Electric vehicles are here, like it or not, and car companies have turned their attention (and vast resources) to making sure range anxiety is a thing of the past. Since that concern is a major hurdle for most Americans, the appearance of a Mercedes-Benz machine with a four-figure range is A Big Deal.
Well, four figures in metric measures, anyway.
There’s a big to-do coming up in Tesla’s social calendar. Dubbed “Battery Day,” the occasion seems to have something to do with…well, you can probably read.
Battery Day, on which Tesla will presumably storm the beaches of electrification technology, is slated for September 15th — the same day as a postponed shareholder meeting.
Tesla plans to introduce a cheaper, longer-lasting battery in Model 3 sedans produced for Chinese customers. With the industry awaiting the next breakthrough in battery tech, and the hope that such a development will bring electric vehicle pricing closer to internal combustion units, this is a big deal.
Initial data also seems to suggest these cells plan on delivering — offering more affordable production options and a million-mile lifespan (a claim always worthy of a grain of salt). According to those familiar with the plan, the batteries also have the capability to be extracted from cars to serve as home-energy solutions. Battery waste is going to become a serious problem once EVs enter into the mainstream. Tesla’s new plan might fail to address the endgame, but it could prolong their usefulness and buy additional time before they have to be recycled or stored at specially designated waste containment areas that can handle hazardous materials.
Volkswagen Group’s transition toward electric vehicles has been no secret. Since getting busted with software designed to defeat emissions testing five years ago, the manufacturer has trumpeted the merits of electrification at every opportunity. Still, some continue to wonder how an EV-dominant world will work, expressing concerns that peak charging hours could stress national energy grids past the breaking point.
One proposed solution is to use the connectivity available in modern cars to take power from the grid only when surplus energy is available, while feeding electricity back into it during peak draw hours. Michael Jost, VW’s head of product strategy, said this was something the automaker has been working on.
In the realm of electric vehicles, there’s always a major breakthrough in battery technology just over the horizon. Such an event would make the technology more viable, likely improving EV sales to a point of true competitiveness. But the reality is that battery advancements have been incremental, with no earth-shattering advancements to speak of. The chemistry continues to be improved and fine-tuned for automotive applications — gradually lowing charging times while improving overall capacity.
On a long enough timeline, this results in electric vehicles that easily embarrass their gasoline and diesel-dependent ancestors across the board. Unfortunately, we’re living in the present where EVs have shortcomings that frequently offset their greatest attributes.
One of the biggest hurdles is long-term battery life. While some modern-day EV battery packs can last roughly as long as the powertrain in any reputable internal-combustion car, they still degrade over time, becoming progressively less useful. New research has suggested the chemistry necessary for a million-mile, lithium-ion battery has been finalized.
Originally dubbed the “Mega City Vehicle,” BMW’s i3 garnered a lot of positive attention for its modern styling and adherence to alternative-energy powertrains when it launched in 2014. This did not translate into sales, however. As its former name implies, the i3 isn’t incredibly useful outside of an urban environment due to its meager range. Customers seem to have noticed. Despite moving 11,024 units in the United States in 2015, BMW looks to be on pace for half that volume this year.
For 2019, the automaker is offering the little EV with a new 42.2-kWh battery, which Bimmer says is good enough for 153 miles of all-electric driving. That’s a significant improvement over the the current 33-kWh model’s 115 miles of electric range and an absolute triumph over the i3’s initial 60 Ah (roughly 18.8 kWh) cell, which was only good for about 80 miles.
As we hurl ourselves into the the glistening, unknown future, we are continuously confronted with new obstacles. While we’re good at coming up with solutions to new problems, there are plenty of important questions left hanging in the air as technology pushes us onward. Why do we keep working longer hours as more things become automated? How to we ensure that sentient machines do not decide to kill us? Why are there still so many people that use the speaker function on their phones in public places?
In the automotive realm, autonomous driving and battery technology are the golden geese of progress right now. While driving aids are becoming ever-more impressive, truly self-driving cars are a little further out than most manufacturers would like to admit. Meanwhile, electric automobiles are already here and tangible as hell. You could have one tomorrow if you wanted.
The issues associated with autonomous vehicles are beyond complex. In addition to deciding how to develop the technology effectively, a myriad of questions exist as to the legal ramifications of its implementation and how its very existence could change society. Electric cars are more straightforward, and the problems they face are predominantly logistics oriented. But they’re about to face a monumental hurdle in a few years.
Tightening global emission regulations are pushing the world’s automakers to put all fuel-saving options on the table. Electric cars are an obvious answer, but range anxiety and consumer concerns about battery life continue to dog vehicles powered solely by electrons.
With a finite amount of space in their vehicles, manufacturers are constantly looking for efficiencies when laying out plans for EVs. According to a report from Reuters, Honda is considering developing solid-state batteries for use in their future EVs.
Company That Developed Exploding Batteries for Phones Reveals Powerful New Energy Cell for Electric Cars
Earlier this week, Samsung’s SDI battery subsidiary announced a new cell designed for use in electric vehicles that will supposedly improve maximum range and possess a cutting-edge quick charge capacity.
Exhibited for the first time at the North American International Auto Show, the battery comes hot on the heels of Tesla and Panasonic’s own ultra-dense “2170 Cell” planned for use on the Model 3.
While Samsung didn’t elaborate on a specific testing platform, it claims the new battery should permit a range of 372 miles on a single charge, with an 80 percent restoration after a 20 minutes quick charge.
Besides making steaks seem fancy and sending rebellious teens to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, it turns out mushrooms have another use.
Fibers from a type of wild mushroom outperformed graphite anodes on lithium-ion batteries, Wards Auto reports, a finding that surprised researchers at Purdue University.
As electric cars slowly proliferate, the knowledge could revolutionize the future of high-capacity batteries.
With most EVs getting around 100 miles on a single charge from their battery packs, such vehicles are more suited for the downtown core than a trip to the mountains. However, Renault and LG Chem are looking toward boosting range toward Tesla-like levels, together.
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- Analoggrotto I'm trying to find a way to bash this vehicle using the Telluride, ATPs , AVMs, DSDs or STDs and I'm still working on it... stay tuned.
- God'stime nice
- MaintenanceCosts Mercedes coupes should not have B-pillars and this one is dead to me because it has one.
- EBFlex Pretty awesome this thread is almost universally against this pile of garbage. Tesla really missed the mark.
- FreedMike I suppose that in some crowded city like Rome or Tokyo, there's a market for a luxurious pint-size car. I don't think they'll be able to give them away here in the U.S.