Time and time again, the electric vehicle market has flattered to deceive and despite hopes and aspirations, it has often fallen flat and had to rebuild itself from the bottom upwards. While sceptics will suggest that the ongoing developments in the EV market are yet another cycle on the road to failure, there are real signs this time of major technological breakthroughs which could push the EV market onto the verge of something massive.
Each time the sceptics highlight problems with the EV market this has an impact upon sentiment and short-term sales. Even the more positive developments in the market are often ridiculed by sceptics who seem to have an inability, or they are unwilling, to even accept that the EV market is here to stay.
By far and away the most challenging area of the EV market is battery technology and the ability to give consumers the 300 mile per full charge journey capacity they require. However, over the last few months we have seen some major developments in this particular area and while some of this information is at the moment top secret, there are certainly reasons to be cheerful.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Tesla seems to be dominating the EV market at the moment. Who is the biggest threat to Tesla in the future?"
There is speculation that a number of companies are on the verge of releasing a lithium air battery, with potential journey capacity of 500 miles per full charge - although perhaps more interestingly there are rumours of an aluminium air battery technology which could push up EV capacity to 1000 miles.
Will this make a difference?
There is no doubt that a journey capacity in excess of the 300 miles mentioned by U.S. motorists would have a massive impact on the sector, can you imagine the ability to travel 1000 miles without filling up your car? Can you imagine the potential savings you could make on this particular technology?
When you have companies such as IBM involved in this technological race, perhaps it does begin to show the potential for the future. These are companies with a reputation, finances and the ability to push back the technological envelope and take EVs into areas many experts had only dreamed of. The development of battery technology is moving extremely fast compared to historic pace and at this moment in time it literally seems only a matter of time.
What is different today?
It is difficult to suggest what is different in the EV market today compared to the 1990s, which saw a major push of the technology. It may well be that governments around the world now seem more proactive and willing to fund new technology? It may be that the green movement is finally having an impact upon worldwide motorists? Or it may simply be the next cycle in the transport sector?
Whatever the reasons, it does seem inevitable that we are fast moving towards electric vehicle mass-market acceptance and once this does happen we will see a significant reduction in car prices. Improved battery technology, reduced pricing and more confidence in the technology surrounding EVs could make for a potentially "perfect storm" for the sector going forward. We have been here before, we have heard the promises but this time, more than any other time, seems very different - we shall see!