Methods to determine robust innovation paths for electric vehicle technology
Paper in proceedings, 2009
The following paper introduces a structured approach assessing the probability for the success of specific technologies increasing the endurance/autonomy of BEV's (Battery Electric Vehicles). Apart from range extenders, flow batteries (redox batteries as one variant) which might be refilled with electrolyte similar to conventional vehicles and technological improvements, the exchange of batteries is a method allowing BEV's similar ranges and similar usability like vehicles with internal combustion engines as they are currently used. The suggested way for the investigation into the success of the concept holds a two fold approach: Mapping the innovation: Enumerating the influencing factors Assessing: In-depth research of acceptance In step one influence analysis (causal loop) is applied to determine the most active factors and the system dynamics. In step two a multi criteria decision analysis is employed in order to quantify the potential impact of the factors/characteristics on the probability of the success of the concepts. The two step methodology is presented for the battery exchange system (swappable battery), because for this system it is easiest to determine the technological aspects being purely mechanical and also the market impact based on the pre-existing knowledge of the facts. The range extenders and flow batteries still need technological research clarifying the operational characteristics of an industrialised concept before a robust assessment may be conducted. The paper anticipates the acceptance of the first mentioned concepts and enumerates the questions that have to be solved in order to allow a successful use case. The closing chapter analyses the influence of paradigm change on the assessment introducing uncertainties. In this respect it is shown how in depth foresight studies may reduce the risk for the innovator by introducing the actors/users introducing criteria for success and failure.