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Changes in user experiences of electric vehicles
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on November 21, 2019 by SAE International in United States
Event: NuGen Summit
Research Objective The objective of the paper is to research what are the changes in experiences being brought about due to the advent of Electric Vehicles (EVs). EVs are silent, have less complex propulsion system, and have free space under the hood, amongst other things. Each change brings about both good and bad experiences across the spectrum of users. Some of the bad experiences can be safety incidents leading to death as well. Researching the areas that are harmful to end users, including pedestrians, will be our focus area. Methodology Our methodology will look at the changes at the vehicle architecture level which are inherent to the EV design. Research how are the experiences so far due to these changes. Are these just inconveniences or safety hazards? EVs have excellent NVH characteristics. A farmer may love a silent tractor, but a racing enthusiast may not like a relatively silent sports car. A silent armored vehicle may be what the army needs, but a silent car’s approach may be a last-minute surprise to an unsuspecting pedestrian, especially to a person with disability in vision. Results Persons with disability in vision will have difficulty in detecting the silent EVs. There is research underway where EVs may be needed to emit ‘adaptive sound’ adjusted based on the ambient sound. A simple propulsion system means less maintenance for the end user, on the other end of the spectrum are the dealers who make a very large fraction of their money from maintenance and repairs. This will impact their business model and ecosystem. And there are reports of car dealerships putting efforts to not sell EVs. Similarly, no engine under the hood will mean extra luggage space, but there will be a few auto enthusiasts who will be disappointed as there is nothing to show off or tinker with. The changes in experiences ranges from causing disappointments, inconveniences and to possibly causing accidents. Limitations of this study There is huge variance in EV adoption in different countries due to government taxation/sops, charging infrastructure, societal responses, etc. Not all the problems may be universal and not all the solutions are either. Though the focus will be prominently on EV experiences in India, the authors will rely on available research elsewhere in the world and make judicious applications of the findings to the problem at hand. What does the paper offer that is new in the field in comparison to other works of the author? This paper will look at the experiences holistically across the ecosystem of electric vehicles and not just within the electric vehicles. Conclusion EVs will continue to disrupt the market. Though they have key advantages over conventional vehicles, there are lots of gaps to be filled both at the technology and infrastructure level, but more so at the experience level. OEMs, dealers, government and society will have to work closely with each other to ensure that EVs, which are so important for a greener society, continue to keep humans at the center of the design and deployment exercises, as their experiences will have a huge say in their adoption.