What was once seen as the future is now very much the present, as the electric vehicle (EV) market has achieved a foothold in the car buying and leasing market. It’s almost expected that carmakers will add an EV version or launch a new EV model every year, and the number of Teslas, Polestars and traditional automaker EVs on the road is increasing exponentially. The conversation has gone from “are electric cars the future?” to “what does the future hold for electric cars?”, and while the former question has been firmly answered, the latter is ongoing in a continually-evolving industry.
So what is the next big thing in the world of electric vehicles? From a market overhaul to future challengers to the throne, here’s what we could see in the near and distant future.
In 2020, EVs had 4% of the market share, but this is looking to be the start of a sea change that will leave EVs as the firm primary choice. By 2030, its share will increase by 30% and will soar further to a total of 70% by 2040. Savour the novelty of seeing a silent saloon on the roads now, because they will be the dominant car type.
One of the more fascinating innovations we could see with the nationwide switch to electric cars is smart road surfaces that could charge cars continuously using a special technology lying under the very road it’s driving on. This could eliminate the need for charging stations altogether and certainly take care of the mileage anxiety issue. Though this is still a pipe dream in the realm of sci-fi, it’s one of many amazing ideas that are within reach once the world transitions to electric power.
Alternative Fuel Sources
Electricity is not the only fuel source that could power cars instead of fossil fuels. Just because electric cars are set to rule the roads does not mean that they will be the only fuel source, since other renewable energy sources could bring different advantages to the table. In fact, there are already a variety of options out there.
First and foremost is hydrogen, which is the biggest challenger to EVs. Rather than using a battery, it uses a traditional combustion engine, however, the advantages of hydrogen power are that it uses zero CO2 emissions, charges in around five minutes and is available in unlimited amounts in space. The downside is that it is expensive, but once it’s cracked, it could be the greatest fuel source of them all.
Biofuels are a much more down-to-earth fuel source but are just as radical. Made using sugarcane and corn, it does considerably less damage to the environment than standard petrol. What’s more, there are more advanced biofuels that can be generated without any food wastage.
Finally, heat could be a way for the future of cars. Thermoelectric technology takes heat and distils it into electricity with sophisticated tech, but does rely on there being a natural source of heat in the first place, which may not prove sustainable at all.
Fazing Out Fossil Fuels
The most certain advancement of electric vehicles is that they will soon become one of the only options, as the UK government is set to ban the purchase of petrol and diesel cars in 2030. Existing fossil fuel-powered cars will still be able to drive, but if you’re looking for a new model, it will have to be an EV. Imagine how the roads will look by then – a 2015 Ford Fiesta will be seen as a classic car by 2035!