This week, electric vehicle charging took the spotlight after an announcement from the Biden Administration and a troubling study on EV chargers out of California. There was also some significant news out of the EU regarding gasoline vehicles as we continue to see more ambitious emissions targets announced globally. Finally, we review some interesting developments in the self-driving technologies and ADAS spaces.
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Hot Topics of 6/6/2022 - 6/10/2022
- Biden announces standards to make electric vehicle charging stations accessible
- Volta Launches Program To Make EV Charging More Accessible, Affordable
- Canadian EV charging company invests $3M in Michigan for first U.S. facility
- Almost a Quarter of All Public EV Chargers in the Bay Area Don't Work, Study Finds
- An EV charging rebate program expands in Massachusetts – here's why it matters
- Michigan pushes for more electric vehicle charging stations
The charging standards announcement by the Biden Administration are sorely needed to gain customer acceptance of EVs. Lack of charging infrastructure and maintenance are key complaints in this demographic. Also, due to the variety of charging plugs, the exact specifications must be clear on the charger.
But, I do caution on the point of distance between charging stations. This distance may be nonsensical, and it probably makes sense to understand the customer demographics and EV buyer density to determine the number and density of stations. We need to understand who is buying EVs and where they are regularly driving – we have that data and can make an excellent analysis. This analysis will allow us to deploy these stations at the right place for the right user. Let's use data to make intelligent decisions here. As we know, gas stations are far from being equally spaced, which was done very purposefully (although I know driving in rural areas with low fuel in the morning can be very upsetting).
Further, we need to have cloud infrastructure communications between the charging infrastructure and the vehicle that directs a user to the charging station, makes a reservation for them, confirms it is operable, and more to ease the angst for the EV user. It must be seamless for them to transition to an EV experience from an internal combustion engine experience. Seamless, friendly, and stress-free…sounds great, huh?
Lastly, we need solutions for MUDs (multi-unit dwellings) and urban dwellers. I see extension cords running from houses to street parking (over sidewalks) in many urban areas – this isn't sustainable. Let's consider how we can use dollars to fix this situation, as urban dwellers are the most likely candidates for an EV purchase or lease.
- Goodbye gasoline cars? EU lawmakers vote to ban new sales from 2035
- Industry groups are uneasy after EU lawmakers back 2035 zero-emissions target
- Automakers back U.S. restoring California emissions authority
- Minnesota auto dealers sue to block state's vehicle emission standards
- Increasing Stringent Vehicle Emission Standards and Fuel Efficiency Demand to Drive the Automotive Exhaust Sensor Market at a Value Pool of US$ 37 Billion by the end of 2032, Fact.MR Research
The EU isn't going backward for sure, and it's clear that the governments are winning the war against gasoline engines. On another point, they are moving fast on creating congestion tax zones and car-free zones. If you check what's happening in London since the advent of the congestion tax, it's pretty amazing. Bicycles are everywhere, AND the streets were modified so bicyclists can traverse safely. These changes represent the stick mentality that's been proven to work. I'm not convinced this would work well here in the US, but it does give me pause.
The automakers are all global, meaning they must satisfy all requirements, and they will follow the most stringent for sure. All other markets will be trailing, but the technology will be ready when they catch up.
Automakers will rely on significant hybrid and pure EV purchases to meet the new fuel economy standards. This reliance means that the incentives which are now on hold need to be resurrected and the cap on the number of vehicles sold by the automakers to continue receiving the tax rebate. Let's keep talking about this as the automakers need support to meet these fuel economy goals.
Self-Driving Cars and ADAS Technologies
- Toyota Now Offering The AV-Ready Sienna Autono-MaaS To Automated Driving Developers
- GM's Cruise scores first permit in California to carry paying riders in driverless cars
- There are now fully driverless cars with no human behind the wheel for safety on the roads of Miami and Austin
- Keeping the Driver in Driver Assistance Systems
- Continental prepared for future of ADAS
- US safety regulators expand Tesla Autopilot investigation
One big reason we need MaaS, and other services rolled out (autonomous or not) is that cars are too expensive, and we need car usership/ridership solutions. We will continue to see fleet services offered, and these can primarily be profitable AND affordable if they run 24/7 and without a driver.
Then, the focus on ADAS is imperative. We have too many systems with too many names and different operating methods, confusing the customer and not doing what the ADAS systems are supposed to do: keeping the occupants and vulnerable road users safe. Several different mechanisms have different levels of effectiveness. As we move to a multi-modal mobility ecosystem, these users must communicate and understand where they are relative to each other. Then, the vehicle must control adequately to avoid the vulnerable road user. Often, the bicyclist or pedestrian comes seemingly out of nowhere, and the human can't respond quickly enough, or the human is distracted. Still, the car should never be distracted and see this and take action. This technology is the key to keeping our mobility environments safe, and I believe these ADAS standards will allow this to happen.
President and CEO
Center for Automotive Research