The creeping ubiquity of the electric vehicle

The race to develop electric vehicles now includes a 3D printed car.

Innovation in the electric vehicle world is increasingly hard to find but the agreement between 3D printed EVs Italian company XEV and Q8Oils is set to add a new dimension to the fast-growing sector of electric driving.

Removing the need for complicated and expensive moulds and tools, 3D printing technology improves the customer experience with its faster production, customisation and design flexibility. Added to that is a 90% reduction in cost and development time.

So what can you expect from a 3D printed electric vehicle? A flexible modular chassis, beautifully designed 3D printed interior and exterior panels together with a comfortable, easy to use driving experience and the style of the vehicle can be updated and changed easily for a cost of an iPhone upgrade.

In its sixth season and soon to have FIA world championship status, Formula E is the sport of choice for oil majors keen to promote their lubes and coolants technology. Shell, long-time sponsor of Ferrari, is now partnering the Nissan and Mahindra Formula E outfits while branding for French giant Total features on the cars of champions DS Techeetah.

“Electrification is the big topic within the whole auto industry so to be a credible part of that journey you want to be involved in many different aspects of it,” said Richard Tucker, General Manager of Shell Lubricants Technology.

It's not just road cars that are being electrified. Forklifts, agricultural equipment, trucks and buses are all seeing electric models being developed. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is about to take up a new rule that would begin the process of phasing in the use of EVs for delivery vehicles, transit and school buses, as well as big rigs. 

An increasing number of delivery vehicles caused by the growth of e-retail has led to electric cargo bikes for first and last mile delivery.  Paris will soon see easy-to-deploy docking and charging pods for scooters. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week issued an executive order specifying the attainment of an all-electric “carbon-neutral” fleet by the year 2040. 

The money is following EV developments too with the UK government announcing that there will be £10m increase in funding available for on-street residential charge points to be installed. This should help to alleviate the problem of so many homes having no access to off-street parking.