There’s a palpable feeling of excitement around the potential of electric vehicles, particularly with regard to environmental impact. More businesses are making sustainability a priority, and studies are showing that eco-conscious practices can translate to increased sales. The EV space is no different. In 2018, global electric car sales exceeded the 2 million mark (2.1 million), after crossing the 1 million mark in 2017, rising 65%. But in 2019, sales increased only 9% to 2.3 million, impacted by an overall decline in global automobile sales. Nonetheless, a tenfold increase in the demand for EVs is expected by 2030. Nearly every region of the world has renewed its EV incentives, and every major OEM is on track to electrify its vehicle fleet. The world is doubling down on electric.
Still, the electric vehicle industry has a price comparison problem. While the cost of EV batteries are projected to decline in the years leading up to 2030, battery expense remains one of the major barriers to overall price parity with gasoline-powered vehicles, accounting for more than a third of the cost of an electric vehicle.
One potential solution is employing highly accurate and safe battery management systems (BMS), which helps automakers and parts manufacturers bridge the gap between today’s high-cost batteries and tomorrow’s more affordable ones.
“There are several major issues from a consumer perspective,” says Patrick Morgan, vice president and general manager of automotive at Analog Devices. “Larger batteries enable longer ranges. The problem is that they add cost and weight. We’re solving that problem by making extremely efficient and accurate electronics for battery management systems that enable getting the most usable energy out of any given battery pack.”
That efficiency is even more critical for industries like trucking, which are beginning to invest heavily in electrification. According to a McKinsey study, up to 20% of medium-duty trucks could be EVs by 2030—if batteries can keep up with demand. “EVs may require additional downtime for charging that can adversely impact business performance, because the vehicles are placed in a non-revenue status longer than gas-powered vehicles,” says Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.