Competing Technologies

What experiences from electric train technology can be utilized in the R&D of electric vehicle technology?

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            The concept of electric-powered vehicles has been in existence for many years (Arthur, 1990). However, the experiences of electric train technology made the gasoline engine more popular. To date, the gasoline engine is the most widely-adopted engine, with electric engines coming back to the scene in recent years. Research and Development are necessary for the development of electric vehicle technology to ensure that challenges faced in the 1900s are eliminated. Various lessons can be learned from electric train technology and used in the R&D of electric vehicle technology. These include design-related challenges such as the requirement if more space, capacity requirements for batteries, and increased vehicle weight.

What experiences from gasoline-electric vehicle technology can be utilized in the R&D of electric vehicle technology?

            Gasoline-electric vehicles have increased in popularity in recent years. This is because of their improved efficiency and reduced emissions (Arthur, 1990). Experiences from gasoline-electric vehicle technology that can be used in the development of electric vehicle technology include the increased vehicle weight, the necessity of chassis modifications to provide space for batteries and an electric motor, and improved engine performance.

Regarding the electric vehicle powertrain, what scale economies of components already exist?

            Economies of increased dimension, purchasing inputs and parts at low cost, and bulk sales.

Will electric vehicles be readily accepted by the public?

            Electric vehicles will take time to be fully accepted by the public. This is because of their high cost and the lack of charging points in many cities. Moreover, people are generally resistant to change.

Regarding the electric vehicle powertrain, what unique infrastructure already exists, and what needs to be developed?

 The unique infrastructure that is already in existence includes the road network and the service centers for vehicles. Infrastructure such as charging bays and electric motors’ availability needs to be developed.

References

Arthur, W. B. (1990). Competing technologies: An overview,” in G. Dosi et al. (eds.), Technical Change and Economic Theory. London: Pinter.. 1989. Competing technologies, increasing returns, and lock-in by historical events,” Economic Journal, 99, 116-131.

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