What is Electro Mobility (e-mobility)? – a Definition from SPI Lasers

SPI Lasers definition for e-mobility

e-mobility is an abbreviation of electromobility and is a general term used to describe the principles and concepts of utilising electric powered technologies (e.g. drivetrains). E-mobility moves away from existing carbon-emitting fossil fuels to using energy from electrical power sources (e.g. the National Grid) through external charging capability.

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E-mobility is a green-friendly initiative which will help reduce carbon emissions

E-mobility encompasses the use of fully electric, conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid as well as hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. Within the scope of e-mobility are driverless cars, which many governments are advising could be on roads from around 2021/2022. Also, within the umbrella phase of e-mobility is “shared mobility”, which encourages increased efficiency of travel mobility through infrastructure sharing (see the later definition).

E-mobility has become increasingly technically available in recent years due to factors such as falling battery prices, advances in alternative fuels and technological developments such as electronic motor innovations and improvements in energy density in batteries. In addition, e-mobility has received a real surge in popularity due to factors such as a public and governmental desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and concerns over oil dependency and potential price rises of oil.

E-mobility “Also known as”

Here at SPI Lasers, we considered the various other terms, which are e-mobility, Emobility, eMobility, electro mobility, electrical mobility and even electric mobility. All of these terms mean exactly the same thing, but throughout our website, we will use e-mobility, which is the most commonly worded spelling use on the Google Search Engine.

What electric mobility vehicles are there within e-mobility?

Many people immediately think with e-mobility about the Automotive sector (cars and buses), but e-mobility covers many different types of electric motor vehicles than this including:

  • Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Electric bikes (often called e-bikes)
  • Electric helicopters
  • Electric hoverboards
  • Electric planes (still in the early stages, although light aircraft is an early adopter)
  • Electric scooters (also called e-scooters)
  • Electric ships and oil tankers and
  • Electric vehicles (buses, cars, vans and planes – see the definition below)
Electric scooters and other products also form a part of e-mobility

Electric scooters and other products also form a part of e-mobility

The key aspect to consider is mobility. Any type of vehicle, which can be made to move (i.e. is mobile) through electrical means, potentially falls under the banner of e-mobility.

What are the main drivers for e-mobility?

There are many drivers for e-mobility, some of the major ones are summarised below:

  • Environmental friendliness and targets – international targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement can be aided in part through e-mobility. There are also benefits in areas such as reduced noise pollution too as e-vehicles operate much more quietly
  • Legislative compliance – the need for e-mobility has become more urgent through legislation passed by governments to enforce the need for e-mobility initiatives
  • Reduced costs – the benefits of e-mobility can also be delivered with an overall reduction in cost levels. This is reduced costs for the overall lifetime cost of the e-vehicle with servicing costs and fuel being much cheaper than internal combustion engine models
  • Regulatory and standards compliance – in addition to governments, regulatory bodies (e.g. industry associations) and e-mobility companies will also introduce e-mobility standards and
  • Switch from fossil fuels – a major part of the environmental targets’ achievement is the switch from fossil fuels

What is an electric vehicle?

In general, electric vehicles are street-based vehicles which are powered primarily by one or more electric motor(s) and usually receive their energy source from the power grid. This essentially means that electric vehicles have a requirement to be charged externally via charging infrastructure.

What are the different types of electric vehicles?

The term electric vehicles (often abbreviated to EV) is an all-encompassing term, which includes:

  • All electric vehicles – these are vehicles (cars, vans, buses, bikes, planes,) which are propelled by one or more electric motors, which utilise energy most typically supplied from rechargeable batteries and can be plugged into supporting charging infrastructure (at home and at fuelling stations)
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – these are vehicles, which utilise hydrogen as their principal fuel for power. Hydrogen is converted from chemical energy to mechanical energy by reacting oxygen with hydrogen through a fuel cell, which runs an electric motor
  • Hybrid electrical vehicles – of which there are two types:
    • Hybrid electric vehicles (often abbreviated to HEV) – these are vehicles which “charge as you drive”. Typically, a HEV utilises electricity as its power source when driving at lower speed and switches to petrol/diesel at higher speeds. The HEV has no plug-in electricity capability, which makes this model cheaper to buy and less complex than a PHEV and
    • Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicles (often abbreviated to PHEV) – these are vehicles which typically use a battery to power an internal electric motor, whilst also having access to an internal combustion engine (ICE) too. Typically, the vehicle uses electric power until it is depleted at such time the ICE “kicks in” and fossil fuels would start to be consumed. PHEV represents a “half-way-house“, between ICE and all electric vehicles

What is e-mobility – a video from SPI Lasers

We have created an infographic on the topic of “What is e-mobility?”. A lot of the information on this page is contained here, but sometimes, the visual nature of an infographic speaks much more clearly than words can. What you can see here is only a thumbnail view of the infographic, to view the full version, click here. So, please see our infographic below:

What is e-mobility? – An infographic from SPI Lasers

We have created an infographic on the topic of e-mobility. Sometimes, the visual nature of an infographic speaks much more clearly than words can, so please see our infographic below:

What is Electro Mobility (e-mobility) Top Section

We hope you enjoyed our infographic and that it has enriched your understanding of e-mobility even further.

We hope you enjoyed our infographic and that it has enriched your understanding of e-mobility even further, as you will see there is a lot to consider. To view the full infographic in a PDF version, click here.

What is Shared mobility?

An aspect within overall e-mobility initiatives are strategies that encourage others to embrace shared mobility. There are numerous examples of this including:

    • Peer to peer car rental – the hiring of cars for short journeys (this is switching some owners to hire rather than buy)
    • Ride sharing – encouraging commuters on similar routes to share journeys through ride share websites and high occupancy vehicle lanes, etc.
    • Shared freight brokerage – schemes to match freight demands with available space and
    • Shared bikes – the hiring of bikes to travel around major cities (e.g. London Cycle Hire Scheme)

Note: Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus shared mobility has effectively been put on the “backburner”. Due to social distancing measures, it makes no sense to share car journeys in the middle of a pandemic as health takes priority. Therefore, it is expected that shared mobility will take low priority for now but should re-emerge when either a vaccine is available for COVID-19 and/or available treatments are in place.

SPI Lasers – working with customers to define the future of e-mobility

There is no doubt that the future looks bright and exciting for e-mobility. Why not join forces with other e-mobility companies by exploring the potential of fiber lasers for your organisation? Contacting us is easy, we have staff waiting to speak to you about our exciting range of Pulsed and CW fiber lasers. We would love to work with you delivering e-mobility solutions for the benefit of your organisation, customers and the environment. Click here to subscribe to future updates.


Image Credits: Paul BR and Public Domain Pictures


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