The Quirky and Fun Side of Electric Vehicles

Flying taxi

Electric vehicles are fun and easy to drive. That is one of the big selling points to them. If you’ve never driven an electric car before you are in for a treat when that time eventually comes.

However, fun and quirkiness has been taken to a whole new level by so many different companies in the industry. Here are just a few examples of what I mean.

Electric Vehicles – The New Classic Cars?

This subheading should be a bit of an oxymoron. Electric vehicles are new, they are next level tech, they are doing what cars have never done before. Classic cars are… not new.

However, fear not, I have not lost my tiny mind. There is a fabulous company called Electric Classic Cars that converts, you’ve guessed it, classic cars from petrol and diesel drivetrains into electric drivetrains. Anyone who has visited the Fully Charged Show Live, or Fully Charged Show Outside as it was called in 2021, will be familiar with the Delorean of Back to the Future fame that this company had converted and put on display to the public.

The idea of converting classic vehicles is such a fun concept. Not only can you still drive a favourite of vehicle enthusiasts from the past, but you can do it greener and cheaper than before.

One of their past projects was the Porsche 911. And if you can convert a Porsche 911 into an electric car, you can convert anything! They have also converted a VW Campervan, a Range Rover and the classic Beetle. I love that these wonderful vehicles can be given a whole new lease of life, and the fact that there is less waste from scrapping them.

There appears to be little or no limit to what they can convert. If it had a petrol or diesel engine, then it could be turned into an electric road vehicle. Brilliant.

Electric Porsch2 911 in red

Battery Swapping

This is something you would have heard of before if you are a regular reader of our blog posts. Tesla owner, Elon Musk, toyed with the idea of battery swapping early on but then decided against it. There is also the issue that not all car batteries are the same size, shape or power. However, Chinese company, Nio, has not only revived the idea, they have rolled it out.

Battery swapping, on the face of it sounds like a brilliant idea. If you are going on a long journey, for example, you can park your car up in a special battery swapping garage and let the automated battery swapping machine do all the work for you. The whole process takes a grand total of around 5 minutes to complete, saving up to 40 minutes on waiting at a fast charger.

Having been rolled out in China and Norway (the go to country for releasing new Chinese brands in Europe apparently) the scheme has proved to be quite popular. Of course, you would need a Nio car in order to be able to use the service. Nio electric cars are, however, superbly built machines and fit in the luxury range. Not too shabby. 

Personally, I don’t think this idea will really take off too much further. Or, if it did, it wouldn’t be a long term thing. The reason being that battery technology is developing so quickly that in the next few years we will see cars that can fully charge in about 5 minutes anyway. It’s a brilliant idea, but, like the floppy disk, its lifetime and usefulness will be a short one.

Nio battery swapping station

Wireless Charging

Using inductive charging technology in our roads is something that a lot of companies have been looking at in recent years. We are still a few years away from a rollout of the electric highways that have been trialled in both China and, more recently, Italy whereby the car is constantly receiving charge through conductors built into the road itself. However, we do already have wireless charging pads.

Wireless charging is not something entirely new. Before it was rolled out for cars, it was phones that first benefited. Nearly all new electric vehicles have a pad in the car where you can place your phone and it will start charging using inductive charging capabilities. The principle for charging an electric car is exactly the same but on a much bigger scale.

One company that has rolled this technology out is Momentum Dynamics. You simply park your vehicle over the charging square in the parking space and the vehicle can charge automatically. 

 

Bus charging on a momentum dynamics charger

Use of Wireless Charging in Electric Vehicles

Based in Pennsylvania in the United States, Momentum Dynamics are used by a wide range of services, including buses, taxis, emergency services and more. As these vehicles have a predictable route, the vehicles can continue to trickle charge throughout the day and not need to be plugged in at any point.

These wireless charging units are incredibly powerful as well. In Scandinavia where these Momentum Dynamics units have already been rolled out you can receive more than 50kW of power to your battery without it being plugged in. Back in America they have units up to 400kW of power, which is huge and necessary for bigger battery vehicles, such as the aforementioned buses.

Challenging weather conditions are not an impediment to their use either. These chargers are able to work at full speed even through inches of ice! This is the sort of technology that we will probably see much more of in the near future. It seems to be a real winner.

Flying Taxis

No, I have not been drinking or taking any illicit substances. Flying taxis are a thing (or they will be in 2025 when they are fully certified to carry passengers). 

Vertical Aerospace, the brainchild of British businessman, Stephen Fitzpatrick, has spent several years working on an eVTOL vehicle (eVTOL stands for electric vertical takeoff and landing by the way) and the result is the VX4.

Looking like a machine from a futuristic science fiction film, the VX4 is an 8 rotored craft that looks like a cross between a car, a small plane and a helicopter. All 8 of the rotors lift the craft off the ground and, when high enough, the front 4 rotors turn forward to propel the craft forward while the rear 4 rotors stop moving to aid aerodynamics.

The craft has a range of around 100 miles and can travel at a speed of 200mph. Urban-Air has opened a demonstration hub in Coventry for electric takeoff and landing vehicles which will commence soon. There will also be a special demonstration of the vehicle taking place during the Summer Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and it is something I am really looking forward to seeing.

The craft is almost completely silent, it is cheap to run and maintain (maintenance costs being one of the most costly things on a traditional aircraft), and will cost about the same as an Uber ride. What’s more, the VX4 is one of the safest methods of flying there is! Avoiding the City traffic and travelling in a super green fashion has never been so much fun!

Electric Vehicles – An Exciting Time to be Alive

Electric vehicles are about so much more than just getting from A to B. When was the last time you got excited about an inventive new type of petrol pump? No, me neither.

The world of electric vehicles is changing so quickly that it can be hard to keep up at times. It is exciting to see what the next development is, and we at EVision Electric Vehicles can’t wait to share what I find out with all of you. We can say that we saw the start of the electric revolution and that it was an amazing time to be alive.