Electric Vehicle sales have grown leaps and bounds since 2010, when the industry registered a combined sales of electric-cars and other utility vehicles to over 1 million units around the world. By 2016, the number was 3.3 million units. With rapidly advancing technologies, the annual sales of battery operated electric vehicles, compared to hybrids went from 56:44 to 74:26 by 2019. In March, 2020, Tesla’s Model 3 became the highest selling electric car, with over 500k units in sale.
We are looking towards an even brighter future for electric vehicles (EVs) in the future. There have been some industry changing advances in the battery technologies, which all automakers, and customer electronics manufactures had been waiting for since long. Scientists have been able to develop batteries that can charge electric vehicles in about 10 minutes. Researchers have been able to develop battery technologies that can suck carbon-dioxide from air. But that’s not all. There have been many more breakthroughs in battery technologies that will be seen as breakthroughs for Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the near future.
Battery Temperature Management
The problem with current lithium-ion batteries is that at the time of chagrin, they have to be fed a specific amount of electricity, otherwise their temperature can rapidly increase, which eventually increases the chances of faster degradation and shortening its life. But, what if we could charge them at higher temperatures, and that too safely? That would me your electric vehicle would require a shorter plug-in time.
In October 2019, researchers in the Penn State University demonstrated a battery that was primarily built to take the heat. While most scientists would not recommend charging the battery beyond 60℃. But with the newly discovered technology, we can not hit these temperatures in just 10 minutes, and then rapidly cool down once the required range is achieved. That too before the detrimental effects of the battery begin to take place.
Charging Using Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
A new kind of battery, that can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. Calling it an electro-swing battery, the device uses coated electrodes coated in a compound called poly-anthraquinone which makes it possible for them to absorb CO2 from the surrounding. With this innovation, the process of absorbing CO2 takes place automatically. The team says that it can last for over 7000 charging cycles, with a possibility of just 30% drop in charging capacity. The researchers are also trying to increase the charging cycle range up to 20k to 50k cycles. Compared to Lithium-ion batteries, batteries developed for absorbing carbon-dioxide can hold upto 7 times more charge in comparison to later.
Doubling in Density of Batteries
One of the problems faced by lithium-ion batteries currently used in EVs is that the density of energy that is built into the cars and aircrafts can’t have an increased range without increasing the weight. One of the researchers at Australia’s Deakin University has demonstrated a battery which features electrolytes made from polymers. The community has considered it one of the first liquid-free transportation of lithium-ions.
All these discoveries in the battery capacity and innovations in low-discharge will transform the EV manufacturing in the long run. Moreover, with an increasing number of EV charging stations being set up, we can assure that depleting batteries will not cost as much as petrol and diesel engines.
A Decade for EV Industry
While technological advancements are transforming EV manufacturing, we can also see that a huge number of jobs are being created by the industry. For example, India has planned an electric mobility mission which is said to generate about 10 million jobs in the coming decade. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship plans to supply manpower to EV industry in the country. The government plans to have about 7 million electric vehicles in the country by 2020, which can assure about 30% mobility through EVs by 2030.
It is said that by the end of the next decade, the EVs ownership and sales will cross 100 million units, where China and Europe are showing the highest growth markets. With increasing research and funding, constant promotions and marketing, the EV manufacturers are going towards total control of the passenger vehicle and utility vehicle industries. With an increasing number of exhibitions of innovations and futuristic technologies around the world, we see that consumers are positively reacting to the market growth for EVs.
With active adoption and rigorous policies developed for promoting EVs by companies like China and India, we can see that manufacturers are encouraged to produce batteries, and other essential parts for EVs locally instead of importing them from other countries. This industry is meant to provide jobs, while decreasing the cost of manufacturing. The future of EVs is bright and shining, especially in developing nations where sustainable energies are the only alternative to bio-fuel that is negatively impacting the environment, and increasing pollution in the cities.
Samar is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and a coffee lover. In addition to developing blog content, he maintains niche websites related to heavy construction equipment, green energy, and automobile. His posts are always packed with data and real life examples.