Opening speaker at Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air USA 2012 in San Jose California March 27-28, Dr. Peter Harrop of leading analysts IDTechEx says, "Unlike other events, we delight in slaying the myth that most of the market value is in cars. Only our events and publications reflect the market split over the next ten years where cars will be important but well under 50% of the market value and the part where most participants go to the wall and there is most reliance on fragile government support. Other myths will also be put in their place at this future-oriented event, free of commercials".
Pure electric and hybrid surface boats and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles AUVs will be covered plus five forms of electric aircraft, some involving Boeing, Sikorsky and Airbus and all needing electric vehicle components very similar to those in electric cars. Radically new components being announced include those harvesting energy from motion particularly from cars, trucks and buses. In addition, three types of range extender will be presented as we head for the miniature range extender as a drop-in optional extra for pure electric vehicles.
Fuel cells are a form of range extender that inherently generates electricity - elegant but, as yet, elusive. Julien Roussel of Toyota in Belgium says, "I shall reveal the progress and remaining challenges in fuel cell technology and Toyota's FCV upcoming commercialization". Range extenders variously need to cover 0.5 kW up to 100 kW so there is room for many technologies. Indeed, with the Bladon Jets mini jet engine range extender covered in last year's event being unlikely to hit the volume market within five years, there is room for many new devices and that can be said of the traction batteries they charge as well. For example, with new results to announce, IBM will reveal why the lithium air battery must now be taken seriously.
Chad Maglaque of Clarian Labs in Seattle, with its rotary combustion engine that inherently produces electricity, says, "Clarian Labs is an award-winning technology incubator focused on developing the latest in energy-saving technologies. We believe that our commitment to this mission will in turn ensure the long-term sustainability and security of our communities.
Clarian developed it to enable an energy efficient, carbon neutral power source that can be used in a broad range of applications including as a range extender for electric vehicles."
Clarian was the winner of GE's Consumer Innovation Award in the 2010 Ecomagination Challenge, a global search to find and fund the most innovative clean technologies.
Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx is author of the new report, Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles 2012-2022 and he says, "For the next five years, I believe that totally redesigned, smaller, lighter, simpler, piston engines will be particularly popular but, after that, there is a very open field. We predict that over eight million will be used in 2022, mainly in hybrid land vehicles. It is surprising, therefore, that other EV events largely neglect them or act as if fuel cells are the only option. We do not."
There are work-rounds rapidly appearing or actually arrived for all the expensive and rare metals currently used in electric vehicles such as lanthanum in NiMH batteries, dysprosium, terbium and neodymium in generators and traction motors and platinum in fuel cells (one presentation at the event). Another ghost at the party is also confronted- overloading electricity grids.