In early July, a leading California based electric vehicle manufacturer rolled more than 5,000 cars off their assembly line in a single week, proving that they can mass-produce their signature electric cars. This threshold crossed is one of many in recent memory for the exciting and disruptive electric vehicle industry, and innovations in the field are following at a rapid pace.
As of June 1, 2018, there are more than three million electric vehicles, or EVs, on the road. The influx of users and the maturity of the technology is allowing electric cars to be more affordable, more advanced and just better overall. Of course, the real secret sauce for most top EV companies is twofold: battery technology and AI for autonomous driving (data collection and real-world decision making considering various inputs from other vehicles, pedestrians, weather, etc.). A growing industry bolsters the next leap into the future, and JVIS is at the forefront of change, partnering with multiple California-based EV car companies currently in production and pre-production, developing a host of technologies to supplement and enhance the EV revolution’s innovations.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
As a company that believes in the future of electric vehicles, we serve our employees that drive EVs by having electric vehicle charging stations at both of our Shelby facilities as well as our global headquarters. It’s this standardization and ease of charging that will lead to the next level of electric car usage. Soon, cars will be charged in minutes. Already, you can fill up your car battery by checking in on a smartphone app. Additionally, PluginAmerica has a locator for charging stations in your local communities, which makes it even easier to recharge on your trip.
There are also dozens of charging networks popping up in various states. Blink Network, ChargePoint, EVGo, Greenlots, and The Electric Circuit account for thousands of charge stations across the country. According to PluginAmerica, “Plug-in electric vehicles are now viable for most lifestyles and budgets. With more than two dozen models now commercially available, some 800,000 Americans have made the switch to driving electric.”
Innovations in Electric Car Batteries
But with charging, improvements comes questions of battery cost and efficiency. JVIS is known for our unique and specialized lighting elements. In an electric car, such integrated lighting needs to have a separate power source. Is there enough power in current lithium-ion batteries to do the job, and can the charging time be reduced? Likely, the future will be solid-state batteries, which could expand driving distances by hundreds of miles and reduce charge times down to a minute. In a few years, “extreme fast charging” should also be available, charging a current EV up to 80 percent in just a half hour.
Wireless Charging and Autonomous Vehicles
Wireless charging is something near and dear to our hearts here at JVIS, and wireless charging for electric cars is coming sooner than you think – even when the vehicles are on the move. The University of Utah has outfitted a few buses with wireless charging pads, allowing them to get their battery into the green passively at each stop.
This is just one of the few new perks to electric vehicle adoption that’s leading to the expansion of urban fleets everywhere. Soon, that wirelessly charging bus will be driven autonomously, like the fleets currently in development by Uber, Lyft and even General Motors.
At JVIS, we see a golden era for electric vehicles on the horizon. Stronger batteries, smarter AI and more efficient charging methods are just the baselines of what’s possible in the months and years to come, and we expect to be pushing forward as innovators along with our peers.
So, the next time you visit our facilities in Shelby, feel free to plug-in alongside us as we move into the electric future.