Fully ⚡️Charged

All this talk about a big wave of electric vehicles has me excited about how the electric vehicle market is poised to explode!

FULLY ⚡️CHARGED

By Tony Donaldson

This pandemic has been crazy, and hopefully, by the time you read this, it will be coming to an end. It’s been a very different time. Our office is much emptier these days, as many of us only go in when we have to, while the others all stay home. As strange as that is for some, for me it’s closer to normal in that I have worked mostly from home for the five years I’ve served here as editor of EBA.

The technology we now have has made this possible. Thirty years ago these offices ran on PCs that had 5 1/4-inch floppy discs, and the only way to turn in stories was via “sneakernet,” meaning you had to take the floppy disc out of your machine and walk it over to someone else’s desk. I can’t imagine what that workflow would’ve been like if the pandemic had happened then.

 

“General Motors promises that they’ll offer 30 fully electric models by 2025 and be 100-percent electric vehicles by 2035.” 

 

Now we have internet connectivity, Zoom meetings, remote access and so many great technologies to keep working. It’s truly amazing!

Of course, with the pandemic causing so many people to “shelter in place,” everyone is clamoring to get outside just for a little healthy activity. This past year we’ve seen a massive spike in the demand for bikes and even a complete stop of the supply chain at first. We saw a lot of empty bike racks in stores while they waited for inventory. 

Repair departments at bike shops we’ve spoken to have all said that they were booked solid for up to six weeks. If people couldn’t buy a new bike, at the very least they certainly were going to get their old bikes up and running again. 

Thankfully, to some degree, the supply chain has restarted and sales have steadily remained high. There’s plenty of speculation as to whether this growth is permanent or just for the past year of the pandemic, but as more people are vaccinated and things are starting to relax and hopefully get back to normal, we still see high sales figures out there.

JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON

We’ve seen most all of the major bicycle manufacturers bringing out their own e-bikes and also even several vehicle companies that usually make gas-powered vehicles. Some companies buy into an existing e-bike manufacturer and have products rebadged as their own, while others, like Harley-Davidson, are making their own.

Other companies are really buying into electric vehicles. General Motors promises that they’ll offer 30 fully electric models by 2025 and be 100-percent electric vehicles by 2035.  Amazon ordered 100,000 delivery vans from startup Rivian, who hasn’t even started shipping their unique pick-up trucks and SUVs but is already churning out their first delivery vans this year. EV-oriented Ideanomics just invested millions in a stake in Energica, the Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer, as well as farm e-tractor manufacturer Solectrac, and they are focused on facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles.

All this talk about a big wave of electric vehicles has me excited about how the electric vehicle market is poised to explode! Expect to see an even more rapid increase in the technology, as well as a commensurate drop in price as the manufacturing of these products scale up. 

Tesla has already developed a battery that will cost 56 percent less to manufacture, as well as sourcing all the materials more locally to lower the manufacturing footprint, as well as increasing overall sustainability. It will take them until 2023 to fully scale this up at their Gigafactories globally. I love that they make all of their stuff open-source instead of proprietary, as it will inspire and drive more innovation, which will benefit everyone—from businesses to consumers.

We’re going to have to really expand the infrastructure, both in terms of more charge stations but also faster charging technologies. After the power outages in Texas caused by the storm created by the polar vortex, we do have to factor that in. I think there are going to be amazing opportunities to create more and better infrastructure and charging tech, and that will help everyone, including electric bicycles. 

“Range anxiety” will eventually be a quaint phrase that no one uses any longer.


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