Yes, current electric vehicle direction coild be compared to vhs, beta and possibly dozens of alternative systems as each manufacture is going its own way.
There was talk early on about having a battery exchange program, whereby one stops and the used battery in a vehicle is swapped for fully charged battery…the exchange takes minutes rather than up to the potentially many hours to charge the insitu battery.
Unfortunately the car industry is intent on each manufacturer doing their own thing and as a result vehicles being manfactured have non-swap battery systems. This will ultimately may be the Achilles heal of the battery electric cars. Recharging insitu batteries may be okay for drivers only using their vehicles for short distances each day (where charging can occur overnight/at work when vehicle is not in use), but won’t necessary be the best solution for those drivers who do long distances, even if they are done infrequently. Exceed the distance capacity of the battery, and one needs to charge the battery on route for considerable time (to get back to a full battery to continue the journey).
Yes battery recharging if becoming faster through higher voltage systems (both batteroes and docking systems), but fast charging may also be to the detriment of the batteries longevity.
The other failing of Lithium batties is long term capacities. Every time a battery is charged and discharged, the next fully charged capacity is slightly less than the previous one. It will be interesting to see how the longevity of battery electric systems stack up when there is slow degradation with continual, albeit slow, degradation of the battery.
There is also lower ranges when the batteries are not used under optimial conditions (range decreases when the battery is placed under additiinal load or stress).
This is where hydrogen battery (or mixed fuel systemsn such as petrol/diesel battery systems) will have advantages over pure batter car systems for the average user (unless of course the average user changes behaviour to meet the limitations of the battery system).
The main downside for hydrogen is there is a huge energy losses to create the hydrogen, especially if ir is sourced from water.
Also the infrastructure is virtually in place for hydrogen, there are existing distribution networks that compressed fuel companies use (propaje/butane) as well as it would be realitively easy to modify existing petrol stations to also provide hydrogen.
With battery recharge stations, there would need to be sufficient placed at locations to meet the peak demand for recharging at that location (gold plated recharging network will be needed). Such will be a significant and costly task likely to be borned either by the taxpayer or through a user pays system. With different manufacturers dorin their own thing, the installation of a multi-manufacturuer charging system becomes more difficult or costly as well.
Just think of the number of vehicles which drive say between Brisbane and Sydney or Sydney and Melbourne each day and the number of charging stations positioned strategically to service these moving vehicles if they were all battery electric. While I don’t know the vehicle numbers, it could be expected that 1000s or even 10000s of docking stations would be needed along the route otherwise the queues to recharge will be very long and driver may have to wait hours or even days (for long recharging times) for a station to become free. The advantage of hydrogen is the number of refuelling facilities will be similar to that which exists today.
I am not sure this will every be a reality as cars with <75kW batteries would need very large PV systems (about 18kW or 80 panel system for the car battery of 75kW alone) to meet the recharge requirements of a electric car. Most dwellings would not have the space/area to install such large PV systems.
Article on Toyota moving towards hydrogen future.