GAUTHAM RAM: Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to this panel discussion. I’m Gautham Ram, a postdoctoral
researcher from the Delft University of Technology. Today we will discuss
the fundamentals of why electric vehicles are on the rise. Through this discussion, we hope
to demonstrate the profound changes that electric vehicle adoption will
have on our society and energy system. First I will introduce the panelists. Alongside me is Professor Paul
Bauer from the Delft University of Technology, who is leading the
technology part of this course. After him is applied research
Professor Frank Rieck from Notre Dame University
of Applied Scientists, who is leading the
business part of this MOOC. And after that, we have
Professor Margot Wiejnen from Delft University
of Technology, who is leading the policy part of this MOOC. Through the expertise from
technology, policy and business, what we aim to achieve
is that we try to show why the three perspectives of
technology, policy and business are required for the future
growth of electric vehicles. So let’s jump into this discussion. So my first question, what
I have for the panelists, is what everybody has when they first
hear of the what electric vehicles. Why should I as a common man,
buy an electric vehicle today? PAUL BAUER: Thank you,
nice question, Gautham. Well, from the
technological perspective, it is clear that electric vehicle
is environmentally friendly. It has a significantly higher efficiency
than combustion engine vehicle. It can be even four to five times
higher, which is very big number. The volt will efficiency, which is
meaning from the source of the energy to the vehicles. This is the efficiency of
four to five times higher. And that is because the combustion
engine vehicles produce mostly heat. Aside from that, we have less
need for the regular maintenance. But there is some small maintenance, but
much less than the combustion engine. Because there are significantly
less moving parts. And there are also other
advantages, like there is no noise produced from the engine. It can easily accelerate. You can accelerate as a super car. And it doesn’t rely on
fossil fuels, therefore it can contribute to energy transition. I will elaborate on that in the
technology part of the MOOC too. GAUTHAM RAM: Thank you for
input on the technology side. Frank Rieck, can you please tell
us why from a business perspective, I should buy an electric vehicle today? FRANK RIECK: Yes, I can, and
the answer is quite simple. At the end, it’s more cost
effective, it’s cheaper. Already now you see that
for buses and some trucks where they make total cost
of ownership a calculation, they find that the vehicles
today, the electric vehicles today can compete with the traditional
diesel trucks and buses. But also, for the private
user, businessmen, it will be cheaper in the end. It’s not the sticker price, of
course, which at this moment is higher than the
traditional vehicle, but you see that you can earn this difference
back in a very short period of time. GAUTHAM RAM: Thank you
for your input, Frank. Professor Margot, can you tell
us from a policy perspective, why should I buy electric car today? MARGOT WIEJNEN: Well I think
from a public policy perspective, government has many reasons to
convince people to buy electric cars. Especially in cities and along
major transport corridors, we see that the public health suffers
a lot from traffic induced pollution. So for the sake of cleaner air,
electric cars are a great choice. Moreover, electric vehicles nicely
fitted with energy transition goals and with climate policy goals as
my colleagues already pointed out, as we have seen in
many countries, rebates on the purchasing price
and fiscal incentives have been quite effective so far, in
stimulating the sales of electric cars. The downside of this,
however, is that as soon as you remove those financial
incentives, sales stagnate immediately. So how long do we have to keep up
with these stimulation schemes? What we have also learned, I think,
from the scheme supplied so far, is that we have to make a
clear distinction between just private drivers and the
ones you drive for business and buy their car as a business asset. They have very different behavior. And the latter group, where
the car is a business asset, is far more rational
in its decision-making on the buying of an electric car than
the general, private car owner is. FRANK RIECK: Yeah. GAUTHAM RAM: So if I summarize
some of the discussion here, I will say that the electric vehicle
is far superior from a technology perspective, mainly driven from the
efficiency and for the emissions. The total cost of ownership of
the electric car is already . Lower today and also
from a public policy perspective, in terms
of climate change goals and also from expression
of personal freedom, electric vehicles are
playing a unique role.