EV Updates

Some updates on electric vehicles:

There's an article going around that shows EVs could become skateboard-like. What does this mean? Lordstown Motors, an aspiring maker of electric pickups and vans (and potential beneficiary of a $800 million USPS electrification contract), shows it best in the above diagram. On the left is an internal combustion engine platform which consist of thousands of moving parts (cams, valves, pistons, pumps, belts, gears. shafts, differentials etc). On the right, the drivetrain is reduced to four electric engines contained within the wheels. Not only is the platform much simpler, it is now possible to divide the chassis (+ drivetrain) and cabin. Thus, you can swap the chassis (eg when it is under servicing) or the cabin (eg swap a sedan for a combi)

For EVs, charging is much more than phone charging. The engineers have to figure out how apartment dwellers can charge their cars, how they pay or be billed, how not to overload the electric grid and blackout the neighbourhood, how to get the best rates for time-based tariffs, how to share electricity if it is in finite supply, how chargers can communicate with owners ('it's done') or each other ('hey, do you have a spare charger?') etc.

For heavy trucking, other than charging (Semi), hydrogen (Xcient) and biomethane (Hyliion), there is a another 'electric fuel' candidate: ammonia (Hyzon). Ammonia is basically hydrogen stored in ammonia form. Thus, instead of storing and transporting hydrogen as a gas (bulky) or liquid (needs very low temps), crystalline ammonia is used as the medium with hydrogen extracted on-the-fly. Ammonia can be made from natural gas or coal potentially allowing these industries to continue a bit longer but without CO2 emissions (ammonia can also be made with renewalable or nuclear energy).