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A look at the development of the EV ecosystem

A look at the development of the EV ecosystem

Transportation across the world has come a long way toward the emergence of an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

Transportation across the world has come a long way toward the emergence of an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.  From the early steam engines to the prevalent gasoline-fueled engines, now, electric-powered vehicles have emerged.

With the advent of EVs, we face a new era of the transportation revolution in Asia, in which a cleaner and greener future is within reach.  Yet to move forward, there is a need to look at the past. It provides a prelude and overall view of the development of the EV ecosystem within the automotive industry. 

Early inventions

After a myriad of attempts, French army captain Nicolas Joseph-Cugnot  has made the “fardier à vapeur.” It is the world’s first working full-size “self-propelled mechanical land vehicle” that marks a transportation revolution.

In the early 1800s, Richard Trevithick developed the “first high-pressure steam engine and first working railway steam locomotive,” which marked a turning point for the commercialization of steam engine vehicles.

Modernization of vehicles

Scottish inventor Robert Anderson developed a motorized carriage in the early 1830s. However, the batteries he had used were not rechargeable. In the same decade, Robert Davidson built a prototype of his electric locomotive.

By the 1840s, Davidson had finished “Galvani,” an enhanced version of his prototype. It can tow six tons at 4 mph and run 1.5 miles. 

Then, German Engineer Nicalaus Otto invented a gasoline-fueled four-stroke cycle engine in the 1860s. It was an alternative to steam engine, which was prevalent at the time.

Leaping into the 1880s, Karl Benz developed the “world’s first practical automobile” with an internal combustion engine. It first hit the road by mid-decade and a year later, Benz had his patent.

Meanwhile, it was Engineer Ferdinand Porsche who invented the first hybrid car. It was a two-wheel drive that used a gas engine and an electric motor in the 1890s. 

The first mass-produced electric vehicle (EV) was Honda Insight. Said car hit the roads of the United States in the 1900s.

By the 1980s, the Japanese automotive industry experienced a “Golden Age” marked by significant advancements in technology and manufacturing practices.  One of the key factors driving this progress was a focus on supply chain efficiency. 

Noteworthy Japanese concepts like Gemba, Kaizen,  and Just-in-Time or JIT were used in the decade. Whereas, said concepts aid in producing more vehicles quickly and with greater precision than their competitors.

Moving into the 21st Century

The Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Alternative, or REVA, went out in 2002. It was produced by the Reva Electric Car Company as the “first zero polluting EV” in India.

In 2003, the entrance of Tesla Motors into the electric transportation market became a significant driver of electric automobile adoption. Prior to Tesla’s entry, EVs were generally viewed as niche products with limited appeal to mainstream customers.

However, Tesla’s success in developing high-performance EVs with long ranges and advanced features has helped shift perceptions. It generated greater interest in transportation alternatives for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs).

Notably, the Tesla Roadster was released in 2008. Coinciding in the same year, BYD, a Chinese manufacturer, released the “world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).”

By 2009, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV became known as the “world’s first modern highway-capable EV” that was mass-produced. It was first released in Japan.

On the side, the Nissan Leaf gained the moniker “world’s all-time top-selling EV” and won several awards. Based on an early 2019 press release by Nissan, the Leaf became the first EV to go beyond more than 400,000 sales since its release in 2010.

Into the future 

Select governments and companies not only in Asia but worldwide are recognizing EVs as a sustainable means of traversing roads. More related efforts are becoming apparent such as promotions and investments.

In 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards that required automakers to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually.  Then, in 2021, the European Commission proposed a new set of regulations that would ban the sale of new ICEVs in the EU by 2035. 

These regulatory changes signal a growing focus on sustainability and cleaner alternatives. They drive the shift towards EVs and the development of more efficient and environmentally-friendly supply chain automotive.

Several efforts progressing the EV ecosystem are underway across the world in 2022. Headlining the stint in Asia are China and South Korea.

In China, for example, the government is ushering the development of a national charging network, with plans to build 4.8 million charging points by 2025. Also, China is currently the largest producer of EV batteries, with local manufacturers such as CATL and BYD dominating the market. 

Meanwhile, electric utility companies in South Korea are collaborating with automakers and charging infrastructure providers to build a nationwide charging network. Manufacturers, such as LG Chem and Samsung SDI, are investing significantly in battery production.

Overall, the rise of EVs is transforming the automotive industry. As more countries in Asia invest in EVs,  further developments in charging infrastructure, battery production, and other related services may soon be apparent.

Such will create new business opportunities and provide new transportation insights towards a more sustainable future. In 2023, the EV ecosystem will continue to evolve due to the gradual production of EV innovations.

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