Top 10 FAQ about Electric Cars


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In this book the most frequent and important questions about electric mobility are described and answered. For more information just visit

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Top 10 FAQ about Electric Cars

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  2. 2. © Green & Energy GmbH 1,0 - July 2011This work is protected by copyright. The use of the book is exclusively for private and personaluse. All of the rights, as well as the translation, reprinting and reproduction of the book in itsentirety or in part are reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited (photocopy, microfilmor any other method) of any part of the work without authorization from its authors, nor is itto be used for teaching purposes (with the exception of paragraphs 53 and 54 typified underthe German Law of Corporate Reorganization). Similarly, nor can the text be changed ordivulged using electronic methods. This also applies to the recording of the work in electronicdatabases and digital media playback. In addition, the graphics of the work and treatment andstructuring of the contents are also protected by copyright.The editor is not liable for the accuracy of the sources named in the book (i.e links to externalwebsites and third parties). We do not guarantee that the content of the links used remainsintact and has not changed.Proofreading: Green & Energy GmbHContent: Green & Energy GmbHDesign: Lorenz Koll and Green & Energy GmbHLayout: Green & Energy GmbHTranslation: Green & Energy GmbH i
  3. 3. Table of ContentsPrologue 1Introduction 2A brief overview 41-How do you charge an electric car? 112-What is the lifespan of an electric car? 163-What is the range of an electric car? 204-What are the costs of an electric car? 255-Do governments promote the purchase of electric cars? 296-Is the electric car just another passing fad? 327-What are the levels of CO2 emissions from electric cars? 358-What kind of maintenance and repair do electric cars need? 389-Will the batteries be available in the long term? 4010-How are electric car batteries recycled? 43Conclusion/ Summary 45Glossary of key terms related to electric-mobility 50The Authors 54 ii
  4. 4. Prologue Today, the issue of electric mobility is more current than ever. After conducting many conversations with people who are not experts in the field and having analyzed their needs, we realized that the general public lacks fundamental information about electric mobility and its modern use. This book wasmotivated by the desire to remove this deficit in basic information, or at the very least, reduceit. It is not aimed at the scientific community and specialized public but rather for generalreaders who are interested in learning more about the subject.The authors are three scientists who have dedicated themselves to the issue both during andafter their studies. They collectively decided to explain and share their knowledge on electricmobility, explaining it in a way that is simple to understand, removing any existing prejudices andrefuting any misconceptions.This has been accomplished by avoiding the excessive use of puzzling technical vocabulary orthe excessive use of data. A thorough reading of this book will provide you with a basicknowledge of electric mobility and give you the opportunity to learn about the advantages andcurrent disadvantages and the possible solutions to these issues.This book is designed to give an independent view of the electrical performance of the cars andtheir various uses as well as to provide the reader with an informed understanding of the topic. 1
  5. 5. Introduction„What interests you about electricmobility?“ - A survey.Before we started working on this guide it was important for us to know what questions weremost important for the public. With this objective, we published a survey on the internet onvarious platforms. We eventually managed to encourage 4,000 people from different areas,countries and ages to participate in a survey. They were provided with a questionnaire consistingof 20 questions on electric mobility and, taking into account their interests and priorknowledge, were asked to prioritize their answers according to relevance and importance. Theresults of the survey are shown in the chart below. How do you recharge an electric car? 97,0 % What is the lifespan of an electric car? 96,5 % How much autonomy does an electric car have? 95,5 % What are the costs of an electric car? 95,3 % Are there any governmental subsidies for electric cars? 88,6 % Is the electric car just another hype? 87,8 %What are the levels of CO2 emissions from electric cars? 87,1 % What kind of maintenance and repair do they need? 86,8 % Will the batteries be available in the long term? 83,9 % How do you recycle electric car batteries? 80,1 % 0 % 25 % 50 % 75 % 100 % important unimportant doesn’t matter Figure 1: The ten most important questions about electric mobility 2
  6. 6. Number one on the list and therefore the question that generates the most interest is thequestion about how to recharge an electric car. The demand for information is also largelyfocussed around the life and autonomy of operating an electric vehicle. In turn, the surveyfrequently threw up questions about the price of the vehicles and the promotion of them indifferent countries. The participation of almost 4,000 respondents demonstrates the greatinterest in electric mobility and the number of people interested in learning more about thetopic.The survey helped us to discover the ten most common questions about electric mobility. 3
  7. 7. A brief overviewCurrently, car dealers mainly feature cars with aconventional combustion engine. However, as this Did you know that the firstbook will attempt to explain, they are beginning to electric car was built in 1834 byunderstand that in the future, sales of hybrid and Thomas Davenport? The vehicleelectric cars will grow. In this context, modern and was a prototype and did not havealternative technology frequently appears as a rechargeable batteries. When Carlseries of concepts, parameters and names that you Friedrich Benz introduced the firstmay have heard of but whose correct definition is petrol automobile in 1885, thenot fully known. To prevent possible confusion and electric car was already known,to provide clarity from the beginning, this chapter is but the low cost of fuel at thean introduction to the subject and provides a time meant that the combustionconcise perspective on these technologies, as well engine explaining some of the new concepts. Source: the manufacturers themselves have problems wiki/ Thomas_Davenportusing the correct technical vocabulary. This isdemonstrated in the official description of aproduct written by a British subsidiary of a US car manufacturer. It indicates an electric carbattery with a capacity of 111 kWh (kilowatt hours), a fact which simply cannot be true. The carhas 111 kW, a measurement that is used to indicate the electrical power more than to refer tothe capacity of the electric car’s battery. (see 4
  8. 8. The main difference between cars with a combustion engine and an electric motor lies in the energy source used to enable locomotion. In combustion engines the energy sources are liquid or gaseous fuels derived mostly from fossils. Both oil and natural gas are accessible and finite resources. Additionally, access to these materials is restricted to cer tain regions which has generated a significant dependence on imports from the countries where the fuels are found. Theneed for these deposits has often resulted in political tension and even war.For decades the increasing global demand and limited supply of these resources has led to acontinuous increase in the price of petrol and diesel. Another basic argument against the use offossil fuels is the environmental impact caused by their burning. For example, it is from carbondioxide emissions that we get the so-called “Greenhouse Effect” that has been proven to causeclimate change, resulting in many countries committing to reduce their emissions. Therefore,despite the claims that liquid and gaseous fuels can be obtained through Biomass, thesemethods have certain disadvantages. For example, to obtain the necessary amounts of Biogasand other Biofuels it would be necessary to turn to agricultural areas that are otherwise neededfor food production. This is particularly problematic in those countries where food productionand supply of goods for the general population is already difficult. 5
  9. 9. T h e f a c t s o u t l i n e d a b ovedemonstrate that the internal Did you know that the CO2 produced during thecombustion engine alone does combustion of biofuels is almost the same as thenot represent the technology of amount a plant captures during its growth? For thatthe future, although at the reason, biofuels are CO2 neutral.present time it satisfies almost allconsumer mobility needs. Unlikeconventional vehicles, electric cars store the energy they need for their operation in chemicalform in a battery. Cars with combustion engines also use batteries to store energy, not fortraction but primarily for starting the engine. In this context they are described as “starter batteries”. If the accumulated energy is used for the motion (traction) of the vehicle they are called “traction batteries”. Traction batteries can store a much higher quantity of energy than the starter battery. An ordinary lead-acid battery is adequate for a starter battery, while the traction battery requires more advanced technologies such as lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH). The energy for the electric traction can be obtained through local and renewable energy sources. Thus, through electric mobility emission free mobility can be ensured. Another advantage is that the dependency on oil or gas producing countries is no longer existing. Therefore, the vehicle owner is not subjected to the costs dictated by the oil companies. If the electricity isnot produced emission free, electric cars are responsible for CO2 emissions which are notemitted into the environment from the vehicle, like conventional cars, but from the productionprocess. 6
  10. 10. Along with the extensive number of utility companies there are also numerous methods ofproducing energy through both fossil and renewable sources, meaning that supply problems ordependence can be virtually eliminated. CO2 emissions per kilowatt hours vary from country tocountry depending on the used power plants respectively used methods for the generation ofelectricity. The current emissions of different countries are shown in the figure below. France,with about 102  g  of  CO2/kWh, is amongst the countries with the lowest specific emissionsworldwide. This is because over 75  %1 of the electricity is generated by nuclear plants whichhave relatively low CO2 emissions when compared to plants fueled by coal, gas or oil. CO2 emissions of electricity production in kg/kWh 900 720 540 360 813 575 667 180 454 249 0 102 Germany Austria France Europe USA China Figure 2: Specific emissions for electricity production in different countries2,31 [GEMIS (2009)]3 7
  11. 11. Due to technological advances and thegrowth of renewable systems, the Did you know that the vehicle known as theaverage carbon dioxide emissions from Lohner-Porsche was displayed at thepower plants are continuously Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900? It wasdecreasing. Thus, the levels of CO2 per an electric car with the motor on the wheelkilowatt hour produced will also hub. The image shows the racing versioncontinue to decrease. Even if the electric with the electric wheel hubs on all fourcars are not recharged by electricity wheels!generated solely through renewableenergies the emissions will still decline.The CO2 emissions will be separatelyreviewed in Chapter 7.Along with the pure electric cars thatare slowly arriving on the market thereare also hybrid cars that are alreadygrowing in popularity. The term “hybrid”generally refers to vehicle systems inwhich two or more technologies are Source: http://de .wikipedia.or g/wiki/combined. They have an internal Ferdinand_Porsche#Elektroauto_Lohner-combustion engine and an electric Porschemotor which make them a ver yattractive option, as apart from thelower energy consumption and therefore lower emissions of gases that cause pollution, they canbe propelled purely through electricity even if only for relatively few kilometers. In this way youget the advantage of both technologies and compensation for the disadvantages of each. 8
  12. 12. The electric motor is, in terms of efficiency, superior Did you know that the to the combustion engine. An electric motor has an Greenhouse Effect is caused by efficiency factor of circa 95  % or more whereas a greenhouse gases like CO2 or modern diesel powered engine only has a maximum methane. The greenhouse gases efficiency of about 35  %. Depending on the driving constrain the transmission of the characteristic and the route profile (for example suns rays reflected by the earths driving in city traffic), this value is further reduced by surface, which leads to rising a couple of percentage points and most of the fuel is global temperatures. Scientists as used to heat the atmosphere rather than to propel well as politicians came to a the vehicle. worldwide agreement that the Another advantage of the electric car is the ability to extreme characteristics of the recover the kinetic energy during braking. Braking, current greenhouse effect and which has been a purely mechanical process up to therefore global warming is n ow, c a n b e a l s o a c c o m p l i s h e d t h r o u g h caused by the emissions created electromagnetic forces that generate electricity and by humanity. recharge the battery. This is known as “recuperation” and is particularly effective when driving in city traffic.Currently there are many different configurations in the world of hybrids. They differ accordingto the various traction components as well as the degree of electrification of the vehicle. Thevariety reaches from Micro-Hybrid electric cars with only a “Start and Stop” function to electriccars with a so called Range Extender, which could be a small engine or fuel cell. The RangeExtender generates electric energy while driving in order to recharge the battery or to directlydrive the electric engine. 9
  13. 13. In a pure electric vehicle (EV) the engine is omitted. The car is equipped exclusively with anelectric motor powered only by the battery. Electric motor / generator Battery Range Extender Fuel tank Electronics Figure 2: Hybrid car (left) and a pure electric car (right) 10
  14. 14. 1-How do you charge anelectric car?What are the different ways to rechargean electric car? Cur rently there are no standardized methods for charging electric cars, but we assume this will change soon. Generally there are three main ways: conductive charging, inductive charging and by changing the battery. Using the conductive method the car (battery) is connectedby a cable and plugged directly into an electricity provider. The inductive method, in contrast,works through electromagnetic transmission without any contact between the EV and thecharging infrastructure. The charging spot is equipped with wires which carry an alternatingcurrent as soon as the EV is at the right place. The alternating current creates anelectromagnetic field, which affects the receiver (also consisting of wires) in the EV in a way thata current is induced and charges the battery. This method is the same as that used to chargeelectric toothbrushes.Currently, both the automotive industry and operators of charging stations prefer conductivecharging because it is much cheaper and more efficient. Yet there are several R&D projectswhich focus on the further improvement of inductive charging, because it offers a way betteruser comfort and could be a key feature for electric mobility. 11
  15. 15. The third possibility takes into consideration the swapping of discharged batteries with freshones in a swapping station. This concept is being developed today by, amongst others, an Israelicompany. However for this to be possible the dimensions and internal connections for thebatteries must be standardized. Each electric car from each manufacturer would have to havevirtually the same size, shape and type of battery. As this reduces the OEM’s freedom of designand given that the choice of placement of the battery would be severely reduced, most of themanufacturers reject this method.How long does it take to charge thebatteries? The time required to recharge the batteries depends on several factors. Firstly- the available power from the grid and the state of charge of the battery. Secondly, there are the specific characteristic values of both the car and the battery such as the battery type, the cooling system and the maximum permissible current. For example , a conventionalhousehold outlet in Europe can achieve an output close to 3.5 kilowatt (kW) (Analog to Level 1charging in USA, with 2 kW). Therefore, a battery with a capacity of 3.5 kilowatt hours (kWh)can be charged in one hour, regardless of any energy losses and other effects during the charge.This means that the procedure for charging a 20 kWh traction battery takes around 6 hours (inUSA with Level 1 10 hours). However, a high voltage power port supplies around 22 kW (Level2 charging) so the same battery would be fully charged in around 50 minutes. This fast load canonly be guaranteed in facilities that have been technically upgraded for this purpose which 12
  16. 16. represents a considerable expense. Furthermore, the current battery types still react sensitivelyto variable charging methods and therefore these methods of fast charging are not yet standard.It could be that the implementation of fast charging infrastructure would be a result of simplyputting it in the public’s consciousness, to demonstrate to the users that fast charging is possibleand that additional unscheduled trips could be fulfilled. Vehicles are generally used every day andowing to the average distances travelled and the time the vehicle is parked etc., a level 1charging installation should suffice in a majority of cases.As for the amount of energy recharged there are two reasonable possibilities: A completecharge to 100 % or an 80 % charge. An 80 % charge is recommended when the process needsto be finished in a hurry and if you are not going to make long journeys afterwards. Theproblem with charging the batteries is that the charging of the last 10 or 20 % is slower andproduces more losses in the form of heat. The following figure can help to explain the influenceof load power during the process of recharging car batteries. Level 1 Europe’s level 1 Level 2 Level 3 10 8 Charging time in hours 6 4 2 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Amount of energy recharged in kWh Figure 3: Time necessary for the charging process depending on the charging power and the amount of energy required. 13
  17. 17. Battery swapping would be, in terms of time demand,probably the best way to provide a full battery. With the Did you know that youtechnologies available today it would just take around a would have to pay aboutminute to get a fresh one. The downside of this technology 10,50 € for a 100 kmis it’s high cost. It would involve not only a new and drive with a conventionalexpensive infrastructure (the swapping stations) but you car (for an average fuelwould also need a certain amount of costly batteries for consumption of 7 l/the exchange. It would also be necessary to standardize 100km and a fuel price ofbatteries to be compatible with all car models and because 1,50 €/l)? With an EV theof this the removable battery system is rejected by many cost would just be aroundOEMs as well as many investors in this sector. 4 € ( fo r a n e n e r g y demand of 20 kWh/The recharging time is one of the most important aspects 100km and a price of 0,2in the discussions about electric mobility. A look at the €/kWh).average use of the car4 demonstrates that a large part ofthe vehicle’s lifetime is spent off the road so in most casesfast charging is not necessary. Furthermore, most of theevery day journeys in Germany and Europe are below 50  km and could easily be fulfilled byelectric vehicles despite the range limitation.4 Grau, A.: Pendler: Die Mehrheit nimmt weiter das Auto, Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden, 2009 14
  18. 18. When and where can the batteries berecharged?In theory, the batteries could be recharged at any timeand in any place that has an electrical installationavailable. This means that the car could be chargedeither at home or at the workplace as well as at apublic charging station. There are plans for the futureimplementation of charging stations at strategicpoints, e.g. in car parks or at shopping malls. In this waythe energy can be partially or even completelyrecharged easily while the owner is, for example, in thesupermarket or visiting a doctor. Yet, these publicstations are especially useful for partial charging. It ismore convenient to fully charge the batteries in theevening. There are two reasons why this is moredesirable: firstly because cars are generally used less inthe evenings and secondly because there is lesselectricity consumption in the evenings so the grid willnot be overloaded. There is a further cost advantage ifthe consumer has the possibility of contracting acheaper night time electricity tariff. This would not onlyprevent change in the network stability but wouldreduce the demand for new power plants. With the help of “smart” electricity meterscommonly known as “SmartMeters” you can recharge your vehicle at a time of night that wouldbe more economical. 15
  19. 19. 2-What is the lifespan of anelectric car? The lifespan of an electric car depends primarily on the battery. The lifespan of the rest of the vehicle’s components is comparable to those of conventional cars or may even do need less maintenance. For example, the lack of a gear system or a complex cooling system for the engine saves a lot of visits to the mechanic. Some automobile companies currently offer a guarantee on traction batteries. For example , the GM5 Volt is guaranteed for 8 years and/or 160,000 km6 (100,000 miles) and the Tesla Roadster comes with a 7 year and/or 160,000 km7 guarantee. Like all other chemical storage systems, lithium batteries, currently the most promising technology for use in electric cars, react to environmental effects and5 16
  20. 20. show signs of wear, so their life can be limited to some extent depending on their use. This signifies that the battery capacity is reduced Did you know that lithium slightly with each charging cycle due to the batteries are constantly aging? numerous internal reactions caused by the charging There are sever al inter nal process. processes which lead to an aging Put simply, the loss in capacity (aging) of the during the phases of usage batteries accelerates significantly with the (charging and discharging) as well temperature and the current as well as the number as during periods of storage. of charging cycles. Therefore the possible usage of current lithium batteries today is This background knowledge answers the most limited to a maximum of 8 to 10 common questions about the lifespan of an electric years. car. As for the “memory effect” (an effect observed in some batteries that causes them to hold less charge, specifically when the batteries lose theirmaximum energy capacity when they are repeatedly charged after being only partiallydischarged) known from batteries of the past it is safe to say that this effect does no longerexist, or it should only minimally affect modern batteries. 17
  21. 21. Do the batteries age faster in Winter orSummer?Low temperatures, without being extremely low, both during use and when the vehicle isparked, reduce the pace of the aging process in lithium batteries. For this reason the batteriesdeteriorate markedly slower in winter than in the summer. During the summer months it makessense to protect the batteries with an appropriate cooling system.That said - extreme low temperatures can also damage some types of batteries.Is the lifespan of the battery longer if thecar is used less often?Lithium batteries areaffected by calendaric agingas well as an aging due tothe charging and dischargingcycles. Calendaric agingmeans that regardless ofusage, the batteries will ageas time passes by. Becauseof this effect the lifespan ofa lithium battery is reducedto 10 years, 15 maximum, even when it is not used.On the other hand, the cyclic aging is dependent on the frequency that the battery is chargedand discharged. Modern batteries can withstand between 2,000 and 3,000 cycles (charging anddischarging) so assuming a full charge cycle per day the life of the battery would be between 5and 8 years. Under this assumption and depending on the type of battery you could say that thelife of a battery can be lengthened by moderate use. Yet, in general there are certain limitationsfor the batteries life, which can not be prolonged even by not using the vehicle. 18
  22. 22. Depending on the type of battery, cyclic aging may be lower than calendaric aging. Put in otherwords, no matter how many miles the car travels, the aging of the battery is dictated by thepassage of time.How can the lifespan of the battery beinfluenced?The life of the lithium battery depends directly on their proper use. Mishandling can have anegative influence in the conservation of energy storage and handled correctly the life of thebattery can be extended considerably. The main factor here is the temperature of the battery,coupled with the correct charging and discharging. Fast charging will lead to higher current flow(amps) into the battery and will accelerate cyclic aging. It will lead also to higher batterytemperatures and thus to faster aging due to the temperature.Both overcharging and deep discharging can alsoshorten the battery life. These two effects are usually Did you know that theregulated and prevented by the electronics of the ener gy consumption invehicle. winter, with temperatures touching freezing point, canThe battery life is currently estimated to be 5 to 8 rise from 16 kWh/100 km toyears. In contrast, the average life of a conventional car in 24 kWh/100 km just byEurope is about 12 to 15 years8 , which is considerably using the heating? This meanslonger. This is one of the weak points of the electric car that the range of the vehicleand explains why the companies are working hard to lowers from 120 km to 80improve this statistic. km.However, if the total costs of ownership are taken intoaccount, an electric car can be cost effective comparedto a conventional vehicle despite the shorter lifespan and higher investment.8 19
  23. 23. 3-What is the range of anelectric car? In theory the range of an electric car depends on both the energy stored and the amount of energy required by the car. The greater the capacity of a traction battery, the greaterthe range of the car. However the range can be reduced by the manner the vehicle is driven.The energy consumption of an electric car in Europe is given in kWh (kilowatt hours) per 100km. A small electric vehicle driven in city traffic needs on average 15 kWh/100 km, which whentranslated into liters of gasoline is about 1.5 liters/100km (157 MPG). The consumption of atraditional car in urban traffic is, as everybody knows from experience, about or even more than7 liters of gasoline per 100km (35 MPG and lower). This clearly demonstrates that the energyrequirements of an electric car are far below that of the combustion car.A car equipped with a traction battery of 30 kWh and a specific energy consumption of 15kWh/100 km has a theoretical range of 200 km. This theoretical range is further influenced inpractice by the way the vehicle is driven and other parameters like cooling and lights. Theseparameters also appear in conventional vehicles with combustion engines but affect the electriccar’s range considerably more because of the lower energy stored in the battery compared tothe quantity of energy stored in gas tanks. 20
  24. 24. Before getting into the specifics of the aforementioned parameters we should clarify therelationship between the speed and power demands of the car. Both electric cars andconventional cars need more power at higher speeds. For conventional cars, this effect reflectsin a higher consumption per 100 km (or lower mileage per gallon) at higher speeds, as shown infigure 4. If you drive at a high speed for a long journey the car will require more power for along period. This leads to a high energy requirement and therefore a small range. 100 Required power in kW 75 50 25 160 180 200 0 100 120 140 60 80 20 40 0 Speed in km/h Figure 4: Power requirement of a car depending on the driving speed. 21
  25. 25. Car dependent parameters:Here you have to look at the weight and shape of the car. The heavier and larger the car, thehigher the driving resistances that have to be overcome while moving the car. For example theair resistance, which is directly proportional to the front surface of the vehicle, results in highconsumption and low range. This explains why an SUV needs between 10 and 15 liters per 100km (23 MPG and lower), two or three times more than a small car traveling the same distancethat usually requires 4 to 5 liters per 100 km (52 MPG). iEV is a quick and effective way tocalculate the energy consumption of an electric car, even before having it.9User dependent parameters:The driver can influence the range of anelectric car in three ways. As shown in the Did you know that calculating yourgraph above, the way that you drive plays a personal energyrole. If you accelerate too much or consumption is essentialmaintain very high speeds, the range is before buying an electricaffected. The recuperation via regenerative car? The authors of thisbraking is also smaller on the motorway. ebook, recognized theOther factor s that should not be impor tance of this andoverlooked are additional accessories in developed a calculation algorithm andthe vehicle such as using the air implemented it into an iPhone app toconditioning or having the heating on. Any perform this task.additional weight also affects the range, if boot is filled with boxes or bags or allof the seats are occupied with passengers With iEV you can calculate which batterythe vehicle is heavier which has a negative will satisfy your mobility needs.impact on the range of an electric car.9 EV simulator for electric cars for the iPhone - 22
  26. 26. Environment dependent parameters:This section includes the outdoortemperature, the distance travelled and the Did you know that the ener gytraffic conditions. The outside temperature c o n s u m p t i o n i n w i n t e r, w i t haffects the range because it influences the temperatures touching freezing point, canneed for heating or cooling. Electric cars rise from 16 kWh/100 km to 24 kWh/have in winter, unlike petrol cars, the 100 km just by using the heating? Thisdrawback that the heating needs to be means that the range of the vehiclepowered by the battery, which decreases lowers from 120 km to 80 km.the range massively. Residual heat from the Source: Forschungsstelle fürelectrical components is not sufficient to E n e r g i e w i r t s c h a f t e . V. , M ü n c h e nheat the interior of the vehicle due to its (unpublished)( performance. Additionally, in very lowtemperatures and depending on the type ofbattery (e.g NiMH), only a small portion of the energy that is stored can be used to power thecar. Another important factor is geography because during climbs the car requires more energywhich can be recuperated going downhill through braking.Energy consumption and autonomy depend on the type of journey and this explains why bothcan differ considerably. In tests carried out a small electric prototype car demonstrated aconsumption of 10 kWh/100 km in urban traffic, about 15 kWh/100 km in intercity traffic and20 kWh/100 km on motorways. The reason why motorway journeys require a greater amountof energy is because of the higher speeds. 23
  27. 27. In summary, one could say that the limited range of electric cars could cover the mobility needs of the current average driver. 90 % of daily trips made by the average european driver ̶ from home to work and work to home ̶ is usually less than 50  km10 and is within an electric car’srange. Obviously the manufacturers of electric cars are struggling to find solutions for futuremobility requirements and are trying to ensure that the needs of all users can be met by anelectric car, (for example through the use of a range extender). Do you want to see, if anelectric car could be something for you? With iEV you can test it!1110 www.eds-destatis.de11 More information for iEV under 24
  28. 28. 4-What are the costs of anelectric car? For the consumer, the cost is one of the most important criteria when buying a car. It is the single factor that dictates whether the next car you buy will be an electric car or not. This brings us to the purchase price. Several surveys have shown the limits and the surcharges that consumers are willing to pay. Results showed that consumers would spend a maximum of 24,000 €12 for an electr ic car with 58  % of the respondents stating that they would pay an extra surcharge of 4,000 € 13 for an electric car if necessary. Automobile manufacturers calculate the price of an average electric car between 35,000 and 40,000 € in the European market. Similar prices are targeted for the US market.The largest percentage of the price is in the batteries. According to a study by Roland Bergerand the Market Research Institute TNS Infratest, the surcharge will fall below 4,500 € by 2020.This indicates that there is a noticeable discrepancy between the prices that the users areprepared to pay and the manufacturers estimated cost. Therefore it is essential to look not only12 25
  29. 29. at the cost of acquisition but at the cost of the vehicle throughout it’s total cost of ownership(TCO)14.Comparing the TCO, it is clear that the electric car, compared to a conventional one, might havea great potential for savings. The savings generated from electric cars are largely a result of lowenergy costs and better efficiency, plus the energy source used is more economical. Themaintenance of the vehicles is also more economical as there is less wear on their components.This issue is explored in more depth in Chapter 8.The consumer should not fall into the trap of seeingonly the purchase price of the car which could make Did you know that a largehim reluctant to purchase it. It should also be taken propor tion of fuel prices ininto account that there are few electric cars on the Europe are taxes? They have amarket. However, many manufacturers have tendency to rise. The currentannounced that they will be launching models in price of a barrel of fuel is around2011 and 2012. As soon as mass produced vehicles 90 or 110 dollars a barrel, whichenter the market, the consumer will see a decline in means just 33 to 37 cents perprice. liter. The rest of the fuel costs are taxesBatteries are the most expensive element in aelectric car. Currently they cost nearly 1,000 € perkWh of storage, so the price of a lithium battery with a capacity between 20 and 35 kWh isbetween 20,000 and 35,000 €. This is why the purchase cost of an electric car is so high today.Electric cars will become more attractive when the battery price drops, or alternatively whenthe cost of fossil fuels increases.The car industry is aware of this problem and is working on strategies to lower the price ofbatteries for users, for example they have considered the possibility that the customer does notacquire the battery with the vehicle but instead leases it as a separate component from thevehicle manufacturers. This way the batteries are removed when they no longer have therequired capacity as a traction battery and can be given a second life through stationary usage.14 26
  30. 30. Since all of the electric mobility technology - from the cars to the batteries - is currently still inthe development stage, we can deduce that there is still great potential for cost reductionthrough a combination of the effects of mass production and continuous and progressivetechnological development. Even today there are both public and private Did you know that usually, using energy transportation systems that are fully electric at night is cheaper than during the day? and are very profitable, for example electric scooters. The scooters are already available on the market in a wide variety of modelsand the electric scooters suitable for urban traffic are now on sale for less than 1,000 €.Electric scooters show slightly higher investment costs than their current petrol equivalents. Theprices depend directly on the battery technology used and their capacity, although the additionalpurchase costs are compensated for by lower usage costs over a few thousand kilometers. Thisrelationship is demonstrated in figure 5. Electric Scooter Petrol Scooter 1,500 € 1,250 € 1,000 € Overall costs 750 € 500 € 250 € 0 € 0 1,250 2,500 3,750 5,000 Driven distance in km Figure 5: Comparison of costs between an electric scooter and another with a gas powered engine. 27
  31. 31. Electric scooters can also be a good additional investment to a car and not only as analternative to a combustion engine scooter. A cost analysis demonstrates from what mileage theacquisition costs of a scooter are amortized.The saving in running costs of a car can pay for the total costs of buying an electric scooter. Thefollowing figure shows the total costs of an electric scooter as an additional investment to threeVolkswagen models when comparing the amount of kilometers travelled. The graph shows thatthe scooter is more economical beyond 6,500 km as an additional investment to the car, takinginto account the current costs of electricity, fuel and other expenses. VW Passat VW Golf VW Polo Electric Scooter 4000 € 3000 € Costs 2000 € 1000 € 0 € 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 Driven distance in km Figure 6: Comparison of the total cost of ownership of an electric scooter with the variable costs of three vehicles1515 Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft München - (unpublished). 28
  32. 32. 5-Do governments promotethe purchase of electric cars? The government’s role is important in encouraging people to consider electric transport as an option in urban areas. After all, as with any new technology there are always difficulties to be overcome at the outset. To answer the initial question, there is no universal worldwide approach for promoting EVs. Some nations regard the direct funding via governmental grants for the purchase of an EV as a suitable way of introducing of e l e c t r i c m o b i l i t y. O t h e r governments prefer an increase in research and development. Leading the way in subsidies for the purchase of an electric car is Japan, which contributes 10,000 € for the purchase of a vehicle of this type. Inthis way they are trying to encourage the purchase of the first generation of electric cars whichinevitably are highly prices (as noted in chapter four). 29
  33. 33. The figure below shows which countries contribute to the purchase of an electric car and howmuch they provide as an incentive. Japan 10,000 € China 6,800 € Canada 6,400 € Spain 6,000 € GB 5,700 € USA 5,500 € France 5,000 € Italy 3,500 € Ireland 2,500 € Germany 0 € 0 € 2,500 € 5,000 € 7,500 € 10,000 € Subsidy in € for each country Figure 7: Subsidy in Euros provided by each countryAs already mentioned before, direct financial support to buyers of electric cars is not the onlyway governments can promote the implementation of this new technology. There are a numberof opportunities in the grants that governments provide that the consumer can take advantageof indirectly, for example investment in research. This ensures the continuous improvement ofthe car and battery and the subsequent development of technical innovations. Alongside thesubsidies there are also numerous other state funded aids that may be advantageous forbuyers, such as parking lots or separate lanes for these vehicles in busy areas. 30
  34. 34. The different possibilities of direct and indirect promotion are shown in more detail in Figure 8. Common Opportunities for subsidies Direct subsidies Indirect subsidies • Investment costs associated with • Investment for R & D the car Automotive and battery • Fiscal advantages for the car technology through the costs of electricity • Implementation of an • Reductions in insurance costs infrastructure Charging stations • Loans with low interest rates & battery recycling • Preferential parking spaces • Preparation for market •Special driving lanes introduction Field trial in pilot regions Figure 8: Subsidy possibilities for electric mobilityIn summary, one can say that the subsidies governments provide for electric mobility arereasonable although the governments should be careful not to focus simply on the way thesubsidies are provide, but also be conscious of providing the subsidies at the opportunemoment.Although Germany aims to take a pioneering role in electric mobility, the German governmentis currently left considerably behind their European neighbors in terms of promotion. There hasbeen much discussion on the provision of subsidies in Germany but so far there are nosubsidies available from the German government, although money has been spent on variousinvestigations into the subject. Even the smaller countries such as Ireland are considerably moreadvanced in the subsidization of electric cars 31
  35. 35. 6-Is the electric car justanother passing fad? This question can be answered with a clear and resounding NO. As we have previously explained, electric mobility is not just another technology that will be fashionable for a while. Finding alternatives to oil andfinite fossil fuels that are harmful to both the environment and people´s health is of utmostimportance. Furthermore the costs of finite fossil fuels will inevitably rise due to the limitation incombination with the constant increasing demand. For which reason a shift to alternatives is alsonecessary from an economic point of view.It is imperative to redefine the term “mobility” and find an alternative to the conventionalvehicles that are contributing to the greenhouse gasses that are continuously acceleratingclimate change. 32
  36. 36. Many governments especially in Europe, Asia and the USAhave set ambitious goals for the eventual integration of Did you know that EVselectric cars into urban traffic and are promoting projects are already economical inby providing financial resources. The automotive industry diverse application areashas also recognized the need to act and they are being (e .g. Taxi, Bus etc .)?forced to manufacture and develop electric cars that are Despite the highersuitable for a broad market. In recent years studies have investment costs, theshown that the consumer has become considerably more much lower variable costssensitive to their own environmental impact. Ten years ago (energy, service etc.) andthese issues were not given much consideration but today the high kilometer sthey feature amongst the top 5 factors and criteria that travelled make it possible.determine which vehicle the consumer will purchase16.Many international companies are spending enormousamounts of money attempting to transform urban traffic through the use of electric cars whichagain confirms that the future of electric vehicles is very promising. It is very likely however that in the future this area will not be dominated by a single traction technology and there will be many different types of technology being used in different fields. Thus, the electric car will be used primarily as a city vehicle and for commuting to work. For longer distances drivers will be able to use technologies such as hybrid cars or electric vehicles with range extenders (additional energy storage and engines to extend the range of the car). These vehicles can make urban driving purely electric (no local emissions) but then they can also make longer journeys withouthaving to worry about their range.16 33
  37. 37. Biofuels will also play a role in the future “mobility Did you know that most of the mix”, meaning a combination of different energy oil producing countries are sources. These fuels will even be suitable for trucks already in the process of turning and long haul vehicles that usually run on diesel. away from fossil fuels? They Biofuels have already been tested in this area with invest in renewable energies, great success, including air travel! which demonstrates that electric As for future forms of mobility two things are mobility has an enor mous required. Firstly, the fuels need to be green and thus potential. help minimize the emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect so that the rapid advance ofclimate change is reduced. Secondly, the mobility alternatives must be widely available toconsumers and economically viable. Both of these demands cannot be met by conventionaldriving technologies used up to now. For this reason, electric mobility and its derivatives willmake an enormous contribution in the future. 34
  38. 38. 7-What are the levels of CO 2emissions from electric cars? CO2 emissions from electric cars basically depend on how the electricity is produced since - as mentioned before - the cars do not emit CO2 during driving. This fact also reveals the reason for the variety of CO2 emitted by EVs charged from different sources in different countries. Thereforethe information e.g. in Germany emissions vary from 0 g CO2/kWh when the electricity comesfrom natural sources and around 575 g CO2/kWh 17 when measured against the regularGerman mix (a mixture of all of the electricity generation systems). In other countries themixed power generation tariff is as follows18,19 : France 102 g CO2/kWh, Spain 390 g CO2/kWh,Great Britain 530 CO2/kWh, China 813 g/kWh, USA 667 g CO2/kWh and Austria 249 g CO2/kWh.To get an idea of the influence of different technologies used by power plants to the CO2emissions of electric cars we will calculate the potential CO2 savings of an electric car in fourcountries with different power generation structures. More than half of the energy requirements17 Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft18 [GEMIS (2009)]19 35
  39. 39. in Spain and Germany are met by fossil fuels. Austria generates 70 % of its electricity throughhydropower and France produces 80 % of its energy through nuclear power.The potential savings for the four countries analyzed are represented in Figure 9. To make anadequate comparison the consumption of a Mini-E (15 kWh/100km) is compared to that of aMini Cooper with a petrol engine (7,56 Liters/100km20 and 2,33 kg CO2/l21 ). 20 CO2 savings in kg/100km 16 12 13.9 16.1 8 9.0 10.8 4 7.6 5.4 0 Germany Austria France Europe USA China Figure 9: Potential CO2 savings of an electric car in comparison with a gasoline car20 http://www.spritmonitor.de21 36
  40. 40. In the USA, an electric car saves more than 5 kg for every 100 km driven in comparison with agasoline powered automobile, while in Germany you would save about 9 kilograms. It is worthmentioning that the percentage ofrenewable energies in the mixed tariff of Did you know that some companies offermost of the countries is constantly purely ecological electricity generatedgrowing. Therefore, in the future the exclusively by renewable energy systems?potential savings will even be greater.France has the highest potential savingwith more than 16 kilograms although the use of nuclear energy to create electricity is still acontroversial topic. Austria produces a high percentage of renewable energy, reducing CO2emissions to almost 14 kg per 100km.On the other hand, power plants have the possibility of filtering the harmful substances on alarge scale and can separate them effectively. This procedure is difficult to perform when thesource of the emission is mobile and is very costly, like the catalytic converters in petrolvehicles. The reduction of these emissions from power plants is an important issue - yet therehas been very little attention paid to it by the general public. Generally, emissions of CO2 and other contaminants are continuously declining due to the increased use of renewable energy systems driven in par t by the international climate conventions. This reduction is aided by the increased efficiency of conventional power plants. Power plants are obliged to purify their residual gases and this is one of the reasons why the use of electric cars is recommended from an ecological point of view, and may be obligatory in the long term. Yet it is not only CO2 emissions that are on the decline but also other pollutants such as nitrogen oxide or the particles created by wear on the brakes. 37
  41. 41. 8-What kind of maintenanceand repair do electric carsneed? When purchasing a vehicle, the consumer must take into account the potential maintenance and repair costs. It is therefore important to calculate the maintenance and repair costs of an electric car as precisely as possible in advance, so that any future owner is aware of what the vehicle may require. For accident repair, like any conventional vehicle, nothing can be specified in advance. If you look at preventative maintenance and repair related to the wear of the automotive components, electric cars have a clear advantage.Electric motors are much simpler than their petrol counterparts and have a substantially higherlifespan (excluding the battery). Electric vehicles have fewer components that are affected byfriction and temperature variations and the individual components are less exposed to wear.This means that electric cars do not need the regular servicing that conventional vehiclesrequire. Electric cars do not need a gear box or a clutch, nor do they need a turbo charger, amuffler or a catalyst to filter particles. They don’t even need to filter oil or air. While an owner ofa petrol car needs to continuously maintain these elements, the electric car owner does notneed to think about it, saving them both time and money.All of this means that maintenance and repair costs for electric cars are greatly reduced whencompared to those of conventional cars, except for the batteries, which may possibly have tobe replaced during the car’s lifetime. The batteries are currently the most expensive component 38
  42. 42. of an electric car but if the minimal costs for maintenance and repair as well as the lowelectricity costs are taken into account, the electric car can still be more economical. Onceagain, the total cost of ownership is important when comparing conventional and electric cars.One of the main goals for the future must be to ensurethat the additional costs generated by the price of the Did you know that anbatteries can be redeemed through the lifespan of the electric engine can be usedcar. By lowering the prices of the batteries, the cars will as an engine as well as acost less and will be far more economically attractive to generator? Therefore it’sconsumers than a conventional vehicle. possible to turn the kinetic energy into electric energyClearly, despite the reduced maintenance costs it is still dur ing the deceler ationimperative to adapt repair shops for electric vehicles so phase. This so calledthat electric mobility can be a success. The continued „recuperation“ is one reasonand growing demand on vehicle mechanics has resulted why electric mobility isin a greater investment in electrical components and a predestinated for inner citydemand for more qualified staff. In the future the journeys. The breakingworkshops and garages will focus increasingly on electric process will no longer be acars and the special conditions that they require (e.g wasting of measures for high voltage equipment) to meetdemand and take advantage of the new businessopportunities that are appearing. 39
  43. 43. 9-Will the batteries be availablein the long term? The availability of the battery systems depends on the availability of the raw materials and the type of the materials used within the systems. The current focus is on traction batteries made from lithium which is a resource that will continue to be important in the future. Lithium is a lightweight metal found in its elemental form in the ground but is combined with other elements within the battery. It is found rock and salt lakes in the earth’s crust and is referred to in ter ms of “reser ves” or “resources”. Both concepts are used to describe the quantities of a specific material in the ground although it is impossible to determine exactly how much there is of any raw material. When we define both terms it will explain why. 40
  44. 44. Reserves: Raw materials known to be economically feasible for extraction by the use ofcurrent extraction methods. The development of extraction technologies and increasing marketcosts for raw materials could lead to a conversation of resources into reserves.Resources: Raw materials that are known orsupposed to exist in a given region and may be usedin the future. The reserves are a subset of theresources, therefore only parts of the resources canbe extracted at market price. The future use of thewhole amount of the resources is dependent on thedevelopment and the availability of extractiontechnology.Technological progress and/or a rise in the price of the raw materials leads to the resourcesbeing converted into reserves. Resources are continually being discovered so the amount of rawmaterials available can never be absolutely determined. Every so often the availability of theseraw materials should be calculated and valued.Obviously, the availability of lithium depends primarily on the extent of the deposits, howeverthere are other factors that must be taken into account. Firstly, governments have to encouragethat old lithium batteries are recycled and that the metal is used to manufacture new batteries.This directly affects the longevity of lithium resources. Additionally, the ability to reuse the rawmaterials is a crucial advantage when compared to oil. On the other hand the regions in which lithium D i d yo u k n ow t h a t c a r d i a c deposits are located should be taken into pacemakers use lithium batteries? account. Theoretically, as with fossil fuels, This is because lithium batteries countries that contain no lithium deposits may be have a long lifespan. threatened with a shortage of the raw materials, especially if the countries or regions that contain vast deposits become politically unstable. 41
  45. 45. The following figure shows lithium stocks around the world and the quantity of knowndeposits. The most important countries are those in South America. Argentina, Chile and Boliviarepresent the so-called “Lithium Triangle” which contains a concentration of around 70% of theworld reserves. Since the extraction an production is carried out by several countries withdifferent political systems there are no restrictions. Total 17,630,415 Bolivia 4,925,000 Chile 4,235,000 China 2,730,000 Argentina 2,311,500 USA 1,450,400 Israel 675,000 Zaire 345,000 Brazil 252,750 Russia 170,250 Canada 166,090 Serbia 143,550 Australia 141,920 0 1,250,000 2,500,000 3,750,000 5,000,000 Lithium in millions of tons Figure 10: Estimated worldwide lithium stocks22The information about the number and the size of lithium deposits around the world variesdepending on the source, but they all agree on one point: taking into account only thecalculations of quantities available, there is enough lithium to supply the automobile industry forat least 100 years23. The question still arises whether the amount of lithium required will beavailable at the desired times, at a sufficient quality and at an affordable price. The variations inquality and price are important issues. In order to secure the future battery availability otherbattery technologies are also being considered and tested. With investment in different storagetechnologies diversification can be achieved in respect to the dependency on certain rawmaterials ensuring the long term availability of traction batteries.22 Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft e.V.23 42
  46. 46. 10-How are electric carbatteries recycled? 14,000 tons of conventional batteries are discarded annually in Germany24. The controlled removal of these batteries is necessary due to their toxic contents. Therefore, inappropriate elimination may obviously have a negative impact on both the public and the environment. Integrating electric cars into city traffic will inevitably increase the annual battery waste. In view of environmental policy, this represents a challenge.For the users, disposing of batteries is relatively easy as European producers are subject to a lawencompassing the return of used batteries. The consumer is obliged to return the batteries sothat they can be disposed or recycled professionally. This law also applies to conventionalbatteries, such as those used in a torch. Yet, studies have shown that less than 50 % of thesebatteries are returned correctly.To rectify this, a fee of 7,50 € was charged for starter batteries for cars, meaning that if thecustomer did not return an old starter battery when purchasing a new one, he had to pay 7,50€. As a result of this simple system the recycling quota reached almost 100 %. These returns,sponsored by governments, provide benefits to the consumer through the economic cycle.Recycling reduces manufacturing costs and ultimately the retail price.24 43
  47. 47. The collection of old, used batteries is difficult for the manufacturers, mainly because thegovernments have set levels of recycling efficiency. There are also regulations covering thequantity of old battery components that must be used for the production of new batteries. This percentage is a statutory minimum of 50% for all batteries. The regulations also require that the unusable parts are disposed of using the best technical processes available. For state of the ar t batter y technologies the manufacturers have met the established requirements. However for new technologies in this area these requirements are still problematic. This is not the manufacturers fault but is due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure that would guarantee the correct recycling of traction batteries. It can be concluded that constant development in the area of electric-mobility will improverecycling conditions and lead to a greater number of recycling centers.In summary it can be stated that therecycling of old batteries would be Did you know that lithium has onlyadvantageous and present no additional costs recently started to be recycled? Theto the consumer. This cost advantage would value of lithium was recognized duringonly be guaranteed through a change in the development of electric mobilitypolicy and if the industry pays sufficient and processes for the adequateattention to establishing infrastructure for the recycling are currently being researched.recycling of old batteries and integrates thisinto the development plans of the electriccar. 44
  48. 48. Conclusion/ Summary The topic of electric-mobility is omnipotent; in the media, in the automobile factories and is the subject of many cor por ate meetings. Ever yone who is interested, from journalist to consumer, wonders about the current state of development and how it will continue. One issue is more dominant than others - the demand for information.Since the subject is complex, we conducted an investigation into the most important questionsabout electric-mobility that needed answering. The questions we would answer were selectedthrough an online survey of 20 questions. More than 4,000 people participated in the surveyand each chose 10 questions based on their prior knowledge and own particular interests. Afterthe 10 most important questions were determined,we began writing this guide to providestrong, concise answers. The authors, three scientists dedicated to the area of electric-mobility,correlated the data in this book and compiled it to provide detailed explanations of the keyconcepts. A thorough reading will enable you to make up your own mind up about thedevelopment and implementation possibilities of the electric car.As an introduction we took a brief look at the current situation. It describes the benefits ofrenewable energy through its unlimited availability and environmental friendliness whencompared to fossil fuels. Electric cars are now occupying space in automobile showrooms andmany people don’t realize that millions of hybrid cars are already sold and have spent yearssafely navigating our streets. Their use already contributes to improving the environment. 45
  49. 49. The first chapter introduced the question of how to recharge an electric car and it wasdemonstrated that multiple rapid charges of the batteries are by no means necessary for themajority of users. Amongst other things it was made clear that the batteries do not require acomplete charge every time.The second most important question- that of the lifespan of an electric car - was discussed inchapter  2. It explained that the key component in the lifespan is the battery. Factors are alsobeing developed that can shorten or lengthen the lifespan and by using the vehicle “normally”the battery of an electric car will last between 5 and 8 years.Chapter 3 focused on the issue ofautonomy. It identified what theautonomy of an electric vehicle dependson. It is evident that today’s electric carscould meet most of the mobility needs inmost countries, e.g. in Germany 90 % ofthe population do not drive more than50 km daily. In turn, the chapter illustratedthat electric cars are ideal for urbantraffic due to their ability to recuperateenergy.The four th most relevant questionconsidered the total ownership costs ofan electric car. Most of the peopleinterested in this issue only consider thepurchase price which is undoubtedly stillhigher than that of a conventional car. Thecosts of repair and maintenance must notbe forgotten and this is where theelectric car has a clear advantage. It is also forecasted that the price of these vehicles will dropsignificantly through technical innovations and mass production as has happened with othertechnologies in the past. 46
  50. 50. Chapter 5 gave a brief overview on the support given to electric-mobility worldwide. In thisrespect Japan offers the highest financial incentive for potential consumers. Germany is stilllagging behind in the direct promotion of electric cars although it aims to become one of theleaders in the electric-mobility market.Many potential customers are wondering if electric-mobility is just another hype but there aremany arguments that suggest otherwise. Not only are electric cars considered viable for manymarket segments, they also provide two basic benefits. The first is that they can operate solelyusing the unlimited availability of renewable energy and the second benefit is that unlike petrolvehicles they are an ecological option, as discussed in chapter 6.The survey respondents were interested in the question of CO2 emissions from electric carsand this was discussed in chapter 7. As explained in this manual, the expansion of availablerenewable energy sources makes it possible for there to be a continuous drop leading to theeventual elimination of CO2 emissions through the generation of clean electricity. Electric carswill be run on a totally “clean” network with no emissions and therefore be moreenvironmentally friendly than they have been to date. 47
  51. 51. The question answered in chapter 8 is about the maintenance and repair of an electric car. Itwas pointed out that these vehicles have fewer parts that are susceptible to wear than aconventional vehicle and suffer fewer breakdowns. However, electronics are still complex andrepairs performed on conventional vehicles are frequently electrical. In the future, vehiclemechanics will need to be more qualified and electric cars will possibly encounter the sameproblems that conventional vehicles currently succumb to.Chapter 9 addressed the question of the raw materials needed to manufacture the batteriesand explained why there are no anticipated supply problems. Not only is lithium readily availableit is also reusable so the demand for the material is reduced.What happens to the batteries when they reach the end of their life was explained in the tenthand final chapter. Recycling plays an essential role in the life of vehicle batteries and a recyclingrate of almost 100% is already achieved. It is estimated that this will also be the case for thetraction batteries in electric cars.After answering these ten questions we are faced with the final question about how thedevelopment of electric cars will continue.Undoubtedly, consumers are changing.They are reconsidering the situation.This has also has benefits for theenvironment, manufacturers andgovernments. All of the links on the“consumption chain” are increasinglydependent on the countriesproducing fossil fuels and thus aresubject to their political tensions andthe increasing prices for the dwindlingstocks of oil and natural gas whichsooner or later will be exhausted. Thismakes electric vehicles a more thanreasonable alternative. 48
  52. 52. It should also not be forgotten that the authors are convinced of the advantages of electric-mobility because the technology is available to put it into practice in addition to the fact that itsadvantages hugely outweigh its disadvantages.For this reason and in order to make consumers aware of all aspects of electric-mobility,including the material and technology, Green & Energy GmbH was founded. You can learn moreabout electric cars at our blog under: 49