China Envisions an Electric-Car Future

(DGIwire) – Why are automakers around the world accelerating their efforts to develop electric vehicles? One powerful reason is China. As The New York Times reported recently, the world’s most populous nation has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. According to the Times, Beijing has called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025, and a Chinese official recently said the country would eventually do away with the internal combustion engine in new cars.

China is already the world’s largest maker and seller of electric cars, notes the Times; Chinese buyers were on track to purchase nearly 300,000 of them in 2017, three times the number expected to be sold in the U.S. and more than the rest of the world combined. Electric cars are an increasingly common sight in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. It may be no coincidence that global manufacturers like G.M. and Volkswagen are moving much of their research, development and production of electric cars to China.

“As the world moves to a future dominated by electric vehicles, an associated challenge will be installing the infrastructure required to charge those vehicles in a timely and convenient manner,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo Ltd., the developer of Carbon-Ion™ (C-Ion®) cells, a fast-charging and safe alternative to lithium-ion batteries. “Whether it’s in Beijing or Baltimore, no driver wants to be left high and dry with a low charge, having to wait hours to recharge their vehicle.”

The challenge is a formidable one. The problem is also coming to the fore in Britain, where, as part of its ambitious “decarbonization” target, all cars sold in that country may have to be electric vehicles by 2050—but charging them all will pose a huge logistical challenge. Even with a 50-kilowatt charger, it would take 80 minutes to charge a vehicle with a 90 kilowatt-hour battery from 25 percent to 100 percent, notes a report prepared by SO Energy Insights.

Around the world, utility grids will have to be optimized to support a level of charging that motorists find convenient or else they just won’t use them. Ultra-fast charging, a technology made possible with Carbon-Ion, could be the solution. For example, a 350-kilowatt charger would take less than four minutes to charge an average EV of today from 25 to 100 percent. The smart energy storage in Carbon-Ion cells can provide a much more energy-efficient charging solution for drivers while potentially saving local utilities billions of dollars in infrastructure costs. A bank of ZapGo Carbon-Ion cells could be integrated into electric charging stations across Britain—and around the world—to ensure sufficient power to recharge electric vehicles in the same time as it takes to fill a gas tank now.

“Being on the forefront of the electric car revolution means having to deal with the related technological challenges—and Carbon-Ion could one day play a key role in overcoming some of the knottiest hurdles in this regard,” Voller adds.

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