I can’t imagine that too many people relish the thought of running out of gas or, at some time in the future, when driving an electric vehicle (EV), running out of juice. “Range anxiety is the fear that the latter might happen, and Frost & Sullivan suggests that it can be mitigated with telematics. The less anxiety the better, I say.
Range anxiety remains the major challenge to be resolved to facilitate mass adoption of EVs in the coming years, according to Praveen Chandrasekar, Frost & Sullivan’s global program manager for telematics and infotainment.
“Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and city electric vehicles (CEVs) have a modest driving range of less than 100 miles; therefore, they require some form of charging environment-related alerts and smart navigation that informs the driver of the charge status, distance covered with charge remaining, and charging stations on the route,” says. “As the demand for NEVs and CEVs is likely to increase along with mega city expansion, the telematics development for these vehicle segments becomes increasingly vital.”
Chandrasekar estimates that telematics will have a penetration of more than 80% of all new EVs sold by 2015. Smart navigation hardware will become a standard feature, and the cost of telematics services is likely to be bundled with energy subscription plans. Besides connecting to the battery and knowing the state of charge, telematics services will identify the nearest charging station and allow the driver to book time there.
Meanwhile, Ford and Microsoft said recently that they are collaborating to implement the Microsoft Hohm energy management application for Ford electric vehicles. The firms said Hohm will help owners determine when and how to most efficiently and affordably recharge battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles, and should also help utility companies manage the added demands of electric vehicles on the electric grid.
Then all we’ll need are conveniently located charging stations.