Electromobility and car trends

Kamilya - December 18, 2023

Environmental friendliness and sustainability are among the major trends of our time and do not stop at mobility. The combustion engine is a discontinued model, which is why more and more car manufacturers are turning to alternative drives such as electricity. The number of e-car registrations is rising. Many people want to move away from private transport and are looking for flexible mobility solutions. Alongside car sharing, car subscriptions are one of the new concepts that are attracting more and more people. And then there is the increasing digitalization that is also finding its way into cars. Everything is smart and connected. The self-driving car, on the other hand, seems futuristic. We at CARIFY introduce you to the current and upcoming car trends and tell you where the advantages and disadvantages lie.

The rising popularity of electric vehicles

For a long time, vehicles with combustion engines dominated the streetscape. However, their CO2 emissions have significant consequences for the environment, which we are already feeling today. The finite nature of fossil fuel resources and rising fuel prices have also led to a rethink. Did you know that the first electric car was presented to the astonished public back in 1881? Until shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, e-cars were even among the most widely used motor vehicles and even had the edge in terms of speed. The only problem even then was the range, as well as the charging infrastructure. As fossil fuels became cheaper and cheaper, e-vehicles only led a niche existence for many decades - until the first Gulf War triggered an oil crisis and made alternatives to the combustion engine interesting.

Since then, the price of fossil fuels has risen steadily. There is also the environmental aspect. Many people want low-emission vehicles. Pure electric cars were initially very expensive and did not have a long range. There was also a lack of charging points, which made electric cars less suitable for everyday use. Since 1994, electric hybrid vehicles have combined the best of both drive types and made it easier to get started with electromobility. Electric cars now also have a very good range. The charging infrastructure has grown with the increasing number of registrations, and the improved charging infrastructure is fueling the demand for e-cars. We introduce you to the various electric drives.

Hybrid drives:

  • Mild-hybrid petrol, mild-hybrid diesel: This variant gets you reliably from A to B with a combustion engine (petrol or diesel). The electric motor provides support when accelerating and starting off. It is not designed to be the sole drive. The CO2 and fuel savings are correspondingly low.

  • Plug-in hybrid petrol, plug-in hybrid diesel: the electric motor and combustion engine can be used independently of each other in these variants. The battery of plug-in hybrids has a range of 60 to 120 kilometers - absolutely suitable for everyday driving in the city. On longer journeys, the combustion engine takes over as soon as the battery is empty. This can only be charged with electricity by cable (plug). The dual drive makes the vehicles heavy, which increases fuel consumption. As a short-distance driver, you can use this type of vehicle almost entirely electrically.

  • Full hybrid petrol, full hybrid diesel: Purely electric, combustion engine only or both at the same time - full hybrids are flexible. Another advantage: the battery draws energy while driving by using the braking energy (recuperation). Full hybrids are also heavy. Nevertheless, they can save a lot of fossil fuel.

  • Electric: Thanks to long-range batteries, you can drive up to 780 kilometers in an electric car without recharging. However, this is the exception. On average, an electric car can cover 350 to 400 kilometers. If you want to cover longer distances, fast-charging stations charge the battery in 30 minutes. The battery also charges via recuperation while driving. And the handling? The powerful electric motor ensures rapid acceleration.

Discover our low-emission hybrid and electric cars at CARIFY now!

Autonomous driving: the self-driving trend

If you often have to drive long distances, you know how tiring it is. Wouldn't it be nice to just close your eyes and let the vehicle find its own way? Without the human factor, the risk of accidents would be reduced and traffic would flow more smoothly - a dream! This is no longer a futuristic vision, but it is not yet a reality either. Let's take a look at what is already possible and what is not:

Technological advances in autonomous driving

In order for a car to drive safely through traffic without driver intervention, numerous sensors and monitoring programs must work together seamlessly. In modern cars, driver assistance systems already ensure that you maintain your speed, keep a sufficient distance from vehicles in front, stay in your lane and much more. From here, it is only a short step to fully automated parking or automatic starting and braking in traffic jams. This has already been implemented in the form of a freeway traffic jam pilot in the latest Mercedes S-Class. Up to 60 km/h, you can sit back and relax and let your car drive itself.

How safe are self-driving cars really?

Can technical systems really keep track of the chaotic traffic in city centers? Up-to-date maps and traffic information would be essential. And who is liable in the event of an accident? The legal situation is anything but clear in this respect. In Germany, Tesla's Autopilot is approved for speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. However, this is only an advanced driver assistance system, not autonomous driving. At present, drivers still have to be able to intervene themselves (semi-autonomous driving) in order to be able to steer or brake in time in an emergency. In the USA, however, there are already autonomous cabs.

autotrends 2023

Connectivity in the car: networked vehicles

Internet in cars is now almost as commonplace as mobile phone reception and GPS. It does far more than just entertain the kids on long journeys. The car itself can communicate in this way: its systems can communicate with each other and with other vehicles or computers outside.

The advantages of connected cars

Without the connection of various sensors, modern assistance systems in vehicles would not even be possible. Diagnostic systems facilitate troubleshooting in the increasingly complex on-board electronics; fleet management is made easier; finding a parking space becomes simpler. Connectivity takes place at various levels:

  • Vehicle to Device (V2D): Necessary for locating obstacles.

  • Vehicle to Network (V2N): The vehicle receives information about the weather, traffic conditions and other environmental warnings.

  • Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V): By vehicles sharing information with each other about location, route and change of direction, accidents can be avoided.

Data protection and security in connected vehicles

Wherever data is collected, the issue of data protection arises. Unauthorized persons could create movement profiles or other personal conclusions. What may be stored, by whom and for how long? Who can access the data? In most cases, there is no data protection declaration and certainly no consent from the drivers. In addition, the data can be used in many different ways. There is a risk of data misuse and data manipulation. Furthermore, connective systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks that can paralyze the car or even control it remotely. Governments are currently still struggling to find solutions and legal bases for many of these issues.

Sustainability and environmental awareness in the automotive industry

Many people want their cars to be more sustainable. The tangible consequences of climate change are increasing environmental awareness, and this is driving demand for vehicles with the lowest possible emissions. As a result, more and more car models are coming onto the market with electric drives, or even exclusively so. But even this technology is not without controversy: Battery production is not environmentally friendly, and then there is the vehicles' lack of range. Let's take a look at the alternatives.

The role of hybrid vehicles and hydrogen technology

Hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of two types of drive and serve as a bridging technology as long as the alternatives are not yet suitable for all everyday needs. Hydrogen technology is a chemical process known as cold combustion. Renewable hydrogen serves as an energy source that is converted into electricity in fuel cells in combination with oxygen without CO2 emissions. This energy drives an electric motor. So this is also an electric car.

Hydrogen cars: a real alternative to electric cars?

One of the main disadvantages of electric cars is their limited range, another is the charging time. Hydrogen cars can be charged in less than 5 minutes and have a long range (up to approx. 700 kilometers) thanks to the energy density of hydrogen. Electric cars are ahead in terms of energy efficiency, and the costs per 100 kilometers are far lower than for hydrogen cars. However, this could change with improved efficiency. Another disadvantage: there are still few hydrogen filling stations.

Car subscription as a flexible alternative to buying and why this model has a promising future:

If your car is more of a stationary vehicle than a vehicle anyway, you should ask yourself about alternatives. After all, it costs you every day whether you use it or not. In city centers, car-sharing models are a good way to cover your mobility needs. For longer distances or periods of time, car subscriptions such as CARIFY have been available for some time. Our advantages are the flexible subscription periods from 1 month and the cost transparency. You pay a monthly sum that includes all car-related costs. That's convenient. You can also rent a large or small car as required and test out different vehicles. Practical if you want to see for yourself how suitable an electric car or another trend is for everyday use.

Summary

There is no way around alternatives to combustion engines for diesel and gasoline. The future belongs to low-emission drives, and registrations for electric vehicles are on the rise. Alternatives such as liquid gas or hydrogen cars could overtake them in the future. Another trend is connected vehicles, which contribute to driving safety and are a basic prerequisite for the mobility of the future: autonomous driving. At CARIFY you will find a huge selection of vehicles and, of course, always the latest trends.

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