Electrical Vehicle Storage Technologies and Range

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Landon-Lane, Leatham
Miller, Allan
Marshall, Aaron
Gaynor, Paul

Information regarding electric vehicles is not always clearly and accurately portrayed to the general public. This paper provides a holistic view of the worldwide vehicle market, focussing on the current and future capabilities of vehicles powered by different fuel sources. The types of vehicles chosen for case studies in this paper are: Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC), and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Factors considered include energy storage density, efficiency, upfront and running costs and scope for improvement in each of the vehicle technologies. The primary purpose of this paper is to inform the reader of the progress made with alternatively fuelled vehicles, what improvements will need to be made in order to make them more like-for-like replacements for ICE vehicles, and the implications an increased market share of each type may have on national and local infrastructure. The major findings from this paper show that BEVs are a more practicable solution than HFC vehicles for replacing ICE vehicles. BEV sales are increasing rapidly due to falling battery costs, with future sales increases likely to be driven by lower cost and higher energy density batteries. Improvements in battery technology are likely to be limited to Li-ion in the short term, with metal-air batteries offering potentially higher energy densities at a lower cost, but technical difficulties are preventing current use. In order to be equivalent to ICE vehicles, BEVs require increased range and faster charging times, which are both achievable without the need for battery swapping.

Presented at the 2017 EEA conference

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