With increases in government funding and new technology making EVs and chargers more accessible to small and mid-sized businesses, the drive for change in the mobility industry continues to soar.
As the global community slowly embraces the shift toward sustainable transportation, the year ahead holds even greater promise for electric vehicles, with anticipated advancements in performance, fleet logistics, and charging infrastructure.
Here’s what we’re expecting from EV tech advancements in 2024:
Battery range upgrades
Range anxiety has been a notorious roadblock to widespread EV adoption in both residential and commercial settings. However, several EV manufacturers in 2023 set out to alleviate that anxiety by increasing the miles per charge on their new models.
- 2023 saw the release of the Tesla Model S, sporting 400 miles per charge.
Commercial fleet managers will be excited to learn that 2024 models include two more high range vehicles, this time in the form of pickup trucks:
- The Rivian R1T also offers 400 miles per charge
- Chevy’s 2024 Silverado boasts an impressive 450 miles per charge.
- Tesla’s 2024 Lucid Air currently holds the highest estimated range available on the market, clocking in at a whopping 516 miles per charge.
As EV manufacturers continue to look for new ways to power EV batteries, such as Tesla’s switch to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries and BYD’s ongoing research into sodium-ion batteries, we can hope that charging ranges will continue to increase while manufacturing costs gradually lower.
AI and machine learning have developed rapidly over the past year, and that momentum will continue to grow as we head into 2024. AI has already had a profound impact on other aspects of the mobility industry, such as self-driving cars, but one area that will be particularly important for business fleets in the future is logistics.
Fleet management and optimization involve a tremendous amount of data analysis. Managers must gather data about how vehicles and resources are being used, including fuel or repair costs, route information, residual value (RV), total cost of ownership (TCO), and more. Using that data, they can construct optimized routes that make the most of the resources they have.
AI will make the process of fleet management easier and more efficient. In an article for FleetNews on AI and fleet management, managing director of Neckermann Strategic Advisors, Lukas Neckermann stated that fleet managers can use AI to optimize based on certain factors by pulling from large amounts of internal and external data.
For example, managers looking to optimize for TCO can use data points from “leasing data, insurance data, RVs, fuel costs, etc.” combined with internal data from driver cameras to generate insights from an AI model.
AI-driven fleet management software and strategies may help delivery fleets optimize their spending, route planning, and EV charging over the next year.
Charging while driving
The new year could bring in more charging options for residents and fleets with the continued development of wireless-charging public roadways. Just this month, Detroit installed the first of these self-charging streets in the U.S. on a patch of 14th Street.
EVs traveling along the road can be equipped with receivers that collect power from copper inductive charging coils located beneath the surface. Whether vehicles are idling, driving, or parking, they will automatically charge on this stretch of road.
Though the technology is not yet ready to spread across the entirety of Motor City, the Michigan Department of Transportation has plans to test and develop the technology on 14th Street, eventually rolling out the new technology on Michigan Avenue and other busy streets in the next few years.
The Vice President of Business Development at Electreon, the company responsible for creating the technology, has indicated that this innovation “unlocks widespread EV adoption, addressing limited range, grid limitations, and battery size and costs.”
The technology may be particularly useful for last-mile delivery vehicles that follow the same routes every day. When more public roadways become wireless chargers, fleet managers may be able to plan routes that allow EVs to stay out longer without stopping to recharge.
Navigating the future of mobility
These advancements in battery range, AI-driven logistics, and charging solutions like wireless-charging public roadways are not just steps but leaps toward a more sustainable, efficient, and accessible future in mobility.
The evolution of EV tech signifies more than technological triumphs; it embodies a shift in how we perceive transportation and its impact on our world. The upcoming developments in EVs promise to redefine the boundaries of what's possible, making sustainable transport not just an ideal but a practical reality for businesses and consumers alike.
As we stand at the cusp of these groundbreaking changes, staying informed and engaged becomes more crucial than ever. To navigate this evolving landscape and harness the full potential of these advancements, knowledge and insights are key.
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