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By James H. Harlow
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The replacement of the batteries, even for HEVs, is quite expensive, added to which is the limited life problem of these batteries. The cost of EVs will come down as volume goes up, but in the meantime, subsidies and incentives from the government can create momentum. The increasing use of EVs will improve the job prospects of electrical engineers. The new jobs related to EVs will be in the following areas: • Power electronics and motor drives: Design and development of the electrical systems of an EV • Power generation: Increased utility demand due to EV usage • EV infrastructure: Design and development of battery charging stations and of hydrogen generation, storage and distribution systems REFERENCES 1.
The manufacturers of EVs in the 1990s realized that their significant research and development efforts on ZEV technologies were hindered by unsuitable battery technologies. A number of auto industries started developing hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to overcome the battery and range problem of pure electric vehicles. The Japanese auto industries lead this trend with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan already marketing their Prius, Insight, and Tino model hybrids. The hybrid vehicles use an electric motor and an internal combustion engine and, thus, do not solve the pollution problem, although it does mitigate it.
2 EV HISTORY The history of EVs is interesting. It includes the insurgence of EVs following the discovery of electricity and the means of electromechanical energy conversion and later being overtaken by gasoline-powered vehicles. People digressed from the environmentally friendly mode of transportation due to lack of technology in the early years, but they are again focused on the correct track today. 1 THE EARLY YEARS Prior to the 1830s, the means of transportation was only through steam power, because the laws of electromagnetic induction, and consequently, electric motors and generators, were yet to be discovered.