All I Want for Christmas is … Not to Get Stuck
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Perhaps this is why I embrace any and every form of driving assistance tech. The idea that each wheel can now be controlled individually thanks to the phenomenal progress that has been made in electric motors and automotive software immediately made me think how the system would benefit an electric off-road vehicle. A wise instructor who worked for the afore-mentioned manufacturer once told me that off road only two things were really important: where you were going and what the terrain was like.

Maximizing drive efficiency means not getting stuck. Improving my own senses is a finite exercise.Improving the vehicle’s sensory systems on the other hand seems to be to be right way to go. The efficiency of the in-wheel motor is measurable not only inthe way in which is delivers its power directly to the surface, providing for efficient torque distribution, thus providing greater, more intelligent grip, far more precise turning and cornering abilities and improving body control.The in-wheel motor will also have other benefits, some immediately apparent, others less so. Doing without drive shafts not only improves power efficiency, it also does wonders for those popular EV talking points battery capacity and range.

Finally, and here is a bit of genuine out of the (gear)box thinking. In-wheel motors are a Godsend for packaging specialists and vehicle interior designers. Car interiors just got bigger.

All I want for Christmas is a Dashboard that can take me to Mars ... or do I?

It’s a bit of a conundrum this one. All the world is telling me I want a smart cockpit. One that allows me to interact seamlessly with my digital devices (in old speak your phone), one that gives me a digital life experience behind my windscreen. This user experience (UX) is one that manages on-board with off-board, the Automated Driving Assistance with the Spotify blog of the week while reminding me to pick up my kids, take the dog for a walk and my wife out to dinner.

Fine. I currently have an upright screen in my car and it does integrate some phone things very nicely but my oh my trying to feed it information at high speed on a German Autobahn is my personal interpretation of suicidal tendencies. That said “high speed on a German Autobahn” may well soon become a thing of the past and at peak times on Europe’s hard-pressed road infrastructure the combination of up to the nanosecond road traffic information while I watch Netflix on the hard shoulder has massive appeal. Ground Control if you are listening, give me a visually minimalistic cockpit that reacts precisely to everything I say without having to go an eye hike across screens and buttons. If the automotive world can do this then Christmas doesn’t even need to be white.

All I want for Christmas is an EV Charging Infrastructure that talks to me

Or my car. I have my fave networks that make my cross continental European travels even at this stage of the EV infrastructure development journey a joy and a half. BUT I remember the summer. I remember arriving at my regular charging points on particular routes, looking forward to Plug&Charge and a coffee only to be faced with a myriad of other empty EVs on their European hols with similar plans. Everybody of course has their right to charge wherever and whenever. That isn’t my beef. I want my EV to have my driving style and consumption so on its radar that it knows if I want to be Entenhausen by 15:00hrs then I need to charge in Mickeyville or alternatively in Minniestadt at 11:00hrs. Either one should be intelligently bookable with minimum impact on the driver obviously as I am concentrating on keeping my car on the road. The human machine interaction could be something like this: “Charger 4 at in Mickeyville will be at 80% for its current incumbent when you arrive – would you like me to reserve it for it for you?”

It would make my journey. Actually, while I am in rant mode if hi power chargers are going to be kitted out with credit card readers then a coffee machine on the back of the charger is a no-brainer right? Merry Christmas.

Photos courtesy of Michael Brecht.