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Electric vehicles and the Energy Transition

merahi reda's picture
Energy Expert in Electricity Generation., Spe sonelgaz

I have dedicated more than 13 years to working with SPE (SONELGAZ Algerian Power Company), my experience in the Sector of Power Station allowed me to benefit a lot of skills and qualifications in...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Jan 31, 2022
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Currently, to face warming and climate change, the use all technologies that reduce the effects of greenhouses is mandatory. Moreover, the energy transition issue does not concern only Eectricity Generation Sector, but the contribution of other sectors of activities is essential to accelerate Energy Transition.

The transport sector either private or public is among the key sectors and it is the main culprit of Global Warming. However, according [2] the transport sector's Co2 emission, it reached eight billion metric tons in 2018, which represents 12% of the global Co2 emission. These rates are important and explain the impact of transport sector on climate change.

APimages/European Union-EP  

Car manufacturers have responded to reduce Co2 emissions by developing new kind of engines less polluting, despite this, the emissions do not drop for several raisons:

  • In some countries, the age of the Cars varies between 20 to 30 years or more.
  • The development budget for less polluting engines is limited by the price of the global Car,
  • Many consumers prefer comfort in cars over other factors such as emission reduction, safety.
  • The availability of fuel and low cost is one of the factors that could prolong the existence of fuel cars.

Otherwise, Rail transport such as trains and TGV is better developed than Road transport such as cars, buses .... Etc. Electric trains are in service for a long time over a century which allows this sector to progress either in terms of efficiency or speed, high Speed TGV at is the result of several years of experience in this sector.

Since the discovery of the first electric car in 1899, automotive specialists have considered EVs as an alternative solution for combustion cars, but their industry is slowed down because of the success of combustion cars. After the oil crisis of 1973, specialists returned to electric models and since this period research and development began in order to develop a model able of competing with the combustion model. Unfortunately, the development stage took a long time until the release of the 100% electric models and these types are leading to progress in terms of speed and autonomy.

Nowadays, all conditions are favorable for EV takeoff such as climatic requirements, government support and investment. however, they still miss consumer confidence in order to abandon combustion engine cars and to end domination of combustion engine cars which lasted more than a century.

For the development of large-scale EV sector, several points need to be improved in order to increase global sales of EV.

  • In fact, as long as charging stations powered by Electrical Grid, EV subsidiary slows down global energy transition. However, if charging stations are autonomous and powered by renewable energy sources, at that time, EV will become an effective actor in energy transition.
  • Development of electric cars is based on an important component which is Electric batteries, these last requires more development to achieve the performance of combustion engine cars in terme of capacity, autonomy and charging time.
  • To make costs more competitive, two actions must be taken: large-scale investments and opening new markets in different areas. To achieve these goals, the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the maintenance and operation of the electric cars is compulsory.

It should also be added that there are other points but they are less important than the previous ones. in addition, Car industry is facing other challenges and trends, as follows:

  • Realization of autonomous cars running on 100% Renewable Energy is among the concerns of specialists of sector. if these cars are evolved enough, these new kind may radically change electric car industry.
  • Hydrogen cars is another kind of electric, powered by hydrogen instead of Diesel and fuel Oil. The great advantage of this type is that H2 industry is mature and in service for a long time. Hydrogen cars is based on fuel cells which are used in various other fields such as power generation, space ... Etc. However, H2 cars present a risk of explosion in case of H2 leaks, these incidents can occur either in the charging stations or in the cars themselves even if the necessary measures are not taken.

And finaly, Electric cars are becoming a primary requirement in Road Transport not only to reduce Greenhouse Emissions but also to relaunch the Energy Transition.

 

Référence :

[1] Global EV Outlook 2021, Accelerating ambitions despite the pandemic.

[2] Global transport CO2 emissions breakdown, Statista

Discussions
Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 31, 2022
  • To make costs more competitive, two actions must be taken: large-scale investments and opening new markets in different areas. To achieve these goals, the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the maintenance and operation of the electric cars is compulsory.

What's your opinion on the role of private companies to shoulder this load vs. governments stepping in to help build it up? 

merahi reda's picture
merahi reda on Feb 1, 2022

Thank you for your comment, I always insist that major projects such as the energy transition even in the automotive sector for its success it needs the contributions of all private or public economic actors.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 31, 2022

"To achieve these goals, the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the maintenance and operation of the electric cars is compulsory."

Merahi, the infrastructure necessary for the maintenance of cars has undergone a quantum change with the development of electric ones. Tesla has eliminated the automotive "middleman" - car dealers - with savings for consumers, and a potentially lucrative sidestream for car companies.
Of course, manufacturing cars that need a lot of maintenance is a double-edged sword - and early experiences with Teslas show early adopters with ones that broke down are no more patient or forgiving than their internal-combustion counterparts. But fortunately for everyone there are fewer moving parts in EVs  - less stuff to break down.

Our number #1 priority should be dercarbonizing the generation of electricity. If our electricity isn't clean, progress in reducing carbon emissions will be forever limited.

merahi reda's picture
merahi reda on Feb 1, 2022

Thank you Mr BOB, you are right that electric cars need less maintenance compared to combustion cars. decarbonization is one option to accelerate the energy transition, but there are other more important options.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Feb 2, 2022

Merahi,   Great point and a good look at transportation. QUOTE=In some countries, the age of the Cars varies between 20 to 30 years or more.

Those old vehicles will take a long time to go away. The real key to the growth of the Electric Vehicles are the Lithium batteries. They are non toxic, long lasting, light weight and getting better each day. Many are now coming with V2G Vehicle to GRID making them pay for themself. The same battery cells that make electric cars and Semi trucks are also used in the Power Wall and Power Packs for homes and the GRID. In FACT the GRID is adding them by the Mega Watt.   

    An Electric Vehicle is over 4 times more efficient, doesn't need a transmission, makes no exhaust and can run on Renewable Energy. They also most never use the brakes since they have REGENERATIVE braking and put the power back into the battery on long downhills and stopping at every light and stop sign. So the old vehicles will still be here but who would want to own and operate one. 

merahi reda's picture
merahi reda on Feb 6, 2022

Thank you for your comment, the objective of this publication is to show the oportance of autonomy and its charging stations in order to move towards a large-scale global energy transition.

merahi reda's picture
Thank merahi for the Post!
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