The race for one thousand kilometre Electric Vehicles

21st November 2019
Alex Lynn

Only a 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack is in the luxury Vision EQS concept car of Mercedes yet it will deliver increased 700km range, partly because low drag factor is now going to be taken seriously, learning from Tesla. Range sells electric cars. Long range ones sell in 100 times the numbers and have three times the resale value. 

By IDTechEx Chairman, Dr Peter Harrop

Also at the very-expensive end, Lightyear One five-seat solar cars currently on sale hold the record at around 730km. The new Porsche Taycan seriously rivals Teslas in range but not at Lightyear distances because they have scorching performance.

Promises are easy compared to that actual rubber on the road, but Elon Musk promises his next Roadster will achieve 1000km, presumably without solar because ‘solar is not very helpful’. His sports car will have little suitable area.

The challenge will be to achieve 750 to 1,000 km without massive 120kWh batteries compounding issues of safety, cost, space, weight, ride, supply shortages and toxicity. Lightyear manages with only 60kWh achieved with help from spartan interior, lowest drag factor and in-wheel axial-flux motors of highest kW/kg. Range extends battery life.

Meanwhile, Hyundai and sister company Kia have hit the button with affordable pure-electric cars with good range. Hyundai has a small high-efficiency solar roof on its affordable Sonata hybrid. It adds ten percent to range for light users. Hyundai promises two more types of advanced solar roof that will increase range on its pure-electric cars.

The race is on for 1,000km range for most pure electric road vehicles, often exceeding the range of increasingly-illegal, unloved internal-combustion vehicles. The big picture is given in the IDTechEx reports, ‘Electric Vehicles 2020-2030’ and ‘Solar Cars, Buses, Trucks and Trains 2020-2030’.

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