Hurricane Irma has been said to be the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade. It cut a trail across the Caribbean, continuing to Florida, Georgia, and South Caroline before weakening into a tropical depression, getting many people to flee their countries to avoid the storm. In order to help Tesla car owners evacuate ahead of the hurricane, Tesla pushed an update to cars in the southeast U.S. Namely, all car models have the same battery, but only those who pay additional $9,000 can use it at its full capacity. By just pushing a button, Tesla gave a free upgrade to everyone in the evacuation zone.

This was a 45% battery increase that saved lives, all thanks to innovations in the electric car industry.

How long before electric cars go mainstream?

A growing number of analysts argue that electric cars will become mainstream sooner than we thought. The conventional view predicted that these cars will be heavily dependent on government subsidies and plagued with high sticker prices, remaining a niche product for long. This line of thinking has become outdated because the price of electric cars is falling faster than expected, boosted with policies promoting zero-emission vehicles and cheaper batteries. It’s predicted that, by the year 2030, plug-in cars will become cost-competitive with traditional gas-powered vehicles. When that happens, mass adoption should follow quickly. This September, the world’s largest electric car market (China) has announced a near end to traditional petrol cars.

Electric cars have accelerated past 2m mark

The growth has been so fast in some European countries that electric cars are taking a serious market share from diesel and petrol cars (the highest proportion of electric cars worldwide has been recorded in Norway, where nearly a third of new cars sold there are electric). Last year, the number of electric cars accelerated past 2m barrier worldwide, as manufacturers launched new models and prices fell. The 1m milestone was passed in 2015, when the sales jumped 60% the following year. According to research by the International Energy Agency, Europe, the US and China accounted for more than 90% of global electric car sales, with China having the biggest market share.

Wireless charging is the future

The possibility of wireless electric charging will allow us to rethink how we deliver electricity to all electronic devices that could benefit from dynamic, wireless charging, not only to our cars. If we could recharge while driving down a freeway, it would lower their cost and basically eliminate concerns about their range. Plug-in electric cars have one major drawback – a limited driving range – with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 being expected to go more than 200 miles on a single charge. Chevy Bolt has a range of 238 miles, with drivers reporting that, under perfect conditions, the 300+ miles of range can be achieved. These power limitations would be overcome with a wireless, charge-as-you-drive system.

Some experts in the field of transportation even envision automated highway systems, where driverless electric vehicles can be charged by renewable energy sources, such as solar power. This would dramatically improve the traffic flow, reduce the number of accidents, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

News from the electric car market

On September 7th, Jaguar has unveiled their new all-electric automobile. The new E-type Zero is based on their T-type from the 1960s, keeping the classing styling of what Enzo Ferrari once said that was the most beautiful car in the world. It’s said to have a range of 170 miles (270 km), powered by a 40kWh battery that can be recharged in 6-7 hours. The new E-type Zero is expected to appeal to younger drivers that are eager to embrace the future but also appreciate the past. Jaguar’s new car model was exposed at the JLR Tech Fest event in London, which was open to the public between September 8th and 10th.

As for Tesla, today’s renowned electric car manufacturer, they’ve unveiled their Model 3 electric car this year in July. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, has promised this car about 14 years ago, and the company plans to unveil their all-electric semi-truck on October 26th. This is a big moment for Tesla, as their project could transform the trucking industry. The model is intended to open up their brand to many more consumers with a lower price point ($35,000-$50,000). While white is still a trendy color for cars, people who want to get their ride in a more vibrant shade than the default pearl white will have to pay a bit more for the privilege. We’re all definitely eager to see what Tesla has to show at the end of next month.

The electric car revolution is close. Their future is bright, even with low oil prices, because electric vehicle sales are driven forwards by longer-range car models, plummeting battery prices, and more charging stations. Chances are high that you’ll actually buy one, if you plan to buy a new car within the next decade. The all-electric car future is inevitable.

Posted by Emma Miller