With the recent announcement by Elon Musk about the Cybertruck being able to briefly work as a boat, the excitement about the EV industry is at an all-time high. Over the last decade, the world has been swiftly moving towards electric vehicles. Companies such as Tesla and Rivian started the entire EV revolution, but other legacy car manufacturers are also joining the movement. The development in the technology of EVs has also gone through a tremendous change in just the last 10 years.
While people are aware of the rudimentary science behind why EVs are considered to be the future of transportation, it is always interesting to hear different perspectives from people who are at the top of their respective fields.
Olivia Lazard is an environmental peacemaking expert, and through her Ted Talk, she sheds light on the geopolitical side of the transition towards EVs. Olivia argues that the countries that control the production and supply chains of the minerals involved in the production of batteries and other components will play a central role on the global stage.
Olivia also argues for the deescalation of competition for resources. It is important to not make the same mistakes that led to the climate crisis in the first place. This political perspective of the EV revolution is one that is rarely bought up in everyday discussions and most related to EVs focus too much on their success in developed countries.
Akshay Singhal is the co-founder and CEO of Log 9 Materials, the 2019 Forbes Asia Under 30 awardee who has been at the forefront of solving the pressing global issue of climate change. Akshay argues that while EVs have the potential to impact climate change in a positive way, the current manufacturing methods and technology might make them dirtier than diesel.
Akshay argues that if the method of charging the vehicle is changed, the environmental cost of EVs will come down by a huge margin. He also argues for the use of batteries that have a longer life, lower range, and higher efficiency, which are also some of the most important factors for people’s preferences in EVs. It is one of the rare talks where the proponent of EVs is bringing out the current problems in their manufacturing and use.
Dr. Denis Phares is the CEO of Dragonfly Energy, a company focused on building energy storage systems for renewable sources of electricity. Dr. Denis argues that the world moving rapidly towards EVs can quickly overwhelm the current state of electricity grids throughout the world. He also brings forward the problem of renewable sources of energy being intermittent, in some regions.
Dr. Denis suggests that rather than burning more coal and oil for electricity production, a more sophisticated system for storing renewable energy can solve the problem. This is also a unique perspective on the EV transition. As demand for EVs is increasing rapidly and developing countries also start adding to this, the stress on current electric grids and production will also see a sharp rise, which might have the opposite effect on the environment, depending on how the energy is produced.
Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen has been one of the major driving forces behind Tesla Motors. At the forefront of the EV revolution, Peter has seen through many of the issues related to the environmental benefits of using electricity as a propulsion source.
Peter, through his Ted Talk, shines a light on the statistical and scientific reasons why electricity is going to be the answer for the future of transportation sustainability. Peter also points out that even though the current technology might not be the most efficient, the future has a lot of untapped potential. Consumers should keep in mind these factors before buying any EV. It is also refreshing to see the perspective of a person directly involved with one of the largest EV manufacturers in the world.
Ankit Jain is the CEO and Founder of the OLA Group, which includes companies like Ola Electric, Ola Labs etc, and he has been at the center of the EV revolution in India. Ankit believes that a country like India, with the second-largest population in the world, will play a key role in the environmental impact of moving to EVs.
The current trend of high-end EVs will not be much of a success in a country like India, which is why he has focused on producing shared and personal EVs, including two-wheelers and longer ranges for EVs, which will see a larger adoption rate in a price sensitive country. People don’t often get to know about the innovations and different approaches being taken with EVs in developing countries where companies like Tesla might be too expensive to succeed.
Jubin Varghese is the co-founder of Gegadyne Energy, a company focused on building better batteries for use in EVs. Jubin got the idea while working on a college project which involved developing an electric car for Indian roads.
This led to Jubin working on a patented, hybrid supercapacitor-based battery that is quick charging, low cost, and has a higher energy density. Jubin also points out how the scientific competition for building better batteries is at the core of the race for EV domination for all major car manufacturers. This is a different perspective from the developers of one of the most integral parts of an EV, which is refreshing compared to talks from car manufacturers.
Hannah Trescott is a graduating senior at AIS. In her Ted Talk, she shines a light on the emerging popularity of hybrid cars and how the current movement has a lot of benefits for the environment, as well as financial incentives for consumers. Her research pointed out that social image factors are the most prominent factor in energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental effect of potential solutions.
She also argues that while social image might be a great factor, the positive effects on the environment should be at the forefront. This is a unique look into the psychological factors that play a part in the EV consumer base, which can be useful for both companies and people looking to buy a car in making a more pragmatic decision.
Punit Goyal is the co-founder of BluSmart, an EV company that aims to revolutionize the ride-hailing service in India. Since its inception, BluSmart has completed over 1.2 million rides and 38 million clean kilometers across the capital region. Through his talk, Punit points out the numerous advantages of switching over to electric cars from combustion engines.
Not just focusing on climate change, Punit also focuses on the life quality improvement that will come through the EV transition. One of the biggest factors is the reduction in noise pollution around large cities and the replacement of old and noisy rickshaws or tuk-tuks. Revolutionizing the ride-hailing industry through EVs is another fresh look into the developments happening all over the world.
Michiel Langezaal was the co-founder of Epyon, a company focusing on building faster-charging mechanisms for electric cars. The start-up was later acquired by ABB electrical. Michiel points out the changes needed in the battery charging technology for EVs to be globally adopted.
The batteries need to last longer, charge quickerm and be cheaper to make. He also brings forward the initital hindrance due to cost with car batteries, just like it happened with solar panels, televisions, and mobile phones when they first came out. Drawing a comparison with the existing green energy industry and predicting the future, as well as the necessary technological changes needed, is quite an interesting outlook for the EV industry.
Bert Maas is an alumnus of the Eindhoven University of Technology where he studied industrial design and interaction design. He points out the lack of emotion and variations in the current versions of electric cars. He argues that electric cars should have more distinct designs, comparing them to some of the most recognizable movie cars.
Maas also compares different cars through the starting sound they make. He points out the lack of connection between the driver and the car in EVs, which he aims to solve through industrial design. Very few people in the EV industry take into account the emotional connection one has with their vehicles which, according to Maas, is one of the biggest barriers in convincing people to switch to an EV.