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Why EVs will have better tech interface in the industry?

Lithium-ion batteries, by virtue of their high energy density, coupled with highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motors, have endowed modern electric vehicles with a practical range and exhilarating performance.

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PCQ Bureau
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Innovations in Electric Vehicle

Today, electric vehicles (EV) are fast emerging as the favoured choice for motorists the world over who are seeking lower cost of ownership, higher efficiency, innovative features, and increased sustainability from their vehicles. All thanks to the burgeoning charging network, EV owners are now never too far from a charging station in urban areas.

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India, for example, has over 10,000 public charging stations across the country, and this number is growing with every passing day. Lithium-ion batteries, by virtue of their high energy density, coupled with highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motors, have endowed modern electric vehicles with a practical range and exhilarating performance, in addition to being low on maintenance and easy on the wallet.

Tides of change

The only constant is change, and the evolving customer preferences are testament to this fact. The EV buyer is well connected, well-travelled and most importantly, well aware of the world around them. Climate change is a global concern, and for the discerning EV consumer of today, sustainability has metamorphosed from a mere buzz word to a complete way of life. Ecological consciousness has percolated into every facet of a consumer’s existence, right from the clothes they wear to the cars they drive.

EVs, by virtue of their zero tail pipe emissions, are the cars of choice for anyone who wants to play their part in alleviating global warming. Surging fossil fuel prices, coupled with the decreasing costs of EV batteries that have been achieved due to the scale of production, in addition to the evolution of technologies and conducive government policies, have acted as a catalyst for the wide-scale transition towards electric mobility for both public as well as personal transport. 

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The EV consumer today is looking for enhanced customer experience through intuitive user interfaces, seamless connectivity, and top-tier features, in addition to the standard facets of reliability, practicality, performance, and safety.

These attributes have facilitated Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to approach product design and engineering for electric mobility solutions as innovative tech companies rather than mere automakers. This paradigm shift has resulted in the introduction of electric vehicles that have kept better pace with the rapidly evolving market requirements in terms of technology deployment as compared to their ICE counterparts.  

Connectivity and technology improve breed

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, optimization is the mantra for consumers who wish to stay constantly connected to work and play. Modern EVs are essentially gadgets on wheels, with their all-electric powertrains and software enabled user interface allowing seamless adoption of technologies as seen in rapidly evolving electronic devices like mobile phones. 

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In this evolving era of mobility, the vehicles of old are now transitioning to software on wheels. With the effective use of software, real time monitoring of vital parameters like residual state of charge, tyre pressures, battery health, and motor performance help schedule preventive maintenance as and when needed.

It also plays a major role in keeping the EV and its occupants safe through systems like the battery management system, which acts as the protector of the battery pack. This goes a long way to reduce the occurrences of breakdowns and does wonders to drive up the confidence that EV owners have in their vehicles.

With over-the-air (OTA) connectivity, software upgrades can be done to EVs on the road, hassle-free, just like what one would do with a mobile phone, enhancing the ownership experience. Customer experience is further enhanced with intuitive UX and UI, which make EVs – despite their relative nascence in comparison to ICE vehicles – easier and less intimidating for a wider audience to adopt seamlessly.  

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Various digital solutions like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being employed to judiciously monitor current draw from the battery and energy consumption by the traction motor to maximise the range of EVs. This is done by collecting insights in the form of telematics from the vehicle and then providing actionable outputs that help the driver eke out maximum efficiency and performance from their EV.

Into the horizon

With the vast strides in technological development currently underway within the EV category, it is easy to see how electric mobility will lead the way in terms of innovation, connectivity, efficiency, performance, and sustainability in the coming future. 

As more technologies like IoT and machine learning become commonplace, electric mobility will evolve into seamless extensions of their owners’ lives, effectively ceasing to exist as mere modes of transport alone. Just like the case of mobile phones, the lines between one’s EV, home, workplace, and social spaces will blur in the years to come. 

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-- Anand Kulkarni, Chief Products Officer, Head of HV Programs and Customer Service, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd.

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