The next electric car?

Carton Virto, Eider

Elhuyar Zientzia eta Teknologia aldizkariaren zuzendaria

After what happened last February in Donostia, everything seemed done and ready. Electric cars yes or yes and they will immediately replace conventional cars. However, people who develop and sell these electric cars are not so clear that cars and the market are ready. And the difficulties to overcome are not rare.

From a technological point of view, the biggest challenge is in batteries. One of the challenges is to devise the development of cheap batteries that can be developed in series, and the development of batteries that give electric cars a greater autonomy than they have now. However, those who are doing so claim that this is primarily a matter of time and that within two years they will be able to achieve those goals.

The market and our way of life are more difficult to overcome than technological barriers. The electric car is a big change. We are used to cars of great power and autonomy, to fill the tank in three minutes and to have the freedom to travel 700 kilometers. However, electric cars will provide us with 200 kilometers of autonomy at best, and the place, how and at what speed we will charge the car remains an unsolved problem. The power grid has the capacity to recharge several million electric cars at night, but our way of life and our accommodations are not designed or adapted for it. And I am convinced that we will need more than economic incentives to switch to electric cars in mass. No doubt, electric cars play a key role in driving governments and public institutions, but comfort will be critical to attracting and satisfying buyers. We hardly give up.

Finally, it is also, to a certain extent, ironic. Aren't we changing everything to stay the same? We will replace oil with electricity and move forward, confident that we have made a great breakthrough, proud, but each one depending on your car? Electric cars are better than conventional cars, but it would be inexcusable that in this transition we do not shake our mobility model.

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