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SUSTAINABILITY Electric vehicles


Balance of power E


Denis Naberezhnykh on how the rise in popularity of electric vehicles can only be good news for the ITS sector


lectric Vehicles (EVs) will be more “connected” than conventional, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehi- cles in order to mitigate their perceived shortfalls,


such as reduced range. This is often achieved through the provision of information to the driver and routing to the most appropriate refuelling infrastructure. As more EVs start to enter the vehicle fleet, an increasingly larger propor- tion of the fleet will be equipped with the capability to con- nect to this infrastructure and thus, allow for new Intelligent Transport System (ITS) applications. Although it is apparent that all vehicles seem to be fol-


lowing the trend of increased emphasis on connectivity and telematics, this is largely restricted to “high-end” vehicles at present and is usually perceived to be not critical to the functionality of the vehicle. However, for EVs, such func- tionality could be paramount to their successful adoption and use. Before the requirement for connectivity and ITS can be understood in more detail, it is important to explore what EVs are and why there are perceived shortfalls in their performance. The term EV is typically used as an umbrella term to cover:


• Pure EVs, also sometimes known as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


• Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) • Range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs).


The key differentiator of these vehicles from internal com- bustion engine vehicles and from regular hybrids (ICE vehi- cles with small batteries that can be used to provide boost and power to the electric motor at very low speeds – such as the Toyota Prius), is that they are all able to use electricity from the grid (or other external sources) to charge the on- board energy storage. All of these types of EV can be driven in an electric-only mode, by powering an electric motor using energy from the battery. However, depending on the type of EV, its electric-only range and total range will vary. Typically, EVs that rely solely on the electric motor for


traction (BEVs) will have a total maximum range of around 100 miles (160km) and only use electricity to power the vehi- cle. The benefit is that there are no tail-pipe emissions and lower CO2 emissions compared with most ICEs (assuming current electricity generation mix in the UK). This range is unlikely to improve substantially over the next 5 years as most of the immediate development in battery technology


48 thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 2 Europe/Rest of the World


Examples of different charging points: Wireless (above), AC and DC (below), Slow Charging (below, right), Combined Rapid AC and DC (below, far right)


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