The alternative to cars run on petrol, electric cars are slowly but surely having an impact on the car industry. Seen as the more environmentally friendly option, studies into the industry show that over a million more electric cars will be on the roads of Australia by 2030 while global sales are expected to reach 2 million worldwide by the end 2018, with strong recent growth. Australian drivers have shown themselves to be open to change to with over half of people surveyed indicating they would consider an electric car for their next car purchase.
These figures are not lost on some of the largest car manufacturers in the world who are looking to take advantage in the next few years. Porsche, the German automobile producer, aims to make 50 percent of its vehicles electric by 2023 while Volvo and Toyota have all set targets to reach 1 million electric vehicles to be sold by 2025.
To continue the development of this industry, It needs investment, which is hoped to come from many different corners including from government budgets as well as foreign investors.
To run, cars need energy. Electric cars get this energy from charging stations. There are 90,000 charging stations worldwide, which is expected to rise to 120,000 in this calendar year. However, to match the increase in electric cars on the road, there needs to be more chargers. Currently, many kinds of chargers are available, but this would need to be standardised to ensure growth. In house charging stations are also needed however there is a worry that in home chargers could put unsustainable pressure on the national grid
BMW and Toyota have also invested into car battery research. They have been at the forefront of recent development of solid state batteries. These are now preferred to lithium batteries as they can produce double the energy and are safer too.
In Australia, the Queensland state government with the help of NRMA have begun developing some infrastructure but a lot more is needed to deal with any growth of the number of users of electric cars. Users need to be assured that chargers will be available, especially on longer journeys, while apps developed to show users where charging stations are available would also be useful.
Technologies to create low energy usage and fast charging stations are currently the most important factors on the agenda and with multinational companies such as Toyota and Volvo helping the development the rise of the electric shows no signs of slowing down.