Tiny-EV Micro-Cars and AI Autonomous Vehicles

By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider

Suppose you had available an Electrical Vehicle (EV) which was a small sized car that was incredibly inexpensive and could allow increased mobility for thousands or perhaps millions of people that otherwise did not have ready access to personal transportation? 

These so-called tiny-EV’s are quickly gaining ground and especially so in China. 

Sometimes also referred to as micro-EV’s or micro-cars, it is estimated that last year there were 1.75 million of them sold in China, which essentially doubles the number of conventional sized EV cars that were sold in China in that same year (an estimated 777,000).

There is a plethora of tiny-EV models and makers in China, numbering over 400 such automakers. I realize that those familiar with this auto industry segment might carp about calling all of those manufacturers “automakers” since the creation of tiny-EV’s is not quite the picture of what we normally consider a true automaker. Many of the firms making these tiny-EV’s are nearly working out of a garage or auto parts boneyard. The tiny-EV’s are at times outfitted with a garish array of parts and would generally fail most safety standards tests.

Speaking of safety, these tiny-EV’s are often limited as to how fast they will go. 

The typical top range speed is around 25 to 45 miles per hour. This is presumably fast enough to get you readily to where you want to go, assuming shorter distance trips, and yet not so fast that it can get you into undue trouble. There are already various kinds of Low Speed EV’s (LSEV) in the marketplace, perhaps you’ve seen them at golf courses, retirement home parks, and the like, though the LSEV’s are usually more sturdily constructed and also intended for very limited driving environments and conditions.

One of the largest criticisms of the tiny-EV’s is that they are made cheaply, and this includes tossing into the micro-car a lead-acid ultra-cheap battery. 

These no frills and dirt-cheap batteries are a potential toxic hazard. The booming growth of the tiny-EV’s market is regrettably also creating a booming number of these ecologically damaging batteries. Some are worried that in the rush toward providing the tiny-EV’s, a seemingly “good” thing for society, there is a pell-mell rush towards messing up the environment and causing some horrendous long-term health consequences.

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