EVs, EVs and more EVs
Our expert team has been hard at work tracking down the latest and greatest automotive tech CES 2020 has to offer, bringing you the most crucial info and take-a-ways, and we’re just getting started!
New EVs Still “Coming Soon”:
While we have seen a lot of new concept work so far at CES 2020 we are still getting some OEM’s with new EV vehicles that are said to hit the market in the next year or two. One of the first comes from an American manufacturer, Fisker who has been teasing their concept all-electric SUV until now. The ‘Ocean’, set to ship to consumers in 2022, has an interior that is fully vegan and is made of mostly recycled materials such as plastic bottles, t-shirts, and even old fishnets. Fisker has taken great strides to really capture the essence of being a sustainable and eco-friendly EV. Fisker, along with several other OEMs, have announced partnerships with Electrify America to ensure its new EV owners will have access to a large market of fast-charging stations as soon as the vehicle is released.
SBD insight: Electrify America continues to gain support from OEMs looking to market existing infrastructure rather than compete with Tesla in developing their own. We’re finding the biggest hurdle that EV charging suppliers are having is consolidating all the different types of plugs on the market. With each OEM more or less having its own style charging port it makes it difficult to have a vast network of charging stations readily available for all different EVs regardless of who makes it.
Futuristic Concept EVs:
Showcased on Monday night, Mercedes-Benz revealed a new concept vehicle partnering with the one and only James Cameron. This car, the VISION AVTR has a strong design influence from the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar’. Mercedes is looking to merge technology, luxury, and eco-friendly products to create a car unlike anything else. The VISION AVTR will have a completely new, fully compostable battery that will be 100% recyclable and will be classified as a ‘zero impact car’.
Sony perhaps has been one of the biggest surprises. They have broken out from their normal avenues of audio products, infotainment systems, and software to now delivering a full concept EV vehicle. Sony’s Vision S encompasses the entirety of what Sony can do, including more than 30 sensors both inside and outside of the car, 360 audio, and widescreen displays both in the dash and in the rear headset for passengers in the back. It is still unclear if the Vision S will come to market or be put into production, but it does go to show that the future of mobility is an industry that nearly all tech companies feel is not only important but a necessity.
More EV announcements:
There have been a lot of great new innovations and products already announced at CES 2020 and we expect even more to come. Harman has now brought their new Ecotect audio system to market that was specifically designed and engineered for use in EV vehicles. The new audio system is set to be about half the weight of your traditional audio system while delivering a sound just as crisp as any current system being used today. By halving the weight and using minimal parts compared to traditional systems, Harman is helping EV manufacturers reduce the overall weight and power consumption for the audio systems installed in their vehicles.
Another leap forward in the EV landscape comes from Jeep with their new hybrid Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade. These new 4xe models have been showcased at their booth this year but unfortunately, we still do not know very much about their future. All we know is they are expecting to have all their models with at least some electrified components by 2022.
Some (non EV) notable mentions:
- Hyundai and Uber partner up to bring more transportation to the sky’s. Together Hyundai and Uber have reveled their concept for a new electric helicopter that can travel up to 60 miles and hope to have it available soon.
- Honda’s new personal assistant powered by SountHound Inc. This new personal assistant can understand very complex commands and sentences, but we have to say the avatar for it is a little, shall we say…. odd.
- Digit Robots by Agility Robotics are coming to life now with Ford Motor Company purchasing the very first ones and showing them off at CES. These robots are capable of lifting and moving packages up to 40 pounds and now we are seeing them in action.
SBD insight: Despite seeing a large number of EV concepts, it is disappointing that we are still seeing more concepts than concrete plans for the promised EV revolution. Perhaps the likes of Sony, fisker and Harman will give OEMs more incentive to realize their announced plans of electrification in the next two years.
Be sure to check back with us throughout the week so you don’t miss anything and don’t forget to sign up to receive our complimentary CES 2020 Flash Report giving you insights, overviews and more from the show.