Top 10: Innovations in Electric Vehicles

Here are our Top 10 electric vehicle innovations driving safe and sustainable mobility and making EV driving accessible with revolutionary technology

Explore the ten most groundbreaking innovations which are reshaping the electric vehicle journey. These developments are designed to enhance environmental sustainability, make driving more widely accessible to all drivers and propel smart cities forwards.

10. Voice-User-Interface technology

Engineering specialists at BeWorks Automation have secured a £68,200 (USD$86,400) grant from the Innovate UK Design Foundations Grant, designed to fund research and studies on Voice-User-Interface (VUI) technology. It is hoped that this technology will go on to support EV drivers with disabilities. 

Alongside their design partner, Kinneir Dufort, the two will conduct research and feasibility studies surrounding the challenges of Al-incorporated Voice-User-Interface technology for EV charging. With a focus on accessibility challenges, this will look at the impact of EV charging on individuals with disabilities.

9. Smaller EV chargers

Charging stations are bulky and are not always effectively used on the streetside. Companies such as Connected Kerb uses 5G and IoT for its charging infrastructure innovation, to provide charging systems that are not only compact, but provide the necessary charging capabilities for urban homes where the majority of drivers park on the street.

8. Mobility for Africa

Mobility for Africa is an electric mobility company which provides cargo-carrying e-tricycles and solar-powered battery charging solutions, to underserved communities across Africa.

“If the world is going to eradicate poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030 then the world must empower entrepreneurs to build their economies,” says Geraldine Mupandanyama, Member Board of Directors at Mobility for Africa, who we included in our Top 10: Women in EV in MEA.

7. Ultra-fast charging technology

In the 6th century, former Greek slave Aesop wrote his fables, including The Hare and the Tortoise, which hatched a mantra repeated to this day by EV innovators: ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. For EV drivers however, the faster their vehicle can charge, the better - but safety must come first. 

Ultra-fast charging technology is one of the most in-demand solutions of our time and until EV drivers can match their charging time with that taken by ICE vehicle drivers, innovators are needed.

EV drivers want faster charging technology to become available

6. Battery swapping technology 

One of the biggest drawbacks to owning an EV is the time a battery takes to charge, but battery swapping allows a driver to exchange their empty battery, with a fully charged one, to get them back on the road. China’s automotive technology leader Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has signed a strategic partnership agreement with NIO regarding battery standards, battery swapping technology, battery swapping network expansion, swappable model development and also battery asset management. 

5. Cybersecurity defence

Cybersecurity is a threat across all industries and the EV sector is well aware of the potential for catastrophe should an attack occur. In July 2024, the UNECE Cyber Security (UN R 155) and UNECE Software Updating (UN R 156) regulations will become mandatory, which aim to uphold vehicle safety in this space. This will mitigate the risks of cyberattacks and unauthorised access to connected electric vehicles.

Read more here

4. Autonomous driving

The Amazon-owned business Zoox is developing robotaxis, to transport riders by autonomous driving. The Zoox vehicle marks a new era of mobility with internally-facing seats and no steering wheel. The car is designed to be symmetrical, making pickups and drop-offs as seamless as possible.

Zoox has been testing its autonomous vehicle in Las Vegas, Nevada and California and is now expanding towards a commercial launch.

3. Wireless charging

Businesses like WiTricity are securing funding to develop the next-generation charging solutions designed to make EVs more convenient. 

The potential for this solution is ideal for reducing the number of exposed infrastructure solutions on the roadside and will be less invasive than conventional options. Applications for this could be seen in fleet and public transport - wireless electric forecourts - as well as in public car parks and at home.

2. Bidirectional EV charging 

Bidirectional charging allows electric cars to store energy and then supply power back to the grid, which can better support the grid during peak demand periods and provide backup power.

The expansion of bidirectional charging is a natural step forward for smart cities and drivers who support the energy transition. 

“With the bidirectional charging function that is now available, we have tailored a new service offering to the needs of our customers,” said Volkswagen’s Imelda Labbé. “Not only can they save energy costs, but they are also making an important contribution to the sustainable use of energy." 

1. Electrified roads

This is one of the most labour-intensive and infrastructure driven methods of electrification. ‘Arena del Futuro’ is the test bed for Stellantis’ road charging innovation, which is currently in testing with the Fiat 500e and electric buses. It consists of a dedicated piece of road in Chiari, Italy, fitted with Stellantis’ Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology. Sweden is building electric roads which charge electric vehicles as they drive. 

"We think the electrification solution is the way forward for decarbonising the transport sector and we are working with a number of solutions," Jan Pettersson, Director of Strategic Development at Swedish transport administration Trafikverket.
 

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