Frost & Sullivan reports that the world hybrid/ electric vehicle market in 2007 was worth over $710.9 million with a growth rate of 31 percent.
EU Attitudes & Perceptions Towards Sustainability, Environment and Alternate Power-trains5
In June 08 the automotive supplier Continental published the results of a study of 8,000 motorist; 1,000 each from: China, Germany, France, UK, Japan, Austria, Switzerland and the USA.
Consumer Acceptance of Electric Cars 2008
In Apr 2010 Ernst & Young conducted a similar survey, also showing strong consumer interest:
Consumer Acceptance of Electric Cars 2010
Key factors influencing purchasing decisions
Key inhibitors influencing purchasing decisions
Preferred Purchase Method
Ernst & Young Survey Audience Demographics
Our approach removes the four principle barriers inhibiting mainstream adoption of PHEVs :
- Battery driving range
- Access to charging stations
- Performance and handling
It is widely misunderstood that PHEVs do not need any new recharging infrastructure
. A battery pack of 6 kWh (4 kWh usable SOC), will only take 1.8 hrs to recharge at night from the European domestic mains supply. The problem of on street charging can simply be solved by strong 4m aerials extending from the cars, to trail cables overhead to first floor windows. This is a no-cost, safe and secure method. Vehicles can connect directly into the domestic mains supply with standard plugs. Standard conversion plugs would allow vehicles to roam across the EU-27.
As discussed earlier, a PHEV does not have a restricted driving range and does not need charging stations. Our approach combines two 25 kW relatively low cost induction motors connected to the front wheels, relatively small Li-ion batteries and a low cost Libralato engine connected to the rear wheels via a conventional (or possibly CVT) automatic transmission and driveshaft. Inductions motors are less expensive than permanent magnet motors and are not subject to potential shortages in rare earth materials such Neodymium.
Induction motors can deliver power levels of 2-3 times their nominal values for short periods 10 -30 seconds, which is ideal for vehicle acceleration. Therefore the two 25 kW induction motors can deliver 150 kW for up to 10 second periods. This level of power is usually subject to the restrictions of the DC-AC inverter and power electronics, which is why the power electronics costs for the Libralato TtR PHEV16 are somewhat higher. It should also be noted that not all Li-ion batteries of 6 kWh would be capable of delivering this level of power surge (i.e. 2 *400V * 187.5A = 150 kW). This level of power is over specified compared to the average vehicle requirements, however it is deemed necessary in relation to the identified marketing requirements. Electromobility vehicles must be perceived as fun to drive in order to gain mass market adoption.
The other factor particularly important to vehicle handling is distribution of weight. Our approach is to locate the battery as a flat pack on the bottom of the vehicle as in Fig 60. Although a 6kWh Li-ion battery pack will only weigh about 50 kg (150 kWh/tonne plus packaging), which will be offset by the weight reduction afforded by the Libralato engine itself. Placed on the bottom of the vehicle, this will lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity and will improve handling. The two induction motors will weigh about 40 kg each and with the power electronics and dual water cooling systems, the vehicle will weigh about 100 kg more than an equivalent conventional vehicle.
As shown in our cost-effectiveness powertrain comparison table, our approach can reduce the incremental costs of a PHEV powertrain to a level in which fuel cost savings will pay back the initial investment in about 1.3 years. After this we project annual fuel cost savings in the order of 2/3 rds. Of course these projections are dependent on the (highly variable) price of gasoline, the price of electricity and how the vehicle is driven.
Opel Ampera, due 2011
Source: Frost & Sullivan May 2008