In a new Gates Notes blog post, American billionaire and noted philanthropist Bill Gates has talked about making transportation cleaner because vehicle emissions strongly affect climate change. The second richest man in the world, per forbes.com, is of the opinion that the EV revolution has begun.
Gates begins his latest EV talk stating that unlike many of the eco-friendly alternatives he has written on his blog in the past, people can go out and buy one right now. If we consider this in Indian parlance, the American philanthropist’s words apply to tens of cities already where cars like the Mahindra eVerito, Tata Nexon EV, MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona EV are available, and electric bikes and electric scooters available in far more locations.
The battery price is dropping significantly. Since 2010, the cost of batteries has reduced by 85%, Gates notes. So, EVs will become cheaper moving forward and come at prices equivalent of ICE vehicles in a few years. In fact, there’s a €30,000-VW ID.3 coming to Germany next year. That’s approximately the price of a mid-level VW Golf Mk8; €29,687.23 is the price of the base VW Golf mild-hybrid in Germany.
Some companies are pushing for cheaper batteries, and QuantumScape, in which the Microsoft co-founder has invested, is one of them. In the video we have embedded above, Jagdeep Singh, Founder and CEO, QuantumScape, talks about the next-gen battery technology the company is working on – solid-state battery. Solid-state batteries require lower space to accommodate, have higher energy density (which means higher range), support faster charging and are safer as they don’t have a liquid electrolyte.
Volkswagen Group also has invested in QuantumScape. Just back in June this year, it announced an additional US$200 million investment in it over the previous investment of over US$100 million. The German conglomerate simplifies the main advantage of solid-state batteries – range – saying that a solid-state fuel battery can increase the range (WLTP) of the VW e-Golf from 231 km to approximately 750 km. That’s a whopping 225% increase, and certainly a big deal!
Hyundai Motor Group, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and many other companies also are working on solid-state batteries. This is the battery technology that is likely to lead the replacement of ICE vehicles with EVs on a mass scale across the globe in the second half of the decade.
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