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What Does The Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars? – Expert Opinions

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Electric Cars - The Future of Electric Cars

While electric cars still represent a very small percentage of global car sales, electric cars are slowly becoming the future, and while they aren't too big just yet, that hasn't stopped automotive companies from investing in this new technology. With governments looking to increase emission standards, electric cars could have a big role to play in the future, that's why we decided to ask a few experts in the automotive field; "What Does The Next 20 Years Hold For Electric Cars?"


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Shelia Dunn currently serves as the Communications Director for the National Motorists Association. She writes weekly the Car of the Future blog, Driving in America Blog and the Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) Racket Report. Find the NMA on Facebook and on Twitter @motorists. Find Shelia on LinkedIn and Twitter @Shelia_Dunn.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

“What I am excited about is the possibility of an electric/hydrogen hybrid car. I think the storage would be superb and you can exchange the hydrogen batteries anywhere anytime. Unfortunately, the hydrogen revolution is farther behind than electric and hopefully this most plentiful of fuel sources won’t be left out in the rush to electric. For me, hydrogen is the real future fuel since it is limitless. Bringing down extraction costs, creating a lighter battery, and building more hydrogen stations all need to happen though before hydrogen can be a true viable alternative.

In the meantime, if the price for an electric car or some form of electric/gas hybrid car becomes more affordable for the masses and charging can be done by driving over a street, then all bets are off on how far electric can go. The electric grid will need to ramp up and be multi-versed (gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, biomass, thermal, hydrogen, ocean wave, etc.) in order to facilitate the greater demand for the power source. Innovation will also need to occur with regards to long term battery storage, charging on the road/at home and sourcing materials from areas that do not abuse human and environmental rights.

Driving entirely electric will be a new way to drive since the car would be much simpler with one pedal. This would work well with urban jumpers that sit one or two passengers with a bit of storage for stuff. On the long haul though, electric might have more challenges due to battery range.

The real problem with electric cars though—as they become more utilitarian, they are not as much fun to drive. The future of driving is also at risk due to the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Model that is currently being touted by ride share companies and even the giants of the auto industry.

Car ownership may become a quaint thing of the past and we as a culture would lose something that is so ingrained—the freedom to go when we want and where we want under our own hand.

Do we really want to ride as a passenger in a utilitarian pod car that is electrified, driverless and paid for by a subscription?

Most of us don’t…at least not yet anyway!”



Paul Hadley – Editor at Motor Verso test the latest cars and products, sharing their professional opinion with their audience online helping guide consumer decisions.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

“Over the past few years, I have driven some of the best electric cars you can buy and I even own one myself. I think that we are looking at a mass roll-out of electric cars in the near future, but the 20-year forecast is difficult to predict accurately.”


“Before discussing electric cars of the future, let’s talk about them in the present. In the First World, they are bringing significant benefits such as low running costs and zero C02 emissions. We are seeing the latest electric cars achieving over 200 miles per full charge and enjoy the extra connectivity they bring with them.

In the future, when electric cars are mass produced, we can expect to see innovations in many areas.

The game changer for many will be improving the driving range of the vehicle. The first generation of electric cars handled around 80 miles per charge, now this has moved on significantly. When electric cars have become efficient enough to cover 400-600 miles per charge, this will remove the stigma surrounding the practical applications of EVs.”


“The popularity of electric cars is growing and there are not enough charging points to go round. If EVs become more common, then the infrastructure will have to improve, to make them a practical and attractive way of travelling.”


“As a motoring enthusiast, what that has really shocked me about electric cars is their performance. I can’t see them beating combustion engines any time soon. However, with advancements in motor and battery technologies, I expect that even the basic EVs will have fast acceleration speeds as standard.”


“The prevalence of electric cars will bring the cost of production down, making them more affordable to purchase or hire. Over the next 20 years, travelling habits might change so you may not need to own a car. Would you just have one on a subscription service? Who knows what the future will bring.”

“The last decade in the automotive industry has seen more changes than the previous century, so the next 20 years is going to be mind-blowing. Innovations that will change our lives in many ways will include: improvements to traffic, safety systems, in-car entertainment and driverless vehicles. So watch this space!”


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"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

“Predicting the future is impossible, however one thing for sure is that electric cars are here, here to stay, and will become more and more popular over the decades ahead. Electric cars have really jumped forward in the last 5-10 years, proven by the BMW i8, Porsche 918, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, beautiful hybrid electric supercars (more of this please).

Since 2013, UK sales of plug-in cars – including pure electric and hybrids – have shot up from 3,500 to more than 135,000 by the end of January this year. There are also now 60 plug-in models available for consumers to choose from and around 14,900 public places to charge up, including 900 rapid charge points that can power up a typical EV in under 30 minutes.

Electric car battery life has been the common problem. If the car will not travel the distance you want, or you cannot find charge points easily, the car does not work.

We all like to have a car for the freedom and ease of travel it gives us, if using the car is too difficult, or requires excessive planning, it just will not appeal to the masses.

I think Tesla have really taken the lead on electric car technology and what is possible. It’s exciting to see what will happen next.”

“What do I see in the future for electric cars?”

“Like all technology, it will improve. If the demand is there and there is profit to be made, the car manufacturers will persist with driving developments and improvements. The MPG will improve, the distances will improve.

The electric car is not every persons cup of tea. For petrolheads we want to hear and feel the power of a V8 or V12, that’s part of the thrill of driving (for me anyway), hearing an engine roar and me beating it to an inch of its life.

I’ve owned a Lexus RX400h SE-L since 2006. To this date it is still the best car and most reliable I’ve ever owned. It has everything I need, it does everything I want of it, and until an electric car can do all that, then I’m still firmly in the petrol/ diesel or hybrid space.”


Elan PR was created by Nick Bailey purely to help classic, automotive and motorsport companies to promote their brand, products and services to trade and consumer audiences.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

One thing that is going to change is the sound of electric cars!

For many years, car makers have competed against each other to create the most comfortable and luxurious driving environments, including reducing the impact of irritants such as road noise. The introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles has pushed manufacturers to go even further in the development of quieter vehicles. However, whilst being more environmentally friendly than combustion engines, this new generation of vehicles could pose a higher risk to pedestrians due to their near silent running resonance.

To help prevent serious injury and deaths due to collisions with quieter vehicles, the EU has decided that by 2019 all hybrid and EVs must generate a noise when travelling below 18.6pmh to improve pedestrian safety.

HARMAN, recently acquired by Samsung, is better known for its premium audio systems from the likes of Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson and JBL but expertise derived from recreating authentic sounds is now helping in and out of the car.

HALOsonic comprises a range of technologies that aim to create a safer and sound.

1. Internal Electric Sound Synthesis (iESS)
As engines have become more quieter and more efficient, the driving experience has been negatively affected, creating a disconnect between the driver and the car.

HALOsonic’s iESS system emits a sound through the standard speaker system inside the car that is speed, acceleration and throttle dependent, allowing the driver to feel more connected to the car due to improved engine feedback. This sound can be customised to enable drivers to program the technology to emit any sound that a passenger may want to hear.

2. External Electronic Sound Synthesis (eESS)
As the number of EVs and hybrid vehicles on UK roads continues to grow, so does the risk of injury to pedestrians who are not able to hear the car approaching, due to their near silent running resonance. HALOsonic’s eESS creates an electronic sound that is projected from external speakers at the front and back of the vehicle, warning pedestrians that a car is approaching at low speeds.

The technology could expand further claims HARMAN. When you sit in an electric car there is no typical engine sound and the car is more or less silent as it starts moving at first. The rolling of the car without any acoustic feedback tends to take people by surprise. In such instances, OEMs typically can deploy a “welcome sound” to ensure the driver knows the car is good to roll. With the ever-increasing electrification now happening, a signature sound for these silent vehicles could be a predominant part of the differentiation and driving experience."

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FOXY Lady Drivers Club was created to help mums and daughters run safer cars by empowering them with a range of information and services they’d need, to enjoy better standards whatever they were buying.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

"I'm confident that electric cars with autonomous driving features will be the big thing before the 2030's. Unless the automotive industry does even more to reduce the low CO2 emissions our petrol cars already achieve?

But perhaps we should be looking at hydrogen cars, like the River Simple car. I was so impressed with at a recent What Car? awards ceremony? The car wheels drive the fuel cells and only water is emitted which is surely more environmentally-friendly than battery technology and disposal.

My personal experience is that most women drivers want cars to be affordable first and practical second, with built-in safety, reliability and environmental features marginally ahead of looks and performance. But ask us how much an electric car costs to buy and run today and, whilst most women are interested, few of us really understand the finances, battery and recharging logistics.

One thing I can be sure of is that the UK motor industry doesn't have enough qualified garage technicians to MOT, service or repair electric cars safely yet. Nor do our breakdown recovery and emergency services. So we've a long way to go before we can secure the safe electric motoring future that's said to be on the horizon.

On balance, there'll surely come an electric car sales tipping point when the mainstream cost of them drops sufficiently to meet most needs and justify faster recharging points virtually everywhere. Then we'll be talking about autonomous cars of course! We live in exciting motoring times."


Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.He has represented Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz,Honda, Volvo, and Local Motors in either a marketing or product development role. Carl studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

"Electrified vehicles have a future on our roadways and their presence is slowly increasing. Prominent automakers like Volvo, Ford, and Honda have expressed their desires for more electrified product lineups. For example, Volvo is pushing for 1 million EVs by 2025, a commitment underscored by Chief Executive Officer Håkan Samuelsson during the UN Global Compact Nordic Network in Gothenburg, Sweden last year. Honda recently stated their plan is to have electrified vehicles represent two-thirds of their global sales by 2030.

Ford and Mahindra continue to evolve their “strategic partnership” which includes the development of small electric vehicles. And in November, a joint venture was announced by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche to bring 400 fast charging stations to Europe by 2020.

As nations around the globe consider banning gasoline engines outright, expect more announcements like this from the world’s automakers. According to reports from CNN Money and Business Insider, India, France, Britain, Norway, and China are in favor of this idea.

Consumers can and do have range anxiety, although running out of batteryjuice is really no different than running out of gas. The worry is really the same once we examine it closely – and it’s really not worth worrying about. More charging stations are coming online and there are smartphone apps to help driver’s plan where they can charge up. As electric vehicle technology becomes more refined, and as the various components become lighter, the average range will increase. All new EVs on the market have ranges well above what the average person commutes in a day. In twenty years, things like range anxiety will have long disappeared from consumer’s minds.

Some electric car buyers enjoy the instant torque, while others feel they are “doing their part” in helping the environment. For example, figures from the Environmental Protection Agency in April 2017 found that miles driven by Bolt EV owners added up to more than 175,000 gallons of fuel saved. And certainly a year later that figure has increased.

Electrified vehicles also inspire innovation and advancement. I’m from Detroit and I appreciate muscle cars and performance vehicles – they are among my favourites – but when it comes to meeting the needs of future car buyers, and staying on the cutting edge of technology, I find there is more promise in the electrified powertrain versus the gasoline one. And as our cars move toward autonomy, alternative powertrains will provide a natural pairing. In essence, a safer world is a cleaner world."


Go Green Leasing is a vehicle leasing business with a difference. As well as being able to offer fantastic deals on a number of different vehicle financing options, we are dedicated to minimising both our own and our customer’s carbon footprints and strive towards becoming carbon neutral.

"What Does the Next 20 Years Hold for Electric Cars?"

"The way we travel is changing. The growth of technology has opened more options when it comes to types and means of transport; combine this with the rise of a more conscious consumer; and the introduction of government legislation which sets out a roadmap for a greener Britain – it’s only a matter of time before electric vehicles become the norm on UK roads. And changes in transport travel fast.

It was only a couple of years ago that the government were incentivising diesel vehicles and promoting a ‘less carbon emission’ fuelled lifestyle. But, when studies concluded that diesel vehicles emit high rates of nitrogen oxide – the biggest cause of air pollution on UK roads – the incentives were halted, and a consumer mindset was altered. 2018 saw sales of new diesel vehicles drop by 37% compared with the same period in 2017.

The millennial generation has brought with it a shift in how people eat, drink, live, work and travel – with many opting for a more conscious existence. Today, people want to know where their food has come from; they’re willing to spend a little bit more on clothes that were sustainably produced; they share spaces to live and work, and they share cabs – all to cut down on their carbon footprint. It makes sense that the uptake of electric vehicles should follow suit.

Alongside a growing infrastructure of electric vehicle charging points throughout the UK, there have also been advances in battery technology, and even the role of the car itself has been brought into question…

Could a fully-electric vehicle be a form of generator if there was a power outage? The battery is strong enough to power a house, so it could be a viable option. It could also be used as a storage facility for intermittent energy sources – such as solar power – which energy companies are currently having to dump, because there’s moments in the day where they have more supply than there is demand.
There’s also the option of monitoring and managing the power supply to the vehicles which are drawing power from the grid at any one time. For example, if there was a threat to the stability of the grid – there’s the potential to take a percentage or two of power from each vehicle to stabilise the grid. This isn’t something that is happening now – but there is the capability there for it to happen.

But the road to a full electric rollout isn’t as straightforward as many may think.
Firstly, there’s the problem of the current national charging infrastructure. Electric vehicles don’t equal zero-emission vehicles. Whilst it’s true that electric vehicles emit zero exhaust pipe emissions, the same can’t be said for the production and upkeep of electric vehicles. We’re living on a finite planet; our resources to make, manufacture and power electric vehicles on a mass scale is finite; therefore, it depends on where you live in the world, which will determine the effectiveness of electric vehicles.
For example, when you charge your electric vehicle, it draws energy from the national grid, which in turn gets its energy from a turbine; it all depends on the electric utility composition of the country you’re living in, to determine what energy source is used to power that turbine. Is the turbine you’re drawing power from powered by coal, or gas? If the turbine you’re drawing your power from is nuclear or combined-cycle gas, it’s a winner compared with a petrol vehicle.
That aspect aside, if we look at our current national grid in the UK, it’s a well-known fact that in its current form, it couldn’t support mass-charging of electric vehicles. If everyone decided to buy an electric vehicle tomorrow, and all plugged it in at the same time, the national grid system would collapse.

That Domesday scenario is a little farfetched, but, in its current form, the national grid wouldn’t stand up. However, as previously mentioned: changes in transport travel fast.

When you look at the pros and cons of electric vehicles, there are certainly more positives than negatives. Even through our current grid wouldn’t be equipped to handle a sudden surge in the uptake of electric vehicles, now – consumers are going to take time to transition from a traditional combustion engine to a battery powered option. By the time the demand is there, the grid is going to be better placed to deal with it.

Over the coming years, we’re going to see much more competition in the electric vehicle market, which inevitably will bring the prices of vehicles down. They’re naturally going to become a much more common occurrence on our roads than they are today, as the charging infrastructure expands throughout the UK.
But, there’s also the moral side of things. As the consumer mindset shifts away from a wasteful way of life and takes stock of its throwaway culture – drivers will naturally pull away from the big oil companies and petrol providers, to invest in something kinder to the planet.

Plus, I’m sure people would rather spend time with their family and friends whilst their car is charging for half an hour in a shopping centre, than sat in an oily queue for petrol by the side of the motorway."


Autonomous Vehicles: The Moral Decision

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Recently there has been a lot of talk of self-driving cars and the influence that these innovative new pieces of technology will have on society. Although Google’s goal was to create a driverless car that would solve all motoring problems, there are a few moral issues that may end up causing more problems than needed. This, of course, is all part of the research, but begs the question, “Will a computer make a better driver than a human being?” Continue reading →