a major breakthrough?

If EV manufacturers and governments were able to come together and educate the motoring public, bring down the cost of batteries, increase the journey capacity per full charge and bring down the overall cost of electric vehicles, where would we be?

The reality is there is so much pent-up technology that it seems only a matter of time before a mainstream, affordable EV breaks into the mass market. Do you not agree?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph June 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm

“It seems inconceivable that both private companies and governments around the world have invested tens of billions of dollars into an industry which is dead.”

The same governments have invested billions thinking they can control so called climate change so it’s not inconceivable these same governments could do the same with the electric car industry.

The first name that comes to mind is FISKER. Other names would be Solyndra solar, etc etc…..

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Sam July 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

You don't even know what is coming. Because the government is involved, the first advanced technology will be applied by the military; i.e.. stealth tanks, drones, personnel carriers. Those the government helps are sworn to secrecy and granted large contracts.the space race eventually provided new products for the public and I look forward to the future new energy applications.

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Steve June 21, 2013 at 1:47 am

I ink that nanotechnology is offering such a large increase in energy storage performance that it just did not make sense to gear up the mass manufacture of an out dated technology. So everyone has refocused on the nano enhanced materials and determining what materials to use and how best to manufacture them considering the cost. Not every approach will win but the final product will make EVs a viable option for transportation in the future.

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