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Electric Vehicles: Driving Towards a Sustainable Future With Artificial Intelligenceby@swastikaushik
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Electric Vehicles: Driving Towards a Sustainable Future With Artificial Intelligence

by Swasti KaushikMarch 4th, 2023
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The emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) in the face of the depletion of fossil fuels highlights policies framed by different countries to combat rising carbon emissions. The article discusses the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the EV ecosystem, analyzes major companies' steps in remodeling their fuel-driven cars, and discusses the challenges of making EVs feasible for people from all sections of society.
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The automotive market stands on the verge of a major transformation with the introduction of electric vehicles, addressing the concerns of global greenhouse gas emissions and the use of exhaustible power resources. The accelerated demand for these vehicles comes from the shift in three key areas: consumer behavior, regulations, and integration of AI technology in the process flow.


As per EV-Volumes.com, “a total of 10.5 million new BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug-in Electric Vehicles) were delivered during 2022, an increase of +55 % compared to 2021.”


“It is clear now that electric vehicles are the future, and that the future is coming faster than many anticipated. California and other states have already declared that no new gas vehicles will be sold after 2035,” said Dave Lewis, CEO of  MoveEV.


China despite sporadic Covid outbreaks and lockdowns, emerged at the top of the leaderboard with an increment of +82 percent year-over-year EV sales by the end of 2022.


The Chinese government's subsidies for electric vehicles, the expansion of the mini-electric vehicle industry, and the emergence of more relatively affordable brands are a few factors contributing to the sector's explosive growth in China.


Following closely up with China, Europe made up about 11% of the total revenue generated. Stringent climate laws and regulations drive the European transportation industry, its “Fit For 55” program defines how laws make “reaching the EU’s climate goal of reducing EU emissions by at least 55% by 2030 a legal obligation.”


However, the EV market in Europe is in the clutches of an impending energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rising cost of electricity is impacting the affordability of driving electric vehicles, to the point where they may become more expensive to run than their gas-powered counterparts. This surge in electricity prices could potentially hinder the continent's shift towards electric transportation.


“When we looked at this(transition to EVs) before the energy crisis, we were looking at a tipping point of around 2023 to 2024. But if you assume you have a tariff going forward of $0.55, the tipping point then moves to 2026,” said Maria Bengtsson, a partner at Ernst & Young.


Several countries are framing their policies around the threat of climate change and exhausting renewable sources pool. The Biden administration is pushing America to decarbonize by introducing a 50 percent electric vehicle target by 2030.


"Today, nearly all automakers have put zero-emissions vehicles at the heart of their long-term strategies – and, perhaps more importantly, their medium-term investment plans," according to S&P Global Mobility. The report emphasized how EVs are no longer a budding industry but have gained enough traction to be mainstream in markets like China, Germany, France, and the UK.


The adoption of EVs is majorly driven by advancements in technology, the integration of AI into automobiles has led to the enhancement of features that have made driving effortless and safe.


As per Research and Markets, “ the global Automotive Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market is predicted to thrive at a CAGR of 29.2% and valued at over USD 34.30 billion over the forecast year 2022-2030”.


It further noted that the growth in the automotive AI market is a direct reflection of increasing demands “for sophisticated vehicles and the shift of the automotive industry towards electricity.”


Challenges like limited driving range, long charging times, and integration with smart grids are being addressed by the introduction of AI Technology.


“ The increased sensitization of an electric vehicle leads to more data from the vehicle being available. This data can be used by manufacturers, service representatives, and drivers,” said Cliff Rice from Rockwell Automation.


He further explained that manufacturers can use this data to improve driver assistance algorithms, understand driving patterns for maintenance needs, and provide advanced diagnostics and software updates to enhance vehicle performance and increase their lifespan.


 Predictive analytics is playing a significant role in advancing battery technology. Using predictive maintenance, these technologies are improving the efficiency and reliability of batteries. This is important as it ensures that batteries operate at optimal levels, delivering high performance and minimizing the risk of breakdowns.


“Batteries are highly complex components – chemically, electrically, and in terms of software,” said Rikard Vinge, Data Scientist at Volvo. “But data analytics can help us to understand them better: how they are used, how they are affected by the driver, how they are impacted by other components in the vehicle.”


Apart from user experience, engineers are using AI to improve the designs and working efficiency of components.


“By using AI in our generative thermal design approach, we are able to create and simulate thousands of iterations of a design in a matter of days, fully autonomously. To fully grasp the scale and speed at play here, in the time it takes a thermal engineer to create one design, we’ve already created 1 000,” said Diabatix CEO, Lieven Vervecken.



Several companies are collaborating with big tech names to provide their users with the best of both technologies.


Ford has collaborated with Google to make use of its cloud services and expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tesla leverages AI for updating the software over the cloud providing their users with remote services. Volkswagen and Microsoft have also joined hands to unleash the power of Azure IoT and PowerBI by offering telematics and productivity solutions.


The major OEMs(Original Equipment Manufacturers) are convinced that the transition to the e-mobility industry is now inevitable.


BYD Auto's sales of BEVs and PHEVs tripled by concentrating its production and sales efforts on electric vehicles, making it the leading manufacturer of PHEVs and BEVs in 2022. Tesla dominates global BEV sales with a 17% market share, while the Volkswagen Group saw only a 10% increase in EV sales in Europe with declining PHEV sales.


Established carmakers are reinventing their business models in the hope of adapting to a new world where electricity replaces traditional gasoline and diesel.  Automakers are buying up every battery they can get as factories undergo renovations to build electric vehicles. Some businesses are being forced to find partners due to the high expense of creating electric vehicles, while others are becoming acquisition candidates.


The prominent players in the industry are revving up their traditional internal combustion engines to become the frontrunner in eliminating them altogether. Leading names like Tesla, Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors, and Nissan are introducing new models in the market.


The transition to the EV industry is bringing about a lot of opportunities for innovation in the field of battery technology, braking systems, steering systems, and the arrangement of propulsions.  In 2020, more than 18,000 patent applications were made, with an average grant rate of 50%, according to global patent trends in the Electric Vehicle (EV) sector.


While the patent filing trends suggest the pace of technology, it also gives a fair picture of the new changes occurring in the industry. As per a report published by European Patent Office(EPO) in 2020, patent filings for batteries and other electricity storage technologies saw an annual increment of 14 % worldwide, 88 percent of which offered innovation in battery technology.


Electric vehicles raise the highest demand for Lithium supply for the manufacturing of batteries. If today’s demand is forecasted to 2050, the US market alone would require a three-fold mining of what is currently produced globally, but does it have to be this way?


A recent report found that “Lithium demand can be reduced by up to 92 percent in 2050 in comparison to the most lithium-intensive scenarios. This can be done by employing three key policy interventions: decreasing car dependency, right-sizing EV batteries, and creating a robust recycling system.”


The existing charging infrastructure for these batteries is far from capable of meeting the growing demand. Although huge investments are underway, skepticism looms owing to cost, choice, and “range anxiety,” soaring in the areas where battery packs have previously failed to deliver considerable driving range and took long charging times. The fastest vehicle and charger- the Lucid Air can reportedly give about 300 miles of range in 20 minutes, 100-200 miles per charging hour is typical for average EVs.


To alleviate such concerns, there has been a swift effort to establish fast charging networks throughout the country, with utilities looking to increase electricity sales. More than 60 utilities have joined forces to establish the National Electric Highway Coalition, which aims to develop a nationwide fast-charging network along major highways in the US. The number of fast chargers has already grown significantly, with over 6,500 available today,  and there are even more commitments underway.


General Motors Co. and Pilot Co. plan to partner up and build a network of charging stations across the U.S., set to boost about 20% of the number of fast chargers available to American drivers.


As the world transitions from a fleet of gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles, it is estimated that millions of people will rely on the electric grid in various ways. This means that the power generation capacity will have to increase to accommodate the growing demand for electricity without causing strain on the grid. According to the Department of Energy, US, there will be a 38 % increase in electricity consumption by 2050, mainly due to the high involvement of electric vehicles.


Research conducted at the University of Texas, Austin carried out state-by-state assessment scenarios where every personal car, truck, and SUV is converted to a plug-in electric model. The study found that the state energy consumption jumped to 17 % in Wyoming and 55 % in Maine. \

The consumption ranged from 20-30 percent in most of the states. Some states showed an available capacity to take upon the excess loads whereas, for others, ideal case assumptions for charging times were made to channel the power. The capacity of grids for EV charging depends greatly on the time of the day they are plugged in. The chance of grids overloading falls drastically if charged at off-peak hours when consumption is lesser.


With all the speculations and possibilities, the imagined “zero emissions” world doesn’t seem to acknowledge what happens to fossil fuel-driven vehicles running on the roads for now. One idea circulating is the remodeling of traditional engine-driven cars to electric vehicles.


At a recent industry event, Toyota's CEO, Akio Toyoda, signaled that the business would enter the conversion market by displaying two vintage Corollas that had been converted to electric and hydrogen power.


“The reality is that we cannot achieve zero carbon emissions in 2050 simply by switching all new car sales to EVs,” said CEO Toyoda at the press conference. “It is important to provide options for beloved cars that are already owned.”


While some experts support the idea of remodeling, others believe that electrifying cars is unlikely to be a viable option for individuals with limited financial resources.


“ If you’re thinking of how do I retrofit an ICE car to be an EV, I don’t think that’ll happen. People will simply buy EVs as replacement cars as usual, but they may straddle the two technologies by having a plug-in hybrid car first,” said Trevor Curwin from Sheeva.ai.


The rapid expansion of the EV industry, despite the challenges posed by external factors and limitations, provides a strong indication that electric vehicles are here to stay and will play a significant role in shaping the future of transportation.