Shell, Toyota, ION Mobility on the “hope and hype” of electric vehicles – Health Guild News

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It seems that 2021 is the year of electric vehicles (EV). With Tesla finally entering our shores and more growing charging stations across the island, Singapore is fully accepting this change.

With more technological advances and the Covid-19 rushing the push for more sustainable forms of urban mobility, electric vehicles have definitely come to stay, like it or not.

At a roundtable at SWITCH 2021 titled “The Future of Electric Vehicles” yesterday (November 8), panelists discussed the complexities of electric vehicle adoption, the transition to an electrified future, the practicality of this decision, and the obstacles it entails.

The panel consisted of Amr Adel, Shell’s senior vice president of Mobility East, James Chan, founder and CEO of ION Mobility, Prasanna Ganesh, executive vice president of Toyota Asia, and moderated by Dale Hardcastle, co-director of Global Sustainability Innovation. Center at Bain & Company

A year of “hope” and “exaggeration”

Prasanna Ganesh, executive vice president of Toyota Asia, began the discussion by classifying this year as one of “hope” and “exaggeration.” He cites the last 18 or 20 months as an unprecedented time when we have faced a life-altering pandemic and the effects of climate change can no longer be ignored.

For Prasanna, the year was hopeful, as many governments committed to their net zero in the context of mobility. In addition, many new technologies have been receiving the attention and funding needed to expand them.

Many new electrified products are being announced, (and) new chemicals and battery technologies, including some policies, are advancing.

Personally, I am very happy to see the progress we are making with hydrogen. Investments are now rewarded for being green and the fastest growing segments are in the realms of the fight against climate change.

Prasanna Ganesh, executive vice president of Toyota Asia

While Prasanna acknowledged the advances that have been made in the electric vehicle sector and green energy in general, she also pointed to areas where it has fallen short.

“The discussion on decarbonisation often focuses only on banners and slogans, and no real action on the ground has been prioritized,” he said.

The discussion has no nuances on how to decarbonize while still maintaining the mobility needed for an economic transition, the sustainability of the sector and customer choice. As in the age of social media, this discussion is often different from the real problem in simplifying the size of a bite.

Prasanna Ganesh, executive vice president of Toyota Asia

Despite these stumbling blocks, Prasanna still has hope for the future of electric vehicles, which are heading towards carbon neutrality.

What is stopping the step towards decarbonization

Image credit: SWITCH 2021

After all, the ultimate goal of electrification is decarbonization. To move towards this goal, we must first understand where these COs are2 the emissions come from.

Prasanna reduced it to two major elements in a formula for decarbonization: vehicular CO2 emissions and total distance traveled.

When it comes to reducing the CO2 of vehicles2 emissions for many policymakers and industry actors in describing their approach to carbon neutrality would often declare an intense or even absolute adoption of battery electric vehicles.

While Prasanna agrees that “zero emissions from the exhaust pipe, whether electric vehicles or electric vehicles with batteries are in fact one of the optimal solutions to be implemented,” they still depend “a lot on the energy mix “.

Several studies have shown that until renewable energy increases to a significant portion of a country’s energy grid, a strong hybrid electric vehicle could be an equally beneficial or better alternative, given the emissions from battery production. and electric charge. Unfortunately, despite the encouraging growth of renewable energy, most Asian countries are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

Prasanna Ganesh, executive vice president of Toyota Asia

The second important element is the distance traveled. In terms of the number and type of product trends, Prasanna cites critical factors such as accessibility, usage patterns, and available infrastructure.

He sees the potential of electric vehicles running on renewable energy for personal use and even in logistics.

“We need to maximize all low-carbon technology that can support the mass deployment of policymakers, and industry should adopt and support all electrified or low-carbon technologies.”

However, for a sustainable transition to a future of electric vehicles, many depend on customer acceptance.

“A lot of people talk about TCO (total cost of ownership), but not many people can afford a vehicle that will provide you with a TCO for years or seven years. People need to make sure it’s able to get the product to have lower emissions at a reasonable rate “.

From this perspective, Toyota would like to offer multiple avenues towards carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is the goal, Prasana stressed.

An integrated approach to an electric future

amr adel shell
Image credit: SWITCH 2021

Amr Adel, Shell’s senior vice president of Mobility East, shared Prasanna’s feelings about decarbonisation as Shell is also heading towards a clean zero carbon footprint for 2050.

For Shell, they have been incredibly busy in terms of innovation and creativity “in terms of managing and implementing the energy transition”.

“I have seen a clear movement towards dialogue and understanding that there is a migration from slogans to actions and implementations on the ground,” Amr said. To understand the evolution towards an electrified future, it is necessary to know that the solution must be versatile.

It has been wonderful to see and observe that there is now a clear understanding, from my perspective, that there is no intention of an isolated solution. It is a multidimensional solution that involves and actually dictates that everyone play with this tune, be it governments, society, industry players and, ultimately, customers.

Amr Adel, Senior Vice President of Mobility East of Shell

To alleviate our current carbon problems, he stressed that we can not only rely on the energy sector to solve the problem. It is impractical and unrealistic for the world to immediately stop using fossil fuels and diesel.

Instead, it is an energy transition and more time must be given for the electric vehicle infrastructure to be developed on a scale that can support the current appetite.

“It is providing a mosaic of opportunities for low carbon, LNG (liquefied natural gas), hydrogen and electric vehicle charging. We will then work together in sync with governments and industry players.”

Electric motorcycles and their unique challenges

James Chan Ion mobility
Image credit: SWITCH 2021

In the realm of electric vehicles, things get even more interesting when you incorporate electric motorcycles into the mix. For James Chan, the founder and CEO of ION Mobility, two-wheeled electric bikes also pose their unique set of challenges.

Although the pandemic has slowed social and economic activity during the pandemic, the number of personal mobility devices has remained healthy. There have been bands of motorcycles that have been completely sold out, but sales of electric motorcycles have remained silent.

“This tells us that there is a gap between the convenience and affordability of what is currently offered in the market with what consumers want to pay,” James said.

Since motorcycles are sold more than six times in Southeast Asia compared to cars, I think we have selected this interesting space to offer us a first hardware business that we hope can evolve over time to become a software business.

James Chan, CEO of ION Mobility

Electric vehicles, electric bicycle Ionic mobility
Image credit: ION Mobility

When we talk about having an electric vehicle, one of the limitations is always the lack of recharging points. James acknowledged that the problem extends to motorcycles, but unlike electric cars, the battery of motorcycles is 10 to 20 times smaller.

Also, in the B2B motorcycle space, battery exchange is a solution. However, for the B2C space, most people should use their phones to secure a place.

To combat this, James believes the solution lies in the middle. “They won’t be whole exchanges. You don’t want to have so much lithium and nickel on the net waiting for you. It’s not like petrol, you can just pour it in,” he explained.

One of the advantages of having an electric motorbike is that it can be charged from the power outlet. With these automotive bikes, James believes we can have the electrified grid as the best distribution with increased exchanges as the way forward.

For him, the answer lies in carbon offsets and the space for renewable energy certificates.

Among our RECs and carbon offsets. I don’t see them either. I see that the carbon offset trip is much longer. I see that the REC journey is much faster. Because not everyone will have the luxury of land, technology and infrastructure to produce all the green energy they want.

James Chan, CEO of ION Mobility

The field of electric vehicles is a rapidly developing field where innovation is constantly happening and new developments are taking place every day.

When it comes to adopting electric vehicles, there are many variables and there is no quick and easy answer and there is no universal approach. Still, the issue of electric vehicles remains a vibrant and intriguing space and is our first step toward a more sustainable world.


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Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post SWITCH 2021 screenshot





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