Thanks to Easthouse for this guest blog on e-mobility for Future of Tech Month – to learn more about the software development company, check out their Startup for 10 here.

It’s been another strange year. In some respects, it’s an improvement from 2020 but 2021 has still been a long way off normal.

We started the year still gripped by a national lockdown with little to no information on when the all-consuming restrictions on our lives would be lifted.

Then 18 months after the first lockdown, freedom. Shops, cinemas and even festivals sprung back into action and by the end of summer, life felt like it was back in full swing. These changes have been a lot to keep up with and for many normality will still be a long way off.

Despite all this, the e-mobility sector has seen a tidal wave of growth in 2021. Spurred on by ever more warning signs from mother nature, this year has seen e-mobility innovation pique.

In Germany, Cummins released a world first hydrogen powered aircraft, using fuel-cells proudly developed by their in-house team. The plane itself is still a long way off being fit for commercial use (it’s only a 4-seater) but it’s an amazing statement to the rest of the aviation industry – an industry which contributes 2% of world C02 emissions every year.

" It feels like we’re finally getting to the stage where embracing e-mobility is something which doesn’t need to be forced but something which is becoming easier than using incumbents – no mean feat. "

— Founder of Easthouse, Freddie Eastham

Closer to home, Oxfordshire based automotive company, Arrival, announced a deal with Uber to supply purpose built, all-electric vehicles which will be used by all their UK drivers by 2025 in a big push to transition their driver fleet to electric.

The cars are already being designed by the team at Arrival and due to be put into production by late 2023. No round-up would be complete without mention of what the boffins at Tesla have been up to and 2021 doesn’t disappoint.

Tesla has been ramping up their production capabilities and the hard work has paid off; as of October 25 2021, they hit a $1 trillion dollar valuation to become more valuable than Ford, Honda, BWM, VW, GM, Daimler and Toyota combined.

What does this all mean? If there’s anyone who still has doubts about the government’s target to ban internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle by 2030, this year should be a clear indication that we’re ready to step up to the challenge.

Here’s one of my favourite stats from 2021. In 2020, the average range of electric vehicles was quoted at 260 miles on a single charge. In 2021, with the release of so many new EV releases, the average range quoted is 330 miles. That’s a 21% increase in 12 months.

If this growth rate stays consistent, new vehicle releases should hit the hallowed 600-mile range mark by 2025.

260miles

Average range of electric vehicles in 2020

330miles

Average range of electric vehicles in 2021

21%

Increase in 12 months

Looking ahead, things are set to step up another gear in 2022- and it’s not just the electric vehicle (EV) market that’s expanding. Electric bicycles and scooters have given inner-city commuters a new way to beat the traffic.

In the capital, London saw a trial for e-scooter rental in selected boroughs across the city. The trial is due to come to an end in March 2022 and the rumours suggest that there’s a full city roll-out in store thereafter.

This, coupled with the introduction of ULEZ in October (2021), will have a massive impact on inner-city pollution as the number of ICE drivers in the city gets set to drastically reduce. We’re also set to see products of COP26 discussions put in motion from 2022.

Amongst other things, the government has confirmed its pledge to phase out combustion engine HGVs with a complete ban on new sales from 2040. This also means additional funding to support the infrastructure needed to support so many new high-capacity electric vehicles on the road.

It feels like we’re finally getting to the stage where embracing e-mobility is something which doesn’t need to be forced but something which is becoming easier than using incumbents – no mean feat.

That being said, there are still challenges. Cost restraints are still a barrier with sustainable transport options still typically more expensive than ICE counterparts.

However, as battery costs fall with economies of scale and technology becomes accessible to everyone, it feels like only a matter of time before e-mobility becomes the default for the masses.

All I say is, 2022 – bring it on.