Internet and Portable Electronic Giants’ Involvement in Electric Vehicles

Their focus convinces us to strongly believe EVs (Electric vehicles) will be the Model T of the 21st Century. The Model T replaced the horse-and-buggy very fast with its obvious advantages on speed, practicality, affordability, etc. A similar phenomenon is beginning to take place in a few countries around the world, where the percentage of new vehicles purchased with a plug are moving up.

Right now, they represent only a rather insignificant percentage if you make comparisons. However the trend just might follow the Model T syndrome, should the price of the vehicle reaches the level of its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) counterparts, which have been improved, refined and mass-produced for over a century.

Barriers holding back the adoption of electric vehicles

1. Lack of infrastructure to recharge the batteries – the time to implement this is longer than that of petrol.

2. “Range Anxiety” – this often discussed issue also acting against the sales of pure electric vehicles due to the scarcity of recharging outlets.

The efforts on building them work in direct proportion of the production or sales of EVs and vice-versa.

If one just to imagine being in a permanent reduction of about 95 percent of all petrol stations, as happened temporarily during the 1970s OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil embargo, who would consider buying the car they are driving right now? This is the more or less the situation, early EV adopters are in nowadays.

The battery cost is the major contributor for the difference in sticker prices in the scale EV vs. ICE. They have been gradually coming down in the last years, and promising to get closer to the level of Lead-Acid 150+ years old chemistry, however the skyrocketing prices of rare metals, mined only in a very few countries, might make it an uphill battle. This could especially occur when EVs reach the mainstream market and overheat the demand to the stratosphere.

Nonetheless, major players, including companies in different business areas such as Internet providers and portable electronics are investing heavily in the EV business model. Even the United Nations are organizing international conventions where they are calling for talks and commitments to work in favor of the decarbonisation of human activity. This obviously includes the adoption of vehicles with no toxic emissions.

All the latest news stories are pointing to a carbon-free transition in land transportation, however it has to go also through a very strong opposition from the “business-as-usual” heavy-set players and the questions remain: how long will the battle take, and who will win at the end?

 

The transition to green urban transportation

In fact, that end could happen much sooner than one might think, should a coalition of utility companies, power contractors, etc. join the cause by taking over the battery-modules ownership. They could negotiate a SAE/DIN standardization with automakers and lease them to motorists on a pay-as-you-go basis. It would bring EV prices down to competitiveness right there; would create thousands of outsource-proof jobs while shifting all profits from energy acquisition for transportation in-house, end most (if not all) conflicts over oil as well as significantly reduce the risks of the possibility of funding terrorist organizations.

This might sound like another pie-in-the-sky idea (like EVs not too long ago) however: Should petrol products distribution companies also join the bandwagon by installing modular instant-swapping battery-modules machinery on the area of the barely used parking spots of their petrol stations, it would spell the arrival of the transition.

Automated Recharging or Instant-switching Electric Stations (ARIES) would benefit motorists living in apartments, flats, townhouses without access to overnight electrical outlets, as well as long distance drivers, out-of-towners, taxis, rentals, car-share, couriers, police cruisers, etc., without interrupting the traditional petrol business.

The potentially profitable network of stations could also take care of fluctuation of consumption plus “peak-shave”, allowing power plants to operate in a 30~50 percent (depending on the size and density of the network) capacity steady output 24/7, improving equipment efficiency or maintenance while avoiding typically wasted electricity.

They will serve also as perfect sites for the construction of sub-stations (on their penthouses), which could counter-act a threat of blackout locally. Larger format “ARIES” systems could also be built to serve trucks, trailers and buses.

Should a coalition of other retailers decide to join the “green-club”, it would sure help to speed up the transition, as they could also use their outlet network for the sales and servicing EVs. In fact, there is a minimum requirement for maintenance on these automobiles – no oil changes, hundreds of moving parts, mufflers, radiators, fuel stuff, etc.

Very fortunately, there are some signs of cooperation among major players in the EV manufacturing business which give us hope in the possibility of the creation of an international coalition to save the planet.

What will be the outcome of the investments of Internet providers and smartphone or computer manufacturers, as well as the possibility of involvement of utility companies, petrol distributors and other retailers in electric vehicle (EV) activities? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Electric Mobility: On the Road to Zero Pollution Transportation System

Electric vehicles (EVs) produce less emission, have higher efficiency and generate less noise. However, driving range of electric vehicles is limited. Together with an electrified highway lane, a wireless system which recharges battery modules and a concept that energizes vehicles through solar panels and wind turbines installed along the way could contribute to an absolute zero pollution transportation system independent from the main grid.

Concept Five” consists of equipment and devices to enable EVs to collect electricity from dedicated highway lanes to energize their motors and recharge their battery modules on the go. In addition, the project extend those novel functions to also control the driving of those vehicles according to the topography of the highway as well as proximity of other vehicles, pedestrians, etc., in order to make them fully independent from human errors.

The way it was designed, its functionality would be viable without or with very little application of high-tech devices, as compared to the many concepts of on experimental road tests in Europe, North America and Asia involving autonomous driving as well as wireless transmission of electricity from driving lanes to EVs.

In fact, the latter has been designed to just recharge battery modules while driving, whereas “Concept Five” will do that plus energize the vehicle partially or even fully, with the help of solar panels and wind turbines installed along the way.

The concept could make an electrified highway independent from the grid, as with a proper backup of stationary battery modules retired from vehicles, it could even “lend” energy to the main grid in emerging situations, same as the “Concept Three” instant battery swapping stations.

Positive impact on the environment and resources

“Concept Five” very likely would take investments of gigantic proportions in order to make it a norm, however on the other side of the coin, it will reap great profits on the long run with huge environmental benefits. It will also help on the traffic congestions of highways, a problem affecting all large cities around the world with a tremendous waste of time and money, not to mention the disastrous emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other poisonous gases into the air humans breathe.

There are studies demonstrating an average flow on a typical highway lane of around 2,500 vehicles per hour. There is an estimate for the increase of that flow to approximately 20,000 vehicles per hour, per lane, running at around 120 kilometer per hour on platoon mode and drivers’ hands off steering wheels.

In fact, “Concept Two” vehicles not even have any outdated steering wheel (instead, they have a futuristic aviation yoke sporting a full fledge alphanumerical keyboard with mouse clicks on both handles for infotainment, ideal also for texting on the go. with the autopilot mode on).

Needless is to mention the dramatic savings of resources “Concept Five” could provide on highway lanes duplication, construction of new ones, light rail projects, land acquisition, etc. They could instead be applied, with an alliance with utility companies and petrol distributors, on the construction of “Concept Three” stations.

Consequently, banks, private investors, automotive and other industries would find interest on investing in “Concept Two”, other brands of electric vehicles and other kinds of charging stations. That would definitely put a final stop on energy, time and money waste, highway grid-lock plus the pollution caused by an over a century old outdated fossil fueled land transportation.

What do you think of such concepts? Do you think they will contribute to creating an absolute zero pollution transportation system? Share your opinions in the comment section.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Will Affordable Concept Electric Vehicles Disrupt the Mainstream Automotive Market?

There are various limitations to electric vehicles (EVs) deployment such as long battery charging time, short driving range, vehicle costs, charging infrastructure etc. Could affordable concept electric vehicles with unlimited range of operation such as Concept Two, an electric mini automobile capable of carrying five passengers comfortably in the same size of any micro two-seater on the road reduce these barriers?

The “Concept Two” (subcompact crossover five-passenger EV) would be able to do that, in theory for now, plus featuring dozens of other advantages over anything on wheels or drawing boards. Obviously depending on the results of several tests conducted on “Concept One”, such as the feasibility of the novel quick battery-swapping operation, street and highway performances, safety concerns, etc., which would pave the guidelines for the next phase concept vehicle.

Crash avoidance and collision mitigation technologies

In a near future, Concept Two could be a very safe car, especially when those technologies reach maturity. In fact, Concept Two has already a plus in the case of a frontal collision: Absence of a bulky front hardware, a dashboard or even a steering wheel to be pushed against the driver’s body. An installed robust air bag system could make it pass a front crash test.

As vehicle has a dead flat floor, there is also a possibility of developing a mechanism to slide the whole cab towards the same direction of the crash blow to make it even safer. On a side impact, it would probably beat any competitor thanks to the rock solid battery pack protecting the occupants, sitting on a higher level.

Rollovers could be neutralized by the weight of the battery-module, placing the center of gravity close to the ground. A firewall floor could also protect the occupants against any very improbable fire (no flammable liquids onboard). All that, plus the farewell to “range-anxiety” would make this concept vehicle very desirable.

Nevertheless, the main attraction to the consumer probably would be Concept Two’s unbelievable price tag, which could be lower than any entry-level vehicle, with batteries included and before government incentives. In China, where they are extremely generous on that issue, the car could go for pennies, or even free, with the compliments of the central government.

Economical slow moving vs. high-end electric vehicles

Concept Two could probably catch on globally, according to the study conducted by Harvard University – inexpensive NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), golf carts, etc., maybe the ones to disrupt the automotive business, not the luxury segment.

The latter has been nonetheless, doing a very good job on demonstrating that pure electric automobiles can also be very desirable, fun to drive, stylish, luxurious, outstanding performers and all around winners, killing that century old myth comparing EVs. With golf-carts, unfortunately the high costs of advanced batteries did not allow them to win also price competitiveness.

Once the Concept Two EV materializes, it will not only make it possible for widespread adoption of concept vehicles, but besides its affordable price, low carbon footprint and economical maintenance, one can save also on energy bills.

What do you think of the “Concept Two” electric vehicles? Do you think they can contribute to creating a sustainable transportation system? Share your opinions in the comment section.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Creating a Sustainable Transportation System

Two of the biggest challenges in implementing electric vehicles over a wide area are the affordability of the vehicle itself and the missing infrastructure leaving people with some kind of “range anxiety” to strand somewhere. There are several concepts developed to overcome these barriers and provide a clean sustainable transportation system.

One of them is ”Concept One”: an existing low speed (maximum speed of 25 miles per hour) Neighborhood Electric Vehicle loaded with a pack of twenty-five 12V batteries. The Concept One vehicle would be the proof-of-concept for a lengthy project consisting of several novel embodiments, all interacting towards providing us with a clean, affordable and sustainable transportation system.

The original Concept One idea was to “soup up” a golf-cart in order to save money on the first prototype; however, it would be difficult to install a swappable battery-module system on any vehicle built in such an architecture.

A more rational approach would be to build the vehicle from the ground up using a boat-trailer as chassis, install a full-size motorcycle steering column in front, where the hitch is, and then fit the swappable battery-module’s “drawer frame” under it, near the rear wheels. This would then resemble a “Tuk-Tuk”, the very popular tricycle running as taxicabs in several Asian cities.

How can manufacturers produce economical concept vehicles

In order to keep the concept economical, manufacturers could use batteries of inexpensive lead-acid technologies and reinforce chassis, suspension, etc. to bear the extra weight, especially if they are planning to build a highway legal vehicle.

To interchange the battery pack, which will have wheels running on rails placed transversely and under the chassis beams, manufacturers may use the “dolly or crate” system (Concept Four) illustrated on Figure 17 of the U.S. Patent 8256553.

As the module could travel either way, two “dollies” could be installed on both sides of the tricycle. The dolly carrying the fresh charged module will push the depleted one towards the second and empty dolly sitting on the opposite side of the vehicle The vehicle is then ready for the road with a “full-tank”.

Fork-lifts (hi-los) or cranes could be used to transport power-packs to and from their recharging shelves. Robotic arms, could replace the Concept Four transporter or dollies plus fork-lifts, etc. having advantages in speed and automation, obviously bearing a much higher price tag.

The concept would be very attractive to fleets of vehicles running on dedicated routes, like taxicabs, couriers, pizza, newspaper and other light delivery operations. Swapping facilities could be placed on strategic points of their routes and they would have a clean, cheap and sustainable fleet of vehicles with outstanding maneuverability running non-stop 24/7.

Overcoming range anxiety for electric vehicles

The last nail on the “Range Anxiety coffin” could be that dedicated tow-truck fleets could also use the novel Concept Four devices to transport and swap battery-modules on stranded vehicles.

Another fact to attract investors and technical alliances is that any vehicle with less than four wheels does not have to pass any government crash-tests in order to go to the consumer market. It means manufacturers could keep on improving Concept One for mass production anywhere in the world.

In addition, the concept has also aerodynamic advantages over conventional architectures, where manufacturers have to push the design very close to the ground (like in sports cars, Formulas, etc.) in order to lower air-drag coefficient. In a trike format, they could “slice” the wind vertically with the narrow front accommodating only one person and one wheel and mold the rest in a wind tunnel.

Do you think such concept electric vehicles will provide a cheap and sustainable transportation system? Share your opinions in our comment section.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

How to Make Electric Vehicles Become Mainstream

Battery swapping could very well be the answer to the major factor preventing the electric vehicle to reach the mainstream: “range anxiety” – followed by the high price and a lack of recharging infrastructure. With battery swapping networks vehicle’s retail prices could drop as fewer kilowatt-hours (kWh) would have to be carried around.

Besides the cash flow from consumption, utility companies will be delighted with the idea of having, for the first time ever, somewhere to store energy and eventually set power plants for an economical steady pace output 24/7, leaving the network of swapping stations to take care of peak-shaves plus fluctuation of consumption.

Extra benefits would be added, as substations could be built on the penthouses of the network and placed strategically located to prevent blackouts. This means incredible reduction of expenditures on infrastructure, for example real estate acquisition, poles, wiring, towers, transformers, power lines, etc. It will be the creation of the novel S2G (Station to Grid), a win-win proposition all around.

Utilities would likely be inclined to invest in the batteries used to store electricity that would be leased out to motorists. In fact, that will help to push the prices of electric vehicles even further down motivating a widespread adoption while curbing energy waste.

 

 

 

Those batteries will serve as permanent storage of electricity even after reaching limits for holding enough juice to keep an electric vehicle (EV) running realistically after 100,000 miles. It means the concept will never become obsolete even after science discovers an economical battery pack rechargeable in a few minutes.

How will battery swapping stations benefit other industries

The concept of swapping stations was conceived in a modular manner to have the flexibility of holding approximately 17 to 816+ battery modules; meaning they could even be built inside petrol stations and get larger gradually as required by demand. The station could continue serving petrol vehicles in parallel and make money in both areas.

Should petrol companies decide to join utility companies on the issue, an international norm could be created towards making the battery module in standard sizes and specifications such as fuel, tires, batteries, nuts and bolts to fit all electric vehicles.

Besides the S2G (Station to Grid) and the proposed V2G (Vehicle to Grid) approach, another novel system could be created: S2C (Station to Consumer). As Internet data giants, government agencies, banks, or insurance companies, could also build a swapping network (to make money on the side) and replace polluting teams of huge diesel generators functioning 24/7 to prevent glitches on the servers of enormous data warehouses, this becomes a possibility.

All other industrial and residential generators could also be replaced in the same manner. The novel station could have also alternative formats to operate on commercial vehicles, dedicated forklifts, cranes, tow trucks, people movers, airports, or military vehicles.

This sounds like a dream, but it is perfectly doable using current technology and resources. The benefits (including R.O.I. (Return on Investment)) will surpass costs dramatically on the long run and will keep on going.

What do you think about this concept? Do you think battery swapping stations will help to make electric vehicles become mainstream? Share your opinions in our comment section.


Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.