The company designed electric charging posts for the London Olympics and earlier this year started work on a two-year collaborative project called VIGIL (Vehicle-to-Grid Intelligent Control). It sees a number of key trends in the UK for 2019.
1. Electric vehicle battery sizes are getting smaller
Although EVs with larger batteries and longer range get the headlines, Bytesnap counter-intuitively predicts an increasing market for EVs with small batteries for the foreseeable future, primarily for urban driving. This comes from an anlysis of the trips. The average trip distance in the UK is 7.04 miles; an average commuting journey is 11.2 miles and an average car drives 6500 to 7500 miles. This means that in reality an urban eletric car only needs a range of 45 miles. As the number of charge points increases, the requirement for BEVs to support a whole day’s journey will reduce by a factor of 2 or so, meaning that an urban EV range of 23 miles will become the norm.
2. Subsidies to step down a gear
Governments have been subsidising electric vehicle sale prices to stimulate the market. Bytesnap sees an easing back of theses government subsidies as demand for EVs continues to wildly outstrip supply. This is already happening in the US.
3. Fast chargers to forge ahead
Look forward to petrol stations becoming “energy supply stations” as they install fast chargers alongside their petrol pumps. This also means they have to provide something for the drivers to do during charging – be it drinking coffee, watching TV or shopping. The acquisition by Shell and BP of EV charger suppliers is part of this strategy.
4. Tighter regulation around charger quality
2019 will also see greater regulation of chargers with more quality and feature standards placed upon them. Chargers will ultimately be required to allow load-control, ensuring the Grid can cope with high demand.
As batteries drop in price through higher volume porduction and higher energy densities each year, so the simplicity of EVs will drive cost reductions in all areas and an obvious example is the batteries themselves,. A smaller battery means a lighter car, which results in additional cost savings in the car chassis, brakes, charging tech, motor power etc. Small capacity EVs will reduce the rate of churn in charging technology and will make it easier to balance out charging demand. For example, an average 11.2 mile journey would require 2.5KWh or 21 minutes to charge at a domestic level of 7KW.
Autonomous electric taxis will need most of the same characteristics of these urban BEVs – for example, when such a taxi is booked, the user will provide the intended route and thus a small battery BEV will be directed to the user. In addition, there will be a large market for autonomous two person taxis, which because of additional weight reductions makes small battery BEVs even more viable.
However Bytesnap is not predicting that all EVs will be like this, but more for second cars or autonomous taxis.
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