Electricity cars are not cheap. It seems that they never will be. Filling them up with electricity has suddenly become problematic. Certainly making electricity cars is not a straightforward process because of the rising cost of raw materials, labour shortages and the continuation of the semiconductor crisis. Best then to speak to someone at the heart of the industry.
Moshe Shlisel, CEO of GuardKnox, a leading Israel based technology company, has helped to spearhead a Service Oriented Architecture that provides an efficient and seamless way for manufacturers to offer software and firmware updates, consolidate hardware costs, and seamlessly manage innovative and secure services for all of a vehicle’s domains — thus lowering costs and boosting performance. Apparently this powerful and affordable software core enables Electricity Cars to operate like they are intended.
Free Car Mag didn’t quite follow that and wanted to know more and Mr Shlisel was kind enough to explain what his company does and the state of the electricity vehicle marketplace that he is at the heart of. We wanted to find out if it is possible to make electricity cars cheaper and with that, he was off…
Can you help make electricity cars cheaper?
“According to Keynes (John Maynard Keynes 1883 – 1946 – economist), the economy needs government intervention to make its policies work. However, the alternative view is that the free market will sort out supply and demand. EVs are disrupting the market right now, but it is not just a car, four wheels and some batteries you have to take the holistic approach to understand what is going on here. New EVs are not going to be cheaper or easier to make and power.
“For example one of our German customers wanted to have a charging station but his electricity company said that would be a problem as their grid is not ready.”
How can the grid be made ready?
“Literally you will be paying more overall if the American government apes the Chinese authorities by aiming to build 5,000 charging stations.
“However, the actual cost is not being calculated by the country because after so many charging cycles you will need to change the battery and do something with the old one. What will it actually cost to do all this? Governments that decided to use EVs to combat climate change have never calculated the cost involved economically.”
Is China an answer?
“China are the leaders worldwide for EVs and connected vehicles because of the implementation of 5G. They have the manufacturing power and can sell at much cheaper prices, so that’s one way of getting an EV for less.
“Unfortunately the Israeli government is cancelling 20% tax relief at the end of the year for EVs so it is not going to be cheaper any more to buy one. Sure, owners will find that it is quieter, different, there is less maintenance because of fewer moving parts and the direct costs for a driven mile may be cheaper, but they will be paying much more in taxes. So where is the calculation that this is going to actually be much cheaper? This is the holistic approach that I think should be taken by governments and I am not sure they are doing it.
“The most constructive view to take is that these are not simply battery cars, but completely new creatures. GuardKnox took this as our starting point.”
Can you explain what the GuardKnox approach is?
“We believe drivers need a connected car with less computers. Firstly we aim to provide software which will shorten the development time to weeks rather than years, so there will be far less ECUs and drivers will get a better ratio of Kilometre per Watt from the battery. Secondly this allow third parties to provide applications not just for navigation but many other systems such as augmenting the horsepower, or changing the suspension sensitivity.”
What about the worldwide supply issues?
“We are addressing the chip shortage by developing a new architecture. We need ultra fast routing to provide safety an have solved this issue, plus cutting the number of silicon chips required. So eventually consumers will pay less in the lifecycle of the car as there is less hardware and the car’s weight reduces and the cables will be much shorter which is a major cost in all car manufacture. A mega trend and mega change we are making is that instead of 100 ECUs there will be half a dozen, so the performance of the vehicle will be significantly improved and there will ultimately be cost savings.”
How soon is this going to happen?
“GuardKnox cannot change the entire industry overnight, this can’t be done, it is not easy to develop EVs from scratch, there’s 100 million lines of code. Not only that there is not the billions available to switch entirely to EVs, just as level 5 driving autonomy is not going to happen in the next 8 years.”
Surely governments can change what we do by force?
“I don’t think government will take away the privilege of personal transport. I believe they will levy taxes like the congestion charge in London. I think any prime minister or president in any country that tries to take away our cars, which is our freedom, won’t last. They cannot change our way of living or ability to go from A to B, by trying to get rid of fossil fuels. I don’t think there is any way to prove economically that EVs would be cheaper or even better for the environment, it just looks like that. Optics is everything…”
Finally, here’s a surprise…
“I’m a big fan of 4×4s. I can’t understand why Land Rover stopped making the original Defender. Whoever is responsible for this decision needs to explain it to me. It is the best 4×4 ever made.”
Find out more about GuardKnox