The Best of Storyboard – eMobility
How will customers benefit from electric cars?
Dr Guido Haak, ŠKODA’s head of product management, met Storyboard to discuss the pros and cons associated with the onset of the electric vehicle era. The main advantages are lower running costs, reduced fuel costs and easier maintenance. What’s more, the smaller size of electric motors compared to internal combustion engines means there is greater flexibility in interior design – witness, for example, the “frunk”, i.e. front trunk. On the downside, purchase prices are currently higher. That said, they are expected to fall as the cost of buying a battery drops. Another fly in the ointment is the limited range, though this is improving all the time. The charging infrastructure is also mushrooming.
Despite the arrival (or, more precisely, the return) of electric cars, owners of ICE cars have nothing to fear, as petrol stations, workshops and other services are set to remain for at least a couple of decades yet.
How does an electric motor work? 10 questions and answers
For many drivers, the way electric motors work remains a mystery, even though they are simpler than internal combustion engines in many respects. ŠKODA’s experts have provided clear and easily understandable answers for your most important questions in the article under the link. You will discover, for instance, how electric motors and combustion engines differ in design and behaviour, how the performance and consumption of electric vehicles are calculated, how they are serviced, what their lifespan is, and whether all electric motors are much of a muchness.
THE 5 PRIORITIES OF ŠKODA’S eMOBILITY
There are five central planks to ŠKODA’s electrified vehicle development. The first key issue is driving enjoyment. The act that electric motors’ maximum torque is available right from zero revolutions comes into play here. The second plank is attractive design, leveraging the fact that electric motors are smaller than combustion units, so there is a lot more flexibility in layout. The third crucial area is the car’s internet connectivity and advanced driver-assistance systems. The fourth priority is value for money, traditionally a strong point of ŠKODA cars. Finally, there’s the range. This is an important factor for customers when deciding whether to buy an electric car.
The 5 levels of autonomous driving
Autonomous driving has been bandied about a lot recently, but not everyone knows that it has several levels. Most cars today still are still categorised under level zero, i.e. no automation, which means the driver is constantly in control of the car. But add adaptive cruise control, which maintains a safe distance from the car ahead by matching its speed, and all of a sudden you have a car laying claim to level one – driver assistance. If your four-wheeled friend can multitask by taking on two things at once, such as turning and controlling the pedals during parking manoeuvres, you’ve got a proud level two on your hands – partial automation. Level three – conditional automation – is where the system might, say, take full control of the car on a motorway. A level up and you have high automation, when the car manages everything except extreme situations. And last but certainly not least, level five is a car that, essentially, doesn’t even need a steering wheel, and even in rush hour will safely transport you, for example, to your weekend cottage. In the Alps. Even if it has no driveway to speak of.