Media is inundated with news about companies investing time and money into the development of electric vehicles and governments providing subsidies. However, many consumers are still unaware of what an electric vehicle is and why some experts say that electric car numbers will or should continue growing in the future.
Today, POSCO global blog will try to explain the basics of electric vehicles.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
An electric car is basically an automobile that is powered by electricity. It is powered by an electric motor that runs on a rechargeable battery as opposed to a gasoline engine. Electric vehicles has gained widespread recognition predominantly because it is the environmentally-friendly alternative to gas guzzling automobiles.
Why should you care about Electric Vehicles?
You might have heard the word ‘electric car’ lately, but might not understand what the direct benefits are. The major reasons that electric cars is top-of-mind for the auto industry and society as whole are for the following reasons:
1) Less pollution: Electric cars are an eco-friendly alternative to gasoline powered cars as they create less pollution
2) Cost effective in the long-run: Electric cars run on electricity so you can save up on annual car fuel costs and expensive maintenance related to oil changes, fuel filters, etc.
3) Reduces fuel dependency: Electric vehicles can be powered by electricity produced from multiple energy sources including wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, biofuel, and fossil fuel sources. Therefore, electric vehicles have the potential to support economies while also reducing dependence on imported oil.
4) Better Sound Quality: Electric cars may be difficult to differentiate from regular cars from the outside, but electric motors provide quiet and very smooth operation.
Challenges for Electric Vehicles
That is not to say that electric vehicles face no challenges. Driving range is a concern for consumers as gasoline vehicles can go longer distances. Recharge time and overall bulk are concerns also. Companies, including POSCO, are continuously investing time and energy to improve technologies and materials for electric vehicles.
During March 15 through 21, the 1st International Electric Vehicle Expo was held in Jeju Island, south of the Korean peninsula. More than 40 companies attended the event and consumers were able to see firsthand electric cars including Kia’s Ray EV, Reno Samsung SM3 Z.E., Chevrolet Spark EV, Kia Soul EV and BMW i3. Nearly 50,000 visitors came to the expo where POSCO Group showcased its innovative electric car technology.
Of the participating companies, POSCO was the only company to offer a total solution that addresses materials, rechargeable infra and service. POSCO was the first steelmaking company to develop a body for an electric vehicle concept, solidifying its position at the forefront of electric vehicles.
POSCO Group’s <Total Solution>
POSCO Group companies including POSCO ICT, POSCO ChemTech, POSCO TMC and POSCO ESM were all present for the expo. As the first steelmaker to create the concept body for electric vehicles, POSCO proved that its steel solutions continue to provide value for the future of electric vehicles. The exhibit was divided into three parts consisting of rechargeable infra needed by electric vehicles, service and materials.
POSCO ICT’s electric vehicle rechargeable infra solution can be applied to all types of vehicles. Moreover, users are able to recharge without having to carry an external cable.
In addition, in order to improve the user experience, POSCO is offering a variety of convenient services. POSCO ICT has set up charging infrastructure around Jeju so travelers do not need to worry about lack of electricity. Beginning this June, POSCO ICT will form a partnership with E-Mart·BMW to offer easier charging services anytime, anywhere. POSCO ICT will also be forming a partnership with Seoul car sharing services to provide rechargeable infra.
POSCO also highlighted its commitment towards Nd magnets. Nd magnet, which is made of a rare earth metal, is an integral part of electric vehicle motors. They are currently imported from Japan and China. The Nd magnets that POSCO supplies can be applied to domestic electric vehicles and can reduce the dependency on imports.
State-of-the-Art Technology for Future Electric Vehicles
Compared to internal combustion engines, electric vehicles are still trailing behind in terms of mileage and battery weight. Therefore a variety of new technologies are being applied for lightweight car bodies. For this reason, new materials beyond the previous aluminum and steel are being introduced into the development of electric vehicles.
POSCO is the first steelmaker to develop steel that is optimized for electric vehicle bodies. PBC-EV (POSCO Body Concept-Electric Vehicle) is the car body that was developed to showcase the state-of-the-art technology POSCO has recently developed for future electric vehicles.
PBC-EV has set the standard for EV steel solutions. It is made from cutting-edge steel and the latest components technology for an integrated solution that has reduced weight of 26.4% compared to previous car bodies.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
As companies continue to improve and build upon existing electric vehicle technologies, the growing prominence of electric vehicles is highly probable. As an environmentally-conscious company, POSCO hopes to see more growth in this field. Would you buy an electric vehicle?