Energy Demand

IEA: An electrified world would cost $31B per year to achieve

20 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The investments necessary to provide electricity for the entire world population is less than 2 percent of total energy investments, the IEA said Thursday. A report from the International Energy Agency, published Thursday , finds that providing universal access to electricity within 13 years would require an investment of $31 billion per year, which the report said was less than 2 percent of total global energy investments. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said countries like India, one of the largest economies in the world, have taken the investment decisions necessary to become one of the “biggest success stories ever in electrification. Since 2000, India has provided electricity access to a half billion people. The Asian Development Bank […]

Crude oil and petroleum product exports reach record levels in the first half of 2017

20 Oct 2017   exports, USA

 Crude oil exports in the first half of 2017 increased by more than 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) from the first half of 2016, reaching a record high of 0.9 million b/d. Petroleum product exports also grew over the same period with propane and distillate exports reaching record highs of 0.9 million b/d and 1.3 million b/d, respectively. Following the removal of restrictions on exporting U.S. crude oil in December 2015, total volumes of crude oil exports and the number of destinations for those exports both increased. The United States exported crude oil to 27 countries in the first half of 2017 compared with 19 countries in the first half of 2016. Canada remained the largest recipient of U.S. crude oil exports at 307,000 b/d, but imported an average of 63,000 b/d less compared with the first half of 2016. China […]

Why Petrol Powered Cars Aren’t Going Anywhere

20 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Your intuition may be taxed when I say this, but more electric vehicle sales does not quickly equate to declining piston-fired cars on the world’s roadways. Banning All Engines In my last column, I pitched an aggressive de-carbonization scenario for transportation—a simultaneous, global ban on the sale of all new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040. In other words, I imagined that every country in the world, from Brazil, to Nigeria, to Russia, to China, rapidly accelerates their electric vehicle (EV) sales starting in the early 2020s. And within 25 years each and every country would commit to stop selling spark plug machines. Even under such heavy-handed government restriction, the global fleet of purely petroleum-powered cars wouldn’t start to decline until 2030 at the earliest. By 2050, it’s quite likely that there would still be the same number of ICE vehicles on the road as today. This counterintuitive […]

Higher U.S. exports draining storage levels

20 Oct 2017   exports, USA

An increase in crude oil exports, which reached an all-time high, helped lead to the decline in storage levels for the U.S. market, data analysis show. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, published Wednesday , show oil exports averaged 1.6 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, a span than included the all-time high of 1.9 million bpd for the week ending Sept. 29. The four-week moving average for exports last year was 467,000 bpd. Geoffrey Craig, oil futures editor for commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts, said in an after-market commentary that U.S. oil exports were supported by the discount for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, […]

Volkswagen developing electric racer for Pikes Peak 2018

20 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

After an absence from the event of more than 30 years, Volkswagen is developing an all-electric race car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on 24 June 2018. The all-wheel-drive prototype’s goal is to set a new record for electric cars at the finish line, 14,000 feet above sea level. The vehicle is being developed by Volkswagen Motorsport in close cooperation with Technical Development in Wolfsburg. The new motorsport project is part of Volkswagen’s process of transforming itself into the leading producer of electric vehicles. By 2025, the Volkswagen brand will offer 23 all-electric models. The Pikes Peak hill climb is one of the world’s most renowned car races. It poses an enormous challenge and is therefore perfectly suited to proving the capabilities of upcoming […]

Are Combustion Engines Reaching Peak Demand?

And then imagine that we wake up in 2040 and learn that every country actually kept to their promise. In 23 years all new vehicle sales—everywhere—would be electrically-powered. I call this scenario “GB40” – a global ban on the sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by the year 2040. For reference, the GB40 market penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) would exceed the projections of even the most aggressive analyst forecasts today. Yet, GB40 is an interesting thought experiment. I always like to think about the future at the margins of realism and work my analysis up or down from there. Stress-testing extremes, like a universal ban, helps to understand the assumptions needed to project the future. And more importantly question the assumptions behind the assumptions. Why Do We Need To Ban The Internal Combustion Engine? Why are countries like Norway, UK, France, India and China announcing plans to […]

The Embarrassing Problem Holding Back Tesla’s Model 3 Production

19 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

A little over a week ago, we noted the damning – if unsurprising – report from the Wall Street Journal revealing that Tesla’s massive production miss on the Model 3, after only producing a tiny fraction of the 1,500 Model 3 sedans that it promised customers, might have been attributable to the fact that key parts of the cars were still being assembled by hand. But according to a new report from the WSJ and Automotive News this morning, the real problem with Tesla’s Model 3 production might be even more basic and embarrassing…the company can’t figure out how to weld steel. What’s behind Tesla’s manufacturing woes? It could be something as simple as steel. Based on details in a Wall Street Journal report and in a video of the production line posted on Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, experts say the electric vehicle maker appears to be […]

Can India Overtake China In The EV Revolution?

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, India

India faces a wide chasm between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to make sure all new vehicles sold in India are electric by 2030 and actual sales numbers. While India has followed China’s lead to reduce air pollution and oil import dependency in its booming cities, it’s still far away from sales figures that carry any weight. According to International Energy Agency, China registered 336,000 plug-in vehicles last year while India only saw 450 of these new vehicles hit its roads. One major Indian automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra, wants to change course by committing to invest $600 million in the technology. Electric versions of its current crossover SUVs will be scheduled in the near future. The company plans to eventually boost its EV production to 5,000 units a month. Mahindra had just lost a bid for a 10,000 EV contract with the government’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited agency to […]

Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles;

 Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. ( Earlier post .) The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation […]

Penn State team devises new control strategy to enhance EV battery performance when driving in cold temperatures

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Main Researchers at Penn State, with a colleague from EC Power, have devised a new control strategy that can rapidly restore EV battery power and permit full regeneration while driving at temperatures as low as −40 °C. The strategy involves heating the battery internally during regenerative braking and rest periods of driving. In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources , they report that this technique fully restores room-temperature battery power and regeneration in 13, 33, 46, 56 and 112 seconds into uninterrupted driving in 0, −10, −20, −30 and −40 °C environments, respectively. Correspondingly, the strategy significantly increases cruise range of a vehicle operated at cold temperatures—49% at −40 °C in simulated US06 driving cycle tests. Based on their findings, the team suggests that smart batteries with embedded sensing/actuation […]

General Motors to test self-driving cars in New York City

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

General Motors plans to become the first company to test self-driving cars in New York City, in some of the world’s worst traffic, as traditional automakers battle technology titans to take the lead in the development of autonomous vehicles. The Detroit-based automaker, whose shares have risen 25 per cent in recent weeks on investor expectations that it could beat rivals to the introduction of a mass market autonomous vehicle service, will test Chevrolet Bolt fully autonomous electric cars in its most complex market so far: lower Manhattan.  New York governor Andrew Cuomo said GM and Cruise Automation, the autonomous car developer bought by the Detroit icon last year, have applied to be the first in the state to test fully self-driving cars. All testing will include an engineer in the driver’s seat to monitor and evaluate performance, and a second person in the passenger seat, he said.  Automotive industry analysts said New York’s challenging road conditions, which include not just heavy traffic but also pedestrians, cyclists, winter weather and some of the world’s most aggressive drivers, could significantly advance the development of the technology in real world conditions. So far, Cruise Automation has been testing autonomous Bolts on public roads in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and the Detroit area.

GM Plans to Make Systems for Autonomous Cars

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Daniel Ammann, president of GM, speaks during the Wall Street Journal D.Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Tuesday. “The approach that we are taking to that is to control a lot of that system ourselves because it allows us to move more quickly,” Mr. Ammann said at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD.Live technology conference here. At first, GM seemed eager to team up. In early 2016, for example, GM announced a $500 million investment in Lyft Inc., where Mr. Ammann sits on the board of directors, and a partnership with the ride-sharing company to develop self-driving vehicles. But now the two companies appear more interested in going it alone. In July, Lyft said it was creating its own autonomous-car development division , and in August, GM said it had begun testing its own ride-hailing app for self-driving cars. Initial tests of the app are only for […]

VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs

The German carmaker last month put out a tender seeking a five-year supply of the strategic metal at a fixed price. But people familiar with the deal said the offer was well below market prices. Cobalt has more than doubled in price from a year ago, when it was trading around $12 a pound, to its current $27.10 a pound as of last Thursday.  “They’re being arrogant because they’re automotive and they’re used to doing it,” said a cobalt trader quoted Sunday in the Financial Times . “They completely misjudged the contents of the tender. There’s no point negotiating – it’s not even a discussion point.” Over 60 percent of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – raising concerns about stability of supply. The big producers are Glencore (LON:GLEN) and China Molybdenum, along with thousands of artisinal miners who […]

ABB, Fastned support Autocharge automatic authorization for charging sessions

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The standards-based Autocharge feature enables automatic authorization for EV charging sessions, offering drivers an easy ‘plug in and walk away’ user experience. Autocharge enables a charge session to be automatically started after a driver connects his or her vehicle to the charger without requiring the use of an RFiD card, payment card or mobile app. The charger will automatically recognize the vehicle based on its unique vehicle identifier (EV-ID), allowing simpler, faster and more secure user interaction. This superior user experience gives commercial charging station operators much greater flexibility to offer their customers a seamless and intuitive interaction with a charging station. ABB is now implementing Autocharge functionality in its EVSE and Fastned has begun rolling out the functionality to its stations. The EV-ID is passed on by a CCS vehicle […]

Asia oil buyers turn to U.S. in hunt for cheap supply

16 Oct 2017   East Asia, exports, USA

Asia is set to ramp up crude oil imports from the United States in late 2017 and early next year, with buyers searching out cheap supplies after hurricanes hit U.S. demand for the commodity at a time of rising production in the country. As many as 11 tankers, partly or fully laden with U.S. crude, are due to arrive in Asia in November, with another 12 to load oil in the United States later in October and November before sailing for Asia, according to shipping sources and data on Thomson Reuters Eikon. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude benchmark stands at its largest discount in years against the Atlantic Basin’s Brent, with local appetite curbed as U.S. refineries are still pushing to get back on track in the […]

Chinese EV Boom Could Crash Oil Prices

16 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

EVs are gaining traction, and although they still only make up a small fraction of the auto market, more and more analysts are starting to buy into the notion that EVs will quickly gain a foothold over the next decade or so, with massive ramifications for the oil market. There has been a sea change of sorts in just the past year or two, with EVs going from a niche idea even in long-term forecasts, to one that many believe will increasingly take market share from the traditional internal combustion engine. There are many reasons for this – policy and market forces are reinforcing each other to bring the EV revolution closer and closer. The falling cost of batteries have made EVs much more competitive, and EVs could become cheaper than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles between 2025 and 2029, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). BNEF predicts that […]

Who Are The Biggest Buyers Of U.S. Oil?

16 Oct 2017   exports

This year the U.S. has averaged more than 900,000 barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil exports while continuing to import an average of 8.1 million BPD. In the previous article , I discussed the reasons the U.S. exports oil, despite the fact that we are still a significant net importer of crude oil. In a nutshell, the quality of the oil that is being exported is often a better fit for foreign refineries than the oil that is imported. It may also be logistically preferable to ship domestic oil to certain foreign refineries. From 1975 until late 2015, a crude oil export ban restricted crude oil exports from the U.S. to all countries besides Canada. In the years leading up to the U.S. shale oil boom, the U.S. was exporting less than 30,000 BPD to Canada. By 2013, crude oil exports to Canada had jumped to 134,000 BPD. […]

Mass EV Adoption Could Lead To $10 Oil

14 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will lead to global peak oil demand as soon as in 2023-2025, which will result in oil prices crashing to $10, Chris Watling, CEO & chief market strategist at Longview Economics, told CNBC on Friday. Watling said he didn’t see oil crashing “in the next few weeks or months, or maybe even quarters, but I think the long-term outlook for oil—because of what’s happening in terms of electric vehicles” with 70 percent of oil used for transportation, is oil plummeting to $10 somewhere around 2023-2025. “We used to talk about peak oil in terms of supply, we now need to talk about peak oil in terms of demand,” Watling added. China is on an aggressive push to EVs adoption, and the analyst thinks that “often new economies, emerging economies, adopt new technologies first, because they don’t have the old infrastructure that they have […]

Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports

14 Oct 2017   exports, USA

U.S. crude oil exports hit an all-time high at the end of September, and are poised to surge even more to hit unprecedented levels in the coming two or three weeks, Marco Dunand, chief executive of trading house Mercuria, told the Reuters Global Commodities Summit on Friday. U.S. crude oil exports hit a record-high of 1.98 million bpd in the week to September 29, EIA data showed. This was the highest weekly average since the U.S. removed restrictions on crude oil exports at the end of 2015, after a four-decade ban. Oversupply due to Harvey drove the higher exports, but most of all, it is the wide spread of around $6 between WTI and Brent prices that drives buyers to lust after the cheaper U.S. crude grade. The spread is also wide enough to offset shipping costs to destinations like Asia and Europe. Mercuria’s Dunand thinks that the excess […]

Europe plans “EU Battery Alliance” to establish full large-scale battery development and production; strategic plan next year

14 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The European Union is beginning efforts to establish a full value chain of advanced batteries in Europe, with large-scale Li-ion battery cell production, and the circular economy, at the core. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who is in charge of the Energy Union, organized a high-level meeting on battery development and production in Europe this past Wednesday in Brussels. The meeting pulled together stakeholders from European industry—including automotive OEMs, chemical companies, energy companies and battery cell manufacturing companies—and member states to discuss the establishment of such a full value chain of batteries in Europe. The meeting agreed that large-scale manufacturing of Li-ion cells with highest possible control of intellectual property (IP) is crucial for EU economy and job creation for the future. As was recalled by the actors in our meeting, we are […]

Electric cars: China’s highly charged power play

13 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

China has numerous reasons for hating the combustion engine, and a huge incentive to hasten its demise. They are dirty, accounting for what the government says is about 30 percent of the country’s choking air pollution; contribute massively to its oil imports, which Beijing sees as a major strategic vulnerability; and highlight a shortcoming that has been a chronic flaw in the domestic car industry — China is bad at manufacturing them. Last month Beijing gave the global movement to eradicate the combustion engine a sizeable boost. Alongside a number of European countries that have proposed bans on traditional fuel vehicles to be brought in between 2025 and 2040, Beijing has said it is studying the timing of a similar move against petrol and diesel cars. Welcomed by environmentalists, the move also plays into the vision of state planners who see the electric vehicle market as an industry it can compete in, or even dominate globally. The government reinforced its position in September when it announced a system of steadily increasing quotas that will reward carmakers for producing ever more battery-powered vehicles starting in 2019, while forcing them to buy EV “credits” from other producers for every conventional car they make. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) EmailShare this chart As the world’s largest and most profitable auto market, China has huge leverage over the industry and is not afraid to use it. It boasts a central planning mechanism designed to subordinate all other considerations — like profitability and consumer tastes — to government fiat. It has poured billions of dollars into subsidies and state investment in the sector.

Who’s Winning The Electric Vehicle Race?

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Automakers and suppliers of automotive technology are making big moves toward transforming the very nature of vehicles and the amount of fuel they consume. Electric vehicles and self-driving cars are gaining strong support from investors, venture partners, government officials, shareholders, and customers. But how close are we to seeing these electrified, autonomous, advanced vehicles on our roads? Carmakers have embraced ambitious electric vehicle targets, and autonomous vehicles are expected to take a step forward next year in an instrumental U.S. market. Last year, automakers were surprised to see Tesla take nearly 400,000 pre-order down payments for its upcoming Model 3 electric car. That move, along with increasing government pressure in the post-“Dieselgate” environment, spurred competitors to commit to ambitious, capital-intensive EV targets over the next decade. China is also playing a pivotal role in automakers adding several EVs to their product pipelines. Government mandates are expected to be announced […]

Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, Norway

The government of the global leader in EVs adoption, Norway, proposed on Thursday to trim some of the tax breaks for the heaviest electric vehicles (EVs) in a move that—if implemented—would affect owners of cars such as Tesla Model X, for example. In its 2018 budget proposal unveiled today, Norway’s right-wing minority government has included a proposal to change an exemption from the motor vehicle registration tax. The proposal “implies that only heavy electric cars, with a weight in excess of two tonnes, will be subject to motor vehicle registration tax,” the budget draft says. “Electric cars will still be accorded significant advantages in comparison with cars running on fossil fuels. In addition, the Government proposes that electric cars be exempted from re-registration tax and traffic insurance tax,” says the 2018 budget proposal. Norwegian media dubbed the tax on EVs weighing more than 2 tons the “ Tesla tax […]

Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, Europe

In one of Big Oil’s most significant deals in the electric vehicles market yet, Shell said on Thursday that it had signed an agreement to buy one of Europe’s biggest EVs charging networks, Netherlands-based NewMotion. “Under the terms of the deal, NewMotion will continue business as usual as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell,” the oil and gas supermajor said in its statement, which did not disclose the price of the acquisition. NewMotion, launched in 2009, now has more than 30,000 private charge points across the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK. The Dutch company also provides access to a network of more than 50,000 public charge points across 25 countries in Europe for more than 100,000 registered charge cards. “Today’s announcement is an early step towards ensuring customers can access a range of refuelling choices over the coming decades, as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport […]

Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil

11 Oct 2017   exports, USA

Record-high U.S. crude oil exports are putting pressure on North Sea oil as American oil is now flowing to Europe and to the prized Asian market, which has become increasingly important for determining North Sea oil prices and the Brent benchmark. U.S. crude oil exports hit a record-high of 1.98 million bpd in the week to September 29, EIA data showed last week. This was the highest weekly average since the U.S. removed restrictions on crude oil exports at the end of 2015, after a four-decade ban. Last week’s figure also beat the previous record set by U.S. exporters, which was hit in the previous week, at 1.5 million bpd. Oversupply due to Harvey drove the higher exports, but most of all, it is the wide spread of around $6 between WTI and Brent prices that drives buyers to lust after the cheaper U.S. crude grade. The spread is […]

Expect more U.S. oil on the global market

11 Oct 2017   exports, USA

U.S. crude oil exports will likely increase in part because of the discount for the U.S. benchmark price for oil against other grades, an industry report found. An emailed market report from Bank of America- Merrill Lynch this week said the spread, or difference, between West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, and Brent, the global benchmark, made U.S. crude competitive on the open market. A 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports ended in the waning years of President Barack Obama ‘s tenure. During his term, Republican lawmakers helped broker an end to the ban enacted in the 1970s in response to an oil embargo embraced by some members of the […]

China Hastens the World Toward an Electric-Car Future

10 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China. Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation or risk being left behind in the world’s largest car market. Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025. Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s […]

The Geopolitical Consequences Of U.S. Oil Exports

9 Oct 2017   exports

Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk management, emerging market economic development, and market risk assessment. His… The first you may have noticed – oil prices moved back up. As for the second, most so-called “experts” seemed to have missed. See, the environment we’re seeing in energy markets is very different from what we saw only a week ago, when oil prices were also rising. Because yesterday also saw – for the first time in world history – a reigning Saudi Arabian monarch in Moscow for talks with Russia’s head of state. Historically, Russia has been much closer to Iran – Saudi Arabia’s main regional enemy. Now, King Salman and President Putin are expected to endorse the plan to extend the OPEC-Russia deal to cut oil production and boost prices beyond the current end date of March 2018. But that’s not […]

Where The U.S. Exports Oil And Petroleum Products

7 Oct 2017   exports

An oil refinery is shown near Houston following Hurricane Harvey August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Texas refineries have become an important source of petroleum product exports for countries like Mexico. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) This year the U.S. has averaged more than 900,000 barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil exports while continuing to import an average of 8.1 million BPD. In the previous article , I discussed the reasons the U.S. exports oil, despite the fact that we are still a significant net importer of crude oil. In a nutshell, the quality of the oil that is being exported is often a better fit for foreign refineries than the oil that is imported. It may also be logistically preferable to ship domestic oil to certain foreign refineries. From 1975 until late 2015, a crude oil export ban restricted crude oil exports from the U.S. […]

Is This The Missing Link In Lithium Batteries?

6 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The researchers developed anodes comprising porous carbon made from asphalt that show exceptional stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles. (Click to enlarge) Scanning electron microscope images show an anode of asphalt, graphene nanoribbons and lithium at left and the same material without lithium at right. The material shows promise for high-capacity lithium batteries that charge 20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice) A high-current density of 20 milliamps per square centimeter demonstrates the material’s promise for use in rapid charge and discharge devices that require high-power density. “The capacity of these batteries is enormous, but what is equally remarkable is that we can bring them from zero charge to full charge in five minutes, rather than the typical two hours or more needed with other batteries,” says James Tour, the chair in chemistry and a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering […]

The U.S. needs at least twice as many charging points for EV, study finds

6 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

The number of plug-in ports for electric vehicles would need to increase more than 130 percent to meet future growth, a U.S. Energy Department study found. The U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates there are 16,000 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles nation-wide, with 43,000 actual plugs available as of June. That number supports the more than 500,000 plug-ins on the road in the United States, which accounts for about a quarter of the global market. NREL examined market growth scenarios where that number increased to 15 million to quantify what’s necessary to support emerging trends. “In a plug-in vehicle market with 15 million vehicles, the total number of non-residential charging outlets, or […]

Boeing-backed, hybrid-electric commuter plane to hit market in 2022

A Seattle-area startup, backed by the venture capital arms of Boeing Co ( BA.N ) and JetBlue Airways Corp ( JBLU.O ) announced plans on Thursday to bring a small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market by 2022. The small airliner is the first of several planes planned by Zunum Aero, which said it would seat up to 12 passengers and be powered by two electric motors, dramatically reducing the travel time and cost of trips under 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Zunum’s plans and timetable underscore a rush to develop small electric aircraft based on rapidly evolving battery technology and artificial intelligence systems that avoid obstacles on a road or in the sky. In a separate but related development, Boeing said on Thursday it plans to acquire a company that specializes in electric and autonomous flight to help its own efforts to develop such aircraft. Several […]

Western states to roll out EV highway initiative

5 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

A handful of governors from western U.S. states roll out plans Wednesday to expand access for electric vehicles along their highways, Colorado’s governor said. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will host governors from western states to unveil plans his office said would add a layer of confidence for those traveling across the region in alternative vehicles. “This bipartisan, collaborative project involves six additional governors and will affect more than 5,000 miles of highway,” his office said in an emailed statement. More than 90 percent of all transportation-related energy consumption in the United States comes from petroleum-based products, with electric vehicles accounting only for a small fraction of total consumer use. A report from The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute said the […]

The Trillion Dollar Market That Stopped Chasing Profits

5 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Every carmaker worth their salt is developing electric cars. It’s like a virus that’s going around infecting car manufacturing companies. The virus’ name, of course, is Tesla—with observers seeing Elon Musk’s “marketing mastery” as the driving force behind the EV craze. Tesla’s popularity seems to defy logic, or at least the logic that says profit is the ultimate goal of any business, and it should come in big and fast. But Tesla lounges comfortably in the red. Other carmakers are losing money on their electric vehicles as well. Yet both Tesla and the others continue to make them. Why, the profit-focused minds wonder? Environmental regulation is the most obvious answer. Several European countries, some U.S. states, and more importantly, India and China, have all passed regulations that would support the growth of electric car demand in the years to come. India plans to go all-electric-car by 2030. China has […]

New Ford chief to chop spending on traditional cars

4 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Ford’s new chief executive Jim Hackett promised to cut $14bn in costs and divert investment from traditional cars to speed up electric and self-driving vehicle development. In a long-awaited strategy update to analysts in New York, Mr Hackett battled market perceptions that the company has been slow to prepare for a future dominated by shared, environmentally-friendly autonomous cars. He said Ford would cut capital expenditure on internal combustion engines by a third and redeploy that capital into electrification, on top of $4.5bn the company already planned to spend on electric cars. The Detroit automaker will also reallocate $7bn of capital from cars to more profitable sport utility vehicles and trucks, a move which is likely to lead to the elimination of some car models. Ford did not identify any nameplates that would disappear. Some jobs are likely to be lost and some factories could close, according to people close to the company.  The Detroit automaker said it will cut automotive cost growth by 50 per cent by 2022. That includes cutting the costs of materials by $10bn and saving $4bn compared to its previous plans by increasing the use of common parts across all vehicles.  The new Ford CEO, who was previously head of the futuristic Ford Smart Mobility division, replaced Mark Fields unexpectedly in May amid sliding profits and share price performance, and concerns that Ford lags behind rivals in the race to develop electric and autonomous vehicles.  Ford reaffirmed its 2017 full-year financial guidance, which called for a drop in profits, and said it would provide its 2018 outlook in January. Mr Hackett laid out his vision for how the 114-year-old automaker can make enough money from the brutally competitive business of selling cars to invest the sums needed to compete in a world increasingly turning against internal combustion engines.

ABB launches first 150-350 kW high power charger

4 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

ABB will introduce its new Terra HP High Power Charge system—the Terra HP, the first 150-350 kW product on the market—at EVS30 in Stuttgart. Ideally suited for use at highway rest stops and filling stations, Terra HP’s ultra-high current has the capacity to charge both 400 V and 800 V cars at full power. The 375 A output single power cabinet can charge a 400 V car at full 150 kW continuously. The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW and 500 A, while dynamically optimizing the available grid connection and the power delivery to the two vehicles. ABB Terra HP Dynamic DC We are committed to supporting the expansion of electric vehicle […]

China, With Methodical Discipline, Conjures a Market for Electric Cars

China has created the world’s largest electric-car market by sheer force of will, a giant bet on domestic production that’s leaving major foreign auto makers scrambling to keep up. The government is funding its own manufacturers, luring domestic buyers with subsidies and building a vast charging-station network—while strong-arming its consumers by making sure buying an electric car is the only sure way to get license plates in crowded cities. William Zhou, a 33-year-old software-company manager, recently abandoned his 18-month quest to buy a gasoline-powered foreign car—a middle-class status symbol—when his wife became pregnant. He drives in gridlocked Shanghai, where severe restrictions on issuing license plates for new gas-powered cars don’t apply to electric or plug-in hybrid models. He settled for a Chinese plug-in hybrid because “I didn’t want to waste any more time […]

China’s EV Market Nearing 2 Percent Penetration

The number of passenger vehicles sold in China surged 68 percent in August compared to the same month last year, but the really compelling statistic is the number of electric vehicles that made up the proportion of the 55,000 units sold in the Asian country. According to numbers published Sunday by Clean Technica , the plug-in-vehicle market grew in China to 1.8 percent of total passenger vehicles, which is a new record compared to last year’s 1.5 percent. Sales are expected to grow even further by the end of the year to 2 percent and may even reach 2.5 percent, the website which reports on renewable energy trends, states. It notes that of all the EV models sold in China – 94 percent of which are domestic brands – small city cars were the most popular, with the EC-Series by BAIC International the best performer at over 6,700 deliveries […]

G.M. and Ford Lay Out Plans to Expand Electric Models

3 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Mary Barra, G.M.’s chief executive, discussing features on the battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt in January 2016. G.M. said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader goal to create an emissions-free fleet. DETROIT — In a push to produce cars powered by batteries or fuel cells, General Motors on Monday laid out a strategy to vastly expand the number of electric models in the marketplace. G.M. said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader plan toward what the company says is its ultimate goal of an emissions-free fleet. The two models will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that G.M. plans to bring out by 2023. The announcement came a day before a long-scheduled investor presentation by Ford Motor that was also expected to emphasize electric models. After the G.M. news […]

Automakers Plan Electric Car Blitz Even as Tesla Burns Billions

2 Oct 2017   Electric Cars

Regulations, Musk’s marketing mastery seen as key reasons Field gets crowded in market most buyers have yet to embrace Here are two facts that defy logic: By the end of the year, electric-car maker Tesla Inc. will have burned through more than $10 billion without ever having made 10 cents. Yet companies around the world are lining up to compete with it. Almost 50 new pure electric-car models will come to market globally between now and 2022, including vehicles from Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG . Even British inventor James Dyson is getting into the game, announcing last week that he’s investing two billion pounds ($2.7 billion) to develop an electric car and the batteries to power it. The reasons for chasing Tesla are part city hall, part show business. Regulators in Beijing have laid out a plan to mandate electric vehicle production in China, while California requires carmakers […]

China issues NEV quotas for automakers: 10% of sales in 2019 and 12% in 2020

30 Sep 2017   China, Electric Cars

China has issued its anticipated new regulation requiring most automakers to sell a minimum number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) (battery-electric and plug-in hybrid) annually from 2019 as part of the country’s broader effort to curb carbon emissions by reducing the use of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. The new policy from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology requires that sales of NEVs reach a threshold equivalent to 10% of an automaker’s total sales in 2019 and 12% in 2020. The regulation applies to carmakers that produce or import more than 30,000 conventional vehicles annually—lower than the 50,000 threshold earlier mentioned in a policy draft—and includes more vehicle companies in the evaluation system. Compared with the draft regulation, the new policy […]

New York plug-in car sales up 74% April-June with introduction of rebate

30 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state has seen a 74% increase in electric car sales over the same time period last year, resulting from the Drive Clean Rebate initiative launched on 21 March 2017. The Drive Clean Rebate provides New York residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new plug-in car from participating dealers. For the first three full months following the implementation of the Drive Clean Rebate (April – June), New York State EV sales rose to 2,574 units, up from 1,476 units the year before. For the first half of 2017, New York saw 4,209 EVs sold, a 61% increase from the 2,609 sold in […]

Was Goldman Sachs Wrong About Oil Demand?

28 Sep 2017   Energy Demand

In my last two columns for premium subscribers, I was first very clear in the opportunity I thought I saw coming in oil stocks. First, I outlined how oil companies had finally retreated from full-speed-ahead capex increases, looking to raise production into an oil environment that hadn’t been able to support it for the last two years. I also pointed out that this retrenchment had come in a unified way from oil companies, continuing their lemmings-like behavior of rather bad decision making during this entire oil bust. The opportunity arose, I argued, because it seemed to me that the oil environment was finally, in fact, ready to improve – oil stockpiles were finally dropping below 5-year averages and declining steadily, and rig counts were due to decline as well, after so many months of sub-profitable oil prices. All of this led me to believe that we were seeing […]

JingChi raises $52M in Pre-A round to fuel growth and development of autonomous fleets for US and China

28 Sep 2017   China, Electric Cars

JingChi Inc. has completed a combined $52-million pre-A investment round from lead investor Qiming Venture, strategic investor NVIDIA GPU Ventures, and a consortium of other investors. The investment allows JingChi rapidly to expand its research and development teams globally, and ramp up deployment of a fully Level 4 autonomous driving test fleet in China by the end of 2017. Duane Kuang, Founding Partner at Qiming, will join JingChi’s board of directors. JingChi was founded in early April 2017 and has already broken several records in its brief autonomous driving history. In less than five weeks, the company successfully completed autonomous driving tests in a closed venue. On 18 June, JingChi became the 34 th company to obtain a license for testing autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads. On 24 June, JingChi completed its first autonomous mode testing on public roads in Sunnyvale, California—81 days after JingChi started operations. On […]

U.S. fuel exports recover after Harvey, offering buyers respite

28 Sep 2017   exports, USA

Fuel exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast are rising rapidly as refineries recover from weeks of disruptions due to Hurricane Harvey, offering respite to buyers in Latin America and Europe. The gradual resumption of operations in the region that has become a major oil export hub has prompted a drop in benchmark gasoline and diesel refining margins on both sides of the Atlantic. Margins measure the profit from converting crude into fuels. Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex bought gasoline cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast this week, according to shipping data, after sourcing dozens of cargoes from Europe, the Middle East and Asia through the month. Mexico, which relies on imports for half of its gasoline consumption, typically buys two cargoes of the road fuel per day, mostly from the U.S. Gulf Coast. U.S. outages came at a particularly difficult moment for Mexico as its largest […]

Visualizing The Massive Impact Of EVs On Commodities

28 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

It’s obviously a thought experiment, since right now EVs have close to just 1 percent market share worldwide. We’re still years away from EVs even hitting double-digit demand on a global basis, and the entire supply chain is built around the internal combustion engine, anyways. At the same time, however, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes , the scenario is interesting to consider . One recent projection , for example, put EVs at a 16 percent penetration by 2030 and then 51 percent by 2040. This could be conservative depending on the changing regulatory environment for manufacturers – after all, big markets like China, France, and the U.K. have recently announced that they plan on banning gas-powered vehicles in the near future. The Thought Experiment We discovered this “100 percent EV world” thought experiment in a UBS report that everyone should read. As a part of their UBS Evidence […]

Electric Vehicles And The 5 Trillion Dollar Market Transition

28 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

Every week, the assumptions about the future of transportation, and the energy systems that turn our wheels, are becoming more Jetson-esque. The excitement is palpable and as a technology junkie I love it. Auto shows are rolling out new electric vehicle (EV) models; China says it’s planning on banning internal combustion engines (ICE); and Daimler is jockeying with Tesla in the budding electric truck segment. In the battery world, lithium prices have reached an all-time high on anticipated demand growth. In tow with all the EV news, there is a trailer full of autonomous vehicle talk that makes me think that 1950s Popular Science articles were real after all. But it’s time to take our foot of the accelerator and make sense of it all. For the next several columns I’ll be looking at what the pundits are saying, characterizing and examining all assumptions, and putting things into pragmatic […]

Strong growth in fuel demand accelerates oil market rebalancing

27 Sep 2017   Asia, Energy Demand

Strong oil demand growth in emerging economies led by China and India, but also from Europe, is drawing down oil stockpiles faster than expected, putting the global market firmly on track to rebalance, senior industry executives said on Tuesday. A surge in demand for diesel and fuel stock draws after Hurricane Harvey have also helped propel benchmark crude prices to nearly $60 a barrel, levels not seen in over two years, analysts said. Prices rallied in the third quarter as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers cut output, and as Harvey knocked out nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity. “We see the market over the next six months going well above $60 for a simple reason … surprisingly good demand,” […]

What The Peak Oil Demand Group Is Missing

27 Sep 2017   Energy Demand

Summary Demand for oil has increased every single year since the 2008 recession. In spite of EV sales, the global non-EV fleet keeps increasing. Rapid, or even rabid, growth will take a long time to stop the ICE fleet from expanding. The market makes the news. Negative price action begets negative stories, and vice-versa. The media is hooked on causality and will go to great lengths to establish a link. The last 6 months have seen oil prices remain steady in spite of OPEC cuts leading to the “Peak Oil Demand” stories. The argument there can be summed up in 3 main points. Renewable energy push will decrease demand for oil. Banning of internal combustion energy (ICE) vehicles will decrease demand for oil. Global oil consumption has likely peaked, and coupled with increasing shale oil supply, will keep prices depressed forever. In all likelihood, oil prices will be significantly […]

U.S. crude exports to Asia may shake up global oil pricing: Russell

27 Sep 2017   Asia, exports, USA

The great disruptor that is U.S. shale oil is coming to Asia, as refiners in the energy-hungry region look to expand and diversify their sources of crude, and the consequences will likely go well beyond a shift in oil trade flows. It should come as no surprise that rising oil output in the United States would find its way to the region that is the world’s fastest-growing consumer of the fuel, but perhaps the rapid pace of the shift has caught some in the market off-guard. Crude oil exports to Asia from the United States are still relatively small-scale, with Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts estimating flows of around 261,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first eight months of the year. However, this […]