Electric vehicles generating own power


As we move to the end game of energy independent electric aircraft, boats and land vehicles, a report from IDTechEx Research, “Electric Vehicle Energy Harvesting/Regeneration (EH/R) 2017-2037”, tells us how, where, why and when. Conventional vehicles will benefit from these technologies in the meantime giving a seamless route to major commercial successes.

Researched this year and constantly updated, the report explains and forecasts the technologies involved in this new essential key enabling technology. EH/R will be as important and sometimes more important than motors, batteries and power electronics: opportunities await vehicle, parts and material manufacturers unplugging into this future.

Electric vehicles are creating more and more of their own electricity from daylight, wind and other sources including regeneration. Regeneration converts wasted heat and movement in the vehicle into electricity, as with a turbine in the exhaust. More elegantly, regeneration prevents wasted heat and movement in the first place as with regenerative suspension giving a better ride and longer range, with flywheels replacing burning brake disks. Shock absorbers can generate electricity which controls them to give a smoother ride.

Existing key enabling technologies will move over within the decade to add the new one – energy harvesting including regeneration. Within 20 years it will become a huge business as tens of millions of vehicles yearly are made as Energy Independent Vehicles (EIVs) that get all their electricity without plugging in. The report explains many new EH technologies coming along including tribo-electrics, thermal meta-materials, affordable GaAs photovoltaics, flywheels and dielectric elastomer nanogenerators. With these, energy harvesting will be the most important technology of all and much of it will be a materials play.

Multi-mode energy harvesting is analysed and recommended in the report: it reduces and sometimes eliminates the need for those expensive, bulky, heavy batteries that do not last long enough. Even multi-mode harvesting e-textiles and plastic film are in prospect.

The report is supported by a detailed 20-year technological roadmap and ten-year forecasts of electric vehicles in 46 categories embracing on-road and off-road, on-water and underwater, manned and unmanned versions.

Contact Alison Lewis, IDTechEx, a.lewis@idtechex.com


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Source: EE plublishers