Welcome to the first blog in a series that will cover everything EV. Mankind is at the beginning of an exciting era and there are constantly new developments and trends. At times we will get tangential and philosophize about matters peripheral to EVs.
If you’re not sure what EV stands for, let me get that out of the way immediately:
EV stands for Electric Vehicle.
In this blog, Electric Vehicle (EV) will mean a battery-powered vehicle that needs to be recharged from an external source. Sometimes the acronym PEV for Plug-in EV is used, but I’m going to avoid that. Other literature refers to, among others:
ZEV – Zero-Emission Vehicle.
BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle. These cars are powered by rechargeable battery packs, with no secondary source of power.
PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. They have both an internal combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor.
And then there are also FCVs (Fuel Cell Vehicles) and FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) which rely on Oxygen and Hydrogen technologies. In future blogs, we will touch on those technologies (ie. When someone has explained to me how they work).
Let’s talk about EVs
EVs aren’t coming. They’re already here. Get used to it. You can also get used to, or rather look forward to quieter inner cities, lower fuel bills, and cleaner air.
And it is the quest for cleaner air that is driving the EV revolution. It is not only Elon Musk fiddling around with a few Teslas … all the major players in Europe have committed to EV production. And it’s not because they all became tree-huggers overnight – it’s because their governments have committed to COP26 in general and very specific carbon emission targets in particular. Norway is leading the charge and setting an example for everyone.
Norway – taking the lead with EVs
The Norwegian government’s policy is straightforward: all sales of new cars and vans shall be zero-emission by 2025. They are further incentivizing buyers by not charging VAT on EV purchases. It’s working: in January this year, 87% of new car sales in Norway were EVs. Currently, over 500 000 Norwegian drivers own EVs. In a population of 5.3 million, and an average family of three, one can project that one third of Norwegian families are EV families.
EV sales in France
In France, in the first quarter of 2022, EVs exceeded sales of internal combustion engines (ICEs) by 40% to 38%. If trends continue similar to the way they did in Norway, that gap will increase with each quarter.
The UK has banned the sales of new ICEs by 2030, and Germany by 2035. If that seems like a long time – it’s not. It takes more or less 8 years to develop and launch a new car, which means that ICE manufacturers whose main market is in the UK will not be developing any new cars anymore: that market is gone. And that means that by 2026 (getting closer now) new ICE car buyers will have to make a tough choice – do I want to buy a new ICE car that will have a zero-resale value in 4 years. Add to that the fact that cheaper better technology will have brought prices of new EVs down quite significantly by then, making them more attractive than now. If you still think there is lots of time, throw your mind back to how quickly perfectly good Nokias vanished when the first smartphones came on the scene. The switch to EVs will be on the same scale.
As I said, EVs are here, and that is just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll get to the huge part below the water in future blogs.
AUTHOR: TIM SANDHAM
Tim is a greying redhead who thinks green. He is the author of books on welding, soccer and Herman Charles Bosman