Electric vehicle developments in the automotive industry

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Solid-state battery technology 

The automotive industry is ever-changing and as a group that prides itself on innovation, we are always eager to learn about new developments in the industry. 

One of these recent developments came from QuantumScape, in an article published by WIRED. They announced that following test of their solid-state, lithium-ion batteries, they’ve made significant progress in battery technology for electric vehicles.

This discovery has created somewhat of a large wave in the electric vehicle community. Why? Because it results in more reliable, long-lasting batteries in electric vehicles! Not only that but the discovery is pushing the boundaries of what people believe electric cars are actually capable of! It’s breaking the stigma of inefficiency that has plagued electric cars for some time now.

Some people in the industry believe that fossil fuel vehicles are more efficient in comparison to electric vehicles. However, the negative effects on the environment from them are something that we should all be more mindful of.

This is why the improvement of battery technology means that the current divide between efficiency of miles per charge, to filling up a combustion fuel tank, is shrinking. In addition to improving the efficiency of vehicles, switching to solid-state batteries has even more benefits. One of them being that they are much safer. This is because they are built from less-flammable materials.

What actually is a solid-state battery?

Most electric vehicles have an average range of around 300 miles per charge, and take over an hour to recharge. As well as losing around a third of their ability to hold a charge after around 10 years.

Although the solution to this problem appears to have been an open secret for many years, no one has managed to crack the “solid-state problem”. Until now! The format of a SSB (solid-state battery) is very simple. Instead of using a liquid electrolyte, a solid electrolyte is used and the anode in the battery is also made from pure lithium.

In short, this means that the density of energy will rise dramatically, allowing for drastically faster charging. This would also eliminate the safety risk of battery fires.

In the data released by QuantumScape, their cell can charge to up to 80% in just 15 minutes. Additionally, it retains over 80% of its charging capacity after 800+ charging cycles. To make this even more impressive, the energy density sits at around 1,000 watt-hours per litre. That’s almost double that of the best lithium-ion cells on the market today!

What does this mean for you?

Last year, the prime minister (PM) announced plans to roll out a ban on the sale of combustion engine vehicles, that rely solely on fossil fuels, by 2030. However, he did mention that some exceptions on hybrid vehicles would arise. This is part of the PM’s green industrial revolution.

Although many think that 2030 is too soon, we believe it’s better to acknowledge that the changes will come, sooner rather than later.

Ten years may seem like quite far off to start thinking about switching to electric. However, it gives people time to get used to the challenges of changing from a generic diesel/petrol car.

Our CEO Richard Hoggart has expressed many times his desire to take our full fleet of vehicles electric! A fleet that already bolsters many electric vehicles. In 2017, the leadership team switched to Teslas to become more environmentally friendly. And because they are magnificent cars, of course!

Similarly, many of our sales team have switched to electric or hybrid vehicles. The main reason they decided to do this was to counter the inevitable environmental impact created by their job duties. As regional development managers, they travel across the country regularly to meet with dealers.

This has always been the goal for DSG, even before we decided to expand our fleet. Ever since sustainability became a core company value and we made a commitment to counter our environmental impact and lower our average emissions company-wide.

For that reason, when we had the opportunity to go in for Tesla’s second-string position, we lunged at the opportunity. Primarily because we share the same values and vision of what the future should look like. 

This is something we are very proud of here at DSG. Especially because the majority of our senior leadership team were already huge fans of Teslas prior to the partnership!

Find out more about how we are working towards creating a greener future and head over to our blog on sustainability.

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