By: Peter Gabrielle
Major auto companies have their foot on the gas (or rather the accelerator) in their race to win the electric vehicle market.
In what looks like it will be the largest, most competitive and most expensive market shake-up in decades, automakers and tech companies are at full speed in their attempt to corner the market. A market, which is predicted to yield more than one trillion dollars. At this rate we barely go a day without some large news or announcement in the industry.
For example, Toyota, the world’s largest auto manufacturer by volume, announced a joint venture with Mazda to develop a new line of electric cars. Toyota additionally announced a new electric vehicle that will travel over 600 miles on a single charge.
Never to be outdone, Volvo announced a new electric muscle car. And it doesn’t stop there. Mercedes is promising ten new electric models in the next three years with $11 billion invested in the project and GM is ambitiously planning to do away with gas altogether and go fully electric. The point is, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t have current plans for an electric line.
But why now? Why are leading auto manufacturers doubling down on a model that is so clearly the antithesis of their current operation?
Well, for one, the market is predicted to be an absolute gold rush in the near future. According to the experts at Stanford University and McKinsey & Company, factors such as increased government regulations and buyer incentives, growing familiarity with electric vehicle options, lower battery prices coupled with superior performance and popular trends like vehicle sharing and automated driving, will explode it into a $1.5 trillion market by 2030.
“…electrified vehicles are expected to gain more and more market share from conventional vehicles,” The Stanford/McKinsey report reads. “…electrified vehicles will achieve cost effectiveness with conventional vehicles, creating the most significant catalyst for market penetration. Advances in charging technology, range, and awareness will further improve the customer value proposition.”
While electric vehicle makers may reap the rewards of a $1.5 trillion market, there may be even more money to be made in selling what’s required to make these vehicles. Consider just two factors that are absolutely essential to the coming electric vehicle wave – batteries and charging stations.
With Tesla and Daimler building their own battery factory and China going big on battery production, the battery making market is already pretty crowded (competitive). So that’s not where the money is unless you’re one of those behemoth companies.
In a market in which a 10% boost in driving range will be a big selling point, competitive advantages in areas such as power efficiency and safety will be worth billions to the industry.
KULR Technology in California has a breakthrough carbon fiber technology, co-developed by NASA, that can make batteries safer and more efficient by keeping them cooler and reducing their risks of fire and explosion. KULR is eying the electric vehicle market for their one-of-a-kind technology.
“If you can cut the space and weight requirements to keep batteries cool and safe, like we can, cars can weigh less and go farther on the same energy,” said Michael Mo, CEO of KULR. “It’s a huge advantage.”
According to Mo, “The cooler and more stable you can keep these batteries, the more power and performance you can draw from them. The EV (electric vehicle) companies that crack the battery code first, getting top power and performance from batteries, will own the market.”
Now that’s the car, but what about charging stations? In the aforementioned McKinsey report we get an idea of what the future holds, “Recent projections for global charging station deployments estimate that public and private installations could grow from around 2 million in 2016 to over 12 million in 2020.” That’s a six-fold increase in charging facilities in only three years.
Public charging facilities’ estimates put costs between $6,000 for a small parking garage to $100,000 or more for a large, multi-port, fast changing station. If you do the math you’ll see that this in itself is a market that will see hundreds of billions of dollars poured into it in just the next 36 months.
Again, it’s a good time to be in the business of supplying the technology needed to make these systems more efficient.
For KULR and their unique technology that means we should see some very good times for the California-based company in the near future.