Making Electric Vehicles More Accessible to the Masses

It appears we are finally turning the corner for electric vehicle (EV) sales. As popularity for EVs continues to grow, automakers must listen to consumer feedback to ensure expectations are being met, increasing adoption rates even further.

​The HARMAN ExP EV Plus+ solution recently won “Connected Car Innovation of the Year” in the 2021 IoT Breakthrough Awards Program and the Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award for its compromise-free approach to electric vehicles (EVs). In a recent episode of the HARMAN Experiences Per Mile​ podcast, I explain the inspiration behind this solution and how the industry can improve accessibility to EVs while maximizing Experiences Per Mile. This blog post highlights parts of the discussion, but you can listen to the entire podcast here​

EV Plus+ is an audio and communications bundle designed specifically for the fast-growing EV segment and its eco-conscious owners. The solution overcame challenges unique to EVs and offers consumers a no-compromise level of entertainment, communication, comfort, and sustainably. By winning two famed industry awards, EV Plus+ solidifies HARMAN’s commitment to delivering automotive experiences that benefit automakers, consumers, and society.

Predictions from Deloitte show EV sales rising from 2.5 million in 2020 to 31.1 million in 2030, representing about one-third of the total market share for new vehicle sales in just 10 years. This is positive, considering the need for widespread EV adoption as part of addressing global climate change. However, consumers still face barriers to entry. 

The classic silver bullet for EVs has been range anxiety. Many consumers worry about having enough battery power to make it to their destination and back home. But as the infrastructure continues to grow, EV sales are picking up with consumers today. They have more confidence knowing that more charging stations are available, making it easier to cross into the EV world. 

At HARMAN, our design process puts consumer understanding at the core of everything we do. When we were developing EV Plus+, we realized that there's this notion that people expect some kind of compromise in an EV, and it became our mission to create a compromise-free in-vehicle experience for EVs. EV Plus+ offers an intersection of hardware and software designed with consumer needs in mind, helping to make EVs more accessible to the masses.

Consumers these days are less concerned about horsepower and more interested in getting the most out of their time in the car. They’re often thinking, “what can I do with my car while I’m driving?” Here’s how HARMAN cloud-based audio technologies help to improve the experience in cars, and in particular ̶ EVs. ClearChat, developed by HARMAN, provides a feeling of accomplishment by eliminating background noise in your car while the driver is on a call. However, NatureScapes creates a feeling of well-being by bringing locations like Yosemite National Park to the car for ultimate relaxation. Virtual Venues Live improves consumer enjoyment by teleporting drivers and passengers to famous music venues around the world. 

Even with the varying technologies designed to deliver exceptional Experiences Per Mile​, we’re proud to say the EV Plus+ solution gives the same, if not better, audio performance as any of our past systems, but with 50% less system mass and 30% fewer speaker locations. These changes reduce vehicle mass, allowing drivers to go further in their mobility journey before having to charge.

With EV Plus+, users can pick and choose software-enabled features to maximize time in the car, without adding complexity for automakers to manage. By creating a solution that's lightweight in terms of mass, footprint, and layout, we produced something that's easier and faster for automakers to bring to the market. Ultimately, it’s going to make EVs easier to use, faster to acquire, and more affordable in the future. ​

To hear more from me on this topic, listen to this episode of the Experiences Per Mile podcast.​

Automotive Cloud Platform
HARMAN Ignite, an automotive digital ecosystem brings the benefits of connected life into the vehicle. It enables connectivity, device management, application enablement, analytics, and managed services capabilities.

Riley Winton​

User Experience Concept Manager, EPIC Experience at HARMAN International

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