Transportation

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tesla buys German engineer for European expansion

Tesla announced an expansion into Europe on Tuesday, acquiring one company and revealing plans to open one or two “gigafactories” in the coming years.  The all-electric car company is buying Grohmann Engineering, a German manufacturing specialist, to increase its production capabilities on the continent as it attempts to scale up manufacturing for its mass-market Model 3 car.  The Silicon Valley group, which produced fewer than 55,000 units last year, has pledged to make 500,000 cars a year by 2018.

“We want to make Germany, essentially, a part of Tesla,” Elon Musk, chief executive, said on a conference call from Grohmann’s home town of Prüm. “This represents a significant endorsement of German technology.”  Tesla declined to give a purchase price for Grohmann but Mr Musk called it “a major investment” that will form the Germany headquarters of Tesla Advanced Automation, with other bases to follow. He said there are plans to add at least 1,000 advanced engineering and skilled technician jobs in the country during the next two years.

The IEA Is Skeptical Electric Cars Will End the Age of Oil

4 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

Electric cars won’t cause oil demand to peak anytime soon, according to International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol. “The oil demand growth is not coming from cars, it’s from trucks, aviation and the petrochemical industry and we don’t have major alternatives to oil products there,” Birol said at the Energy for Tomorrow conference on Thursday in Paris. “I don’t buy the argument that electric cars alone will cause a peak in oil demand at least in short and medium term.” The IEA chief’s comments add moderation to recent forecasts and warnings on the potentially disruptive effects that electric vehicles will have on the oil industry. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that plug-in cars will displace 13 million barrels of oil a day by 2040. Fitch Ratings reported reported Oct. 18 that battery technologies used by electric cars could trigger […]

Electric Cars To Reshape Copper And Oil Demand

4 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

Electric Car EVs could demand enough copper, other metals to dwarf oil market fallout: BHP According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, EVs could displace 2 million barrels a day of oil demand as early as 2023. “That would create a glut of oil equivalent to what triggered the 2014 oil crisis.” Tesla Model 3, a $35,000 all electric vehicle, has experienced record setting pre-orders in 2016. The first half of 2016 saw 128 percent growth in the critical Chinese market, and far stronger than expected sales in the United States, hinting that the world’s EV fleet could grow even faster in the coming years than Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s already bullish expectations, SAFE reported in its Energy Fuse website, saying Wood Mackenzie, the IEA and other agencies believe the EV market is set to grow fast enough to destabilize oil demand. BHP’s VP of Market Analysis and Economics, Huw […]

Test deployment of new on-demand hub & shuttle mobility system at U Michigan; connected & automated vehicles & big data

2 Nov 2016   Transportation

A test deployment of a new hub-and-shuttle urban mobility system will take place on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Its creators say the proposed system could deliver riders to their destinations in as little as half the time of the existing bus system at a lower cost, eventually using a fleet of autonomous shared vehicles. The limited test deployment would likely mark the world’s first on-the-ground implementation of such a system. Called Reinventing Public Urban Transportation and Mobility ( RITMO ), the proposed system combines aspects of Uber-style ridesharing, fixed-route buses and light rail into the hub-and-shuttle system. It would combine high-frequency buses serving the busiest transportation hubs with a fleet of about 50 on-demand shared shuttles to get riders to and from those hubs. RITMO carries […]

ORNL team shows 3D-printed permanent magnets outperform conventional versions, conserve rare materials

2 Nov 2016   Electric Cars

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and colleagues have demonstrated that permanent magnets produced by additive manufacturing can outperform bonded magnets made using traditional techniques while conserving critical materials. NdFeB magnets are used in a range of applications from computer hard drives and headphones to clean energy technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines. The team fabricated isotropic, near-net-shape, neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) bonded magnets at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine. The result, published in an open-access paper in Scientific Reports , was a product with comparable or better magnetic, mechanical, and microstructural properties than bonded magnets made using traditional injection molding with the same composition. This isotropic, neodymium-iron-boron bonded permanent magnet was 3D-printed at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Click to enlarge. The additive manufacturing process began with composite pellets consisting […]

Batteries upend Peak Oil debate

If “peak oil” conjures up thoughts of when oil output will reach its maximum then you’re way behind the times. Now it’s all about demand. And rather than a debate about the geology, it’s about technology, and when batteries will force consumption of oil – or at least oil used for transport fuels – into terminal decline. In an assessment last week by Fitch Ratings of credit risks to various sectors from a breakthrough in battery technology, oil came at the top of the list, meriting a “serious threat” diagnosis. While the utilities and automotive sectors can scratch out some new opportunities from the rise of batteries, it’s all downside for oil producers. With electric vehicles currently less than 1 per cent of automotive sales, the starting point is low, but Fitch is predicting a drawn-out and potentially painful process, particularly if technical advances in batteries come faster than […]

Will Electric Cars Be Cost Competitive By 2020?

28 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

The energy market is constantly transforming and advancing the way we use everyday products. Very soon, the internal combustion engines we’ve been accustomed to for over 100 years, may be replaced . The lithium-ion battery is becoming increasingly cheaper to manufacture making it near competitive with our more familiar engine design. The cost of Lithium-ion batteries has decreased 65 percent since 2010, back when they cost over $1,000 per kilowatt-hour. These batteries now cost under $350 and some companies are finding ways to produce them for even less. Many predict that lithium-ion batteries will be cost competitive with internal combustion engines once the new age batteries are as cheap as $100 per kilowatt-hour, a plausible figure for 2020. RW Baird estimates Tesla pays significantly less than the rest of the market for their batteries, somewhere between $150-200 per KWh. Companies that can manufacture lithium-ion batteries at […]

Audi realigns motorsport strategy: electric instead of endurance; out of FIA WEC at end of 2016 season

27 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Audi is realigning its motorsport strategy. The brand will terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season. Instead, Audi is taking up a factory-backed commitment ( earlier post ) in the all-electric Formula E racing series. Speaking to 300 employees of the motorsport department on Wednesday morning, Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler put this strategic decision in the context of the current burdens on the brand, asserting that it was important to focus on things that would keep Audi competitive in the years ahead. That is why the Board of Management had decided to terminate Audi’s commitment in endurance racing. We’re going to contest the race for the future […]

Batteries May Trip ‘Death Spiral’ in $3.4 Trillion Credit Market

19 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Energy storage technologies impact a quarter of corporate debt Fitch urges utilities to diversify to limit risk of disruptive Battery technologies starting to disrupt the electricity and automobile industries may also emerge as a trillion-dollar threat to credit markets, according to Fitch Ratings. A quarter of outstanding global corporate debt, or as much as $3.4 trillion, is linked to the utility- and auto-industry bonds that rely on fossil fuel activities, the ratings agency wrote in a report published Tuesday. Batteries have the potential to “tip the oil market from growth to contraction earlier than anticipated,” according to Fitch. “The narrative of oil’s decline is well rehearsed — and if it starts to play out there is a risk that capital will act long before” and in the worst case result in an “investor death spiral.” While hybrid and battery-only cars are making slow progress in denting sales of gasoline […]

Oil groups ‘threatened’ by electric cars

19 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Oil companies face a “resoundingly negative” threat from a sharp growth of electric cars, one of the leading credit rating agencies has warned.  “Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry,” says a report from Fitch Ratings that urges energy companies to plan for “radical change” spurred by new technologies that could arrive faster than expected.  “If they stick their heads in the sand and try and pretend it will all go away, we think they will ultimately have issues,” the report’s lead author, Alex Griffiths, a Fitch managing director, told the Financial Times. “They need to have a plan.”  Although the report accepts it could take a long time for electric cars to become a disruptive force through mass adoption, Fitch outlines a grim scenario for global oil companies, such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.  The agency says that the threat of electric cars could create an “investor death spiral” as nervous asset holders sell out of oil companies, making debt and equity more expensive.

Oil groups ‘threatened’ by electric cars

18 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Oil companies face a “resoundingly negative” threat from a sharp growth of electric cars, one of the leading credit rating agencies has warned.  “Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry,” says a report from Fitch Ratings that urges energy companies to plan for “radical change” spurred by new technologies that could arrive faster than expected.  “If they stick their heads in the sand and try and pretend it will all go away, we think they will ultimately have issues,” the report’s lead author, Alex Griffiths, a Fitch managing director, told the Financial Times. “They need to have a plan.”  Although the report accepts it could take a long time for electric cars to become a disruptive force through mass adoption, Fitch outlines a grim scenario for global oil companies, such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.  The agency says the threat of electric cars could create an “investor death spiral” as nervous asset holders sell out of oil companies, making debt and equity more expensive.

Cumulative plug-in vehicle sales topped 500K units in US in September

18 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles in the US topped 500,000 units in September, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The introduction of the first mass market plug-in vehicles occurred in December of 2010 with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. By the end of 2012 there were 11 different plug-in models available, and by September of 2016 there were 27 different models. Electric vehicle sales have been accelerating in 2016. For the past three years, sales of plug-in vehicles have averaged a little over 10,000 units per month. However, monthly sales records have been set five times since December 2015, and reached an all-time high of 16,069 units in September of 2016. Top. Monthly and cumulative PEV sales in the US. Data: DOE. Bottom: Starting MSRP, electric range and full range of select PEVS currently on the market. Click to enlarge. […]

Tesla, Apple and Uber Push Lithium Prices Even Higher

18 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Lithium carbonate After more than tripling in price this year, Lithium is no longer that dull commodity we take for granted in our consumer electronics: It’s the commodity powering the next, undeniable energy revolution. The tight supply picture emerging as electric cars, mega-batteries and massive energy storage solutions become the cornerstones of our lives could be on the edge of turning new lithium explorers into the next barons. Lithium now appears to be at a crucial moment in time: The moment when profits in the industry begin to elevate market valuations, and when consolidation starts to boost gains for all those junior explorers who have been scooping up land in the world’s lithium sweet spots. “This is a market that will not slow down and wait for anyone,” Iain Scarr, VP of Exploration and Development for Millennial Lithium Corp –a developer with key acreage in Lithium-rich Argentina told Oilprice.com. […]

New Icon-class ships from Royal Caribbean to be powered by LNG with 2022 delivery; testing hydrogen fuel cells in 2017

12 Oct 2016   Transportation

The newest class of ships from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and likely will introduce the use of fuel cell technology, ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ships will join the fleet of Royal Caribbean International. RCL has signed a memorandum of understanding with Finland shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel under the project name “Icon.” The around 200,000 gross ton large cruise ships will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum class vessels being built in the next several years. Royal Caribbean is making progress on energy efficiency and reduced emissions through such […]

BP Sees Oil Demand Growth Swamping Impact of Electric Cars

12 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Rising demand for oil over the next two decades is likely to overwhelm the impact of the electric car on crude markets, said Spencer Dale, chief economist for BP Plc. “They’ll have a huge impact in terms of air quality, but it’s not a game changer over 20 years even with aggressive electric vehicle penetration,’’ Dale said at in a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance summit in London on Tuesday. The clean-energy research unit of Bloomberg LP estimates that battery-electric vehicles, which only run on power from a plug, will displace 13 million barrels of oil a day by 2040 . BP projects oil demand to increase by about 20 million barrels a day over the next 20 years, with about a quarter of supply going to passenger vehicles. Dale’s comments illustrate why major oil companies don’t see electric cars as a threat to their business […]

Henrik Fisker launches new electric car company

5 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

Henrik Fisker, whose previous automotive venture collapsed in 2013 owing U.S. taxpayers $139 million, said on Tuesday he plans to launch a new electric car company next year to compete with Tesla. Fisker declined to say who is funding his new California-based venture, called Fisker Inc, and a new battery subsidiary, Fisker Nanotech. The Danish automotive designer’s previous venture, Fisker Automotive, once was a rival to Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA.O ) in the nascent market for electric luxury cars. Founded in 2007, Fisker Automotive built fewer than 2,000 cars through 2012 while burning through $1.4 billion in private investments and taxpayer-funded loans from the U.S. Department of Energy. Fisker left the company in March 2013, before it filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2014, Fisker was purchased out of bankruptcy by Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group Corp ( 000559.SZ ), and renamed Karma Automotive. Wanxiang also acquired bankrupt […]

The Paris Motor Show Confirms It: The Future Is Electric

4 Oct 2016   Electric Cars

As the doors open at the Paris Motor Show, one thing is being made abundantly clear about the future of the automobile: it’s electric.  It’s been widely reported that many automakers are starting to skip big car shows. Ford, Volvo, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini are among the manufacturers who, Bloomberg claims, would rather skip the French spectacle and spread word of new cars on social media or at more exclusive events.  But for those that are in Paris, it’s clearly tres chic to be showing off an electric car.  Perhaps the most notable announcements are of the cars that regular people will buy. Renault, for instance, has unveiled its new electric car, called Zoe. It’s claimed to have a range of an impressive 250 miles—about the same as a Tesla Model S. Unlike the Tesla, however, it will cost around $30,000 when it goes on sale later this year in Europe. That pits it against both the Chevrolet Bolt, due later this year for $37,500, and the Tesla Model 3, due next year for $35,000.

View full article at www.technologyreview.com