Electric car: why e-cars are unstoppable

Electric mobility is on a dynamic growth path: E-cars offer many advantages, but also some disadvantages.

electric vehicles belongs as part of the Transport turnaround the future – a future that offers far more than a new drive technology. The vehicle powered in this way is Emotion, it stands for autonomous driving and for modern mobility concepts such as car sharing or ride-hailing. It can be a mobile gadget or an everyday helper that creeps along almost silently. The Electric car – whether from Tesla, Lucid Motors, Hyundai, BMW, Fiat, Opel, Porsche or Renault – does not go “Hum Hum”, but “TSSSSSS”, similar to a streetcar. E-cars are pure emotion, dynamism and passion.

Elon Musk and Tesla Motors (especially with the Tesla Model 3) have been instrumental in the disruptive shift toward electric mobility and the electric drive car. China has paved the way for the electric car mass market in. It is now clear that the vehicle with an electric motor is unstoppable, because it fits perfectly into the future world of decentralized energy supply and intermodal transport concepts. It is emblematic of digitization in business and society. The car is more than just an electric motor and battery – it is an attitude to life that is inspiring more and more people.

More and more manufacturers – at the beginning of 2021, for example, the Swedish carmaker Volvo, General Motors GM and Ford – are committing themselves to the new type of drive and to the electrification of individual mass mobility in the course of the traffic turnaround. Volkswagen VW or Hyundai are also considered pioneers because they have developed their own electric mobility platforms – Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess in particular admires the work of pioneer Elon Musk, is trying to copy with vehicles like the ID.3 or the ID.4 to create.

Even sports car giant Porsche has tapped into entirely new customer groups with the Taycan. It is clear that the torque immediately available with electric drive is predestined for sporty vehicles. That’s why there are several racing series that are helping to improve battery and software development. The success of the Taycan has shown Porsche that it makes sense to offer virtually the entire fleet in all-electric form. This is precisely the path we are now on.

E-cars are becoming increasingly affordable

Until around 2019, electric cars were considered too expensive compared to combustion cars. In the meantime, at the beginning of 2021, price parity is imminent, even in terms of pure acquisition costs. Germany, but also other countries, are anticipating the development of prices by initiating high premiums for the purchase or suitable wallboxes for the home. Countries such as Norway and the Netherlands have long since set exit dates for the farewell to the internal combustion engine.

In addition, regulations are also being changed: The European Union is aiming to establish a Euro 7 standard, which experts estimate could mean the virtual end of the internal combustion engine as early as the mid-2020s. Because technologically, the environmental targets are almost impossible to meet – as the diesel scandal involving Volkswagen, Mercedes, Bosch and others has already shown.

The electric car is becoming increasingly affordable because the price of batteries in particular – the battery system is the most expensive component – is falling continuously. Similar to renewable energies, which are disrupting the energy system based on fossil raw materials, the electric drive and the e-car technology are succeeding in making the combustion engine largely superfluous.

Price and Range are the most important criteria for car buyers when choosing an electrified model. At the same time, the cars in 2021 are generally already superior to the combustion engine passenger car when the total cost of ownership is taken into account – this then includes lower costs for maintenance: The electric vehicle has hardly any parts that can break down. In addition, the e-car is exempt from vehicle tax in Germany for ten years.

Since the end of 2020, extremely favorable leasing offers (commercial leasing or private leasing) have been available for electrically powered vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, the Renault Zoe, the BMW i3, the Mercedes-Benz Smart or the Fiat 500e. Leasing instead of buying gives the buyer more security, because it is not clear how the resale price of e-cars will develop in the coming years. In addition, the car supply is improving, making it difficult to choose a brand today – whether it’s Fiat, VW, Hyundai, Kia, Fiat or Opel.

Radical forecasts assume that the last combustion engine passenger car will be sold as early as 2026. In this context, experts refer to the so-called Osborne effect. The Osborne effect is a social phenomenon in which customers cancel or put on hold orders for the current, soon-to-be obsolete product when a company announces a future product early on.

Graphically illustrated, the radical shift away from the internal combustion engine then looks like this:

Osborne effect

(Via THEDRIVEN / Source: Prof. Ray Wills)

The story begins 100 years ago and continues to the present day. In the next 10 years, disruptive change will take place in Germany, but also globally – electric mobility will be added to this, also with fuel cells, and possibly Hybrid vehicles, equipped with electric motors, but fueled with synthetic fuels for long journeys.

Fully electric cars: Exponential development expected

Tesla Model X - E-car from the Californians

Tesla Model X generate interest Image source: Tesla Motors

The automotive industry, with its products and services related to the internal combustion engine, as we know it today, is currently undergoing a fundamental transformation. What observers of the automotive sector like innovation and futurologist Lars Thomsen (u.a. in this video from 2013) or Tony Seba (in the book Clean Disruption – buy at Amazon) have been predicting for some time, will become reality in the next ten to fifteen years: The car in particular, but also electromobility in general, will take off at breakneck speed on an exponential trajectory. The advantages of the electric drive are too striking – many developments currently go hand in hand and will result in an upheaval of the car sector.

The changes that this will bring to the classic automotive industry are now being noticed – this was explained wonderfully at the end of 2015 by SZ editor Thomas Fromm on the role of automotive suppliers, who rightly deals with automotive suppliers for once in his commentary.

To do this, you have to know: The car with an electric motor is technically much less sophisticated than a car with an internal combustion engine. It contains hardly any components that can wear out. No exhaust, no camshafts, no injection pumps. “A third of what makes a car like this with an internal combustion engine will no longer be needed in the future,” writes SZ editor Fromm.

Electric car from Volkswagen: The ID BUZZ

This poses a decisive challenge for traditional automotive suppliers who have been producing special components for the internal combustion engine on behalf of the automotive groups: How many will succeed in simultaneously continuing to supply components just-in-time and at the same time venturing into new areas in which they may be able to survive on the market even with the widespread use of the electric car??

Because so few wear parts are needed, the nationwide network of auto repair shops will no longer be necessary in the future with today’s tightly meshed network. And that is precisely one of the reasons why companies that have not previously been involved with cars now have the opportunity to penetrate this sector.

Tesla, Apple, Google or young companies such as Nio or Lucid Motors, which will go public in 2021, and which are financed by billions from China or Saudi Arabia, for example, can penetrate the car sector because the modern car is technically rather banal and there is no huge service network as a basic prerequisite for selling a car.

The electric car is more of a “digital device” – IT, networking and digitization are the key components that will shape the auto sector in the future. This will extend to autonomous driving: If the car drives itself, the “driver” can concentrate on shopping online for what he only needs to pick up at the shopping center he is heading for.

Several megatrends are fuelling the development

There are several megatrends that suggest that electric cars will become established in the 20s and 30s of this century. The trend towards renewable energies (news about renewable energies can be found here), especially photovoltaics, has long been unmistakable worldwide. Forecasts predict that electricity from photovoltaic systems will still cost two to four cents per kilowatt hour in a few years – making it unrivaled in price.

The think tank Agora Energiewende (cf. Background paper What if… there were a widespread rollout of solar storage systems? ) has already calculated a scenario for Germany with solar power plants with a total capacity of 150 gigawatts in combination with battery storage (40 GW) and a capacity of 120 GWh – the result shows that the expansion of renewable energies at a certain level must be accompanied by the provision of storage technologies.

In addition to the megatrend of renewable energies, the trend toward battery storage in households, commercial operations or as neighborhood storage is also playing into the hands of the electrically driven car – because, for example, the companies Daimler (resp. Mercedes), GETEC and The Mobility House (cf. Greentech Media article: Energy Storage: Automakers on Second-Life Batteries for the Grid: ‘We Want a Foot in the Door of This Market’) have jointly launched a project on the second use of rechargeable batteries in corresponding electricity storage systems.

The trend toward stationary battery storage is significant for the development of the electric car because it means that the price for the stored kilowatt hour continues to fall. Lithium-ion batteries are currently the standard and are used in mobile devices such as laptops as well as in mobile and stationary power storage systems.

In this study, solar power plants with a total capacity of 150 gigawatts were assumed for Germany in combination with battery storage systems with a total capacity of 40 gigawatts and a storage capacity of 120 gigawatt hours, and the question of what effects these would have on the overall system was examined. Closely linked to this megatrend is the growing importance of electricity storage, especially with lithium-ion batteries.

E-car as part of electromobility

NIO ES8 - electric car from China

The modern car with an electric motor, electrified drive and a battery is part of the so-called “electric mobility” Electric mobility – This refers to all vehicles of individual and collective mobility that are powered by electric energy. These include two-wheelers such as pedelecs and electric scooters as well as three-wheelers such as the Aptera tricycle and classic cars such as the Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model Y or Model X vehicles, the successful Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona or Kia eNiro, the BMW i3 or the electrically powered Smart from Mercedes-Benz / Daimler.

In the case of electric cars, the drive energy is usually carried in the form of rechargeable batteries; only rarely are non-rechargeable, classic batteries used (moon car). Fuel cell vehicles, serial hybrid electric cars and vehicles with diesel-electric drive use different fuels as primary energy to produce the drive current from them.

In the meantime, the major German automakers have also recognized that the market will develop as expected. They tinker and develop electric cars, show studies and announce further models. For the IAA 2017, Mercedes, for example, has announced several new launches at the same time – Mercedes is relying on its specially developed new EQ brand, which was presented in December 2016:

Electric drive: Many advantages

The electric drive is superior to the widespread drive with combustion engines in many characteristics. These include:

  • the much higher efficiency,
  • the advantageous torque characteristics of the electric motor,
  • the advantageous performance characteristics of the electric motor,
  • the simpler design of the powertrain,
  • Cars with electric motors have hardly any wear parts, so they require less maintenance than classic cars with combustion engines,
  • zero emissions in terms of pollutants and noise, at least when electric cars are fueled with renewable energies.

Compared to vehicles with combustion engines, the e-car usually (today still) has a shorter range. This is primarily due to the comparatively smaller amounts of energy that can be carried in energy storage devices such as lithium-ion batteries in the current state of the art.

However, the range of electric cars is developing rapidly: while a range of 100 kilometers was still considerable ten years ago, today’s Hyundai Kona manages more than 400 kilometers. Only small cars like the Smart will be equipped with a range of less than 100 kilometers.

Battery technology for the electric vehicle has seen intensive development in recent years, for example due to the demands of portable electronic devices such as notebooks and cell phones, resulting in higher energy densities, faster charging and greater safety.

We are in the middle of the clean revolution

The promotion of electric cars almost in every country in the world. Rising registration figures in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Tesla spearheading shift toward electric drive is building parallel factories on three continents. And finally, the rapid, disruptive development of solar and wind show: We are in the middle of the clean revolution.

The advantages of electromobility are particularly noticeable where routes with electric drives have to be covered in a plannable manner. The city bus, which runs x times on the same route every day, is predestined for conversion to electric propulsion. But the excavator or the caterpillar on the inner-city construction site also makes plenty of sense. Of course also the garbage trucks, which can drive their routes outside of the rush hour because of the low noise level.

Lithium, cobalt, nickel, lead: disadvantages of the electric car

But in the course of the clean revolution, which will come much more from commercial vehicles than from passenger cars, the handling of raw materials must also be considered. The high demand for nickel, lithium or cobalt for the batteries is a disadvantage of the electric car. However: The industry is quite behind to minimize or completely abolish the disadvantages.

Let’s take the example of lithium: In the Atacama Desert, for example, lithium is mined using large amounts of water. This lowers the water table. But there are now methods that can radically reduce water consumption. In some cases, political reasons prevent them from being used. But then you can hardly blame electromobility for that.

On the positive side, lithium for batteries, for example, is also likely to be mined in Europe in the future – for example as a byproduct of deep geothermal energy. Read more in the article: Lithium – White gold with a black spot.

The example of cobalt is emotionalized by the fact that there is also child labor there. This is not a successful situation, but no cobalt mining for batteries would not solve the problem. Difficult political conditions in Congo, a dictatorship where people have few alternative job opportunities. Cobalt miners like Glencore are supporting this very job creation so that illegal mines will be fewer.

All manufacturers of battery systems for electric mobility are working to ensure that less cobalt is needed. To this end, it must also be clearly stated: Most of the mining of cobalt is done on an industrial scale with much smaller, negative impacts on the population. But here, too, it is important to keep a close eye on the future and to make grievances known.

What is more dramatic from the point of view of the electric car is that such a vehicle also needs a starter battery, which is usually based on lead. And the mining of lead leads to the poisoning of millions of people. The situation in Mombasa, for example, is particularly terrible.

Electric cars 2021 with price and range

The supply of all-electric cars has been increasing rapidly since 2019 at the latest. Almost all manufacturers now have electric cars on offer – from Fiat and Smart, to Nissan, Fiat (Stellantis), Dacia, Renault, Volvo with sub-brand Polestar, Hyundai with sub-brand Ioniq, Seat, Skoda, Kia and Opel, to Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota. Add to that pure e-car builders like Tesla, Lucid Motors, Nio, Xpeng. Even luxury and sports car specialists such as Porsche and Jaguar have long since turned to electric drives.

But which electric vehicles will really be available in 2021, and at what price and with what range? Here is the overview, where you can possibly find a suitable electric car for you and your family or your company.

  • Electric car Citroen Ami

    Citroen Ami (price from 7.000 euros, range up to 75 km)

  • E-car Citroen Ami (price from 7.000 Euro, range up to 75 km)

    Citroen e-Berlingo (price unknown, range 280 km)

  • Citroen e-Jumpy (price 34.690 euros, range 230 km)

  • Artega Karo-Isetta with electric drive(price 17,995 euros, range 125 km)

    Artega Karo-Isetta (price 17.995 euros, range 125 km)

  • Smart EQ Fortwo electric car (price 21,940, range 159 km)

    Smart EQ Fortwo (price 21.940, range 159 km)

  • Renault Twingo Electric (price 24.790 euros, range 190 km)

  • Smart EQ Forfour Facelift electric car (price 22,600 euros, range 153 km)

    Smart EQ Forfour Facelift (Price 22.600 euros, range 153 km)

  • Fiat 500 Electric (price 23,560, range 180 km)

    Fiat 500 electric (price 23.560, range 180 km)

  • e.GO Life - e-car from Aachen (price 22,990, range 122 km)

    e.GO Life (price 22.990, range 122 km)

  • Dacia Spring Electric (price unknown, range 225 km)

    Dacia Spring Electric (price unknown, range 225 km)

  • Honda-e car with electric drive (price 33,850, range 220.)

    Honda-e (price 33.850 euros, range 220)

  • BMW i3 (price 39,000 euros, 307 km)

    BMW i3 (price 39.000 euros, range 307 km)

  • E-car Mini Cooper SE (price 32,500, range 270 km)

    Mini Cooper SE (price 32.500 euros, range 270 km)

  • Peugeot e-208 (price 30.450 Euro, range 340 km) E-car

    Peugeot e-208 (price 30.450 euros, range 340 km)

  • Opel Corsa-e (price 29,900 euros, range 337 kilometers) electric car

    Opel Corsa-e (price 29.900 euros, range 337 kilometers)

  • Renault Zoe (price 29,990 euros, range 316 km) Leasing prices

    Renault Zoe (price 29.990 euros, range 316 km)

  • DS 3 Crossback E-Tense (price 38.690 euros, range 320 kilometers)

  • Opel Mokka-e (price 34,110 euros, range 322 kilometers)

    Opel Mokka-e (price 34.110 euros, range 322 kilometers)

  • Peugeot-e 2008 (price 35,450 euros, range 320 kilometers)

    Peugeot-e 2008 (price 35.450 euros, range 320 kilometers)

  • Hyundai Kona electric (price 35,650 euros, range 305 km)

    Hyundai Kona electric (price 35.650 euros, range 305 km)

  • Kia e-Soul (price 33,990 euros, range 276 km)

    Kia e-Soul
    (price 33.990 euros, range 276 km)

  • Renault Kangoo ZE (price 37,985, range230 km) E-car

    Renault Kangoo ZE (price 37.985, range230 km)

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: