Honoring Earth Day and Helping Customers Achieve Their EV Innovation Goals
2021-04-22 | 4 min read
Today marks the 51st annual celebration of Earth Day. Still, few people are aware of its early beginnings or have heard of Gaylord Nelson. On April 22, 1970, Wisconsin Senator Nelson issued a call to action and 20 million people in the biggest cities across the U.S. mobilized their communities for the first Earth Day—now recognized in 190 countries around the world.
It took almost two decades for governments to begin addressing the impacts of pollution by passing energy and clean air regulations, and in the 1990s, GM and Toyota released their first-generation of electric vehicles (EVs). In 2008, the Tesla Roadster made its debut, propelling the industry forward as the first EV to utilize new Lithium-ion battery technology. In 2010, EV battery prices started to drop dramatically due to manufacturing efficiencies and increasing volumes, and more automobile manufacturers entered the market with long-range electric vehicles (EVs).
Over the last few decades, ongoing advancements in EV technology have created more competition, giving consumers more choices. While the advantages EVs offer in reducing CO2 emissions over traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles are clear, more work is needed to achieve broad adoption. A 2020 survey by Dimensional Research asked auto industry executives to identify the top reasons that slow EV adoption; 49% said battery safety concerns, and 47% said poor battery performance.
In late 2019, the global EV market was poised to reach a tipping point, with more than two million vehicles sold worldwide, representing a record 2.5 percent of the global light-vehicle market, according to McKinsey. Despite the macro-economic crisis caused by COVID-19, McKinsey states the global EV market has remained surprisingly resilient. EV market share in the United States will potentially reach 15 to 35 percent of sales by 2030, depending on oil prices and monetary incentives for EV purchases. McKinsey predicts that demand for EVs could drive EV market share in China to roughly 35 to 50 percent and in Europe to 35 to 45 percent of global sales by 2030.
Regardless of regional differences, the evolution toward environmentally friendly and future-forward electric vehicles is just getting started. At Keysight, we’re doing our part. Fueled by our test and measurement heritage, we have been building a portfolio of battery test systems, analyzers, software, and services for characterization and verification to address the industry’s concerns about battery safety and performance. We’re investing in ongoing research to provide a broad suite of electrical vehicle technologies that span the range from energy generation and storage to energy conversion and utilization.
In September 1995, Gaylord Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his vision, as the Earth Day movement started by him, helped launch an era of international environmental awareness. Today, I feel good about driving my electric vehicle, and I feel great about working for a company that is doing its part to contribute to the vision.