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Social Innovation

EV isn't easy

It seems that electric vehicles are inevitably going to be common place in the future, but challenges remain that could slow a smooth transition.

Once upon a time, the pitfalls of electric vehicles seemed insurmountable and the supremacy of the combustion engine was absolute. Today, as our streets begin to fill with electric vehicles, we take a look at what challenges remain and how they are being overcome across Europe.

1. Electric Vehicles have a very limited mileage range

The latest EVs can have a range of over 500km / 310 miles. Hitachi is one of the leading producers of electric car batteries.

2. Electric Vehicles cost too much

Various estimates, including the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017, estimate that EVs will have price parity as soon as 2022.

3. We do not have enough electric chargers across Europe

Major European car manufacturers, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford, and Volkswagen have entered into a partnership to create a  network of high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles across Europe.

4. Our electricity grid will not be able to deal with the additional demand

EV makers and utilities are working on solutions known as "demand side response" where EVs will delay charging until the grid has sufficient capacity, e.g. at night.

Despite the questions people have about EVs, including the challenges above, demand is soaring. In 2016, the number of EVs globally surpassed 2 million, and in Europe, sales increased by 38% during the first quarter of 2017. The Dutch bank ING predicts that electric cars will account for all new vehicle sales in Europe by 2035.