Autonomy is no longer a problem, hop on board the electric 'Delorean'
We will go into the future using a virtual time machine where we will discover a very different city with some changed habits and lifestyle. Something like Michael J. Fox in the unforgettable trilogy of the 1980s. How? Simply by changing to the electric vehicle we will see.
What the DeLorean of the future is like and how this will impact our lives. But instead of the likeable "Doc", we will be accompanied by experts from different areas so that we can see a completely "futuristic" Spain To understand what the electric DeLorean will be like first let’s understand what aspects surround the electric vehicle (EV).
The argument most commonly used by motor vehicle drivers is that EV batteries have little autonomy and there are a few recharging points for electric cars. Arturo Perez de Lucia, Director-General of AEDIVE, the Spanish Corporate Association for Development and Boosting of the Electric Vehicle, answers this problem: "The biggest barrier is not autonomy of our EV but rather understanding what an electric vehicle is. There exists the erroneous consideration that until then EV has autonomy of 180 kWh (what is necessary to travel the length and breadth of Spain) it is not worth the bother. But we will never have a vehicle with capacity to travel 1000 km without refuelling given that, apart from the fact it is not advisable to drive so many kilometres without stopping, this would involve having a super battery with an enormous weight and cost, which is completely inefficient".
Currently, we find on the market electric cars that have 300 to 400 actual kilometres of autonomy (without being high-end) which cover the daily autonomy of an average citizen which is between 30 and 80 km. "Moreover, the vehicle arrives home with 70% battery remaining", Arturo tells us.
“The biggest barrier is not autonomy of our EV, but understanding what an electric vehicle is”
Recharging points in Spain to travel
But what about travel? The AEDIVE Director-General states that: "We can drive in Europe freely and without concern. In Spain, load infrastructures have not been reproduced with the same effectiveness as in other countries, but from companies such as Endesa or other electric companies they have already started to invest efficiently and results are starting to be observed as well". It is estimated that by the end of 2019 there will be an electroliner for every 100 km. "The important thing is that we know how to change the mental concept of what mobility is and understand that the most important recharge is not electrolines but installing this in your home. An EV will visit an outside recharging point once or twice a month on average", adds Arturo. Recharging points in Spain to travel.
And although in a not-too-distant future the most important challenge of motor engineering is developing more powerful batteries, around 90 kWh (500 km of autonomy), the most important challenge for the electric DeLorean to go to the end of the planet with no concern whatsoever is building different recharging infrastructures as quickly as possible.
Currently, we can find some on the island of Majorca, where just half an hour can be sufficient to charge batteries to 80% thanks to recharging point installation initiatives all over Spain such as the recent project CIRVE. KIA sources declare that: "Regarding the future of electric cars to provide an incentive to buy this kind of vehicle and eliminate possible reticence of the buyer we need continued governmental support over time, to boost installation of electric vehicle recharging infrastructures in addition to development of competitive autonomies by manufacturers".
But we will not only talk of stationary infrastructures because mobile structures will also exist. "Currently, vehicles are already being tested that will have a major transformer on board, that is a portable station where you can charge your EV whenever you need to. This vehicle will have several pumps and will be at the demand of the most requested locations that do not have a fixed electroline such as a bridge or exit. This vehicle will be at this determined point in a determined time slot waiting for cars that need its service to arrive. And like everything it will be technologically connected and the user will know there is a vehicle there with which they can recharge", Arturo explains to us.
Projects for the future of fast recharging
Nissan explains to us that “another type of charge will be the one located below the pavement, created with renewable energies. This system could be implemented in urban parking areas and will enable the vehicle whilst parked to maintain a constant charge and reduce the level of street furniture in favour of the citizen’s comfort”.
The same concept is reiterated from AEDIVE: The future will be geared towards our electric car having incorporated in the lower part a system that enables that when going through a specific location it can read this other system that will mean that your EV charges whilst driving without any contact”.
From Endesa, among other companies we are already working with charging systems for electric cars such as the inductive system and the project signed with the Centre for Investigation of Resources and Energy Consumption (CIRCE), from the University of Zaragoza, whose most important aim is to design a support system for quick recharging of the EV that optimises the use of energy, favours renewable consumption and eliminates problems that affect the electric network. Or our project for ultrafast charging for electric buses together with TMB that enables charging 80% of the bus battery in just five minutes thanks to a charger connected to a pantograph installed on the vehicle’s roof. In fact, if we pay attention we can already see similar systems in the Community of Madrid that charge the vehicle during waiting times. Whereby, this future electric car is already a reality that is increasingly closer.
Are you surprised? Then wait for the next report because this is merely the beginning.
Would you like to relive stage 1 of the #eVuelta?
Find out everything that happened. The main players, their best moments, the journey, details on the car and much more. Are you going to miss it?