In addition to the price factor, the success of an electric vehicle primarily depends on its performance characteristics and operating range. Advances both in vehicle design and better technology help to improve these characteristics, thus providing the customer with a convincing vehicle concept.
Three vehicle generations will be examined and the development advances between 1993 and 2003 will be listed by way of comparison. Improvement potential and technical limits will be analyzed from cost aspects.
Since the limits of battery technology cannot be extended at will, it is necessary to develop both battery-driven electric vehicles and vehicles fitted with hybrid drive units. Based on the drive technology of purely electric-powered vehicles, concepts of range extender hybrid and fuel-cell hybrid vehicles will be presented.