Energy Demand

Is Big Oil Underestimating Autonomous Vehicles?

20 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Companies like Tesla, Uber and Google have sparked a lot of interest in the roll out of autonomous vehicles (AVs), or driverless cars, and while it is still early days, the transition to AVs could have enormous implications for the oil industry. There is a great deal of logic in AVs. For instance, an estimated 4 percent of total household vehicles are in use at any one time. AVs promise to make the transportation system much more efficient by allowing for the shared use of vehicles. Instead of every single person needing their own car, which they use only a fraction of their day, a single AV could service multiple households. Or, more specifically, a pool of AVs could provide enough transit service for a much larger number of people. This will cut down on fuel consumption, traffic, air pollution, and potentially provide an economic jolt from the savings. […]

Exclusive: GM plans to build, test thousands of self-driving Bolts in 2018

18 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week. It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in comparison, is currently testing about 60 self-driving prototypes in four states. Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its […]

Electric Car Sales Undaunted By Low Gasoline Prices

16 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

While oil and gasoline prices have traditionally determined the fate of electrified vehicle sales, plug-in vehicles are seeing other forces shaping global markets. When oil prices plunged in 2014, hybrid vehicles took a hit along with their residual values in several global markets. Plug-in electrified vehicles – battery electric and plug-in hybrid – saw similar trends emerging at first. However, PEVs have seen unit sales rise significantly in the U.S., Europe, and China during the past two years – as gasoline prices have stayed down. It appears that other market dynamics are influencing PEV sales now more than oil and fuel pump prices. Government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has projected 800,000 “ new energy vehicles ” (PEVs) will be sold this year in China – a 58 percent increase over 2016. Last year, there were about 507,000 new energy vehicles sold, growing by more than 50 percent […]

Electric car boom spurs investor scramble for cobalt

15 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Investors are buying up physical cobalt anticipating that shortages of the metal, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electrical cars, will spur prices to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis. Prices for cobalt metal have climbed nearly 50 percent since September to five-year peaks around $19 a lb as stricter emissions controls boost demand for electric vehicles, especially in China, struggling with ruinous pollution levels in some cities. (For a graphic on how Lithium-ion battery works click tmsnrt.rs/2kOUBNQ ) Consultants CRU Group say electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million in 2021 and more than six million by 2025, from 1.1 million last year. By 2020, 75 percent of lithium-ion […]

U.S. Oil Exports Are Rising

11 Feb 2017   exports

U.S. oil exports are on the rise, fueled by comparatively higher prices for foreign oil they compete with and lower shipping rates. But analysts say any further increases in exports will be slow and the prospect of American energy independence remains a lofty goal. Crude-oil sales abroad were prohibited for decades until the government lifted the export ban 14 months ago in the hopes of reducing a bulging oversupply that had helped…

US’ Sabine Pass LNG exports hit record high in January

11 Feb 2017   exports

LNG exports from the US’ Sabine Pass hit a record in January this year, according to data from Platts Analytics, Friday. Export volumes reached 1.476 Bcm of gas equivalent, versus a monthly average of just under 0.5 Bcm since the plant started loading cargoes in February 2016. The increase in production coincides with the ramp up of the facility’s second 4.5 million mt/year train which completed commissioning and was handed over to the operator, Cheniere, in September last year. Following a period of planned maintenance from September into October, when both trains were brought offline, export volumes have been increasing steadily. Article continues below… LNG Daily is essential reading as LNG supply dynamics continue to change in big markets like Japan, China, India and the U.S. This premier independent news publication for the global LNG industry gives readers information on every aspect of the global market from new LNG […]

Volkswagen Forms U.S. Unit for Zero-Emission Vehicles

8 Feb 2017   Electric Cars, USA

Volkswagen AG launched a U.S. subsidiary Tuesday designed to oversee $2 billion in investments to promote zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars, a commitment the German auto giant made in the wake of cheating on U.S. emissions tests for several years. Dubbed Electrify America LLC, the organization is an attempt to show a renewed commitment to clean vehicles by pouring money into electric-vehicle charging stations in the U.S….

Cheaper renewables to halt coal and oil demand growth from 2020: research

The falling cost of electric vehicle and solar technology will halt demand growth for oil and coal from 2020, according to research published on Thursday, posing a threat to fossil fuel companies unprepared for the transition. The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative analyzed cost forecasts for electric vehicle (EV) and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, government policies and the impact on road transport and power markets, which account for half of global fossil fuel consumption. “Fossil fuels may lose 10 percent of market share to PV and EVs within a single decade. This may not sound much but it can be the beginning of the end once demand starts to decline,” Carbon Tracker said in a statement. A 10 percent […]

Electric Cars – An Existential Threat For Oil?

7 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Nobody would have predicted ten years ago, back when everyone was talking about Who Killed the Electric Car, that oil would someday have to fear the future of General Motor’s EV1. Practically none of the 1,117 units were still in commission in 2006 when the movie first aired, but today there’s a whole new fleet. In fact, oil majors are worried that electric powered cars could soon replace traditional combustion engines. Electric cars are becoming more numerous every day. This past October, EVs represented over 5 percent of energy consumption in the transportation sector. A recent study shows that EV prices are declining faster than anticipated and that oil demand could peak by 2020. This would be brought on by EVs reaching price parity with ICEs. Carbon Tracker and the Imperial College of London were quoted saying “This growth trajectory sees EVs displace approximately two million barrels of oil […]

Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester. When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. ( Earlier post .) Opportunity charging takes place via an overhead mast, which connects to the bus […]

US Could Export More Oil Than OPEC Countries In 2017

6 Feb 2017   exports, USA

The U.S. may export more oil in 2017 than four OPEC member states produce, according to a survey of energy analysts by Bloomberg. The U.S. is already outproducing Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon; in 2017, U.S. companies could ship more oil overseas than those OPEC nation pump out of the ground, according to Bloomberg . “The United States has dramatically increased energy production and use even as emissions continue to decline,” Reid Porter, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute (API), told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “For the first time in our lifetime, we can now say that North America has the potential to become a net energy exporter,” Porter said. “That’s a revolutionary change, a significant shift from where we were just a few short years ago.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects oil production to top nine million barrels a day in 2017. The U.S. […]

Why The Electric Car Boom Could Cause Another Oil Price Crash

3 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

A 2014-style oil price meltdown could occur again. Only this time, instead of a sudden surge of supply, the culprit will be the fast adoption of electric vehicles, which will cut into oil demand enough to cause prices to fall. That prediction comes from Carbon Tracker , a think tank that has repeatedly warned about the prospect of fossil fuel “stranded assets,” due to the rise of clean energy and increasingly restrictive climate policy. In its latest report, Carbon Tracker envisions a scenario in which 2 million barrels per day of oil demand are erased by 2025 because of the penetration of EVs in the transportation sector. Reducing global oil demand by 2 mb/d may not seem like much, but it is equivalent to the supply overhang that triggered the 2014 oil price meltdown. It does not take a massive discrepancy between supply and demand to crash prices. The […]

U.S. May Export More Oil in 2017 Than Four OPEC Nations Produce

2 Feb 2017   exports, USA

U.S. crude exports are poised to surpass production in four OPEC nations in 2017 and may grow even more if President Donald Trump honors pledges to ease drilling restrictions and maximize output. The world’s largest oil-consuming country could sell as much as 800,000 barrels a day of crude overseas this year, according to four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s more than OPEC producers Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon each pumped in December. The U.S. exported 527,000 barrels a day in the first 11 months of 2016, Energy Information Administration data show. Chalk it all up to a resurgence in shale oil and gas, which Trump is counting on to create jobs and rebuild roads, schools and bridges. U.S. output will rebound to more than 9 million barrels a day in 2017 after sliding 5.6 percent to 8.87 million in 2016, the EIA estimates . And since restrictions on U.S. […]

Electric Cars Could Cause Big Oil This Much Damage

2 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

The growth of battery-powered cars could be as disruptive to the oil market as the OPEC market-share war that triggered the price crash of 2014, potentially wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off the value from fossil fuel producers in the next decade. About 2 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced by electric vehicles by 2025, equivalent in size to the oversupply that triggered the biggest oil industry downturn in a generation over the past three years, according to research from Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank, published Thursday. A similar 10 percent loss of market share caused the collapse of the U.S. coal mining industry and wiped more than a 100 billion euros ($108 billion) off the value of European utilities from 2008 to 2013, the report said. Major oil companies are waking up to the potential disruption plug-in […]

U.S. Enjoys First-Ever Oil Trade Surplus With Latin America

1 Feb 2017   exports

The U.S. for the first time is pushing more crude and refined petroleum products into Latin America than it brings back, signaling a change in the global trade map that could be tested if President Donald Trump introduces border taxes. The scales tipped in favor of the U.S. in October, when it recorded a surplus of 89,000 barrels a day of petroleum, the first gain for the U.S. since records began in 1993, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In November, the surplus grew to 184,000 barrels a day, the EIA said Tuesday. That compares to a 4.3 million barrel deficit in 2005. The change comes as Latin America, led by Mexico, is importing unusually large amounts of gasoline as aging refineries fail to keep up with soaring demand. At the same time, the region’s output of heavy crude, once a staple for U.S. refiners, is declining just […]

BP: Global Energy Demand to Grow by a Third

27 Jan 2017   Energy Demand

Global energy demand will grow by around a third, driven by a burgeoning Asian middle-class, according to BP’s latest energy outlook. “Global demand grows by around a third in the base case, with virtually all of this increase consumed by fast growing emerging economies,” Spencer Dale, BP’s group chief economist, said. In terms of the fuels meeting this increased demand, BP’s outlook points to a continuing shift in the fuel mix, with non-fossil fuels providing half of the increase in primary energy, Dale said. “Even so, oil and gas, together with coal, continue to meet the majority of the world’s energy needs, accounting for more than three quarters of total energy supply in 2035,” he added. Natural gas is also expected to grow more quickly than either oil or coal, overtaking coal to be the second largest fuel source by 2035. BP’s Energy Outlook sets out a base case […]

As Oil Prices Climb, China and India Curb Their Enthusiasm for Reserves

23 Jan 2017   China, Energy Demand

The world’s oil producers are counting on a production cut to boost crude prices, but a slowdown in stockpiling by China’s and India’s governments could offer obstacles to that plan. For years, the governments of emerging oil consumers like China and India have been stockpiling crude, looking to build buffers like those long held by the U.S. and other developed countries. These stockpiling efforts have been important—if…

Will the US Really Be a Major Energy Exporter?

17 Jan 2017   exports, USA

The analytical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy now says the United States will become a major energy exporter in a few years. Will this eventually prove to have been an accurate prediction? The forecast is contained in the Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) for 2017 , released on January 5th. In the publication’s Reference Case scenario, America is energy self-sufficient by 2026 and a net exporter thereafter. Prominent news organizations have understandably reported the EIA forecast uncritically: after all, to question it might seem to require independent and sophisticated data analysis. Nevertheless, it should be noted that past AEO reports have erred, often spectacularly. A recent peer-reviewed study examined 630 renewable energy forecasts by the EIA between 2004 and 2014 and found that most sharply under-estimated solar/wind generation or capacity growth, and that the inaccuracy of forecasts has actually worsened in recent years. EIA’s […]

China, Europe drive shift to electric cars as U.S. lags

16 Jan 2017   Electric Cars

Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe – just not in North America. Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fuelling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city’s annual auto show. “Car electrification is an irreversible trend,” said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo ( VLOF.PA ), which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars. In Europe, green cars benefit increasingly from subsidies, tax breaks and other perks, while combustion engines face mounting penalties including driving and parking restrictions. China, struggling […]

Lithium Prices Set To Jump As Tesla Doubles Global Battery Production

9 Jan 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla fired up the gigafactory in the first week of 2017, which could mark a turning point for the energy storage industry. The gigafactory in Nevada will begin mass production of lithium-ion batteries for the use in both Tesla’s Model 3 electric vehicle as well as its energy storage systems. Tesla, and its partner in the gigafactory, Panasonic, plan on hiring 4,000 people to work at the factory in 2017. By 2018, Tesla predicts that it will be churning out 35 gigawatts of lithium-ion batteries per ear, equivalent to what the rest of the world produces combined. In other words, this single factory will lead to a doubling of global battery production capacity next year. Up until now, battery production has been dominated by companies outside the United States. An estimated 88 percent of battery production in 2015 was located in China, South Korea and Japan, dominated by companies […]

EIA: US On Track To Export More Energy than It Imports by 2026

6 Jan 2017   exports, USA

One year after Congress lifted a ban on US oil exports, the federal Energy Information Administration finds the nation is set to become a net energy exporter. A net energy importer for more than 60 years, the United States is poised to flip that trend and become a net exporter by 2026, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its Annual Energy Outlook 2017, the agency said declining petroleum imports coupled with an increase in natural gas exports is driving the change. That’s based on eight reference cases that model a variety of pricing, technological and economic factors. In most of those cases, U.S. production is likely to decline in the 2030s, which will slow or reverse energy export growth, EIA said. “EIA’s projections show how advances in technology are driving oil and natural gas production, renewables penetration, and demand-side efficiencies and reshaping the energy future,” EIA […]

US ports prime themselves for expected uptick in petchem exports

5 Jan 2017   exports

The world’s second-largest petrochemical port in Houston may command 75% of all US polyethylene exports, but expected growth in international shipments as a slew of new ethane crackers and associated derivative units start coming online this year has US ports a thousand miles or more away gearing up to nab a piece of the action. Last month Georgia’s Port of Savannah increased its ship-to-shore crane total to 26 — one more than the 25 at the Port of Houston’s Bayport and Barbour’s Cut terminals — with the arrival of four new post-Panamax cranes that cost about $15 million each. Resin packagers and distributors, such as New Jersey-based A&R Bulk-Pak and Mobile, Alabama-based SeaPac Inc., are setting up operations at or near the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. The Port of New Orleans also is adding post-Panamax cranes, resin packaging capacity and taking empty containers from Memphis shipped via […]

US gasoline exports to Mexico hit record high on refinery issues, strong demand

31 Dec 2016   exports, Mexico, USA

Mexico’s record-low refinery production and growing consumer demand helped push US gasoline exports there to a new high in October, a trend that has boosted prices in both countries. Gasoline exports to Mexico climbed 1.86 million barrels to 12.08 million barrels in October, according to US Energy Information Administration data released Friday, the highest total since that data started being tracked in 1993. The previous peak was 11.42 million barrels in December 2010. Mexico is by far the largest importer of US gasoline, taking in 45.8% of the 177.4 million barrels of finished gasoline the US exported through October of this year. That export demand has pushed prices to unseasonably strong levels in the US Gulf Coast, which typically sees demand weaken during the fall and winter months. The outright price for Gulf Coast pipeline-delivered conventional gasoline was assessed at $1.7098/gal Thursday, its highest price since August 18, 2015. […]

Electric Cars: Still Unpopular with Buyers and Unprofitable for Sellers

29 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Tesla, which sells only electric vehicles, has posted a net loss of $550 million so… The car of the future will be electric, connected and, eventually, self-driving. But where does that leave the car industry of the future? In a series of articles this month, Heard on the Street takes a look at how investors should approach the biggest technological disruption the car industry has faced in decades. A new generation of long-range, affordably priced electric cars is about to hit the market, showing that auto makers can produce alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles. What auto makers haven’t shown is that they can actually sell these vehicles and earn real profits. That will be the test in 2017 for General Motors , which has begun selling its all-electric Bolt, and Tesla Motors , which says it will begin building its Model 3 later in the year. Both will be priced […]

Could Santa’s Sleigh Go Electric?

26 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Indeed, it’s time to give Santa’s reindeer a break, so this year, rumor has it, they’re just along for the ride as Santa goes electric, pleasing both the animal welfare watchdogs and environmentalists who would be keen to see this go down with a minimal carbon footprint. And what better year than 2016, when electric vehicle poster boy Elon Musk, of Tesla Motors Inc., is being wooed by President-elect Donald Trump. It would seem almost inevitable that Santa would go electric, now that electric vehicles are preparing to enter the mainstream in a very big way. But every major transition like this comes along with its challenges, so this is what is in store for Santa as he purportedly prepares for his first magical magic-less around-the-world sleigh ride, powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Charging Challenge Santa will still need to bring his reindeer along for back-up—so we’ll call this […]

Silicon Valley Dominating Self-Driving Tech? Motor City Says Not So Fast

23 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

FOR decades, automakers have been able to count on a fundamental fact of American life: You pretty much need a car to get around. But lately, novel technologies, including ride-hailing services like Uber and advances in self-driving cars, are creating new alternatives for commuting, shuttling children and going to the store — particularly in urban settings. There are also demographic and economic trends in play. Many younger Americans do not consider owning a car a goal or necessity — or a necessary expense. So carmakers are looking ahead to a day when the automobile plays a smaller role, or even no role at all, in many people’s daily routines. “The historical model is you buy a car and it’s in your garage most of the time,” said Glen DeVos, vice president for engineering and services at Delphi Automotive , a big developer and supplier of automobile technology. “It’s the […]

Oil Consumption Is Immune To A Transport Transformation

23 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

96 percent of new vehicle sales in 2016 featured combustion engines The implementation of electric vehicles and ride-sharing may have long-term effects on oil demand, but the speed at which changes to the vehicle fleet takes place are likely to ensure that it happens at a slow pace, according to a report by IHS Markit. While IHS and many other prevailing long-term global energy forecasts expect oil demand to continue to grow over the next two decades, the potential for disruptive changes to transportation—a sector that accounted for half of the 96 MMBOPD of oil consumed globally in 2016—have added a level of uncertainty, according to IHS Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue report. Transportation sector changes: peak oil demand, or just a beginning? The report says that the potential proliferation of increasingly stringent vehicle ownership and use policies, changes in consumer behavior, new technologies and the pace of economic growth, […]

The Highly Charged Way to Play Electric Cars

21 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

The financial spotlight is on the auto companies that will produce electric cars, especially on… The next automotive revolution will be electric, or so they say. The financial spotlight is on the car companies that will produce them, and especially on pioneer Tesla Motors , but are investors getting things wrong? Isn’t there equal or perhaps far greater value in enabling electric vehicles? Today internal combustion or diesel engines still power almost everything that moves on the road. Making that possible are 150,000 gas stations in the U.S. alone that dispensed more than $300 billion of motor fuels last year. The nation’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil —just one of many and a midget in global terms—is worth seven times as much as its biggest car company, General Motors . By contrast, even with its vehicles comprising well under half of 1% of light vehicle sales this year, Tesla […]

Electric vehicle market footprint growing

10 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

 Europe and China are expected to dominate the consumer electric vehicle market as the footprint grows into double-digit percent, a market report finds. “Significant advances in battery technology, financial support from governments, regulations and values of millennials will be key factors leading to increases in electric vehicle adoption,” Jim Burkhard, a energy research for IHS Markit, said in an emailed statement. IHS finds that, with the right policies in place, electric vehicles could account for at least 15 percent of total new vehicle sales by 2040. The report finds the current market share is about 1 percent, but up more than 1000 percent in terms of sales in the six years ending this year. New Zealand was among the most recent movers on the incentive front, forming a special counsel tasked with accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles on the road this summer The […]

Electric Trucking Charges Up

9 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

A Nikola One Truck is shown. Heavy-duty electric trucks remain a rare sight on highways,… Officials in Colorado are planning a public-road test of battery-charging technology capable of powering electric trucks while they drive. In the pilot project, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., vehicles equipped with “receiving coils” will draw power from another coil buried in the road. The Colorado Transportation Department and infrastructure developer Aecom Inc. are scouting potential sites, including busy roads near Denver International Airport, with a goal of launching in 2018. Heavy-duty electric trucks remain a rare sight on highways, in part because they need to make frequent stops to recharge and must carry heavy, expensive batteries. The pilot’s developers say their goal is to extend the distances electric trucks can drive and reduce the bulkiness of in-vehicle batteries. “It’s one of those, ‘if you build it, they will […]

New crosslinked gel electrolytes could create high energy density supercapacitors rivaling batteries

8 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Researchers from Augmented Optics Ltd. and the University of Surrey, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, have developed new, crosslinked gel-matrix polymer electrolytes exhibiting measured capacitance values more than 100 times those of conventional electrolytes. The new gel electrolytes are compatible with all normal production electrodes. Augmented Optics, which has formed a subsidiary, SuperCapacitor Materials, to commercialize the materials, believes that the combination of existing electrodes and the new electrolytes have the potential to create supercapacitors that have energy storage capacities which can approach or exceed existing battery systems. Supercapacitors feature long cycle life and high power density; they can perform thousands of high power charge/discharge cycles without loosing energy storage capacity. However, compared to batteries, they are hampered by low energy density, limiting the amount they can store. In a paper earlier this year published in the RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry A , researchers at Seoul […]

Oil firms and carmakers diverge in costly debate

7 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Many carmakers are predicting a significant shift to electric vehicles in the next decade. Advances in battery technology and the growth of autonomous driving and ride sharing – suited to electric vehicles – will power this expansion, they reason. But some oil executives take a different view, predicting electricity will play only a bit part in transport out to 2040 at least. If they are on the wrong side of the argument, it could come at a cost to an industry where new projects often cost billions of dollars to build and need decades of at least moderate crude prices to pay off. Over half of all crude oil pumped is used for transport. An overly pessimistic outlook for electric cars may lead oil companies to adopt an overly optimistic outlook […]

WiTricity announces Tunable Matching Network technology; optimization of power transfer between ground and vehicle

6 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Wireless power transfer company WiTricity announced Tunable Matching Network (TMN) technology, which allows the wireless charging system automatically to optimize energy transfer between the ground and vehicle in a wide range of real-world operating conditions including parking misalignment, differing vehicle ground clearance and varying battery voltage conditions. This flexibility enables wirelessly charged vehicles to interoperate more easily with standards-based charging sources made by different automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and infrastructure suppliers. WiTricity’s TMN technology is delivered as a compact electronics module embodying proprietary hardware and software algorithms, to be incorporated into both the wireless charging source on the ground and the wireless power capture device on the vehicle. The WiTricity TMN technology was recently tested by Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with funding from the US Department of Energy, to support validation of the SAE Technical Information Report (TIR) J2954. SAE TIR J2954 is a guideline for the wireless charging […]

Electric Cars Could Take an OPEC-Sized Bite From Oil Demand

5 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

A boom in electric vehicles made by the likes of Tesla Motors Inc. could erode as much as 10 percent of global gasoline demand by 2035, according to the oil industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. While battery-powered cars and trucks today represent less than 1 percent of total vehicle sales, they are expected to take off after 2025 as governments move to tackle pollution and costs fall, the Houston-based analyst said. By 2035 so-called EVs may remove 1 million to 2 million barrels a day of oil demand from the market — in the range of the production cut OPEC and its allies agreed this week in order to end a three-year crude surplus. “Anything that reduces the demand for transportation has an impact on the oil market,” Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and oils markets at Wood Mackenzie, said in an interview in London. “The question […]

Electric Cars Could Take an OPEC-Sized Bite From Oil Demand

3 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

A boom in electric vehicles made by the likes of Tesla Motors Inc. could erode as much as 10 percent of global gasoline demand by 2035, according to the oil industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. While battery-powered cars and trucks today represent less than 1 percent of total vehicle sales, they are expected to take off after 2025 as governments move to tackle pollution and costs fall, the Houston-based analyst said. By 2035 so-called EVs may remove 1 million to 2 million barrels a day of oil demand from the market — in the range of the production cut OPEC and its allies agreed this week in order to end a three-year crude surplus. “Anything that reduces the demand for transportation has an impact on the oil market,” Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and oils markets at Wood Mackenzie, said in an interview in London. “The question […]

U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico continue to grow

30 Nov 2016   exports

U.S. pipeline exports of natural gas continued to grow in 2016, and they have doubled since 2009. Almost all of this growth is attributable to increasing exports to Mexico, which have accounted for more than half of all U.S. natural gas exports since April 2015. In August, the United States exported 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to Mexico via pipelines. U.S. daily pipeline exports to Mexico through August 2016 are at a yearly average of 3.6 Bcf/d, 25% above the year-ago level and 85% above the five-year (2011–15) average level. In 2015, Mexico’s energy ministry (SENER) announced a five-year plan to significantly expand the country’s natural gas pipeline network to accommodate higher levels of natural gas imports from the United States. These imports would help meet increasing power demand, offset declining domestic natural gas production, reduce […]

New Milestone: The U.S. Is Now a Net Exporter of Natural Gas

29 Nov 2016   exports

Two contractors talk on a natural gas drilling rig in Keene, Texas. In November—as well… The U.S. has become a net exporter of natural gas, further evidence of the how the domestic oil and gas boom is reshaping the global energy business. The U.S. has exported an average of 7.4 billion cubic feet a day of gas in November, more than the 7 billion cubic feet a day it has imported, according to S&P Global Platts, an energy trade publisher and data provider. Exports also topped imports for a few days in September, Platts reported. It has been nearly 60 years since the U.S. last shipped out more natural gas than it brought in annually, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The milestone comes less than a year after restrictions on most crude oil exports were lifted , allowing tankers of crude to be freely shipped overseas for […]

London transport operator Go-Ahead adds two Irizar electric i2e buses to fleet after successful operating results

Based on the success of two Irizar 100% i2e electric buses that have been operating in London since June 2015, London’s largest transport operator, Go-Ahead, is incorporating the buses into its fleet and has signed an agreement with Irizar that includes service and maintenance. For over a year, these two buses have been operating on the busy routes 507, connecting Waterloo Station with Victoria Station, and 521, which connect Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station. The operating data has successfully fulfilled the objectives requested. With this change, both buses will begin to operate for longer periods on the 108 route which runs from Stratford International Station to Lewisham Station with different operating conditions. In addition, Irizar will offer comprehensive maintenance of the buses. The first of these two units was delivered to TFL (Transport for London) as part of the “Clean Bus Summit” which took place on 29 June […]

Some Volkswagen strategists see battery-electric, diesel cost lines crossing by 2023-2025

23 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

The increasing stringency of global emissions standards, both current and projected, is driving up the cost for internal combustion engines to meet those standards, although numerous technology pathways exist. ( Earlier post .) In a conversation with Green Car Congress at AutoMobility LA last week, Dr. Matthias Erb, Executive Vice President of the NA Engineering and Planning Center, Volkswagen Group of America, said that, as a result of those pressures, some strategists in the Volkswagen Group project that the cost lines between battery-electric vehicles and diesel will cross within the coming decade. What we see in terms of emissions standards is that they are getting tougher and tougher, and it is getting more and more expensive to meet those standards. As a result, we see a cost line crossing between battery-electric vehicles […]

China, India Shrug at U.S. Crude Exports With Wrong Blend

23 Nov 2016   exports

Two of the world’s fastest-growing economies have barely noticed the first year of unrestricted U.S. crude exports since the 1970s. In the first year since the U.S. lifted a 40-year-ban on most exports, less than 3 percent have gone to China and India even as their demand for oil grew. India hasn’t taken a drop, according to U.S. Census data. “The growing appetite of China and India is not met by the barrel that we are offering,” Harold “Skip” York, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie in Houston, said in a telephone interview. It’s not hard to see why. There’s a mismatch of what the U.S. is selling and what those nations are buying. About 98 percent of the American exports are light crude, Census data show. Most of China and India’s refining capacity of about 19 million barrels a day is geared to take heavy oil, Kunal Agrawal, Bloomberg […]

DOE awards $1.1M to Penn State project to develop protective, self-healing layers for Li metal anodes

23 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

The US Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office has awarded Donghai Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, a $1.1-million grant to develop a new lithium-ion conductor for the protection of lithium metal used in next-generation battery technologies for electric vehicles. ( Earlier post .) With the new funding, Wang, who leads the Energy Nanostructure Laboratory at Penn State, and his team will use very thin layers of nanostructured hybrid (organic-inorganic—i.e., organo-Li x S y and organo-Li x P y S z ) materials to suppress the formation of dendrites on lithium metal anodes. The overall goal is to develop protective, self-healing layers for Li-metal anodes that will allow high cycling efficiency (> 99.7%) and dendrite-free cycling. One challenge for batteries with lithium anodes—including energy-dense, next-generation batteries […]

Tesla Shock Means Global Gasoline Demand Has All But Peaked

IEA forecast has ‘major implications’ for refining industry Oil watchdog sees gasoline demand falling from now until 2040 After fueling the 20th century automobile culture that reshaped cities and defined modern life, gasoline has had its day. The International Energy Agency forecasts that global gasoline consumption has all but peaked as more efficient cars and the advent of electric vehicles from new players such as Tesla Motors Inc. halt demand growth in the next 25 years. That shift will have profound consequences for the oil-refining industry because gasoline accounts for one in four barrels consumed worldwide. “Electric cars are happening,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an interview in London, adding that their number will rise from little more than 1 million last year to more than 150 million by 2040. The cresting of gasoline demand shows how rapidly the oil landscape is changing, casting a shadow over […]

Electric drive spooks Japan car executives

22 Nov 2016   Electric Cars, Japan

Toyota and Mazda — the two Japanese automotive groups most sceptical about electric vehicle technology — have finally revealed plans to mass-produce battery-powered cars. They are late to a game that most of the world’s carmakers — including Volkswagen, Daimler, General Motors and Jaguar Land Rover are already playing, as they confront the rise of US electric vehicle start-up Tesla.  But, even as many see a golden age of electric vehicles just around the next corner, it is hard to ignore a sense of unease privately expressed by some Japanese car executives as the industry makes a unified drive towards electrification.  In announcing their intentions, both Toyota and Mazda stressed that they had no choice but to prepare an electric vehicle offering to meet stringent regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in both China and the US. Their decisions were passive, rather than a proactive move to capture the electric vehicle market. Neither indicated they had made any major breakthroughs in battery technology — nor did they express confidence in making money from electric vehicles.

Electric Cars Provide Little Threat To Oil Demand

21 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

Electric Car Chevy is about to release its all-electric Bolt. Tesla will soon put its Model 3 on sale. More than a dozen additional EV models will be launched in the next few years. Battery costs are falling fast, making EVs close to becoming cost-competitive with the internal combustion engine. Yet, oil demand will continue to rise, at least for another 25 years. That conclusion comes from the International Energy Agency, which does not see oil demand reaching a peak until at least 2040. In its recently released World Energy Outlook, the IEA projects only tepid growth for EVs, with the EV stock rising from 1.3 million in 2015 to a cumulative total of 150 million by 2040. That would only displace a meager 1.3 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d), which to be sure, would have some price impact, but it would not represent any sort of […]

Awash in Gasoline, U.S. Refiners Export Fuel at Record Pace

16 Nov 2016   exports

Shipments likely to keep growing as refiners ramp up Surplus sent to Canada, Egypt and Caribbean floating storage The U.S. has more gasoline than it knows what to do with. Exports have risen above imports for three consecutive weeks as recurring pipeline outages and higher production levels by refiners caused Gulf Coast inventories to grow. Typically a net importer of gasoline, the U.S. has shipped a record amount of the motor fuel abroad and doesn’t show signs of stopping. “Exports will have to be high to keep stocks under control,” Robert Campbell, head of oil products research at market consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in New York, said in an e-mail. “Runs should be quite high on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the coming weeks.” The abundance of gasoline pushed Gulf Coast gasoline prices to an eight-month low last week and spurred the longest losing streak since 2012 in futures, […]

Can Trump Derail The EV Revolution?

15 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

The day after the November 8th U.S. presidential election, the stock prices for electric car maker Tesla plunged 5 percent. Solar and wind stocks also fell, while the share prices for coal and oil companies surged. Peabody Energy, for example, the world’s largest private sector coal producer, saw its stock skyrocket by more than 40 percent on speculation that the Trump administration could breathe new life into the dying sector. The energy industry, in other words, could be substantially altered by a change in government policy, with clean energy in danger of being left behind while fossil fuels rebound. But the solar and wind industries have made enormous strides in bringing costs down, which will probably insulate them from a more antagonistic White House. Scrapping government support might slow growth rates, but the clean energy train has likely left the station. But the market for electric vehicles […]

US emerges as net exporter of natural gas

15 Nov 2016   exports

In a historic first, the US in early November began seeing small net volumes of natural gas exports that recently climbed above 1 Bcf/d, an analysis of data from Platts Analytics’ Bentek Energy showed Monday. The emergence and rapid acceleration in export volumes comes amid a recent decline in Canadian imports and a ramp up in feedgas volumes delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal. In November, imports of Canadian gas have averaged just 4.5 Bcf/d and are down 21% from imports that averaged 5.7 Bcf/d in October. Over the same period, feedgas deliveries to Sabine Pass have climbed to record highs, averaging 1.5 Bcf/d month to date, up from an average 249 MMcf/d in October. On Monday, preliminary data showed the US exporting about 910 MMcf of gas.

Navigant Research ranks EV charging network companies

14 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

In a new Leaderboard Report , Navigant Research assesses the business strategy and execution of 12 companies offering public charging networks and EV charging services. Navigant Research estimates the global commercial charging market for plug-ins will be worth $2.7 billion annually by 2025, compared to $168.5 million in 2016—reflecting a 36.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). To date, the market has been driven by a combination of market pull from the growing number of PEVs on the roads in major automotive markets such as North America and Europe and market push from stakeholders such as governments, automakers, and utilities. Governments, utilities, and automakers are increasingly supporting commercial charging infrastructure deployments. While most vehicle charging today occurs at a driver’s […]

T&E report: electric cars sales in Europe doubled in 2015; now at 1% market share

14 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

Roughly 145,000 new electric vehicles (EV) were sold in Europe in 2015—double the 2014 tally, according to a recent T&E report . EV sales have now reached the milestone of a 1% market share; figures for 2016 to date suggest significantly more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold in Europe this year. That would take the total number of EVs on the road to more than half a million cars. Currently, there are 34 EV models on the European market available, including battery-, plug-in-hybrid- and range-extended-electric vehicles. Established manufacturers have announced new plans to expand their portfolio of EVs within the next five years. Although EVs still constitute only a fraction of all car models available, Europe (including Switzerland and Norway) is the second biggest EV market in the world behind China. The T&E report found that the growth in sales matched the slow increase in the variety […]

ICCT paper assesses leading regional EV markets in US and policies behind them

12 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

A new white paper from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) assesses which policy actions are behind the regional leading markets in the US for electric vehicles. The white paper identifies the areas with the highest shares of EVs and catalogues the actions that support EV uptake. The assessment includes promotion actions by state policy (e.g., regulation, purchasing incentives), local policy (e.g., parking and lane access incentives, building codes), utility actions (e.g., charging infrastructure incentives, preferential charging rates), and public charging availability. The base regional unit for the study was the metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The authors defined regions as the Midwest, Mountain, Northeast, South, and West, based on the US Census (2016). Within the West region, they considered California separately because the state’s long-time focus on […]