LCV2014 was a cracking event, which showcased premier EV technology and electric cars and enhanced industry knowledge. Dukosi was there and here’s a summary of our key takeaways:
One of the best ways of improving our knowledge of the electric vehicles sector is to learn from the best in industry and academia. That’s why Dukosi joined the seventh Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) event, among a wide range of attendees from the international automotive community. I thought I’d share some of our key takeaways and highlights here.
The first seminar session “Motor Industry Global Trends Debate” included interesting presentations from BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan. All presenters agreed that the EV sales ‘S-curve’ is getting steeper, positively indicating that after a few years of slow adoption, the electric vehicle is much more widely accepted and the exponential growth forecast is realistic.
Other topics considered the necessity to improve battery efficiency and performance, the growing opportunity for 2nd life battery applications as stationary assets for energy storage and the value this could have in reducing lifetime battery costs, the importance of government in continuing subsidies and incentives to stimulate EV adoption, expansion of charging infrastructures worldwide and the necessity for rapid charging solutions for consumer convenience and confidence.
One car manufacturer talked about how they are looking at cutting CO2 emissions not just from their vehicles but also within their production process achieving a 50% reduction to-date. Everyone touched on the environmental drivers for the EV market not least of which is that most European cities are way behind EU and WHO targets and will be facing penalties unless both air and noise pollution targets are addressed.
Ben Scott of IHT Automotive provided some scene setting statistics including their view that the alignment of six key factors will drive global growth: oil price, product availability, battery evolution (range extension), consumer differentiation, charging infrastructure and government incentives.
A look at China
The Chinese market was the focus of a number of presentations with predictions that the EV market will grow to 500k in 2015 and then to 5 million units by 2020.
The government is focussed heavily on increasing EV adoption not just to address air pollution but also balance costs as 60% of China fuel imports are for cars. There are a number of interesting approaches to stimulate EV adoption including tax exemption on electric vehicles (based on electric range not type of EV), individual government and city incentives, special electric rates for car charging and the introduction of an EV rental scheme to introduce consumers to the EV experience.
BYD touched on the challenges of developing an extensive, available charging infrastructure in built-up urban areas where land is costly – their solution, a charging ‘tower’ that will allow 12 cars to be charged in the equivalent of 4 parking spaces.
Electric vehicles technology opportunities
There were also interesting discussions about innovations and advances in electric vehicles technology used in supercars is an opportunity to accelerate the public acceptance of electric cars as mainstream.
What was actually suggested, in a ‘Performance Engineering for Low Carbon’ seminar from Ricardo ,is that using advanced electric vehicle technology in supercars such as the McLaren P1, will gradually lead from awareness to acceptance and ultimately to market pull.
This was also discussed in a presentation from Williams Advanced Engineering, where it was highlighted that electric cars involvement in top level motorsports like Formula E is more current and relevant than ever for the broader car market.
Getting us to the driving circuit
LCV2014 offered some of the most amazing electric cars for a test drive. We took to the Ride and Drive area to try out a range of vehicles including Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf,Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Renault Zoe. To finish, I’d like to leave you with some pictures of the Dukosi team driving the cars and I’ll come back with our reviews in a future post.