Our path towards a 100% green automotive future means that internal combustion engines (ICEs) are slowly but surely being phased out. Countries such as the Netherlands , Germany , France , and the UK have even gone as far as stating that they will ban ICEs by 2040. If this shift were to occur, what does this mean for the European automotive industry?
Replacing the production of traditional ICEs with electric cars would mean that a large percentage of vehicle parts would no longer need to be produced. Markets for spark plugs, exhaust pipes, and other gas-specific car parts would see a decrease in their production and demand. Due to the simpler nature of EV parts and their build, auto supply chain workers working in these production processes may feel a big transition in their line of work. Countries like the UK have recognized this shift and have begun to prepare for it in various ways. For example, Unite, UK’s largest workers union, recently called upon the British government to form a plan to protect its workers’ skills and jobs while promoting the EV transition. As EVs enter new markets and regions around the globe, many countries face similar industry effects and may need to prepare accordingly.
EVs may get us from point A to point B but their energy potential does not stop there; they also have the ability to act as energy sources for our electrical grid. Currently, renewable energy sources are very rarely centralized and are often distributed over wide reaching areas like mountains, rooftops, buildings, and more. Due to this distribution, energy utilities hold less control over the supply side which can cause instability in the electrical grid due to over-demand . To solve this issue, welcome Vehicle-2-Grid (V2G) technology . V2G tech has the power to turn electric car charging points and EVs into energy providers by storing excess energy during charging and giving it back to the grid during times of high energy. What this means is that millions of EVs in cities around the world have the capability to act as regulators for their electric grids. In return, this allows easier integration of renewable energy sources, brings stability to the electrical grid, and ensures flexible charging stations based on supply and demand.
Who knew EVs had all these energy capabilities?
EVs may be a clean solution to driving but we should always strive to be more sustainable! Thankfully, people have not stopped innovating and are continuing to come up with new environmentally-friendly technologies. One of these cars is the ‘Sion’, an EV which also utilizes solar power. German start-up ‘Sono’ has recently completed all its funding on Indiegogo and is working on creating an affordable EV that has the capacity to charge up to 30 kilometers a day from the sun alone! The car boasts a feature named ‘breSono’ which has living moss on the inside wall as a tool for air filtration. In addition, the ‘Sion’ has a software app that allows fellow riders to share electricity or even their car for a certain period of time. The ‘Sion’ has just started its test run in Italy following a successful 2017 campaign and will hopefully hit the markets in the near future.
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Below you can find some other industry developments that may interest you!