Electric vehicles (EVs) took centre stage at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, with Chevrolet’s new Bolt EV heralded by many in attendance as a leading development in low emission vehicles.
The three-day technology event welcomed businesses from around the world to showcase the latest consumer technologies under development. While this includes tech for almost every conceivable field, mobility was a heavily featured trend at the 2016 event, reflecting the growing trend around the world for EVs.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt was unveiled for the first time at the show by General Motors (GM) as an all-electric vehicle said to offer more than 200 miles of range per charge. While this range is comparable with other EVs from Tesla, the Chevy division of GM claims the Bolt will be offered to the market at a substantially smaller price tag due to the fast development of lithium-ion batteries.
The capacity of the Bolt EV’s battery pack has been reported by Green Car Reports to be 60 KWh and is placed in the floor of the car to increase space within the vehicle. The full recharging time of the vehicle is expected by GM to be around nine hours, with the vehicle said to offer the most range for an EV as a result.
While the Chevrolet EV appears to be the favourite at CES 2016, excitement has continued to build around the Faraday Future all electric car after the concept FFZERO1 model was unveiled at the show. Described by most as looking like a batmobile and pitched to one day take on Tesla, the single-seat concept vehicle has 1,000 horsepower, 200mph top speed and can reach 60mph in just two seconds.
The model on display at CES 2016 was described by Faraday Future as a “test bed and parallel study” from which designers and engineers will develop the company’s future range of EVs. Like the Chevrolet Bolt, it uses a flat battery pack at the base of the car that can be fitted with motors on one or both axles. This skateboard style chasis can be adjusted to accommodate a the number of battery strings per each configuration, with larger crumple zones incorporated to protect the battery pack.
Despite the impressive look of the concept vehicle, reports from CES 2016 suggest that many were left disappointed by Faraday Future’s FFZERO1 model. Speaking to sister title Energy Storage News, Chris Robinson, an analyst with Lux Research, said: “I was a little disappointed!”
“I thought we were going to learn more about the company and more about what car they’re bringing to market and what their plans are but they continued the same rhetoric, saying they’d have a road car in a couple of years, and then they showed us this race car concept that doesn’t have its own power or anything yet.”
Also out in force at the show, and no doubt trying to win back some of its green reputation, was Volkswagen which unveiled its new all electric vehicle, the BUDD-e concept. This development is underpinned by its Modular Electronic Toolkit. Power is provided by a 101 kWh battery pack across the floor of the concept and mated to an electric motor at the front and an electric motor at the rear. The car is reportedly capable of reaching 93 mph and has a range of 233 miles per charge but the key development is that the car will be able to offer an 80% charge in 15 minutes. VW added that the vehicle can also be used as a secondary power unity for a house.