Electric Car News Roundup – 9

electric car news

Green Light For Investment In Electric Car Battery Development  

Department For Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy part of the UK government
Department For Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

As part of the modern Industrial Strategy’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, the UK government has given the go ahead for investment in the development of batteries for electric cars.  The government will invest £23 million to keep the UK at the forefront of EV development. The investment is part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, that brings together leading stakeholders to enhance the research into development  of key EV technologies.  The £23 million is part of the £274 million that will be awarded through the Faraday Battery Challenge.  Multiple companies across the UK are set to benefit.  These include, a Jaguar Land Rover led project, mining consultancy firm, Wardell Armstrong and material technology company, Granta Design

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The above announcement is a positive step, in the country’s progress to a net zero emissions economy.  However, to compete with heavy weight competitors, like China and the USA,  far greater funding resources will need to be made available, to the private and academia sectors. 

The Solar-Power Charged Electric Cars Making Money

red electric car charging
Electric Car Charging

Vehicle-to-Grid charging is already being tested in the UK. However, a small Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, is running a pilot scheme for using electric cars to feed the grid with power at night.  The EVs are being charged during the day with solar power. At night, the spare power from the EV is fed back to the grid.  The EV owner in return receives a financial compensation. 

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Vehicle-to-Grid, or more commonly known as V2G, will become a vital aspect to the future stability of the grid in any country.  In the UK, the National Grid has taken significant steps to forecast EV rollout, and its implications on grid load, balance and stability.  Most EV owners will eventually become contributors to the national grid, earning money in return.  Charging technology is rapidly being developed to allow a ‘two way’ interaction with the grid infrastructure i.e. use the same charging point to charge the car and also to feed back to the grid.     

The Electric Cars With The Best Real-World Range

Kia e-Niro Electric Car
Kia e-Niro Electric Car

As the EV market continues to develop and mature, automotive manufactures have been releasing new EV models with longer ranges.  Existing EV models have also witnessed range improvements with new higher capacity batteries.  Achieving a range over 200 miles is fast becoming the norm, with some electric car models able to achieve up to 300 miles on a single charge.  The Hyundai Kona electric (259 miles), Jaguar I-PACE (253 miles) and Kia e-Niro (253 miles).   

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There is no doubt, that the market is witnessing a significant improvement in range.  We certainly expect this trend to improve as battery technology further matures.  However, we must qualify all range improvements in ‘real world’ driving conditions and not just laboratory conditions.  There remains a healthy level of skepticism from consumers, on range data released by automotive manufacturers.  EV manufactures need to work harder in releasing realistic range estimates to further gain the trust of consumers.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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