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Large-tonnage EVs

Large-tonnage EVs
« on: 27 August , 2019, 22:15:35 pm »
Hello everyone,

Lately, we have been discussing a lot about electric mobility, but I have realized that we have not yet talked about large-tonnage vehicles. That's why I started this topic.

Electric vehicles, in general, are complex, but heavy vehicles are much more. Manufacturers are facing great challenges developing them because they require high power charging stations, more advanced batteries, better refrigeration power, etc...

The development of more powerful charging stations brings along with it the need for higher quality in the energy supply. Taking into account the importance of power and safety, it seems that V2G technology is currently the best option for large-tonnage EVs. As this type of electric vehicles need a lot of power, it is feared that charging times will increase, which is why it is necessary to develop better batteries. However, researchers, to solve this problem, are investigating new charging methods such as overhead power lines or wireless charging. Another problem with batteries is that they have certain limitations when charging and discharging the battery at low temperatures. The consequences are the reduction of power and range, although solid-state batteries are expected to solve the problem of the reduction of autonomy at low and high temperatures.

Having said all this, I think it is clear that developing large-tonnage EVs is very complicated, but not impossible. Volvo, Mercedes, Tesla and more companies have already manufactured electric trucks and buses.

Planes are the most polluting vehicle of all, that's why it would be great to create electric aeroplanes. Companies are working on that, but we still have to wait a long time until they are fully developed. The same goes for big ships.

To sum up, I would say that large-tonnage EVs have to be much more developed, but in some years, they might be integrated into our society.

What do you think about this topic?

Best regards,
Eider Del Hoyo (Spain)

Re: Large-tonnage EVs
« Reply #1 on: 29 August , 2019, 12:46:32 pm »
Hello Eider,

I must say I agree with your perspective of this situation. If we want to achieve an all-electric future, large-tonnage vehicles should not be an exception. In fact, the main reason why electric mobility exists is the pollution produced by transportation, and the terrestrial vehicles which pollute the most are indeed large-tonnage transports.

Nevertheless, these kinds of vehicles are aimed at specific clients, which usually are logistics companies or industrial enterprises. Right now, automakers are focused on manufacturing automobiles for the average consumer. The main consequence of this is, as you said, that electric large-tonnage vehicles are much less developed than regular electric vehicles.

Although there are some projects and prototypes of electric trucks coming from some of the giants of the automotive industry, such as Daimler, Volvo, Man or Tesla. These vehicles are not any extended among potential buyers because they are way more expensive than a similar gasoline or diesel lorry. However, I feel confident that electric trucks will be much more common during the next decade.

Regarding aerial transport, some progress has been made. Some months ago, I heard about a solar plane which was able to take advantage of the energy coming from the sun and power its electric engines so the aircraft could fly. Indeed, the airplane was able to complete a full trip around the world. I leave a link to this news.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qbROmxxIOU

Finally, in relation to maritime transport, electric engines have been installed in small vessels which cover a little distance, for example, to take people from one bank of a river to the other or to move around a town with many canals, such as Venice. The case of this marvelous Italian municipality is very unusual. In general, we believe that the main polluter in urban areas is transportation along with industrial activities. And when we think about transportation, we usually visualize automobiles as the ones which contaminate the most. Nevertheless, in Venice, the biggest source of pollution are diesel boats, therefore, the town hall is promoting electric vessels to have a cleaner environment. Amazingly the local authorities have carried out several restrictions which affect pollutant boats in order to encourage Venice´s citizens to acquire electric boats, just what is going on in our capital cities but with small vessels!

I leave you a link to an article which explains this scenario with greater detail.

https://plugboats.com/electric-boats-exempt-from-venice-restrictions/

In conclusion, I think that the electric revolution will only arrive to these sectors once the electric mobility transition is completed for the average person. Therefore, I believe that we will have to wait beyond 2025 to see real progress in this area.

Kind regards,
Pablo García