By Fred Weiller
Today, a majority of consumers are reluctant to shift to an EV because of perceived challenges such as cost, convenience, reliability and safety. Carmakers, as well as companies that support infrastructure for EVs, are working to address these concerns. Manufacturers—not limited to Tesla, but also major ones like Toyota and Volkswagen—will be launching several EVs, and by 2022 most carmakers’ lineups will be 50% traditional vehicles and 50% EVs.
We, at Keysight, are helping carmakers and paving the way to faster charging and performance by offering expertise in charging communication protocols, power electronics, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and measurement technology. In partnership with CharIN e.V., an association that speeds the advancement of the Combined Charging System (CCS) for battery-powered vehicles, we help innovators with the implementation of DC fast chargers, as well as interoperability between EVs and charging stations.
But it’s not just about improving interoperability or battery life alone. Carmakers and their partners are also solving other important challenges like performance across factors (temperature, times, etc), long-term reliability, convenience and safety. China is staking a huge claim in the battery business. While the country would need a lot of time to catch up in combustion technology, it has a real, viable opportunity to rapidly gain pace on the battery side. Consider GM or Volkswagen, companies that have significant market share in China. Perhaps consumers buying a Volkswagen today may buy a Chinese EV brand in 20 years. The bottom line is—it is no longer Tesla versus the big boys like GM, Toyota and Volkswagen; it is now China versus the incumbents.
Sooner than we think, EVs will be the norm. And questions like “where will I charge and how long will it take” will not be a concern any more.
(The author is senior director of solutions marketing at Keysight Technologies)