September 30, 2009
Regarding ‘Can the EU pave the way for electric cars?‘:
1. The range of noticeable electric vehicles (EVs) are sufficient to meet the daily driving needs of more than 95% of drivers. The vast majority of people (95%) drive less than 100/km a day, and 82% drive 40 miles or less a day, with an average daily driving distance of 27 miles.
As for long trip needs, many Americans and citizens of other developed nations already have cars. EVs are thus best-suited to daily use until the infrastructure comes into wide use. And people are already doing this.
2. The on-board IT system shows the driving radius on a maximum range display under the current state of charge and calculates if the vehicle is within range of a pre-set destination. And the navigation system points out the latest information on available charging stations within the current driving range.
3. In the 21st century, homes, workplaces or stores can also serve as charging stations as electricity is everywhere. With a long extension code inside, just in case, riders can get help from almost any place, not to mention the stores to provide charge service, and many of EVs are equipped with a quick charger.
4. Unlike fuel prices, as time goes by, the price of batteries is expected to drop dramatically in the foreseeable future. As with computer components, in that case, mounting additional batteries might be not a problem. And the EVs that come in a range of 200 to 300 miles between charges are on the fast-track towards the mass market, as batteries become more efficient.
5. Indian EV maker Reva said it has also set about addressing anxieties about electric cars’ range, and its wireless electricity ‘instant remote recharge’ will be widely available down the line.
6. Vehicle-to-grid communication technology is helping the battery serve as a storage to prevent the costly blackout standing at about $90 to 100bn per year. That means utilities are shedding costs for additional storage facilities and ratepayers are selling electricity during peak demand so that EVs can make more economic sense.
The cost of running the vehicle should be 1 to 2 cents per mile, compared to 10 cents or more per mile to run a gas car. Electric vehicles require little maintenance – no oil changes, for instance. Better still, they can sell electricity or charge at the stores offering charge service.
It is also in the best interests of electricity utilities that EVs are going mainstream, thereby they need to put in charge stands where needed around highways, major roads with card readers or cell phone tech.
7. I’m hopeful that the charge network will extend the select districts to nationwide scale throughout the world, and this environment can usher in active private investment in EVs. And I remain confident that investment in charge stands could give rise to multiple times as much investing effect, so to speak, some billions of investment, this simple deployment could turn into the most sought-after energy independence and solid recovery around the world.
Private citizenAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor