One of the most important things to understand about automotive innovation is that there is no such thing as a "small advancement." Likewise, innovation doesn't tend to be localized to one part of the industry or another — even something seemingly small can have a major ripple effect before you know it.
Take electric vehicles, for example. Obviously, they naturally represent a major leap forward compared to the traditional vehicles that most of us are used to. But the benefits don't stop with the EVs themselves. They're regularly changing not only how cars are made, but also the economy and even the entire manufacturing industry as we know it. This is true in a wide range of different ways, all of which are worth exploring.
1. The Impact of Battery Technology
For years, one of the major pain points of both EV and hybrid owners has to do with the longevity of a car's battery. Detractors have argued that a car's battery, even on a full charge, just can't go as far as a full tank of gas.
If manufacturers like Toyota have their way, however, this could all change. Toyota in particular has made significant advancements to its solid-state batteries that could potentially see a vehicle go as many as 900 miles without needing to be recharged. This technology is poised to debut between 2026 and 2027 and will make its way into mass market vehicles, too.
2. The Importance of Semiconductors
Semiconductors are another area in which EVs are making their presence known in the larger industry. Modern day electric vehicles naturally need not only more semiconductors per vehicle, but more diversity in those conductors as well. As breakthroughs occur, these sophisticated semiconductors still make their way into internal combustion engine vehicles by way of sensors and various microcontrollers.
3. The Rise of Lightweight Materials
One way that EV manufacturers have long attempted to increase the range of their products has to do with how they're being manufactured using lightweight materials. The cars are getting lighter and can therefore go longer on a single charge, but not at the expense of safety and durability of construction. There's no reason why those materials can't then be applied to traditional cars and trucks, especially as internal combustion engine car owners show that they too care about performance, efficiency, and the environment.
4. The Reach of the World's Electric Infrastructure
Finally, as electric vehicles grow in popularity, it naturally begins to tax the world's electric infrastructure in a way that triggers innovation to overcome a series of new challenges. New charging stations become a requirement for EV owners, which means that energy grid enhancements become a matter of not "if" but "when." Those same enhancements then trickle down elsewhere, as the grid becomes more reliable for other industries and even for residential consumers as well.
In the end, these are just a few of the many ways in which the rise of EVs and electric vehicle design have positively impacted the future of the automotive industry. The automotive industry is one that depends on innovation to succeed more than most. Especially when you talk about issues like sustainability and environmental friendliness, it's critical to look for new ways to create vehicles that go farther, perform better, and that increase reliability across the board.
Sometimes this takes a form that consumers anticipate, but most of the time it doesn't. That's okay, because this level of innovation and disruption is baked into the very DNA of the automotive industry. As the great Henry Ford once said after the first commercial vehicles began to roll off the assembly line, "if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." EV trends like battery technology advancements, semiconductor breakthroughs, lightweight materials, and more stand poised to change the future of the automotive industry in much the same way, for the better and for all time. Even if you don't currently own an EV or plan to in the future, it's safe to say that the breakthroughs happening in that space will continue to influence even the largest automotive manufacturers for years to come.
If you'd like to find out more information about the myriad of different ways the rise of electric vehicles has encouraged automotive innovation, or if you'd just like to talk to someone about your own needs in a bit more detail, please don't delay — contact us today. You can also follow these blogs for more insights into current and future automotive innovations.