Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Infrastructure Debate on Energy Independent Vehicles Affects Freight and Road Haulage

Analysts Host Conference and Say Other Experts Comments are 'Mindless'
Shipping News Feature
UK – NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – As with all emerging technologies opinions as to their development vary widely and now it appears the handbags are out over the viability of electric vehicles, and specifically what is required in the way of infrastructure when it comes to supporting the new generation of cars, vans and freight trucks, some of which are seen as key to the future of specific sectors of the road haulage industry.

Market research and business intelligence company IDTechEx, has pulled no punches with its latest summary of the situation calling another ‘leading analyst’s’ comments stating the UK requires an investment of between €33 and €87 billion by 2040 to fit up to 2.5 million charging points as ‘typical mindless extrapolation’.

Headquartered in the UK but with offices in the US, Germany and the Far East, IDTechEx points out that not only are vehicle ranges being constantly improved i.e. extended, but that certain vehicles, land, air and water based, may never need recharging in the conventional sense, making their own power from daylight, infrared, wind, waves and tide. Dr Peter Harrop analyst at IDTechEx predicts:

"Energy independent electric vehicles (EIVs) will be a multi-billion dollar business long before 2040. Trillion dollar investment in charging stations providing electricity or hydrogen for EVs is simply not going to happen. Many big names are involved in EIVs including Facebook, two sister companies of Google, Airbus and the Chinese Government. This is not the wild-eyed dream of some hobbyist."

We may be still a long way from seeing such technology powering the larger road haulage vehicles which will seemingly always play a major distribution role within the global supply chain. The market for vans, particularly in the home delivery sector, have however already seen many of the larger companies, DHL etc. dipping their toes into technologies which suit their operational profile i.e. comparatively low mileage, regular urban rounds.

As with other innovations affecting electrically powered vehicles - solar roads which transform light into electricity and charge vehicles as they pass above, charging points which transfer power directly from the floor of the parking bay to the vehicle using a process of magnetic induction with no mechanical connection between the two - so the new concept of completely independently powered cars and vans is becoming a reality.

IDTechEx is hosting an ‘Energy Independent Electric Vehicles’ conference 27 - 28 September 2017 at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) where the winning solar road and water racers are made, and all the leading technologies are researched. There will be six optional master classes on EIVs and their new enabling technologies on September 25 and 29 and a small exhibition and viewing when Hanergy of China, Lightyear of the Netherlands and Sono Motors of Germany present on their street legal, on-road solar cars that will be on sale within three years and IFEVS of Italy reveals a wind+solar energy independent restaurant van, including the cooking!

These vehicles, one an SUV, have the option of operation without ever using a charging station and the keynote speech at the conference will be given by Toyota with other names such as Nissan also scheduled to attend. The full agenda can be seen and bookings made HERE.

Photo: The truly innovative ‘Restaurant Car’ from IFEVS.