Green energy at home has already seen widespread adoption with an increasing number of photovoltaic panels on domestic homes, but electric vehicle usage is still in its infancy. But that is changing. Not least with the government ensuring there will be no more fossil fuel-based car sales in the none-too-distant future.
But electric vehicles also have to prove to be cost effective alternatives to our petrol or diesel-powered cars. And once any issues around cost to buy and run these cars has been solved, we then need to know we can get from A to B without running out of electricity charge far from a charging point.
These are all relevant concerns.
But technology is moving at great speed, and advancing techniques are reducing costs, increasing capacity and building the infrastructure to support widespread electric vehicle ownership.
Pioneer Taavi Madiberk, CEO of Skeleton Technologies, who we recently talked to about how his company is changing the world of energy storage, has recently spoke positively about Nissan’s launch of a longer range version of its popular Leaf electric vehicle. The launch is the car manufacturer’s response to growing competition in the market.
He said, “With the electric car market intensifying and competition in the sector reaching its peak, Nissan’s announcement of the long-range Leaf is another step forward in reducing costs and making electric cars commercially viable. In the UK this surge has seen a significant momentum with a recent report from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reporting a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in sales of EV and alternatively fuelled vehicles.”
Nissan revealed the new Leaf will have an increased range of 235 miles alongside the introduction of its latest autonomous driving technology such as ProPilot, which includes distance control among other features, and Nissan’s e-Pedal concept which allows drivers to control the car with a single pedal. By 2018, Nissan hopes to have a higher power version on the market with increased battery capability. Nissan’s unveiling of the new Leaf, the world’s best-selling electric car, sees the e-powertrain deliver 38% more power output than the previous generation model. Acceleration has also been boosted with torque up 26%.
“The new Nissan Leaf, with its improved autonomy range, combined with the evolution of autonomous drive technology, such as ProPilot Park and the simple operation of the e-Pedal, strengthens Nissan’s EV leadership, as well as the expansion of EVs globally,” said Nissan’s president and chief executive officer, Hiroto Saikawa. “It also has the core strengths that will be embodied by future Nissan models.”
Madiberk adds, “In order for [growth in the market] to continue, the UK must now look to invest in building reliable charging infrastructure to match the surge of power demands. Government, regulators, industry bodies and businesses must work together to support energy storage technologies that complement the grid, such as ultracapacitor and battery technology, to allow us to smooth the peak power needs and manage the growing demands on country’s energy infrastructure.
“With regulation forcing a response from manufacturers and a reduction in energy emissions, we must act quickly to create a foundation that will nurture renewable technology and support wider EV adoption to ensure that Britain can continue to innovate now and into the future.”