Affordable Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
Source: Pixabay Tesla and their newly released Model 3 is the talk of the town, with its improved range, modern design and drop in pricing. However, for most commuters and families, buying a fully electric car is not yet feasible, given that they are still more than double the price of a decent family sized sedan or SUV. In the US, the most affordable electric car is the Smart Electric Drive, which is both tiny and has a maximum range of just 58 miles. Retailing for around $24,000, it is no match for the petrol driven family sedan that comes off the shelf at around $14.000. While the pricing is yet to catch up the technology, it is clear that hybrid and electric vehicles are the way of the future. Hybrid technology gained traction with the release of the Toyota Prius, which was reasonably affordable, while offering the goods on all accounts. Today, just about every major car manufacture has a hybrid or electric vehicle on the road or currently in the design phase.
Electrified Personal Transport
While a mass-market electric car is still the end goal of the automotive industry, there are plenty of strides being made in electrified personal transportation. The introduction of Lithium-Ion battery technology has had a knock-on effect on a number of industries, with smartphones now able to retain charge for longer so users can enjoy mobile slots for an extended period of time, solar panels able to maximise their storage potential, and mobility equipment optimised to function in a far more user-friendly manner. Lithium-Ion battery technology also means that electrified vehicles can be lighter and more powerful than ever, making them a more feasible option for many. The first product that got people talking about personal transport was the Segway self-balancing scooter. The product may have failed in that it was not affordable enough for the masses, but it got people thinking about electric transport for home and recreational use. Today, Hoverboards are becoming far more affordable too, but still belong in the recreational section of transportation. Source: Pixabay
If there is one vehicle that has fully embraced battery-powered technology, it is the humble bicycle. Today, there are no less than 20 different factory-made e-bikes cruising the roads and sidewalks of the city. Major bike manufacturers like Ridgeback, Trek, Emu and Giant have all come out with hybrid peddle/electric bicycles for on and off-road cycling. The lightweight frame and the integration of peddle power means that e-bikes are ideal for commuters that want a bit of a boost. The lightweight lithium-ion battery fits neatly into the frame, without hindering space of weight. Fold-up e-bikes are becoming more popular in the cities where one can easily fit the bike into the boot of a car or take it on public transport. The electrification of bicycles is not a passing phase. As the technology improves and gets more affordable, sales are escalating as users look for alternative means of transport.
It’s not just the bicycle that has gone electric; the motorcycle and scooter industry has recently stepped up production of fully electric two-wheel mopeds and performance bikes. Electric mopeds are slowly filling up the roads with manufactures like Vespa all coming on board with fully electric models that have an average drive distance between 60km and 100km.
High Performance Motorcycles
In the motorcycle market, even high-performance bikes are getting the transition to electric motors. Major bike manufacturers like Zero Motorcycles, Ducati and Aprilia have all tinkered with an electric prototype and future plans for mass-market release. Even Harley Davidson, who are known for their obnoxiously loud engines and excessive stylings have submitted to the will of the people. The first fully electric Harley is due hit the road in the next year or two, with fans already interested in what the company has to offer. The future of transportation is electric, that much is certain, how quickly the transition is made comes down to price, styling, and the public’s willingness to let go of traditional ideas.