The financial and economic situation is considered as the biggest challenge for the vehicle makers in 2010. The automobile industry invests heavily in research and development. An environmental challenge has been taken in order to offer appealing and affordable solutions.
To ensure the sustainable mobility and to meet environmental demands of the future, electric mobility can be considered as an important contribution. The new technology should provide special characteristics such as different driving or recharging requirements. The automobile industry is competing for offering electrically chargeable vehicles. The major issue is the reduction of cost of the vehicle in particular to the battery system.
The most convincing solution for sustainable mobility is offered by low-emission vehicles. The electrically chargeable vehicles may provide many benefits in towns and cities. However, they may not meet the transport and traffic needs that include larger daily driver distances at higher speed. When compared with the combustion engines, the driving range and recharge time are considered as the main issues that pose limitations.
The vehicles including cars, buses, and trucks are termed as electrically chargeable vehicles when they are powered by on-board batteries. These can be charged with off-board electric energy which means from the electric grid. Vehicles with the integrated combustion engines that overcome the limitations of electric propulsion such as limited range, are also included in the electrically chargeable vehicles. These vehicles include:
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV): They have no other power source other than the battery.
- Extended-range Electric Vehicles (EREV): The battery is used as the main energy source. However, they use a combustion engine driven range-extender which runs on hydrocarbons for sustaining the battery and for overcoming the limitations.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): They use battery as the main source for daily trips. But they run in common hybrid mode using the combustion engine running on hydrocarbons only after the batteries are depleted.