Chevy Volt seems to be the most practical car in terms of usability coz it does not require any gas to power up the motor! It only needs the power of electricity to keep the car running. While most cars are powered with Bosch super plus spark plug the Chevy Volt is powered by its rechargeable battery.
@Ms. Daisy, My concluding blog on the Chevy Volt should be posted within a couple of hours. In answer to your question, I see numerous opportunities for electronics companies in the design and adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. Software is a major opportunity. The Chevy Volt, for instance, provides digital information on a continuous basis to the vehicle driver. It has taken a lot of the guesswork out of vehicle monitoring and maintenance. Sensors alert the driver to nearby objects while the onboard information system provides data on electricity usage, gasoline consumption, performance efficiencies, safety and overall maintenance.
The Volt, like many new vehicles on the road today, tells drivers in digital form when an oil change is due, monitors tire gauges and has touch sensitive applications for controlling climate conditions inside the car as well as other comfort tools. Many applications you see in current generation smartphones are migrating to vehicles. For semiconductor suppliers there are numerous opportunities to provide chips that help track vehicle performance, execute commands digitally rather than mechanically, operate informatics and help improve safety. More than in the past, today's vehicles contain thousands of electronics.
That's the current situation. I see future opportunities for electronics companies in helping to extend battery longevity, making it smaller, improving power recovery (from the wheels and braking mechanism, for instance) and perhaps developing a new system that recharges the battery or generate electricity for driving simply from the motion of the vehicle itself. So, rather than plug-in charging, a next-generation electric hybrid could recharge itself with the motion of the wheels. And, of course, there is the potential also for automated driving. Many companies, including Google and Volkswagen, are currently testing pilotless navigation using cameras, sensors and computer technology. The next hybrid car five years from now will be completely different from the ones on the road currently.
@Tirlapur, The technology is already available to everyone. In many parts of the world, mass transportation is replacing single-occupant vehicles. Cars are used in Europe, for instance, for quick trips to the local groceries and the Volt can easily handle this. For longer distances, the Volt's electric system is supplemented with gasoline for longer drives. It works. I drove more than 300 miles to New Hampshire and the fuel consumption was lower than for other vehicles I have used in the past.
@Anna Young, The Volt, in electric or gasoline mode, is highly cost-efficient. The cost of a full charge is minimal and even if this lasts only 34 miles, it is still a good deal. In gas mode, the Volt is even more efficient. It offers better mileage per gallon than most vehicles on the road today. The one I drove gave me about 36 miles per gallon; that's a lot better than some of the more fuel efficient vehicles in the market now.
@Wale Bakare, The Volt actually works quite as well as regular gasoline vehicles in all weather conditions. In electric mode it has the power to perform in more or less the same way and because of the information system in place drivers can get tips on maximizing energy use.
@RobertinHouston, thanks for the post. i had lots of questions, some of which are answered in your post. As you rightly said, most people will buy hybrid not to save money but for other important factors. If i think about the resale value then what difference would it make? Also i think that electric battery have a limited lifetime then what is the additional cost.
@ Bolaji, It is sad to see that you have to drive vastly touted EV as a regular gas vehicle. Anyways by now you would be riding it with completely charged up batteries. But what I wonder is why not a company like GM can not bring in a complete EV into the market.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.