Imagine a few years from now. You can buy a car that often needs charging but it can be fast charging, or you can choose the opposite. You only need to charge one-third of the number of times. So, you do that at home, at the hotel or supermarket, never in the street, once a month or less.
It is a no-brainer – less charging beats fast charging any day. Put it another way. You want to vacation around Scotland or even large countries like Australia, Canada, even live there. Would you prefer a car with 600 miles/nearly 1000km range or half that?
Fast charging is all the talk now, but doubling then trebling the range is seismic. The world solves its problems by eliminating infrastructure.
Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, explains, “Initially, it is primarily a matter of fitting larger batteries in simplified formats with better battery management software as they become affordable. However, taken together, further light-weighting, simplification, new components, and all-over solar body will increase range almost as sharply. No matter that the major impact of solid-state batteries will be after 2030 in our assessment – huge gains are coming before that.
“Many cars do 320 miles/515km today. Make that a relaxing 500 miles (805km) from many premium car makers in 2023, so the average driver charges about once a month. We predict a wide choice of cars with 760 miles (1224km) in 2031. This is a big deal because most people live in apartments in cities with no hope of their own charger. They can never again suffer the misery of street charging. With long-range, your car charges at destination, delaying you not at all. Bear in mind that a car with barely adequate range can degrade to an embarrassing half the range with combinations of being hot, cold, old, full, driven hard, or towing and its resale value is poor.”
IDTechEx heavily discounts the promises of those involved, given their history of over-optimism, but it predicts strengthening demand for range. Expect tripling of today’s range. The enablers of this bring other delights.
Light-weighting improves acceleration and cost. Simplifications mean almost no maintenance. Solar bodywork gives gentle users travel without ever using a charging station and the first get-you-home feature. If you drain the battery, you just wait and the body charges the car enough to get to a charger.
The details are spelt out in the new IDTechEx report ‘Routes to 1000 Mile (1600km) Battery Electric Cars 2021-2041’, which are the findings of multilingual PhD level IDTechEx analysts worldwide.
Detailed infograms show trends, achievements, research pipeline with roadmaps 2021-2041. Quantified are the four primary contributors to the widely available range being 760 miles in 2031, up a startling 2.4 times on today, and far beyond in 2041.
According to the researchers, Tesla became the world’s most auto valuable company largely by offering the longest range. The report describes how Tesla achieved range by cable elimination, more efficient motors, lowest drag factor, best batteries, and how it will go much further with massive simplification even beyond giant aluminium die castings.
Two chapters touch upon solar cars with increased range – best practice, chemistries, research pipeline. This just got serious with major moves by Hyundai, Tesla, Toyota, VW Group, and other giants plus start-ups selling solar vehicles. One of the questions EV enthusiasts might want answered is how did Germany-based Sono Motors get over 13,000 orders?