Electrical Vehicles Activities Around the World

Part of the Power Electronics and Power Systems book series (PEPS)


To understand the development of electric vehicles it is helpful to recognize constraints that were overcome during its history and the lessons learned from these constraints. In the earliest history of automobiles electrical cars initially dominated, but were pushed aside by cars with a combustion engine. In the 1990s research and demonstrations intensified and built a good basis for actual development of electrical vehicles. Discussion of the results achieved and lessons learned from millions of kilometers of road testing is worthwhile but in addition to technological developments such as light-weight vehicles, highly efficient drive systems, increased battery performance and demonstration of solar-powered race cars one should also consider the various boundary conditions, for example oil price development, goals for emission reduction, intermodal transport concepts, and interdisciplinary approaches which have jointly changed how mobility is viewed in recent years.

We describe key points concerning such field testing and the renaissance in electric vehicles that occurred around 2010. We discuss progress in lithium battery technology for high power and high energy density, improvement in integrated power electronics, preparations for roll-out, and there is discussion of a variety of electric vehicles manufactured by the car industry. Only recently the results in terms of performance, costs of operation and consumer acceptance were disheartening but now incentive schemes, regulatory frameworks, new business models, and the availability of high-performance electric vehicles have become key enablers of this new technology. In this regard, it is promising that electric vehicles will soon be a part of a green transport solution (green mobility) powered by renewable energy and a new smart electricity concept.

Large research programs have been initiated by different regions, national states, and international research cooperation. These activities accelerate the development and definition of standardized solutions. Market introduction of electric vehicles needs the construction of an additional infrastructure as well. Indeed, electricity is widespread, but new business models need special controllable charging pods and fast-charging stations to guarantee mobility, even if they are only relatively seldom used.

An examination of different market research shows a lot of effort in Europe, North America, and the Asian region. Helpful information was collected by studying the experience of roll-out programs in the different countries.


Biomass Nickel Graphite Europe Lithium 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VERBUND AGViennaAustria
  2. 2.Electrical Engineering DepartmentTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)LyngbyDenmark

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