on 12, Nov 2018

Electric Cars: Trends You Need To Know in 2019

How many times have you looked outside the window and wished for the air that was clearer?

Ever went out for an early morning drive and witnessed the smoke mixed with fog. Is it difficult to breath nowadays? Ever wondered why we need air purifiers to breath in the air that was once carbon negative? Are you worried about climate change and rise in the average temperature every year? Are you worried about ‘air pollution’?

Do you know 92% of the world’s population breathes air containing pollutants that exceed WHO limits? The major cause of pollution being transport, about 75% of carbon monoxide emission comes from automobiles. In some urban areas, the vehicles are responsible for up to 90% of the air pollution. In India, 70% of air pollution is caused by vehicles.

Shocking numbers, Right?

But we do need to commute daily, transportation has become such a key necessity in this society that we may not be able to survive without it. So what should we do? How do we stop this? Well, there is a way and it’s a lot more convenient and cheaper than the medium we use. So let’s learn more about the future, let’s learn about the ‘electric cars’.

I know the first thought that comes to mind when we talk about electric cars is that if its efficient in terms of performance and cost. As the technology supporting electric vehicles (EV's) and batteries continue to improve, drawbacks such as high cost, limited range, performance issues, long charge time, and a dearth of charging stations are things of the past. With the new launches from well known companies, the market for electric cars keeps growing. 

So what are electric cars? How do they work?

Electric cars were in use since the 1900s, but a sudden rise in petrol cars and inefficiencies in batteries killed the market for electric cars by 1920. However, the recent improvement in battery technology and power electronics, electric cars have made a strong comeback. 

Electric-Cars-Vs-Gas-Cars

An IC engine is a prime mover in petrol cars. The fuel supplied to the engine produces combustion and produces enough pressure and heat energy to move the piston. The linear motion is then transferred to a rotary motion to move the wheels. In an electric car, the power source is a battery pack. An inverter converts the dc power into 3 phase AC. The 3 phase ac turns the induction motor turning the drive wheels.

Let’s compare the engines of Electric Cars and Fuel Cars:

Mechanics behind Fuel cars Mechanics behind Electric cars
The force and power production is never uniform. The reciprocating machinery causes substantial balance issues. Induction motor works with a help of rotating magnetic field generated by the stator. You can easily control the speed by adjusting the frequency of AC power input.
The engines are not self-starting. Many Accessories like dc motors are used to start the engine which makes the IC engine heavy. They produce uniform speed and power output and are self-started making the engine really light and producing much greater power and torque output.
A liquid coolant is used to cool the waste heat produced by IC engine is much higher. A liquid coolant is used however the heat produced is much lower than IC engine.
It takes 5 minutes to refuel the tanks. It takes an hour to charge the electric car.
The centre of gravity is higher. Hence the car can be a lot less stable. Since the battery pack is sitting at the base of the car, the centre if gravity is lower increasing the stability. And offers a structural support to side collisions.
A complex exhaust gas treatment is needed to keep the pollutants and noise at a statutory level. Electric car engine is a zero emission engine.
Ic engines cannot be operated beyond a certain speed range.it needs a complex mechanism for speed control. The motor can work efficiently in a wide speed range. Speed can be controlled directly through motor hence speed varying transmission is not required in an electric car. The speed can be adjusted by controlling the output power frequency.
The engine struggles to produce a torque at low rpm. A dc motor is needed to take the ic engine to the optimum rpm range at the start.   An electric car can produce great torque even at the start. 
Low response to the torque control. Instantaneous torque control, leading to a far superior traction control.
In order to achieve regenerative breaking, you must install a separate BLDC motor and a battery pack.

When it comes to regenerative breaking, The same motor acts as a generator. 

 

  1. Healthier air:

First and foremost, of course being the state of air we breath. Since electric cars have zero tailpipe emission, it’s one of the most eco-friendly means of travel at this moment. If there are enough electric cars on road, significantly less polluted air will be observed. We have all learn about the ‘ozone layer’ at some point in our lives and how it’s affecting the world around us. This small step may actually reduce the greenhouse gases emission in the world and reduce our carbon footprint. If we can’t stop global warming, we can certainly slow down the onset, and EVS is nothing if not a good start towards a healthier future.

  1. More economical:

Electric cars might be a tab bit pricey than fuel cars,  but the cost required to travel per km is less than 1/3rd that of fuel cars. With the petrol prices skyrocketing, electric cars could be a lot cheaper means of travel. In fact, with the decrease in the difference in cost of the fuel cars and electric cars, In almost every way that counts, an electric car costs significantly less to run and maintain than a fuel-powered car. There is no fuel to buy, no oil changes, no smog tests, and fewer moving parts to break or wear out. A lot of electric car owners go years without any repair or service bills at all.

  1. No need to wait in long lines at the petrol pump:

With no fuel and oil to changes, To refuel, you simply plug in at home, at work or opportunity charge on the road. Electric cars can plug into your domestic 13amp power supply at home, the same as your TV. In fact, Trials have shown that's what most EV users do, 85 per cent plug in and charge overnight at home or work. You can even charge it with a fast electric car charger on the go. Charging on the move has become just as simple with new electric cars charging stations. As an added bonus to charging, the power going into your batteries is increasingly produced by renewable sources. If you are worried about the battery being charged by Non-renewable electricity that is used in our homes, you can always add a solar array and see the commute pay for itself.  

  1. Evs have passed the same safety tests as fuel powered cars:

In fact, many evs score higher in crash test safety ratings, Tesla Model X, for example, has a perfect score! A widely-circulating concern about EV safety revolves around the potential for fire, but in reality, EVs (electric vehicles) are 80% less likely to catch fire than gas cars. With the battery panel at the base, electric cars are much more stable than fuel cars.

  1. Low maintenance requirements:

Since electric cars have only a few moving parts, there won’t be many things that need fixing in an electric car. With no oil changes, repairs and failed transmission the inconvenience of fixing the car is reduced. Even the brakes last a lot longer than that of fuel powered vehicle. You may have to change the battery in a few years, but most models come with 8-year warranty per 100kmiles. Batteries can last up to 15 years in mild weathers.

  1. Less noise:

Electric cars not only aid air pollution, but it also helps reduce noise pollution as well. Since the motor does not require to rev at a very high rpm, the electric car by nature produces virtually zero noise.

  1. Electric vehicles are performance vehicles:

Since electric cars have extremely high torque power, their pickup is very quick and smooth. Most people are surprised at how much more comfortable the ride is too and some might even say that it makes gas-powered cars seem clunky and clumsy. The high torque and light engine make increasing and controlling speed pretty easy keeping the car stable at all times.

  1. Better range performance:

Due to advancements in battery technology and electric regenerative systems in vehicle braking, the recent electric cars are making huge gains in range performance.

  1. Electric cars are the future: 

If it wasn’t clear before, with the depleting natural resources, a new fuel source is a need of the future. Since electricity can be produced with renewable energy resources, electric cars will be the easiest choice the current generation has to make.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Let’s take a look at the available electric cars in India:

There are currently two models available for sale in India.

  1. Mahindra e2o plus

Mahindra-e2o-plusMahindra e2o Plus is 4 seaters electric automatic hatchback with 4 electric doors and 48cc engine. Available from 6.07l-6.83l on mynewcar.in, this car has 2 variants. It comes with advanced gadgets such as 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, sound system, Bluetooth, GPS, digital instrument cluster and air conditioner and is powered by an electric motor that is capable of generating 19kw power and 70Nm of peak torque.

The 280Ah Li-ion battery vehicle can get fully charged by the 10kw 32Amp charger in just 95 minutes (fast charging mode) 8-9 hrs (normal charging mode) giving the maximum range of 140km. The car can reach the maximum speed of 85kmph. The car also comes with a 3W 16Amp standard charger which takes 6-7 hours to charge completely. What more is, you get a 135l boot, which is a lot more than TATA NANO.

  1. Mahindra eVerito

Mahindra-e-veritoStarting at Rs 9.5l, eVerito has 3 variants costing up to 10l. With automatic transmission and a seating space for 5, It is powered by a three-phase 72V electric motor that produces 41PS of power and 91Nm of torque. The model has a claimed range of 110km, with the top speed rated at a modestly 86 kmph.

Not a lot of choices but as the market for electric cars is increasing in India, more launches have lined up for the next two years. 

New Launches of Electric Cars in 2019-2020:

  1. Nissan Leaf  

Nissan-leafThe most popular electric car that was launched back in 2010, has managed to sell more than 2.8l units globally and is expected to be launched by the start of next year. The 2018 facelift offers more drive range compared to its predecessors. This futuristic looking car comes with a new and sharp styling, the new mature version from the Japanese company can run from 228kms to up to 280 kms.

The two battery packs provided with the car are 24kwh and a 30kwh unit. The new model gets a bigger 40 kwh lithium-ion battery pack giving 148 bhp of peak power and 320 Nm of peak torque. It could deliver a running range of around 242 km. The India-spec model is expected to come here as a CBU unit, that would make it a more costly here. The new Leaf EV could be priced at around Rs. 20 lakh. 

  1. Tata Tiago EV

Tata-tiago-evWith the popularity of fuel based tata Tiago cars, Tata is set to launch its electric version by 2020. Unlike tata nano EV that is an entry level car, tata Tiago ev would be more premium. Though tata ev will have similarity in design with its combustion engine models, the ev will be a lot lighter in weight.

The Tiago electric hatchback draws energy from an 85 kw capacity electric motor. It generates 200 Nm of peak torque and the hatchback can run at a top speed of 135 kmph. It would take around 11 seconds to accelerate to 100 kmph from standstill. With an Expected good range from this car, A single speed transmission will deliver power to the front wheels of this electric hatchback. It is likely to be priced between Rs. 8 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh 

  1. Mahindra KUV 100 EV

Mahindra-kuv-100-evWith 2 models already available in the market, Mahindra is all set to launch the next EV car by 2020. Since the company has acquired REVA, the only ev manufacturing company in India, we are looking for some good some good ev launches from Mahindra in the coming years. The interior and exterior are expected to be similar that of the fuel combustion model. The KUV 100 EV is expected to be launched by 2020 and it will be priced around Rs. 7-9 lakh.

  1. Tata eVision EV

Tata-e-vision-evThe eVision concept is a beautiful concept by Tata motors to launch the evs in sedans giving it a more premium look than normal hatchback evs. That’s not all, for this e-vision the company is said to be working on the new battery set that will improve the range to 320-400 kms with a small charging time. The new e concept range is said to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 7 sec and top speed is 200 kph.

E-Vision concept is loaded with cloud mapping, geospatial mapping and more. The interior is said to have less buttons and ore touch screens which gives it a futuristic look. The e-vision models are said to make a launch by 2021 and are expected to be in the range from 12l-16l. 

  1. Renault Zoe EV

Renaukt-zoe-evRenault Zeo EV is a small hatchback and it is one of the most popular evs in the European market and is set to be launched in India by 2020. With the attractive and curvy design, The Zoe measures 4084 mm in length, 1730 mm in width and 1562 mm in height. The wheelbase of Zoe is 2588 mm and comes with 338 litres of boot space.

Globally, Zoe is available with two electric motors – the R90 produces 92 PS of power and 225 Nm of torque while the Q90 produces 88 PS of power and 220 Nm of torque. The R90 has a range of 403 km and Q90 has 370 km. The company also offer both fast charging and normal charging options. The estimated price for this ev can be ranged from 10 to 14 lakhs. 

  1. Renault KWID EV

Renault-kwid-evThe entry level hatchback with the look of an SUV, the Renault kwid EV is already under development and is said to be launched by the starting of 2020. The Kwid EV will be based on the same CMF-A platform which the current model is based on. Renault will utilise EV technology from other models and it could be powered by a small battery package as the company want to keep the price as low as 5-6l. The Kwid EV will get the option of fast charging and regular charging. 

  1. Maruti Suzuki WagonR EV

Maruti-Suzuki-wagon-R-EVOne of the most popular models in India is set to make a debut as an ev by the start of 2020. Suzuki and Toyota signed a deal to share current models along with developing EVs and future technologies to drive growth for both companies. Toyota is one of the leading companies in hybrid technology and this knowledge could help both companies in EV development also. Both battery pack and range is not revealed but we expect it to be better than the evs available in the market right now. The wagon r ev can be ranged from 5l-8l.

  1. Tata Nexon EV

Tata Motors currently has Tigor in its portfolio which has an EV option and the company is expected to grow on it. The current battery pack used on Tigor is small and it can give a range of around 130 km but the range of Nexon ev can be expected to be a lot more than that. Tata Motors is developing a new generation of the battery which is expected to give a range between 300 km to 420 kms.

Tata Nexon EV will get same features lists from a regular model including infotainment system, climate control, keyless entry, push button start and more. Tata Motors is expected to launch Nexon EV in 2020. With the expected cost of 10l-14l.

  1. Uniti one

Uniti-oneUniti a Swedish automaker showcased its first product Uniti one, a 2 seater electric car in the auto expo and announced that bookings are officially open. The booking amount for one is Rs. 1000 and it is 100% refundable. The Swedish manufacturer wants to revolutionize the way we drive the car and removing steering along with other parts to make it an autonomous car. The impressive project is crowd funded and the company has attracted lots of investors. The upcoming electric car has a range of over 200 km and it has fast charging capabilities.

 The Uniti One has priced at Rs. 7.14 lakh and this price could change depending on market situation.

  1. Mahindra xuv aero

Mahindra-xuv-aeroXUV Aero production SUV will feature a muscular appearance is expected to launch by 2020. It would sport LED projector headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights. The coupe SUV will arrive with a larger and more powerful 380V battery pack, on which Mahindra is currently working. This battery pack is expected to enable the car to run a long range and there will be an electric motor capable of generating impressive power and torque output. It will get a single speed transmission, which would deliver power to all the four wheels.  

  1. Hyundai Kona electric

Hyndai-kona-electricThis new electric SUV will be available with two powertrain options: a 100kw (139PS) motor with a 39kwh battery pack and a 150kw (204PS) motor with a 62kwh battery pack. However, in India, this eco friendly car is expected to be offered with a less powerful 100kw motor to help keep the prices low. Charging the EV to 100% from a standard AC power source will take up to 6 hours. The 100kw Kona Electric can go from 0-100kmph in 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of 167kmph. With this new small electric SUV, Hyundai is aiming to achieve an impressive range of 384km. With two-tier led headlamps, led drls and cascading front grille this car is set to launch by the end of 2019. The approximate cost of this car is estimated between 25l-30l.

  1. Tata Nano EV

Tata-nano-ev

Tata nano teams up with jayem auto, an electric car manufacturer, to launch the tata nano ev as jayem ev by the end of 2018 or the start of 2019. The model was spotted being tested which reinforces its launch. It is said to have a 48-Volt electric system that puts out 17kw (23hp). unlike other evs, this car is said to be used mainly for taxi services. The estimated cost of this electric car is said to have a range from 6l to 8l.

  1. Hyundai ioniq electric

Hyundai-ioniq-electricThe first electric car from Hyundai in India is said to make a debut in 2018 Delhi auto expo. Hyundai Ioniq is the first car in the world that is available in three different environment-friendly powertrain options. This sedan gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain, hybrid mechanism and there is an all-electric variant as well. 
Ioniq electric sedan is propelled by 28kwh lithium-ion polymer battery that churns out 118bhp of power and 295Nm of torque with zero emission. This sedan has a range of 200km on a full charge. It also gets fast charging and regenerative charging. 

Expected launch-end of 2019. Estimated cost-20l onwards.  

  1. Mahindra Ssangyong Trivoli Electric

Mahindra-Ssangyong-Trivoli-electricThe Tivoli Electric will make its debut in early 2019. The SUV will offer a range of 250km on the full charge. It will accelerate to 100kmph from standstill in 11 seconds before hitting a top speed of 250kmph.

Expected Launch date: 2021. Estimated cost: 10-12 lakhs. 

With the government of India announcing to include 30% EVs to its fleet by 2030, the ev industry is getting a huge market in India. More launches are expected in the coming years (not confirmed) by high-end companies like BMW, JAGUAR etc. Cab services like Ola have also taken the initiative to include electric cars in its fleet.

With the increasing market in India for the electric cars, we can estimate to have one out of 6 cars to be electric. With the increase of petrol and diesel prices, going ‘green’ with electric cars is a much more economically convenient option. In the near future, with the help of renewable energy production mediums, the electric car commute is expected to pay for itself and can be a completely ‘green’ project.

In the end, looking at the current models, electric cars are the city cars best for commute within the city or for travelling to work every day. So if you need a car just to travel to your workplace within the city, an electric car is a much better, safer and cheaper option. 

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