Success factors for electric vehicles powered by batteries


Success factors for electric vehicles powered by batteries
The current motor vehicle is powered by an engine. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) has been introduced. The hybrid electric vehicle HEVs are also engine driven. The electric power from braking is stored in the battery to help drive while overtaking or acceleration, which will save fuel and reduce pollution. The plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) plug-in hybrid has already begun to sell, especially the Luxury Car. The PHEV car has a larger battery and have the main power from both engine and battery. PHEV can be plugged into the external charger or plug-in, too. For Battery Electric Vehicle, BEV has already piloted driving and start to sale in Thailand. BEVs are powered by only battery power and can be plugged in, just like a PHEV. As a matter of fact, the performance and feeling of driving are not significantly different from the conventional motor vehicle. Besides BEV, also has a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The FCEV carries hydrogen into the fuel cell to produce a chemical reaction that generates electricity for driven. The output of the reaction is water, which is considered Zero Emission. FCEV are commercially available in Japan, Europe and USA. But for Thailand, if we talk about electric vehicles, then currently we are more interested in BEV. 

When the reader knows the type of electric vehicle, let's take a look at some of the fascinating things about electric vehicles

Remark * The electricity used to charge battery for the PHEV and BEV vehicles is also produced in several ways. If electricity is produced from coal, natural gas or oil, it will also cause pollution and CO2 during electricity production, while generating electricity from a solar cell or wind will produce less pollution

From the table, it is seen that the hybrid electric vehicle and electric vehicle batteries can help the environment while driving, such as reducing pollution and CO2, especially in cities with has high pollution. While HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs will save significant fuel costs. Current BEVs will have to pay about 0.5-1.0 baht per kilometer.

While the government is aware of the future trend of using more electric vehicles around the world, so they are trying to promote Thailand as a production base of electric vehicles for Domestic and export. They also consideration of reducing the impact on the environment, too. So, they set several ways to promote it. But nowadays, the battery electric vehicle is on the way to prove about successful. As for the author opinion, the subject of the battery electric vehicle is a new thing, most consumers are not confident to use as well as conventional cars. By promoting the widespread use of BEV, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

1. Safety Standard for Driving
Due to Electric Vehicle Series, are equipped with the battery. If the vehicles are not standard, it may cause a risk of unsafe. Therefore, the electric safety standards should be enforced, especially the important equipment such as batteries. In automotive industry, the standards that have been accepted is UN ECE standard. In this case, the important standard is the UN ECE R100 for battery testing and other standards such as SAE standards, UL standards, ISO IEC standards. Main categories Battery testing is about environment, such as temperature, humidity, and explosion protection. At present, Thai Industrial Standard Institute, TISI has focused on this issue. If the standard has been adopted and enforced, the author believes that it will be able to make consumers confident to use Electric Vehicles Series.

2. Performance and Feeling of driving
For the HEV, PHEV and BEV vehicles, in the author opinion, the performance and driving sensation were not significantly different from the combustion engine vehicle. If refer to author test drive experience, the EV series will pass this matter easily.

3. Running distance per charge
Currently, the distance to run on a single charge of BEV is less than an internal combustion engine vehicle. For a tropical city, if we open the air condition all the time, it may cause a significant decrease in distance as well. So, this factor will make electric vehicle is less attractive than the internal combustion vehicle because the engine car is more convenient. At present, the distance of BEV per charge is developing continuously.

4. Inexpensive car price compared to internal combustion engine car
Nowadays, electric vehicles are expensive, and one of expensive portions come from high-priced batteries, resulting in higher car prices. If the performance of the battery is improved to be higher efficiency, light weight and cheaper, then it will contribute to lower electric vehicle prices. And it can compete with the combustion engine vehicle. While the second hand price is one of the important factors as well.

5. The charging time is longer than the fuel charge.
Although the charging system for electric vehicles have been developed continuously.  However, it still has a problem about charging time which is too long and more frequent, if compare to combustion engine vehicle. Charging time is more than refuel of combustion engine vehicle which take 3-5 minutes. While charging time take up at least to 30 minutes for Quick Charge. And if charging at home it takes up to 4-8 hours ever, so it takes time to recharge the battery. Normally, charging is fast or slow depends on the amount of current being charged, size and type of battery. Examples of Charging are as follows.

          1. Normal Charge is recharged by AC power pass through the On Board Charger inside the car. The size of the On Board Charger depends on the brand and model of the car. The size of the On Board Charger will affect the charging time of battery in the car.

          2. Quick Charge will be charged by the EV Charger that converts AC to DC and DC power directly to the battery. Charging time is usually faster than Normal Charger. Usually, Quick Charge will charge 80% of battery capacity.

6. Increase a charging station
In practice, we can install Quick Charge on the gas station. Many gas stations, such as PTT and others, have studied this and have started installing Quick Charge cabinets in several places. Anyway, normally if the BEV or PHEV car is running not far away, it will be recharge the battery at home. And the amount of BEV and PHEV is still less volume, so the installed station still have rarely used. But if there are more volume in the future with more customers, these providers will definitely add service points in the future.
7. Cost per running distance
If we charge electricity at home in case of BEV, it will pay about 0.5-1.0 baht per kilometer which is not expensive. If you need to charge at a service station, you may have to pay a premium, which the cost may not be much different from the amount paid for fuel in case of Engine Car. The cost of running per mileage is very important, so the organize who concerned, please take care at the pricing structure of charging stations. If it is too expensive compared to petrol price, it may cause consumers not interested in the PHEV and BEV.

8. After Sale Service Place
This matter is important not less than other things. The BEV after Sale Service Place has to install some additional special equipment from the “conventional vehicle after Sale Service Place”. Of course, if there is a small number of the after sale services, it may be one of obstacles.

9. Availability of power supply
Meanwhile, the country's electricity demand is increasing every year. Some electricity is purchased from abroad. The power of the house is not very good, some days, power outage, the surge is considered as the important plaintiff's related to the development of this subject as concrete. This includes the development of household electrical systems. By charging for electricity at home, you will need to consult a specialist on how to improve your home electrical system, such as installing larger meters such as 15 (45) A and increase the size of the breaker.

10. Support from the government sector
This is important not less than other topics. Especially the continuous ongoing support and has a clear direction. If the government can build confidence for entrepreneurs, this will be a concrete investment. While one of the interesting issues is the management of End of Life Vehicle, especially battery. And who is responsible for this between the car manufacturer and the car owner.
One important policy in author’s opinion is that the government considers to promote using BEV for public transport. This will be the response to the plaintiff's promotion of pollution reduction in the city as well. Then, we can solve the problem about pollution which mainly causes the bus service. It also helps promote the bus industry, which is owned by Thais. The author went to Beijing or at Shanghai, China and have seen that they use bus service as the BEV, which resulted in reduce pollution. In Victoria Spain, where the author has the opportunity been there, and found that they use the electric train for public transport as well. By the way, there is no need to worry about service stations, because we can set the charging point in the target area.

If we can answer all the items above, then the author believes that the way of the BEV will continue growing from now on. Certainly with the development of the automotive and parts industry to grow and become the base for the production of EV Series firmly and sustainable.

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