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CES 2024 offers look into the potential future of the EV industry

Jan 12

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In the wake of a groundbreaking year for electric vehicles (EVs), with over 13.5 million units sold globally, the industry is now contemplating its trajectory for the future. The recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024, billed as the most powerful tech event in the world, provided a glimpse into the potential innovations that could shape the EV landscape.

Honda unveiled a pair of concept vehicles designed to be thinner, lighter, and equipped with smaller yet more powerful solid-state batteries.

The development of these batteries, boasting higher energy density than traditional EV power sources, is a key focus for Honda. The compact design aims to create lighter-weight EVs, offering benefits to both drivers and the environment.

“Although EVs already exist in the market, they are not yet fully popularized at this moment due to issues including limited range and high prices,” Honda said in a statement. “To resolve such issues, battery performance must be significantly advanced. As an automaker, we are developing all-solid-state battery technology with an eye toward mass-production, which will enable us to install them to our vehicles and offer high-performance EVs to our customers at affordable prices.”

Traditional bulky batteries contribute to the weight of EVs, with examples like the Ford F-150 Lightning weighing 1,500 pounds more than their gasoline counterparts.

Making EVs lighter not only reduces pollution but also enhances range, lowers production costs, and minimizes potential safety risks on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai presented a “crab-walking” capable EV. With all four wheels controlled individually, this vehicle can pull off maneuvers such as diagonal driving, sideways motion and stationary pivot turns. It also features lights projected on the ground to inform those around the car with arrows what type of movement is about to be performed.

“This car has a totally flexible four wheel steering wheel, so the car has the technology that makes it move very differently,” said Lee Seung-hwan, vice president and head of Advanced Engineering at Hyundai Mobis. “For example, you can imagine that the car can drive like a crab, horizontally, or the car can turn around in one space.”

Vietnamese automaker VinFast also made waves with its introduction of an affordable electric SUV, that could come with a price tag of below $20,000. The car boasts a 125-mile range on its battery and is expected to hit U.S. dealerships within the next few months.

“From the very beginning, we say that our mission is to make EVs accessible to everyone,” “said Le Thi Thu Thuy, chairwoman of the VinFast board of directors. “You see all the models that we have in our lineup of vehicles, anything from the affordable EVs under $20,000 to a very luxurious VF9 that can fit the whole family.”

Beyond consumer-focused innovations, CES 2024 highlighted commercial applications for electrified transportation. Kia introduced its Platform Beyond Vehicle (PBV), electric vans with swappable body modules, allowing quick conversions to pickup trucks, taxis, and other potential uses.

“Kia PBVs will initiate a new era of seamless everyday business and lifestyle solutions. We hope to make our customers’ lives easier and better, whether they’re stationary or on the move, offering exceptional flexibility and customization through radical modularization,” said Karim Habib, executive vice president and head of global design at Kia.

The South Korean automaker also announced a collaboration with Uber to develop purpose-built EVs for the ride-sharing app, including plans for jointly supplying charging infrastructure.

“PBVs will play a key role in the customization of mobility, and by partnering with Uber, Kia aims to deliver industry-leading technology with advanced software and services to enhance the ride-hailing experience,” said Yoon Seung-kyu, CEO of Kia America.

However, the event was not limited to advancements in EVs alone, as CES 2024 additionally featured developments in alternative fuel vehicles. Hyundai outlined its plans for utilizing hydrogen energy in its cars, while Bosch Mobility announced the upcoming launch of its first hydrogen combustion engine this year. Burning hydrogen does not produce carbon dioxide and therefore does not contribute to climate change, according to scientists at MIT.

“We are looking beyond traditional energy sources for more sustainable alternatives. We are focusing in particular on hydrogen,” said Tanja Ruckert, a member of the Bosch board of management. “We believe it will be central to meeting our future climate-neutral energy needs.”

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[JACK ALYMER]

20-23 WAS A BANNER YEAR FOR EVS.
MORE THAN 13-AND-A-HALF MILLION UNITS SOLD WORLDWIDE.
IT’S A RECORD TOTAL THAT WAS HARD TO CONCEIVE JUST A FEW YEARS AGO.

BUT WITH SUPPLY CHAIN CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS E-VS SOURING IN SOME CIRCLES – WHERE DOES THE INDUSTRY GO FROM HERE?

LOOK NO FURTHER THAN LAS VEGAS FOR ANSWERS.

THIS YEAR’S CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW IS GIVING US A GLIMPSE AT WHAT CONSUMERS CAN EXPECT TO SEE IN THE FUTURE.\

[Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor]

“A machine that actually cares. It reminds me a little bit of the character that I played in Terminator 2. The T-800, it saved humanity.”

[JACK ALYMER]

LET’S START WITH HONDA:
ROLLING OUT A PAIR OF CONCEPT VEHICLES DESIGNED TO BE THINNER AND LIGHTER.

[Toshihiro Mibe, Honda CEO]
“Now, let me introduce our new EV series, which represents the new mobility Honda dreams of.”

[JACK ALYMER]

THESE MODELS ALSO SPORT A SMALLER, MORE POWERFUL BATTERY.

PRODUCING higher density BATTERIES LIKE these is KEY TO HONDA’S GOAL OF CREATING LIGHTER-WEIGHT EVS with benefits for drivers and the environment.

THE BULKY BATTERIES IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES MAKE THEM MUCH HEAVIER THAN COMBUSTION ENGINE CARS.
TAKE THE FORD F-150 LIGHTING FOR EXAMPLE. IT WEIGHS ONE AND A HALF THOUSAND POUNDS MORE THAN its GASOLINE counterpart.

[Tim Stevens, automotive journalist]“Honda hasn’t brought a lot of EVs to market, and these are different in that Honda is trying to keep them simple, small, pair them down, whereas a lot of EVs we see are bigger and taller and bulkier. So it’s a really different direction from a lot of other EVs on the market.”

[JACK ALYMER]

LIGHTER EVS CREATE LESS POLLUTION, HAVE AN IMPROVED RANGE, ARE CHEAPER TO BUILD, AND POSE FEWER POTENTIAL SAFETY RISKS ON THE ROAD THAN VEHICLES WHICH WEIGH MORE.

IT’S NOT JUST WEIGHT BEING THROWN AROUND AT C-E-S BUT ALSO DIRECTION.
TAKE THIS NEW E-V THAT COMES READY TO WALK FROM HYUNDAI.

[Lee Seung-hwan, vice president and head of Advanced Engineering at Hyundai Mobis]

“You can imagine that the car can be driving like a crab, horizontally, or the car can turn around in one space.”

[JACK ALYMER]
AND FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR CHEAPER OPTIONS –
AN SUV FROM VIETNAMESE AUTOMAKER VINFAST MAY COME WITH A PRICE POINT LOWER THAN TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

[LE THI THU THUY, CHAIRWOMAN OF THE VINFAST BOARD OF DIRECTORS]

“So something like the VF 3 where you can, consumer can buy a very cute looking vehicles at the price of less than $20,000, like the dealership told us, is something that they think would sell very well.”

[JACK ALYMER]

WE ALSO GOT A LOOK AT SOME
OF THE COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS FOR ELECTRIFIED TRANSPORTATION.

KIA INTRODUCED A SERIES OF VANS THAT CAN SWAP OUT MODULES, FOR QUICK CONVERSION TO PICKUP TRUCK, TAXI OR ANY OTHER POTENTIAL USE YOU CAN DREAM UP.

[Karim Habib, Kia Executive Vice President]
“With this high degree of modularization, what does that mean? We plan to expand use cases from people moving and delivery to urban centric, real time delivery and ride sharing.”

[JACK ALYMER]

KIA ALSO ANNOUNCING A COLLABORATION WITH UBER TO MAKE EVS PURPOSE-BUILT FOR THE RIDE-SHARING APP.

AS PART OF THIS INITIATIVE, THE AUTOMAKER AND UBER PLAN TO ACTIVELY COOPERATE IN SUPPLYING CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE TO HELP DRIVERS MAKING THE SWITCH.

IN ADDITION TO ADVANCEMENTS SURROUNDING E-VS,THE EVENT FEATURED DEVELOPMENTS IN OTHER TYPES OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES.

HYUNDAI SPOTLIGHTED ITS PLANS FOR UTILIZING HYDROGEN ENERGY IN THEIR CARS, WHILE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIER BOSCH MOBILITY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO LAUNCH ITS FIRST HYDROGEN COMBUSTION ENGINE LATER THIS YEAR.

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