Past, Present and Future
Ever heard about? Electric
vehicles were among the earliest
automobiles in the early 1900’s. They held many vehicle land speed
records and at one point in history out-sold gasoline-powered vehicles, but
their limited range set them back later. Exhaust emissions or dependency on
imported foreign crude oil? At that time, nobody was concerned about these
issues. Thanks to developments in the battery-technology and the growing
segment of demanding and environmentally aware customers and governments,
vehicles propelled (more or less) by electricity are hitting the mainstream
Do you remember the awkward, rough Diesel
engine? The 'common rail' system turned it to a top seller at the end of the 90’s
and about 50 percent of all new car sales in Europe are Diesel even today. A
similar sweeping change has already begun concerning the green vehicles.
Series or parallel hybrid…erhaps battery-electric car?
Lithium-Ion or Zinc-Air batteries… perhaps e fuel-cells?
Synthetic or bio fuel… perhaps Hydrogen?
Utility network based or local charging… perhaps battery replacement?
Whichever you choose, you are right. Experts all over the world agree
that at least three, four or more main concepts are to run parallel to
compete for the next decades.
Japanese manufacturers like Toyota/Lexus or Honda were the first to
realize the importance of this market segment, they have been producing hybrid
cars since the millenary. By early 2009 more than 1.2 million Toyota Prius were
sold worldwide. Mitsubishi is new at this league. Europe doesn’t want to drop
behind either, so BMW and Mercedes are now offering hybrid models, Volkswagen and Porsche –
of course – will join them. Audi is planning to produce a battery-electric sports car
while Renault wants to become the No. 1 electric car manufacturer. Ford,
Chevrolet and GMC are the most important hybrid car manufacturers in the USA.
The most Experts think that the Chinese industry will play a key role in this
segment. At the time being BYD is the most famous Chinese manufacturer to offer
hybrid cars also in Europe (from 2010) and in the USA (from 2011). Even Ferrari
and Lamborghini are rumoured to be developing hybrid technologies. Why? Because
the electric drive train is not only very efficient and reliable, but it has huge
torque as well, thus is fan to drive. In a
word: it is better. Even if the best way to gain and store the energy still may
be discussed a lot, the electric drive train itself seems to be a perfect
choice not only for city cars but also for high performance vehicles such as
sports cars, luxury cars or off-road vehicles.
In other words: the automotive industry is changing, the need for
alternative drive train components is growing. But who will provide the
carmakers with new parts, which companies will become the suppliers of the near
future? Only those, who have realised this demand in due time and who can prove
the necessary experience by references. No wonder why huge companies join small
projects. Just like Siemens provides German sports cars eRuf Greenster and
Stromster or E-Wolf E1 and E2 with electric motor. This is the reason why Frazer-Nash gives
the technical background for the ItalDesign Namir and Brusa helped
to convert the Gumpert Apollo in hybrid and build up the Protoscar Lampo.
This is a growing market… Establish your reputation today in order to be the next supplier of Mercedes, Toyota or Ferrari.