A complete failure can become a resounding success with slight adjustment. A failed disposable bra became a big earner for 3M when reconfigured into a face mask that has seen high demand during severe outbreaks of flu. This is called two degree marketing. It is now being applied to failed mainstream pure-electric cars. Simple things are being applied to reduce purchase price, increase resale price and extend range.
Premium manufacturers such as Tesla are finding it tough to come down-market so companies already in low-cost sectors are about to make them. One currently stuffs printed circuit boards - another makes mobility scooters.
As the new IDTechEx report "Electric Vehicle Forecasts, Trends and Opportunities 2015-2025" explains, about 40% of the cost of an electric vehicle sold is the circuitry and electrical components to which it is connected such as batteries. This percentage is rapidly rising with the increase in electronic and electric functionality, from telematics to multiple energy harvesting.
In-wheel motors may have a place as they become able to reduce total system cost and increase range - the two advances go hand in hand. The 100 mile/ 160 km range of today's affordable pure electric cars represents no improvement in 100 years but Nissan plans better aerodynamics. The two-motor system from IFEVS is more efficient. Lightweighting will become structural electronics such as in-mold electronics, printed wiring and later supercapacitor and battery bodywork. GaN and SiC inverters are more efficient and lighter - no water cooling and smaller. These and many other small advances will triple affordable range within the decade.
The resale price problem caused by hideously expensive battery replacement is being overcome by long-life batteries and by supercapacitors protecting batteries to quadruple life to beyond vehicle life. IDTechEx therefore forecasts lift-off in sales of pure electric cars and buses in the second half of the coming decade. Indeed, these many simple improvements will transform the situation for pure electric vehicles by land, water and air.