At this moment we can say that we live a second generation of electric cars, cars that share with their predecessors the philosophy that moves them, improving the technology and being more accessible in price than the first models that went out to the market.
The electric car could be assigned certain labels with its pros and cons very easily: in the positive section, its silence, its zero emissions, a torque available from the first moment we step on the pedal; the negative, are expensive, its autonomy is exiguous and recharging time high, and the interior finish leaves something to be desired. Today we can say that the second generation is better, more stylish and accessible to the public.
As with all new technological developments, the first generations are expensive (in the sense of their purchase and maintenance value) compared to performance, for example. In the past, we used to consider around 30,000 euros to buy a small car with a range of less than 150 km. Today, with examples such as the Tesla Model 3 or the new Nissan Leaf, they are turning the tables.
If we refer to the Nissan Leaf, its 550 km range are larger words, as they approach a modest range for cars with a current combustion engine (although it is not difficult to find larger autonomies, as is logical). This is a model that will make its appearance in the market next 2018, and in theory, a year before the Tesla Model 3 would arrive.
The key to this new generation of electricity is in the batteries, with much greater energy storage capacity, and in the greater deployment of the recharging network throughout the country. In addition, these recharging points work better (and more regularly) and as they are used, their profitability improves. Other options are private recharging facilities in homes and communal parking spaces, which allow the user to recharge the vehicle at night.
The evolution of the batteries is the key: the aforementioned Leaf offered a battery of 24 kWh that allowed a range of 200 km in ideal conditions (usually stayed in a shorter distance), then increased its capacity to 30 kWh, and for the second generation of 2018, will reach 60 kWh capacity. The minimum range is estimated at 500 km, and it is believed that 550 km can be reached.
In the case of the Tesla Model 3 something similar happens, as the company always offers large batteries (hence the prices of their cars so far), and in the case of its “small” model the price is known (35,000 dollars), but no additional detail is known. It is an excellent case of marketing in which people reserve a car for the promise of what it can become, but we only know its shape and price: no capacity, autonomy, power, weight .
These electric car models (taken as an example, but they are not the only existing or planned ones) take a big step towards the normalization of this type of vehicles, bringing them closer in performance and (little by little) in costs to the traditional vehicles. The objective is to reach the same level of performance, autonomy, comfort, and technology as any other vehicle (and an equivalent price), at which time we will witness the true electric revolution.