What’s In Store For Electric Cars Of The Future?

Although not a new innovation, electric cars have grown in popularity in recent years. In a world where fuel prices and CO2 levels are soaring, more of us want to save money and go greener. As you might expect, electric cars produce no emissions and don’t need petrol or diesel.

Have we taken electric vehicle technology as far as it will go? In a word, no! It turns out that the automotive industry is busy working behind the scenes on new concepts. And it’s some of them that will make it into future mainstream electric cars. Here’s what the future of EVs will hold for us all:

Better batteries

BMW i3 Battery Array, courtesy of BMW PressClub Global

BMW i3 Battery Array, courtesy of BMW PressClub Global

The range of an electric car is somewhat limited because of the batteries it has on board. As you know, EVs need to store electricity in batteries to provide power to the drivetrain. One of the disadvantages of many electric cars today is the low range offered by those batteries.

In the future, we can expect electric vehicle batteries to store more capacity. And they will do so without requiring extra storage space in the car! In the UK, researchers at the University of Cambridge are working on a new type of battery. Lithium-oxygen batteries have the potential to store ten times more electricity than today’s batteries.

The researchers reckon we can start seeing them used in electric cars in around ten years’ time.

Tall and narrow tires

If you look at most cars today, they have wide and chunky tyres fitted to them. But, that’s a trend that will change in the future – and that’s thanks to electric vehicles! EVs of the future will also boast tall and narrow tyres.

You may already have noticed that BMW fit such tyres to the i3 electric car. But, what are their benefits? Well, for one, they help to decrease drag. And another benefit is they offer a lower rolling resistance. In layman’s terms, that all means EVs will have a higher range just by having different tyres.

Right now, a cursory look at event-tyres.co.uk reveals just one size: 155/70/19. In the future, such tyres will be commonplace. And current wide and chunky tyres will become hard to source!

Tamer designs

2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle. Image courtesy of Toyota

2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle. Image courtesy of Toyota

One pet peeve a lot of people have about today’s electric cars is their styling. Car manufacturers no doubt wish to promote the futuristic aspects of their EV models. But, some design teams get a little carried away with each model’s styling.

As a result, you end up with something that looks “too out there”! Although not a totally outrageous design, the Toyota Prius is a prime example of over-the-top styling (OTT). Electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf look more tamer in comparison.

Car manufacturers have now realised that future EVs need to fit in better with the crowd. Well, perhaps Toyota hasn’t got the memo just yet! The hydrogen-powered Mirai FCV is another example of an OTT design!

So, what do you think future EVs will have in store for us?

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Sebastian James


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