The rise of technology has led to many changes in our lives, from automation at work to the use of apps that make everyday life easier.
A great way to gauge where the world is going is by looking at significant technological changes and how they can affect lifestyle and personal choices. The gig economy is a huge business model that will not go away anytime soon.
Another substantial technological advancement is that of electric vehicles, an innovation that will revolutionize transportation as we know it. In the near future, electric cars will be the norm. This article will explore the future of the gig economy and how it will be shaped by two major factors: electric cars and self-driving vehicles.
Read on to understand the impact these changes will have and what we need to do to prepare for it.
How Do Electric Cars Work?
Electric cars are the talk of the modern world, as they seem to be a better option than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. However, many people don’t know how electric vehicles work to move along the road.
Electric cars are similar to conventional vehicles, but they utilize an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The car gets its electricity to function by plugging in to an external source or recharging its battery with regenerative braking. After that, the electric motor takes over and produces energy that moves the wheels of the vehicle. Electric motors can provide much more torque than gasoline engines, making them useful for climbing hills and accelerating quickly.
The battery of an electric vehicle is what makes it different from a standard car. It supplies the energy to power the motor and moves the wheels. Currently, there are four types of EV batteries that people recognize: lithium-ion(Li-Ion), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), Lithium Sulphur (Li-S), and Molten Salt (Na-NiCl2).
Electric car batteries have been improving over the years to make electric vehicles become mainstream for drivers. They can now travel further without recharging and charge faster than before.
Electric car batteries offer a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles and will, without a doubt, be the future of the auto industry.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles
A hybrid electric vehicle is a type of car that uses two or more forms of power to work. With both alternative and traditional fuel sources, the engine on a hybrid electric vehicle switches between them while driving.
The most popular types of hybrids are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Both operate by having an internal combustion engine connected to an electric motor for propulsion.
There are several benefits to choosing a hybrid over a standard gasoline-powered car: you will spend less at the pump, have better gas mileage and help contribute to local air quality. While it’s not perfect, many drivers choose hybrids because they represent the next step in transportation technology but aren’t quite ready to go the full mile and go all-electric.
How Long Do Electric Cars Take to Charge?
This isn’t a straightforward question to answer and depends on many variables. For instance, you need to consider the charging point. If you are using a 120-volt standard wall outlet, it will take around 12 hours to charge a battery; similarly, if you use a 240-volt outlet, the charging speed doubles and takes only six hours. It also will depend on the battery size, as some are larger or more efficient than others. Other factors, for instance, colder temperatures, also impact the charging time.
Rapid chargers are also available to drivers who want their cars charged fast. A rapid charger is powered by a high-voltage power supply and can charge your electric vehicle in less than an hour.
Electric car manufacturers are aware that many variables come into account when determining how long it takes to charge an electric car battery. They provide drivers with information on how long charging will take, allowing them to plan their day accordingly.
How Many Electric Cars in the US
According to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Data Explorer, at the end of 2020, there were about 1.3 million battery electric vehicles on U.S. roads. Globally there are roughly 7 million electric cars. Electric vehicles currently account for about 2% of global EV sales, but the forecast is that they will account for nearly 24% of overall sales by 2030.
Charging infrastructure is also increasing rapidly, with around 1000,000 charging stations available in the U.S. To boost EV sales more and for plug-in electric vehicles to gain momentum in the U.S. The number of top-up charging stations in the country needs to grow to meet demand.
The Benefits of Electric Car Rental for Gig Economy Workers
Many gig economy workers prefer to rent an EV for their tasks, as owning a vehicle can be expensive, and they don’t need one all the time. Electric cars are in high demand for rental fleets in many gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, and Shipt.
There are several reasons electric cars are popular among drivers in the gig economy. Primarily, they are less expensive to maintain than gasoline-powered cars. An Electric vehicle can save money on fuel costs as an electric motor uses energy more efficiently than an internal combustion engine. While the average annual cost to operate an electric vehicle is $485, its gasoline-powered equivalent costs $1,117. You can understand why more gig workers are choosing to rent an electric vehicle.
Electric cars also run smoother and quieter, making them ideal for carrying passengers around. Electric vehicles can accelerate faster and brake more quickly, which benefits those who drive as part of their gig economy job.
Lastly, they are better for the environment than gasoline and diesel-powered cars and therefore in high demand with gig economy workers who care about their carbon footprint. Some companies, such as Uber, offer special incentives to drivers who go green and embrace this new technology.
Electric car manufacturers have begun to create electric vehicles specifically designed for extensive use in the gig economy. For example, Massachusetts startup Indigo is planning to bring to market two vehicles made for gig economy workers that will reduce mileage cost to around two cents per mile compared to twelve cents for gas. The first electric car from Indigo Project Alpha will arrive sometime in 2023 with an MSRP of $19,500.
Electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf are starting to be used more in the gig economy due to their cost-efficiency. Fewer trips will end with a rideshare driver having to fill up their gas tank, and more will end when they recharge their batteries at home.
Self-Driving Vehicles and the Gig Economy
The car industry will witness a massive disruption as electric vehicles become mainstream and with the rise of self-driving cars.
What is an Electric Autonomous Vehicle (AEV)?
Autonomous vehicles are cars that can be programmed to drive themselves without human intervention. They use multiple onboard sensors and GPS data along with computer software that allows them to perform their own driving tasks. Just like any other automated system, autonomous vehicles require extensive testing before they are approved for road use. Self-driving AEVs have already been tested for passenger transport on public roads, but some serious questions remain about who will be liable if anything goes wrong.
Autonomous vehicles can be used as shared transport which would help reduce traffic congestion, cut emissions from transportation and drive down the cost of transportation for those who cannot afford their own vehicle or travel by public transport.
The Impact of Self Driving Autonomous Vehicles
How autonomous vehicles will impact those who work as Uber drivers or food delivery couriers is currently a matter of speculation. One thing we know for sure is that these disruptive transportation technologies are bound to have a significant impact on our lives.
As electric cars are becoming mainstream and self-driving vehicles are expected to dominate the road by 2050, many traditional car companies have focused their attention on creating Electric Autonomous Vehicles that they can sell or lease to fleet-based companies.
As this technology continues to develop, many gig economy workers will need to change or adapt their career paths accordingly. However, while self-driving cars may take over the transportation industry in the future, right now, electric vehicles remain very popular among those who rely on ridesharing services for income.
Electric vehicles are cleaner, cheaper to run, and better for the environment than their gasoline equivalents. Adoption by rideshare drivers is slowly growing as they realize that their carbon footprint matters and that EVs are reliable and cost-efficient to run.
A downside to electric cars is that they are costly to purchase, which is why many gig economy workers prefer to lease and still benefit from the cheaper operating costs. With many types of electric vehicles now on the market, leasing one has never been more affordable than it is today.
Driving for Uber or other gig economy companies to earn money as part of your job may change in the future, but it’s clear that at this moment, EVs are an excellent choice for those who work in the transportation sector.
If you have any further questions or want to learn more about EVs, check out our electric vehicles FAQ page.