PLUGGED-IN ELECTRIC CARS SET TO GIVE AS WELL AS TAKE
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.
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE Subscribe p22