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Electric vehicles are the new revolution in the automobile industry

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BMW i3 | Photo BMW
BMW i3 | Pho­to BMW

By Paula Lamares

The auto­mo­bile is a good barom­e­ter of the inter­na­tion­al and nation­al econ­o­my. It had been one of the most rel­e­vant indus­tries in the world in recent decades. On the oth­er hand, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is nowa­days per­ceived as a press­ing need in the most indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries. Thus, it is not sur­pris­ing that the pro­duc­tion of vehi­cles with elec­tric motor is in full growth, at the same time that the big brands invest more and more in improv­ing the per­for­mances and auton­o­my of the elec­tric cars. This evo­lu­tion is direct­ly linked to the progress in the gen­er­a­tion, stor­age and dis­tri­b­u­tion of elec­tric ener­gy for motor vehi­cles. But it had not always been so, a long way has gone before it can be said that the new gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric vehi­cles is the way of the future, in an tra­di­tion­al­ly linked to the major oil´s eco­nom­ic inter­ests

If we go back to the year 2009, the elec­tric vehi­cles had lim­it­ed auton­o­my to only 160 km, hav­ing no pre­ten­sion oth­er than the pre­dom­i­nant­ly urban vehi­cle sec­tor. The eco­nom­ic cri­sis that began that year con­tributed to the auto­mo­bile that had many bank­rupt­cies at that time had to change its strate­gies and start a process of indus­tri­al dis­rup­tion. In Europe, plunged into cri­sis, recov­ery was start­ing slow­ly, but diesel was still the absolute mas­ter in the main mar­kets.

Renault Zoe | Photo by Renault
Zoe | Pho­to by

then pre­sent­ed a full range of elec­tric vehi­cles and even an auto­mat­ed bat­tery exchange sys­tem. At that time, it was the solu­tion to the low auton­o­my of lithi­um-ion cells, which in fact would rev­o­lu­tion­ize the seg­ment, leav­ing tablets and smart­phones to con­quer the streets. The brand was cre­at­ed “Bet­ter Place”, a foun­da­tion that linked French and Japan­ese and led to the cre­ation of bat­tery exchange sta­tions in sec­onds. The recharge time was high and exchang­ing the pack­age for a rea­son­able price solved the prob­lem of many peo­ple, espe­cial­ly those who lived in con­do­mini­um, where domes­tic recharge is impos­si­ble, even in more cur­rent projects.

Lat­er, in Ger­many, Elon Musk of Motors was the great step towards the future, reach­ing the 482 km of auton­o­my. In Paris, the Opel Ampera reach­es the 500 km of auton­o­my, while the Ger­man mark test­ed its ver­sion P100D with almost 600 km. We can say that the turn­ing point in the elec­tric motors was thus reached, leav­ing defin­i­tive­ly the exclu­sive­ly urban con­cept.

Opel Ampera | Photo by Opel
Opel Ampera | Pho­to by Opel

But if the ques­tion of auton­o­my seems to be resolved, the high price is still an obsta­cle to be over­come, towards the mas­si­fi­ca­tion of the con­cept, and only fis­cal incen­tives seem to reduce the dif­fer­ences in the price of gaso­line and diesel cars. The needs high pro­duc­tion so that the cost comes close to the pol­lut­ing com­peti­tors. Motors aims to man­u­fac­ture 100,000 cars / year from 2019. In recent years, the price of bat­ter­ies has also dropped by half and is expect­ed to fall by 30 per­cent by 2021.

Also in regards to bat­tery recharges, once again inno­vat­ed with the Super­charg­er, a net­work of elec­tric cars so that the Mod­el S and X do not leave their occu­pants on the road. In addi­tion to the “plug”, wire­less recharges and even pro­pos­als for elec­tri­fied routes begin to appear, which replen­ish the vehi­cles that run on it.

Tesla Supercharger | Picture by Tesla
Super­charg­er | Pic­ture by

It is no won­der, there­fore, that Elon Musk recent­ly announced the start of pro­duc­tion of the Mod­el 3, Vol­vo has guar­an­teed that from 2019 all its mod­els will have an elec­tric motor and Paris pro­claimed the inten­tion of, by 2040, pro­hib­it the sale of petrol or diesel vehi­cles.

Is it pos­si­ble, then, to assert that the auto­mo­bile is in an ear­ly process of tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion? Giv­en the weight of world ener­gy con­sump­tion, what changes and con­se­quences will there be in the glob­al geopo­lit­i­cal set­ting? All of these changes are cen­tered on rich coun­tries with sophis­ti­cat­ed cap­i­tals and a strong mid­dle-class such as the US, some Euro­pean coun­tries, Japan, Sin­ga­pore, and Chi­na. Although the US and Europe are in advan­tage over Chi­na. With regard to the elec­tri­cal infra­struc­tures, nec­es­sary for the pro­duc­tion of a new gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric vehi­cles.

Tesla Model S | Photo by Tesla
Mod­el S | Pho­to by

In 2016, France over­took Nor­way which led the sales of elec­tric cars (about 12,000) dur­ing the last few years. France is now lead­ing the rank­ing of elec­tric car sales in Europe, where more than 15,000 con­sumers decid­ed on green vehi­cles (data for 2016), with 49 per­cent growth. It is also a French vehi­cle that com­mands the sales chart, with Zoe reach­ing a vol­ume in the first six months of 2016 of 11,790 units. In 2nd place, the Nis­san Leaf, with 11,117 mar­ket­ed cars, is the leader. Sur­pris­ing is the 3rd posi­tion obtained by ’s Mod­el S, by far the most expen­sive pro­pos­al in the entire rank­ing, with Volk­swa­gen win­ning the 4th and 9th place with e-Golf and e- Up !, respec­tive­ly.

The growth of the Group, which includes , Dacia, Sam­sung and Lada, sold 1.88 mil­lion new vehi­cles in the first half of 2017, an increase of 10.4% com­pared to 2016, Increased by 2.6%. This is proof that bet­ting on elec­tric cars can be a viable path for the future of the auto­mo­bile and an incen­tive to its growth and evo­lu­tion.

Smart Fourtwo Electric Drive | Photo Daimler-Benz
Smart Fourt­wo Elec­tric Dri­ve | Pho­to Daim­ler-Benz

 

Nissan Leaf | Photo by Nissan
Nis­san Leaf | Pho­to by Nis­san

 

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