The future of electric vehicles

Five years ago, people couldn’t care less about electric vehicles. Why would they? They were unreliable, expensive and slow. Electric vehicles back then were considered a relic of the past. These vehicles running on alternate sources of energy have tried to make a return throughout the course of time, but this time, it might actually be here to stay.

What started the wildfire?

Thanks to a company called Tesla, Inc. electric vehicles are here to scramble the automobile industry. Tesla’s first vehicle, the Roadster couldn’t create a lot of buzz. But things changed in 2012, when Tesla released the Model S P60. At the time of it’s release, it seemed to be the most advanced vehicle within the market, yet affordable to higher-middle class people. Featuring the lowest drag coefficient at the time of it’s release, it shook the world of automotive industry; and it didn’t stop there. NHRA rated it as the fastest accelerating car on a rolling start.

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Imagine a vehicle that can go from a relaxed family sedan to an absolutely maddening sports car reaching a hundred kilometre per hours; with just a simple OTA firmware upgrade. Called the “Ludicrous Mode”, the vehicle accelerated from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.

The not-so-awesome side

It all sounds too good to be true, and it is. As convenient Tesla’s vehicles sound, they are plagued with reliability issues. God help you if you have a faulty Tesla, as you’ll spend a significant amount of time with the servicing in order to fix your car properly. Some of Tesla’s vehicles caught on fire as well; in 2016, a vehicle charging in a Tesla Supercharging station situated in Norway caught on fire.

On the Consumer Reports Car Reliability Survey, only recently the Model S’s reliability rating was rated as above average.

On the flip-side

With Tesla’s recent domination, other automakers are trying to get in on the trend as well. A test mule from Porsche was spotted recently, running on an electric power-train. Nissan’s Leaf was an electric vehicle that successfully penetrated the market as well.

World’s biggest automaker Toyota still dominated the market solely because of the pricing and it’s excellent reliability. Availability of parts is a massive factor when the average consumer decides for a car. Years of experience and research has helped Toyota build up a respectable image within the automotive industry, something Tesla is struggling with.

Expanding into bigger things

A smart decision from Tesla was developing a semi truck. A few days ago, Tesla’s co-founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Semi, a truck that looks straight out of a science fiction flick. With this, Musk continues his vow to start an automotive revolution not just in the sedan category. As the truck came onto the stage of the press conference, out of the container loaded with the semi, Musk drove a revamped Tesla Roadster in front of the audience. If you thought the Model S’s Ludicrous Mode achieved astonishing numbers, the Tesla Roadster accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just under two seconds. Mind boggling yet costing the fraction of the hypercars of today, the brand-new Tesla Roadster aims to be launched in 2020.

Image: Reuters

Tesla has laid down it’s cards in the table, and now it’s time to see what the others have to offer. Tesla claims the cost of driving a Tesla Semi will surpass that of a diesel truck within two years of it’s usage, per mile costing 1.53$ whereas a diesel truck costs 1.82$ per mile. To no speculation, Tesla’s main competitor in the semi-truck market is Volvo, and it’s yet to be seen what Volvo retaliates with.

The future of the future

Undoubtedly, the world looks forward to adopting electric vehicles with open arms. With this however, the world aims to kick out gas powered vehicles as well. The entire world now sees a significant portion of electric vehicles occupying it’s market. Electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for 28% of it’s market share in 2016. The country claims to only sell electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030. India has ambitious plans as well, planning to only sell electric and hybrid cars by 2030. Netherlands being a step ahead plans to implement this massive decision by 2025. Countries like UK and France also plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and become carbon neutral by 2050.

Naturally, the question occurs; what’s China thinking? Being the largest producer of plug-in electric cars in the world, selling over 40% of all electric cars in 2016, China says it’ll eventually join into the trend without specifying a concrete timeline. Rumors suggest Elon Musk has been negotiating with the Chinese government on plans of establishing a manufacturing plant in China. When confronted with these rumors, Musk suggested that a move might be made in China based on the demand of Tesla’s cars. He suggested the same about establishing plants in Europe.

What about us?

With the rest of the world rapidly changing, it’s obvious that Bangladesh will join in on the revolution soon. Aiming to be ecologically sane, it’s a move Bangladesh must make in order to stand up the world. Bangladesh has it’s own plans to be fully digitized by 2020. With many of the plans moving forward and the economy looking excellent, it seems that Bangladesh has to adopt plans to fully implement electric vehicle into it’s market. Depleting finite natural resources and increasing buying power calls the urgency of electric and hybrid vehicles now more than ever.

Depleting finite natural resources and increasing buying power calls the urgency of electric and hybrid vehicles now more than ever.

A few Model S have already landed in Bangladesh, albeit unregistered and seen as a symbol of luxury. We believe that over time, electric vehicles will become the norm. Clouds of smog hang still within the air of Dhaka, and it’s getting worse. Building an ecologically functional infrastructure is the only way to overcome these man-made hazards, and implementing a structure of hybrid vehicles is a must for the plans of a Digital Bangladesh. We only hope the higher-ups can understand the future of what the entire world and make Bangladesh just as technologically advanced.

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