What does the future hold for Electric Vehicles?
According to international law firm CMS’s Global Infrastructure Report - Connected Future (just released) it’s all to do with the charging infrastructure.
The ‘wicked’ problem that exists in the EV industry: whereby not enough people are buying electric vehicles because of an inadequate charging infrastructure and inadequate investment in the infrastructure because there aren’t many EVs on the road, may not be so wicked after all.
It seems plug-in technology is old before it's been born. Rather than money being spent on charging points, investment is going into charging technology development itself.
The future is wireless charging
CMS found that the current format of induction charging models, in which magnetic fields transfer energy to the battery of stationary EVs, is likely to evolve into mobile inductive charging. BMW and Vauxhall, have launched EV models that can be powered wirelessly, whilst leading suppliers of such technology, in the form of ‘power mats’, are WiTricity and semiconductor giant Qualcomm. Both have contributed towards creating a common standard that automotive wireless charging systems will be based on.
What about Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)?
Targets for hydrogen FCEVs pale in comparison to global battery EV roll-outs, with no expectation for scale until after 2030, according to the European Climate Foundation. Currently, numbers are low because the technology is not yet commercially mature, with global units only surpassing 7,200 in 2017. According to the Foundation, the share of FCEVs in the global market could reach 27% in 2050, competing solely with battery-powered EVs.
Developments in hydrogen re-fuelling technology are underway in California, China, Germany, Japan and South Korea according to the IEA’s 2018 Global EV Outlook.