Autocar - - CONTENTS - James Attwood Dig­i­tal edi­tor james.attwood@hay­mar­ @at­ter­s_j

THE GROWTH OF al­ter­na­tive pow­er­trains and au­ton­o­mous tech­nol­ogy is rapidly re­shap­ing the fun­da­men­tals of what a mo­tor car is. But it’s also caus­ing fun­da­men­tal shifts in the com­pa­nies that make them. Or, as Fran­cisco Car­ranza, Nis­san En­ergy Ser­vices’ chief, told me re­cently: “Be­ing just a car com­pany is not pos­si­ble any more.”

That might sound like a pithy line but it’s true. Car­ranza was ex­plain­ing Nis­san’s in­vest­ment in ve­hi­cle-to-grid tech­nol­ogy (p18), a con­cept that could shape how EVS in­ter­act with na­tional power grids.

Cars are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in­ter-con­nected with the world around them – with com­puter sys­tems and na­tional power grids. It doesn’t mat­ter how well built or en­gi­neered a car is if those con­nec­tions don’t work.

The big con­cerns around bat­tery cars cen­tre on driv­ing range and charg­ing dif­fi­culty. Ex­cept those aren’t re­ally car problems: they’re in­fra­struc­ture problems. That’s why the Re­nault-nis­san al­liance and Tesla (which, you could ar­gue, is a bat­tery pro­ducer that hap­pens to make cars) are in­vest­ing heav­ily in build­ing their own charg­ing net­works. Those car firms also hap­pen to be lead­ing the pack when it comes to EVS – and that’s not a co­in­ci­dence.

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