When conversation turns to the future of mobility, everybody talks about electric vehicles. Numerous and diverse types of e-vehicles already exist. Some of these are for public transportation while others are for personal use.
You probably use an e-vehicle more often than you think. In fact, many of us use one or more every day. E-mobility is not reserved just to cars. This term includes also, for example, the operation of public vehicles, such as e-trains, e-trams, and e-buses. Furthermore, it encompasses such personal means of transport as electric bicycles and electric scooters. Moreover, there also are electric ships and even e aircrafts. We use some of these eco-friendly vehicles every day, some are still in development, and probably we will see or use more of them in future.
E-vehicles have excellent operating features and a whole range of convincing advantages: They are silent, free of harmful emissions, and they begin producing full torque already even when the vehicle is at a standstill about to depart. On the other hand, their disadvantages (for the time being, at least) are their short travel range and relatively long time required for their electrical recharging.
An electric scooter is becoming more and more a preferred and accessible means of transport that has many advantages one can appreciate in daily operation. These include minimal service, simple handling, low operating costs and, in addition, silent and environmentally friendly operation.
|MODEL 506/01||MODEL 506/02|
|Average range||80 - 100 km||120 - 150 km|
|Top speed||85 km/h||120 km/h|
|Acceleration 0 to 50 km/h||4.5 s||3.2 s|
|Average charging speed||42 km/h||42 km/h|
One example of an electric scooter is the new electrical model 506 of the Czech brand Čezeta. The advantages of this scooter lie in its extensive range of up to 150 kilometres, the possibility of charging its battery at home from the public grid (110 or 220 V), thanks to its built-in 1.8 kW charger, and top speed of up to 120 km/h. The average battery charging speed is 42 km per hour.
When charging at home during night-time, the fuel costs (in this case, electricity costs) are approximately half those for an average scooter with a 125 cc engine.
Electric bicycles offer fast and comfortable transportation, and the electric boost is especially welcome when riding uphill. This heretofore unconventional means of transport is winning the hearts of many cyclists, regardless of their age or physical fitness. Today’s modern electric bicycles look about the same as do conventional bicycles (city bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes), but, in addition, they are equipped with a battery, a discretely positioned electric motor (in the rear or front axle) and a control device affixed to the handlebars.
The motor assists the rider when pedalling the electric bicycle, but it doesn’t do all the work. It does, however, make the journey much easier. When riding uphill, in particular, the exerted physical effort is almost incomparable to that demanded in propelling a conventional bicycle.
Safety is always an important consideration with any type of vehicle, and it is noteworthy that an electric bike’s motor shuts down at the moment one stops pedalling. Similarly, the electric motor shuts down immediately when the brakes are applied so that it does not make braking more difficult.
|Range||60 - 160 km|
|Battery capacity||Up to 630 Wh|
Electric bicycles also may have special features. Those offered by the company AGOGS are equipped with a unique “boost” button to provide the rider extra assistance when it is most needed, as well as a “walk-by” mode to help when it is necessary to push the bike up the very steepest slopes.
There are many types of electric vehicles on the market these days, and now there is even an electric tractor. The ‘Kulan’ tractor is named for a species of Central Asian donkey. It is powered by a 2 kW electric motor at each of the rear wheels. A lithium-ion battery is positioned between the motors.
|Top speed||50 km/h|
The Kulan has a range of 300 km and a top speed of 50 km/h. It can transport up to 1 tonne of cargo. The target market segment for the practically silent tractor is small farms and parks.
Electric planes can offer a completely new way to travel that is elegant, fast – and electric. Might electric planes provide levels of safety and flexibility never experienced before? Imagine being able to bypass lines, traffic jams, and flight cancellations while covering distances easily and quickly.
For instance, the egg-shaped plane, called Lilium, has been heralded as high up as the European Space Agency, which underscores among the plane’s environmental benefits that it does not need to land at an airport. The plane takes off and lands vertically, meaning it can use helipads. The aircraft, designed in Germany, has a top speed of 400 km/h and a range of 482 km. It is designed to be flown in good weather conditions within uncongested airspace during daylight hours.
|Maximum range||482 km|
|Top speed||400 km/h|
|Power||320 kW/435 PS|
|Max. take-off weight||600 kg|
The two-seat light aircraft consumes half the energy of today’s most efficient electric cars and is so quiet that it cannot be heard when flying at a 1 km altitude. The plane is propelled by an electric impeller motor. Its extensive safety features include a three-fold redundant fly-by-wire control system, redundant batteries and engines, as well as a parachute rescue system for the entire aircraft.
Photovoltaic cells may have their greatest potential as a transportation energy source on the sea or inland waterways. In Canada’s Ontario Province, the cells are used on tourist boats cruising the 200 km Rideau Canal between the cities of Ottawa and Kingston. Photocells provide approximately half the energy consumed in operating the boats.
The world’s largest solar-powered boat, the Turanor PlanetSolar, attracted much attention when, in 2012, it became the first boat of its kind to sail around the world.
|Max speed||14 knots (26 km/h)|
|Cruising speed||7.5 knots (13.9 km/h)|
The PlanetSolar needs a massive expanse of solar panels to capture sufficient energy to push itself through the ocean. An impressive 512 square meters of photovoltaic cells charge the 8.5 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries that are mounted in the ship’s two hulls. The ship can seat up to 200 passengers. Its two 60 kW electric motors enable a very smooth operation. Indeed, the boat moves with practically no noise and no vibration.