Why has this become a thing? 
Disclaimer!  
This blog is not intended as a technical paper but is written to highlight some of the positives and negatives of this seismic shift in the automotive industry while trying to keep a positive mindset with regards to change! If you are looking for a detailed guide to electric vehicles (EVs), then drop us a message and we can talk. 
I’ve been working in and around the motor industry for over 30 years now, and in that time, I’ve seen technology advance in various ways. Whether it’s relating to vehicle design to make them safer for pedestrians in the event of an accident or the advancement of the electronics that control the output emissions of the vehicle, it’s arguably all for the betterment of the user and public in general. 
In more recent years the focus on vehicle technology has swung towards the method of propulsion. 
I was directly impacted by what became known as ‘diesel gate’. I was in fact on holiday in Crete when the news broke about ‘cheat devices’ being fitted to new vehicles to help them pass the emissions regulations tests, and I knew straight away that things were never going to be the same again! 
The diesel scandal that swept through the motor industry continues its impact to this day but that’s another story! In this blog I want to highlight what I believe to be a key pivot point in the development of transport, and in particular passenger cars. 
Was it going to happen anyway? 
Whether the development of EVs would have happened at some point anyway, it’s clear to see that this pivot point accelerated the development and the following governmental focus and the subsequent legislation introduced only went on to supercharge it! 
 
There is an argument that automotive manufacturers needed the push to broaden their focus away from the use of Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) but at the same time a large proportion of the car buying public were, and continue to be, not ready for the shift to EV. 
New technology? 
 
Whenever new technologies are developed there is normally a long gestation period before the general public get to see it. This enables companies to extensively test and fine tune the technology so that it is fully functional when released. In the case of EVs, while there may have been electric cars around for many years, they were, in the main, aimed at particular types of customers who in a technology adoption model would be classified as ‘Innovators’ and ‘Early Adopters’. 
2.5% Innovators 
13.5% Early Adopters 
34% Early Majority 
34% Late Majority 
16% Laggards 
With this in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise to understand that some of the technology being deployed in the current tranche of EVs isn’t as advanced as it needs to be to serve the demands of some of the ‘Early Majority’ and even less likely to serve the demands of the ‘Late Majority’! There is little doubt that the  
manufacturers continue to plough huge amounts of investment into the research and development of EV technology but the key advancement which is truly needed is battery technology and the next ‘big thing’ – solid state batteries - is still a number of years away from being widely available
 
With most of the legislation pushing manufacturers’ focus on the development of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), a significant gap with the development of other technologies like hydrogen fuel cells remains. While there is, and will continue to be, development of hydrogen fuel cells, if you think the EV charging infrastructure is poor then try and find somewhere you can buy liquid hydrogen!! 
Summary 
I'm in no doubt that some kind of change needed to happen but the highly charged (pardon the pun!) focus on EV above all else seems to be missing the point for me, however there is some evidence with the recent announcment from BMW that they are no longer focusing on BEV and are putting their hat in the Hydrogen ring that maybe others will follow? This change is primarilly being driven by legislation and not consumer demand, this feels quite unusual and might well be playing a part in the relatively slow adoption of the technology? 
Dave Bownes 
Director, 
Haynes Oliver Limited 
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