In less than a decade, great strides have been made in the development of electric cars. Although penetration rates remain low, growth in the sector has been very rapid, particularly in China. Although electric cars are not emission-free by any means, over the lifetime of a vehicle they emit far less greenhouse gases than conventional vehicles. Many governments are thus planning to phase out the sale of carbon-powered cars by 2040. This will have major implications for resource allocation, as demand for oil diminishes whilst lithium demand increases. But there are a whole range of other issues to tackle, not the least of which is how to increase electricity generation capacity without raising CO2 emissions.
Five questions to Dr. Niemand, Head of Electrification for the product line at AUDI AG Electric mobility is changing not just how we drive cars, but also how we live. In future, we will mainly charge our vehicles at home – but will also need to top up energy while out and about. For Audi, e-tron means more than a car. Specifically, Audi is flanking the market introduction of its first fully electric model with numerous measures to win customers over to the everyday usability of electric mobility in general, and help them build it into their lives. All part of a worldwide drive.
While we tend to think of electric cars as those where the conventional internal combustion (IC) engine has been replaced by one or more electric motors powered solely by a battery, the term is often used as a catch-all for vehicles with some degree of electrification. These can range from mild hybrids, which have much in common with conventional IC cars, to the pure electric vehicles (BEV) described above. The car industry, particularly when discussing future strategy, may often mention targets for electric cars which in fact include hybridised cars.
Right now, there is one dominant issue for automotive manufacturers and suppliers all over the world: what will the future power train look like? No matter who they are – German automotive manufacturers, European, American or Asian providers – they are all driving their e-mobility business in a target-oriented manner. In addition to optimising the vehicle and battery, developments are focusing in particular on electric drives. This is a crucial component for power train efficiency as well as vehicle dynamics. Current developments focus not only on drive performance but also on the ability to produce units in bulk.
ETFs have become increasingly popular in recent years, with investors attracted by the simplicity of their structure and transparency while trading. Initially predominantly used as a tool by institutional investors in Europe, they have since gained favour within private clients’ portfolios. The UK is along Germany a pioneer in this regard, albeit the markets differ notably.