In this week’s issue, we’re hopping on a “test drive” into the market of electric vehicles, or EVs.
We might think that electric cars are a modern invention, but the first EVs were made as early as the 1830s in the United States. But due to the lack of electric structure back then, gas-powered vehicles dominated the streets and highways.
Today, as we’re trying to phase out the fossil fuel industry and turn to more renewable and sustainable sources of energy, electric vehicles aren’t just a vision for the future—they’re currently helping us lead better lives and creating a greener world.
To a cleaner future,
🚘 Electrifying rides in Asia
Shifting gears to EV production - For years, we have been hearing about the advent of electric vehicles or EVs. Today, evidence is mounting that the era has arrived with automakers introducing new EV models in recent times. Among EV manufacturers, Tesla sets itself apart as the market leader with its speed in innovation and initiation of the going green trend.
Rolling out EVs in Southeast Asia - Home to the fifth largest automotive market in the world, SE Asia is poised to reap the benefits of major investments in the region’s vehicle electrification.
Indonesia recently signed a US$9.8bn MOU with South Korea’s LG Group to produce lithium batteries for EVs, and hinted at potential agreements with Tesla to develop their EV and battery industry. Over in Thailand, Toyota is spending THB 19bn to manufacture its own EVs, while Vietnam’s VinFast is planning to export electric SUVs this year.
A growing EV acceptance is the final piece of the puzzle - To encourage consumers’ EV adoption in SE Asia, close collaboration between governments and automakers is crucial—not only for providing adequate EV supply and incentives, but for education and exposure. An example includes BlueSG, an EV car-sharing program launched in 2017 for Singaporeans to experience EVs and test their viability in a city.
💡 Learn more
EV green light for embattled Evergrande - The electric-vehicle arm of Evergrande, the now world-renowned debt-ridden property developer, has been granted the green light to sell two car models, per a document issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Evergrande announced its entrance into the new-energy vehicle business in 2018 - In 2019, the property giant doubled down on its EV ambitions by releasing a three-year investment plan of 45 billion yuan (US$7 bn). However, by early 2022, Evergrande had failed to sell a single car.
Now the firm intends to put its vehicle products on the market as early as April. However, Evergrande’s first fully manufactured EV was completed **this January.** With over 450 registered EV companies in China, Evergrande is a latecomer to the market.
Hope for Evergrande’s vehicle venture - Sales of Chinese electric cars are booming, both in China and in foreign markets. Furthermore, Evergrande’s publicity may play into its ability to rapidly sell cars. But even if Evergrande profits from car sales, there is no guarantee the car gains can offset real estate losses.
💡 Learn more
As competition fosters innovation and further research, here are some of the latest technological breakthroughs that scientists working on. Each has the potential to be the next big thing for the EV industry and give it the big push forward.
Different battery technology - Carmakers across the world are already looking at different alternatives to the now ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries that are being used in EVs. From sodium-ion, manganese, to zinc-ion and others, manufacturers are trying to find the perfect ingredients that have the right mix of scalability and costs.
Electrified roads - While the electrification of passenger vehicles is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, the lion’s share of emissions belongs to commercial trucks and other large vehicles. Currently, work is underway to explore whether overhead electrical cables, much like the ones that city trams or metro services use, can be used by large commercial vehicles to charge their batteries on the go or even to run their vehicle completely.
Battery swapping - While battery swapping is not a new technology, recent changes have made it a far more valuable prospect for smaller EVs than ever before. Battery swapping can overcome many of the shortfalls of traditional EV charging while charging infrastructure continues to build up in the country.
💡 Learn more