On 8th November I presented at the Institute of Mechanical Engineer’s conference ‘International EV Batteries 2022 : Cost-Effective Engineering for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles’. Held at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing and the British Grand Prix, it was an exciting (if sometimes a bit noisy) venue with racing cars going round the track next to the conference centre. Whilst we could marvel at the speed they went, most of the cars were internal combustion engine (ICE), reminding us all that the whole automotive industry needs to move to electrification and the importance of battery innovation in doing this.
There were many key takeaways from this event, most notably from Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering who was chairing and compering. For him, the customer’s view on electric vehicles has shifted from range anxiety (because batteries are now good enough to provide long range) to an anxiety about not charging fast enough and having enough accessible charging points. Most consumers are still concerned that if they go for a long journey they won’t find a charging point when they need one. There’s also the continuing safety concern and he stated that there are still 2 LIB related fires a week which are out of sight of the general public. Improving safety is key in EV battery development.
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