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Debunking EV misconceptions that may impede supply chain strategy

Debunking EV misconceptions that may impede supply chain strategy

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) comprises a shift in supply chain strategy of companies that often becomes challenging due to myths.

Often, the supply chain strategy of an EV company is affected by the marketability of EVs. Marketing initiatives help steer demand. Without demand, the movement within the EV ecosystem could fail, which can impact the EV supply chain.

In this case, misconceptions may demotivate consumers to buy EVs. Hence, it is essential to raise awareness about EVs and their characteristics. Especially since Asian countries are beginning to lean towards EVs as sustainable transportation solutions.

Mainly, EVs have caused concerns regarding their cost-effectiveness, reliability, economic value, and environmental impact against internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV).

“Adoption has not gone faster because there is a hesitation in pivoting from something so trustworthy in the internal-combustion engine to something relatively new technology,”

said Russell Hensley, co-leader of the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility in the Americas.

Hensley added that vehicles are the second largest investment that a household makes. Therefore, buying a car is a decision that takes much consideration. By knowing what affects the consumer behavior, an effective supply chain strategy can be implemented by companies.

MYTH 1: EVs’ environmental footprint is greater than ICEVs

The manufacturing of an EV indeed creates more emissions than the production of an ICEV. However, the emission of an EV is just a third of the lifetime emission of a gasoline-powered automobile, even after accounting for EV battery production and disposal.

Air pollution from factories during battery production accounts for most EV emissions. Notably, according to the United States (US) Department of Energy, EVs convert over  77% of electrical energy from the grid to power the wheels.

Select Asian countries have recognized the positive environmental impact of EVs and are investing in encouraging EV adoption. Thailand, India, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore are among those ushering sustainable transportation solutions, particularly EV promotion where supply chain strategy plays a vital role.

MYTH 2: EV batteries are unsafe

Battery Management System (BMS) enables monitoring of battery temperature and performance.  It aids in maintenance that could prevent electric car problems relating to batteries.

The BMS includes management of the charging or discharging of the battery pack and controls the temperature range as it functions. Therefore, BMS help in the avoidance of EV battery overheating.

According to Quek Yang Thee of Republic Polytechnic, usually, the traction battery is able to operate at ambient temperature in the range of -30 degree Celsius to 65 degree Celsius. Ideally, the commonly-used Li-ion battery has an operational range of 20 to 40 degree Celsius. EV operating out of this range will have negative impact on the vehicle range.

Yang Thee added that there are thermal sensors that sense the temperature of the batteries. They will trigger cooling system to maintain the battery at acceptable temperature. Meanwhile, the Artificial Intelligence in the vehicle will  alarm the driver or even shut down operation when the temperature is way too high.

Moreover, electric batteries are included on EVs only after a series of safety verifications like crash and combustion tests. EV suppliers do such initiatives to ensure that the batteries do not pose a threat to the users.

MYTH 3: EV batteries need multiple replacements and are non-recyclable

Once depleted,  EV batteries can be recycled or repurposed as storage units. EV batteries can be recycled to extract out the rare earth material.   These are valuable elements in making EV batteries, like Lithium, Cobalt, and Nickel, can be reused.

Yang Thee, shared that a good example is that some EV batteries’ second lives are the energy storage battery for solar powered charging station.

In fact, electric car makers like Tesla and Chevrolet offer warranties upon reaching eight years. The latter considers up to 100,000 miles, while Tesla can be as high as 150,000. The move was to mitigate concerns about EVs needing multiple replacements.

MYTH 4: EVs do not provide enough mileage

The speed of an EV is no different from its gas-powered counterpart, which normally can run 25 km to 50 km per liter. EVs range is 95 km – 685 km per charge.  

For example, according to the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, automobiles in South Korea travel an average of 43.9 kilometers daily. Such makes EVs suitable for everyday use, which is advantageous for EV suppliers.

“For vehicle range, we will reach a ‘good enough’ number, especially as charging infrastructure gets built out in more and more places,”

noted Scott Case, CEO of Recurrent, a US-based automotive ventures portfolio company.

Distinctively, an EV accelerates quickly, as the electric motor generates 100 % of its available torque instantly. In comparison, an ICEV  must ‘rev up’ to reach its maximum torque and power.

Thus, further showcasing that EVs are one of the best sustainable transportation solutions in the automobile industry. This can be a good inititiave for your supply chain strategy.

MYTH 5: EV takes forever to charge

The charging of an EV depends on various factors like current charge level, battery size, and power output of the charging station. An EV can be charged using different levels, level 1 (120 V), level 2 (208 V – 240 V), and level 3 (400 V – 900 V).

Charging stations with level 2 and level 3 voltages are faster alternatives for charging EVs. They can set a range of 19 kilometers to 1900 kilometers per hour.

A fully depleted EV has a longer charging time for a level 1 outlet at home. Considering the range and average kilometers EV drivers travel daily, such a situation is rare.

On the side, good-capacity batteries from EV suppliers, paired with a small charger, would increase the time needed to charge the battery, irrespective of the outlet capacity. 

EVs as transportation alternatives

Debunking EV-related myths not help improve supply chain strategy of companies, it also help consumers make informed choices and bridge the barrier to adopting newer technologies. It opens up possibilities for improving the future of customer experience in the supply chain automobile industry.

The deployment of EVs is an excellent initiative by select governments to reduce carbon emissions. Wherein,  sustainability and zero-emission goals are pushing Asian countries to adopt EVs as an alternative to ICEVs.

Through the utilization of a supply chain strategy, the adoption of EVs could bolster. Especially now that EVs’ environmental and  economic value is becoming more apparent. 

EVs aid in reducing reliance on fossil fuels, improving air quality, and are becoming a cost-effective transportation option. Dispelling EV myths will encourage more people to adopt EVs as everyday cars and improve supply chain strategy.

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