To start from the basic, EV is a short form for Electric Vehicle and it can be used to describe any type of vehicle that uses a form of electricity as a means to move.
While most of us have the impression that EV is a recent innovation, the first EV was invented in 1832 by a Scottish inventor, Robert Anderson.
Electric battery powered taxis was also available at the end of 1800s in London and they were nicknamed “hummingbirds” due to the humming sound it generated.
For myself, I started to be hear about EV due to Elon Musk and had the impression that Tesla was the first to build an electric car! For reference, Tesla first car, Tesla roadster started in 2008.
Fast forward to today, we have a wide range of electric cars manufacturers in the market, ranging from your conventional global carmakers like BMW, Nissan to specialized EV manufacturers like NIO and Xpeng.
Nio and Xpeng are listed in the US Nasdaq exchange.
Among the EV cars available in the market, I would categorize them into 3 broad category; Battery EV (BEV), Plug In Hybrid (PHEV) and Hybrid EV (HEV)
Battery EV also known as Pure EV cars are EV that only uses battery. They have low running cost and zero emission. The lack of charging infrastructure may be a cause of concern. An example would be the popular Nissan Leaf
Plug In Hybrid are cars are powered by petrol and electricity. They can be recharged by plugging into a charging station as well as its engine and generator. Toyota Prius is a good example of a Plug in Hybrid (PEHV)
Hybrid Cars are powered by both petrol and electricity. The electricity is generated by the car’s braking system to recharge the battery. These cars are getting more popular in Singapore as they offer better fuel efficiency and excellent range.
Personally I see immense opportunities in the Plug-In Hybrid space as cities around the world transit into a widespread EV adoption landscape. This will require investment in infrastructure and education and offer opportunities in niche area in the EV value chain.
This is akin to the major industrial revolution when major developments in power generation changes the world. Over the next few years, we will probably get to see more technology developments in the battery and charging station.
Over the last 20 years, we have seen so many technological advances and improvement in many aspect of our life. I am confident that we will see a cleaner, greener automobile industry in the near future too. So buckle up and join me in this journey.
Sideslide photo credits:
By Alexander Migl – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67118259
By Jengtingchen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73471400
By Jengtingchen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94916949