The 4th International Electric Vehicle Expo kicked off on Friday, March 17, at the Yeomiji Botanical Garden in Jungmun. The event will last until Thursday 23 and features various conferences as well as an expo showing off the latest electric vehicle technology.
The event started on Friday morning with the EV CEO summit. This saw EV leaders from around the world share their plans and ideas for the future of electric cars under the theme, ‘How to win at the tipping point”.
The general direction of the speakers at the summit seemed to be the idea that by combining the improvements recently seen in EVs with other up and coming technologies, the “tipping point” can be reached and the uptake of electric cars will rapidly improve.
Andrey Berdichevskiy, from the World Economic Forum, spoke about how advancements in self-driving technology and electric cars can combine to help bring a greater benefit to society.
He painted the picture of a future where cars are “electric, connected, shared, and autonomous” allowing people to fulfill their “basic need for mobility” in a way that is “clean and inclusive”.
Meanwhile, Hwang Seung-ho, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motors, pointed out that one of the biggest technological hurdles to electric car uptake has already been overcome. The recent improvements in the range and charging time of these cars has already seen big increases in the number of EVs on our roads.
He thinks that this, however, is just the beginning. By adding technology such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, and AI to current electric vehicle technology, the use of these cars will become both safer and more comfortable for the driver.
Jens Madrup, Chairman of The Environmental and Traffic Committee in the Capital Region of Denmark, moved away from technology slightly, and onto how improvements to the cities themselves can help push EV vehicles over the tipping point.
▲ The EV Expo was held at the Yeomiji Botanical Garden in Jungmun Photo by The Jeju Weekly
He focused on the belief that cities should be designed “for the people, with the people”. One of the most interesting ideas behind this was an electric vehicle sharing scheme.
Much like bike sharing schemes found in many cities around the world (including Jeju), the EV sharing scheme allows anyone to borrow a car and pay by the minute.
By encouraging this sharing, he hopes that people will put off buying their first car, therefore making the streets of the city cleaner and less congested.
As well as the various conferences held, there was also the expo itself for guests to enjoy. While large companies like Hyundai and Chevrolet showed off their newest electric vehicles (the Ionic Electric Trim and the Bolt respectively), there were also a number of smaller companies showing everything from batteries to bikes.
This included one company from Jeju called LK Way who specialize in making electric bikes. Due to the many hills found on Jeju, riding a bike here can often be a bit of a struggle. LK Way hope that adding an electric motor to bikes will encourage people to cycle more on Jeju.
One problem that is holding back the adoption of these electric bikes is the slow pace of change to the laws.
As it stands, electric bikes, even pedal propulsion powered ones, are currently classified as a road vehicle and as such require a license. They also aren’t allowed to use the island’s many cycle paths.
However, talks are currently underway to change the law so that these pedal propulsion powered bikes will soon be classed as pedal bikes and as such riders will be afforded all the related benefits.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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