Some of the issues affecting the future growth of electric vehicles (EV) are battery improvement, charging infrastructures, and the greater electric grid capacity. The auto industry generally accepts that US$100/kWh for battery packs is the price point needed for EV to be cost-competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles.
At the "Asia Venturing (II): Tech-Driven Mobility" event, co-organized by DIGITIMES and Anchor Taiwan, on August 10, 2021, Vitaly M Golomb, the tech venture specialist and the event host, chatted with MIH Alliance CEO Jack Cheng and Monika Mikac, CBO of Barcelona-based QEV Technologies and former COO of Croatian EV startup Rimac Automobili, about the future of EV. Battery development and national infrastructures were some of the key topics in their discussion.
In terms of battery improvement, the energy density of mainstream batteries has been increasing 8-10% every year. Solid-state batteries with higher levels of energy density are expected to come in the next two or three years, according to Cheng. In a pre-event interview, Cheng also noted that by 2025-2026, an electric car can easily run 900km on one charge. For now, it's about 400-500km.
As for battery swap, at present, about 80% of car users drive no more than 100km a day, and most of the remaining drive 100-200km daily. The battery swap is also a way to address users' concerns about EVs' running distances. People can also sell the remaining electricity back to the swap station, so it is more like a unique selling point for the EV company, indicated Cheng.
Companies taking lead in building infrastructure
Even though it is still in the early stage, the EV industry leaders have started to leverage the charging companies and the national grid cooperation to ensure a robust energy storage system and acquire the best green energy and big data in different countries.
Mikac commented the one that produces electricity is sometimes the one to push for electric mobility. So QEV has a case in Peru, where the main supplier for electricity was the one to first push for two electric buses. Because they see that they need to build the charging infrastructure in the future, and they need to make also this push to EV, according to Mikac.
Autonomous cars are also expected to come within this decade, which is not only driven by technological developments but also the new mobility lifestyle. When more and more people start to enjoy the share riding services or expect to drive autonomous cars to save time for emails or reading, autonomous cars are more likely to come soon.
(Editor's note: Asia Venturing is a series of monthly roundtables with roadmaps to the future focusing on the hype v.s. the reality of Asia's supply chain-boosted innovation ecosystem, jointly powered by DIGITIMES and Anchor Taiwan. We bring together leading industry luminaries, corporate strategists, experienced investors, and entrepreneurs to expand your network and redefine the possibilities of cross-border opportunities. The replay of the session can be seen on DIGITIMES or Anchor Taiwan.)