Electric Cars

Electric cars may take over Indian roads by 2020

19 Aug 2017   Electric Cars, India

Even as Indians take to the road like never before, consumers could well be buying their last petrol or diesel car, according to a US-based expert. Using the country’s quick adaptation of smartphones as a model, Tony Seba, lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Disruption and Clean Energy at Stanford University, says electric vehicles could bring about a similar massive transportation disruption in India as early as 2020. What’s more, he predicts that internal combustion vehicles which run on petrol and diesel could be wiped out globally in as little as 8-10 years. Seba’s warning comes as passenger vehicles in India in financial year 2016-17 grew at 9.24 per cent, the fastest rate of growth in six years, largely on the backs of utility vehicles, most of which run on diesel, which is much cheaper than petrol. “Remember at the time of Smartphones India was the country which was the quickest to […]

Will EV’s Break The Grid?

17 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

While the UK government has vowed to end the sale of all new conventional gasoline and diesel cars by 2040, as part of a wider plan to fight air pollution, there is talk that electricity demand will lead to a fast and dirty response to a strained power grid. But here’s what everyone’s missing in that debate: While EV sales are going to rise and electricity demand to power them will strain the grid and lead to less-than-ideal power generation solutions, the whole plan will help clean power generation to increase its market share. Nothing is black and white. And big transformations are never immediate. We’re not talking about an overnight elixir that will magically clean up the air; we’re talking about a step-by-step process that is gradually less dirty. Overloading the Grid (Mind the Gap) The UK’s National Grid anticipates peak demand from electric vehicles alone being around […]

Tech Guru Unveils New Battery To Challenge Lithium-Ion

The rise of electric vehicles and the quest to find solutions to energy storage for the renewables industry have created a breeding ground for tech experts to develop battery technologies. Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery. “What people didn’t really realize is that alkaline batteries could be made rechargeable,” Joy told Bloomberg in a phone interview last week. “I think people had given up,” Joy noted. The three main possible applications of the new alkaline battery technology would be consumer electronics, electric cars, and energy storage for the power grid, according to the developers. However, also according to Joy, the company just has the material, and the technology is not ready to go commercial right away. The rechargeable alkaline battery technology could […]

Rise of electric cars challenges the world’s thirst for oil

9 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

In the early years of US oil production in the late 19th century, gasoline was considered a useless byproduct of kerosene that would be burnt off or dumped in rivers. That changed when the first mass-produced automobiles hit the road. But just over a century later, the symbiotic relationship between oil and cars which transformed society is beginning to fray. Recent announcements by the UK and France of plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 have amplified two critical questions for the petroleum industry: will electric vehicles (EVs) cause oil demand to decline and, if so, when? Executives at the world’s biggest oil companies have offered some answers — sceptics would call them guesses — in recent days, after revealing generally strong second-quarter results which raised optimism about near-term prospects even as doubts grow about the long term. Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, made no attempt to disguise the challenge facing “Big Oil”. Companies must become more discriminating about which oilfields to develop, he said, with only the most low-cost and productive likely to remain competitive. “We have to have projects that are resilient in a world where demand has peaked and will be declining,” he said. “When will this happen? We do not know. But will it happen? We are certain.” Mr van Beurden said “peak demand” could come as soon as the late 2020s in the most bullish scenarios for EV uptake. But that would require “much more aggressive” policy action on climate change and faster innovation in battery technology than seen so far.

Global momentum underway for electric vehicles

3 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The drive toward electric vehicles gained international momentum with Germany and the United States making strides on the sea change in the automotive industry. Two million electric vehicles were on the road globally last year, though nearly all of those were in China, the European Union and the United States. A report from the International Energy Agency found that dense metropolitan areas were taking leadership roles in encouraging electric vehicles because of pollution concerns. Beijing this week said it would expand the number of electric vehicles in the public transportation sector. In Germany, energy company E.ON said it would place an ultra-fast charging station at a motorway between Frankfurt and Nuremberg. Dorothee Bär, the federal transport minister, said the government has set […]

A Pod Races Through the Hyperloop for the First Time Ever

3 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The future sounds a bit like a witch crying over a dead cat. That spooky wail is the sound hyperloop makes—at least, the version of the high-speed transportation system designed by Hyperloop One, which just took a big stride toward the day it flings you between cities in near-vacuum tubes. The Los Angeles company leading the race to fulfill Elon Musk’s dream of tubular transit tested its pod for the first time last weekend. That pod is 28 feet long and made of aluminum and carbon fiber. It looks a bit like a bus with a beak. A fast bus with a beak. Once loaded into a 1,600-foot-long concrete tube in the Nevada desert, the pod hit 192 mph in about 5 seconds, using an electric propulsion system producing more than 3,000 horsepower. As the pod accelerated through the tube 11 feet in diameter, the 16 wheels retracted as […]

IMF: Auto industry facing EV learning curve

2 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The automotive industry may have some retooling to do in order to keep pace with emerging trends for electric vehicles, the International Monetary Fund reported. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI Aug. 1 (UPI) — The automotive industry may need to play catch up in order to cope with the growth in electric vehicles, a report from the International Monetary Fund found. A review of trends in the electric vehicle market from the IMF found that, in the four years ending in 2015, the pace of growth in EV sales was 120 percent. Using the transition in the 20th century from horse-drawn carriages to fuel-powered vehicles as a benchmark to measure progress, the report found that pace suggests motor vehicles could vanish from markets in advanced economies within the next 20 years. A snapshot from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds there are fewer employers working on motor vehicles […]

VW — Electric Cars

2 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

VW’s CEO Knows the Future Is Electric—His Company Isn’t So Sure Goldman Sachs’s 40% decline in fixed-income activity has rattled executives, sparking a charm offensive designed to showcase a more customer-friendly Goldman. It has also tipped the scales in favor of more immediate action at the firm. DEA Official Rebuts Trump’s Talk on Police Use of Force Sprint: Merger Decision Near Jonathan Bush, founder and head of Athenahealth, will cede his chairmanship but stay as CEO in a shake-up that has the backing of two of his biggest shareholders, months after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. piled into the stock.

Alphabet’s Secret Lab Develops Competitor For Lithium-Ion Battery

1 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

A decade ago, this lab made headlines for its driverless car. Now the lab’s leaders claim its Malta project could store energy anywhere around the world, while boasting a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. “If the moonshot factory gives up on a big, important problem like climate change, then maybe it will never get solved,” said director Obi Felten, referring to his lab’s shoot-for-the-stars process in picking new projects. “If we do start solving it, there are trillions and trillions of dollars in market opportunity.” Bloomberg describes the facility as a four-tank power plant that can be adjusted in size to fit the needs of the facility it powers. The collision of hot and cold air spins a massive turbine that generates electricity for the buildings to which the tanks are connected. “The thermodynamic physics are well-known to anyone who studied it enough in college,” Malta product manager Julian […]

Oil tycoon promises his next car will be electric

31 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Yes, you heard that right, the boss in charge of Europe’s biggest oil company says his next car will be electric. Does this revelation from the CEO at Shell say a lot about the future of fossil fuels? It seems so, with Ben Van Beurden, 59, saying the demand for oil could peak within the next 15 to 20 years. It came just as the Anglo-Dutch oil company said it was investing up to £1bn a year on renewables. Elektrobay charging points for electric cars are popping up across London (Picture: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty) Shell is making serious inroads into new energy sectors, including wind and solar, with major projects on biofuels planned in Brazil. It is also helping install 400 hydrogen fuel stations across Europe, and is working with UK Power Networks to improve the grid for electric cars. When asked in an interview on Bloomberg […]

Tesla’s Musk hands over first Model 3 electric cars to early buyers

29 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Friday the Model 3 had over half a million advance reservations as he handed over the first 30 to employee buyers, setting the stage for the biggest test yet of the company’s strategy to become a profitable, mass market electric car maker. Outside Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, Musk showed off the $35,000 base vehicle with a range of 220 miles (350 km) on a charge that marks a departure from the company’s earlier luxury electric cars. Musk took to the stage driving a red Model 3, and said Tesla has produced 50 of the vehicles so far, including 20 for testing purposes. Hours before the event, Musk acknowledged it would be “quite a challenge” to build the car during the early days of production. “We’re going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” Musk […]

So how on earth are we going to power nine million electric cars

Earlier this year, car buyers were encouraged to take advantage of the Government’s new environmentally friendly decision to exempt from road tax all electric cars with zero carbon emissions that cost less than £40,000. Intrigued to see the choices that might be available, I visited a Mitsubishi dealer. The hottest model on the forecourt in this category was the latest hybrid Sports Utility Vehicle. A salesman told me that if I was interested in buying it and wanted to avoid the slow process of recharging the car overnight using my domestic electricity supply, he could install a more powerful charger on my driveway for free. I had never realised that owning an electric car involved such a daily palaver. So, put off by the idea of having to plug in the car every night and the potential for overloading our house’s electric circuits, I did not proceed any further. […]

GM Cadillac chief outlines plan for fewer sedans, more electrics

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

The head of General Motors Co’s Cadillac luxury division said on Thursday the brand will shrink its lineup of sedans and expand its offerings of sport utility vehicles and hybrid and electric vehicles in response to market shifts. Expanding Cadillac’s global sales is central to GM’s overall profit strategy, and Cadillac has reported a 27 percent increase in worldwide sales through the first half of the year. However, in the United States, now the brand’s second largest market behind China, Cadillac sales are down 1.6 percent and combined sales of the brand’s four sedan models have plummeted 16.3 percent through the first half of the year. That has forced GM to order layoffs at two Michigan factories that build Cadillac cars, and raised questions about the long term future of the plants. “We have to rebalance our sedan” portfolio, Johan de Nysschen told Reuters in interview, […]

Oil barons face a slow death by electrification

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Opec, Russia and Big Oil thought they had half a century to prepare for the end of the internal combustion engine. At best they have a decade before the threat turns deadly serious. The twin announcement by France and Britain – within two weeks of each other – to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is an earthquake in the energy world. Others are moving in parallel. A non-binding resolution of the German Bundesrat has called for a prohibition by 2030. Norway already has such a target by 2025 and the catalytic effect is spectacular: sales of electric vehicles (EVs) reached 42 per cent of all cars in July. France is to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040. China’s new plan stipulates that zero-emission vehicles must make up 8 per cent of total sales next year, rising to 10 per cent in 2019, and 12 […]

Electric Vehicles No Threat To Oil Prices Anytime Soon

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Hardly a day goes by without another media report about the impending demise of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) as petroleum powered cars and trucks are replaced by uber-clean Electric Vehicles (EV). It is just a matter of time before EVs start to materially reduce global oil demand thereby capping a meaningful oil price recovery now and creating an ever-shrinking industry in the future. EVs are yet another reason why the decline of petroleum production and consumption is inevitable. Except it isn’t true. Your writer read dozens of articles and attended a conference on the future of EVs. The evidence overwhelming proves they pose no threat to oil prices anytime soon. Following is a summary of the major points. • The forecasts for EV growth are all over the map. Late last year investment research outfit Morningstar figured EVs will be 10% of new vehicle sales by 2025 (only […]

Shell sees oil demand peaking by late 2020s as electric car sales grow

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell company, speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia June 21, 2017. Sergei Karpukhin LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s oil consumption could peak as early as the end of the next decade as electric vehicles become more popular, Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday. The prospect of a decline in oil consumption after more than a century of growth as the world switches to burning cleaner fuels is gathering pace. On Wednesday Britain announced plans to ban diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040, following a similar move by France. “I think they are very welcome announcements, they are also very needed announcements,” van Beurden told reporters after Europe’s biggest oil company reported a sharp rise in quarterly profits. Under the Anglo-Dutch company’s most aggressive scenario of battery-powered vehicles replacing traditional internal […]

Royal Mail to buy 100 Peugeot electric vans for delivery vehicles

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Royal Mail has signed an agreement with Peugeot to purchase 100 Partner L2 Electric vans, to be used as delivery vehicles. The vans will go into service from December 2017 at delivery offices around the UK, supported by a comprehensive rollout of charging infrastructure. Royal Mail—since 2003 a quoted company with shares traded on the LSE—is the UK’s designated Universal Postal Service Provider. The Partner L2 Electric was launched in February; this is the first major fleet order for the van. The lithium-ion battery pack is fitted under the load floor, ensuring there is no loss of load space compared with gasoline and diesel-powered Partner L2 models. The Partner L2 Electric will carry a gross payload of 552 kg (1,217 lbs). Power comes from a compact permanent magnet synchronous motor producing 49 kW (67 hp) at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 N·m. The front wheels are driven […]

The Market Will Kill Oil Before the Government Does

European governments are making a big splash, pledging an assault on traditional cars to help clean up polluted air in cities. The latest strike came Wednesday in the U.K., which says it will ban the sale of diesel- and gasoline-powered cars by 2040. Those plans might not be quite as ambitious as they first seem. Consumers, automakers, and even some oil companies are already preparing for a battery-powered future. The U.K. government’s plan to tackle record levels of air pollution was announced two weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a similar plan to cut smog and become a carbon neutral nation. While the targets will send a strong signal to automakers in Europe about the kinds of vehicles they should be producing over the next quarter century, they’re more likely to confirm that companies like Nissan Motor Co., Volvo Car Group , and BMW AG are on the […]

Green Car Congress: Stanford, CMU, MIT team reviews challenges to practical implementation of solid-state Li-ion batteries

26 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Toyota, which has been working on solid-state batteries for EVs for a number of years (earlier post), is in the news with a report by the Wall Street Journal that it will be ready to commercialize a solid-state battery by 2022. Solid-state lithium-ion batteries, with higher volumetric energy densities than currently available lithium-ion batteries, offer a number of conceptual advantages including improved packaging efficiency; improved safety; and long cycle life. However, there remain a number of unresolved issues precluding commercialization at this point. A team from Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIT recently published an open-access paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Societyreviewing the practical challenges hindering the development of solid-state Li-ion batteries.

GM Eases Summer Production of Chevrolet Bolt

21 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Workers assembling General Motors Co.’s Tesla fighter are taking a month off this summer amid lukewarm demand, a sign American car buyers are showing little interest in vehicles that rely solely on battery power to get from Point A to B. The Detroit auto giant’s plant in Orion Township, Mich., began producing the Chevrolet Bolt late last year, with output hitting more than 15,000 vehicles before the company’s typical summer shutdown at the start of July. That break usually spans two weeks, but workers at the Bolt…

Volvo Accelerates Toward Electric Future With China’s Geely

Volvo Car Corp., the Swedish auto maker, and its Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holdings on Thursday unveiled plans for wide-ranging collaboration to develop new technology that aims to accelerate Volvo’s transformation into an all-electric auto brand and fuel Geely’s global ambitions. Volvo and Geely Holdings have signed an agreement to create a joint technology venture with headquarters in China that expands their current…

A Brighter Future for Electric Cars and the Planet

19 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

There is simply no credible way to address climate change without changing the way we get from here to there, meaning cars, trucks, planes and any other gas-guzzling forms of transportation. That is why it is so heartening to see electric cars, considered curios for the rich or eccentric or both not that long ago, now entering the mainstream. A slew of recent announcements by researchers, auto companies and world leaders offer real promise. First up, a forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that electric cars would become cheaper than conventional cars without government subsidies between 2025 and 2030. At the same time, auto companies like Tesla, General Motors and Volvo are planning a slate of new models that they say will be not only more affordable but also more practical than earlier versions. And officials in such countries as France, India and Norway have set aggressive targets […]

Electric Vehicles Won’t Topple Oil…Yet

18 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

While governments around the world are starting to mandate electricity over oil for powering motor vehicles, what are the chances of oil supply being severely impacted in the next quarter century? Electric vehicle demand appears ready to be increasing in key markets like China, Europe, and the U.S., but it is something to keep in perspective with overall global demand. France has committed to banning gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040. Germany and the European Union are cracking down on automakers for violations of diesel emissions rules and reporting with Daimler most recently pulled into the fray. Cities such as Paris and London are concerned about climate change, and are pursuing policies restricting cars and trucks from causing more heavy traffic and air pollution. China appears to be moving away from its “new energy vehicle” subsidies and would like to adopt the zero-emissions vehicle policy that California Gov. Jerry […]

Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand

15 Jul 2017   Electric Cars, OPEC
Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand

The world’s biggest oil producers are starting to take electric vehicles seriously as a long-term threat.  OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs, and oil producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to BP Plc also revised up their outlooks in the past year, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance released on Friday. The London-based researcher expects those cars to reduce oil demand 8 million barrels by 2040, more than the current combined production of Iran and Iraq.  Growing popularity of EVs increases the risk that oil demand will stagnate in the decades ahead, raising questions about the more than $700 billion a year that’s flowing into fossil-fuel industries. While the oil producers’ outlook isn’t nearly as aggressive as BNEF’s, the numbers indicate an acceleration in the number of EVs likely to be in the global fleet.

To see BNEF’s report comparing long-term EV adoption forecasts, click here.

“The number of EVs on the road will have major implications for automakers, oil companies, electric utilities and others,” Colin McKerracher, head of advanced-transport analysis at BNEF in London, wrote in a note to clients. “There is significant disagreement on how fast adoption will be, and views are changing quickly.”


Tokyo Tech team develops low-cost germanium-free solid electrolyte for Li-ion batteries

15 Jul 2017   Electric Cars, Japan

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications. Described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials , the approach involves substituting germanium in the solid electrolyte for two more readily available elements: tin and silicon. The new material achieved an ionic conductivity that exceeds that of liquid electrolytes. Reporting the findings, Ryoji Kanno and colleagues stated: “ This germanium-free lithium conductor could be a promising candidate as an electrolyte in all-solid-state batteries. ” All-solid-state systems with solid electrolytes (SEs) are potential candidates for next-generation batteries […]

Will The EV Hype Actually Help The Oil Business?

14 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Then France amped up the newswire by switching on a ban: No more combustion car sales by 2040. To cap off a trilogy of electric vehicle (EV) proclamations, Elon Musk lit up the twitter feed with a photo of Tesla Motor’s first Model 3 production car. Oil companies and investors should take note. These announcements are impacting the industry and will increasingly do so. But it’s not because electric cords are going to replace pump hoses anytime soon. The demand for oil is as robust as it’s ever been, thanks to barrels that are priced 60 percentage lower than they were three years ago; the linkage of petroleum to the world economy is actually strengthening not weakening. But it doesn’t matter. EV mania is affecting the psychology of investors who finance oil assets, services and infrastructure. Fog lights of reason are finding it increasingly difficult to see the future […]

Electric Cars Need More Than Fans

10 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Last year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries conveniently predicted that in 2040, electric vehicles would make up just 6.7% of the car fleet. The owners of four-fifths of proven oil reserves also said the number of cars on the road would double. Right now, electric cars make up about 1% of sales in the U.S., Europe and China, though growing rapidly. But this week brought news from two quarters with the ability to shape that future in a way that OPEC can’t: a mainstream auto manufacturer and a major…

Study concludes US CAFE regulation can accelerate EV market penetration

10 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

In a new study, a team from the University of Central Florida and MIT has found that the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards is an effective policy solution that does increase the adoption of EVs, whether it is implemented alone or in conjunction with another policy such as government incentives. In a study published in the journal Energy Policy , the researchers developed an agent-based model to estimate the potential future market shares of EVs considering the existing inherent uncertainties under different policy scenarios, including the current footprint-based CAFE regulation. Under the current CAFE standards, the determination of a manufacturer’s compliance is based on the annual production volume-weighted average fuel economy of a manufacturer’s vehicle fleet. If the average mpg of […]

BNEF forecasts EVs to hit 54% of new car sales by 2040; decreasing importance of PHEVs

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Electric vehicles will make up the majority of new car sales worldwide by 2040, and account for 33% of all the light-duty vehicles on the road, according to a new forecast published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This represents an aggressive jump compared to BNEF’s previous forecast of 35% EV new car market share by 2040. Under the new forecast, EVs will displace 8 million barrels of transport fuel per day and add 5% to global electricity consumption (1,800 TWh by 2040 up from 6TWh in 2016). The forecasters said that while plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales will play a role in EV adoption from now to 2025, puer battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) will subsequently take over and account for […]

Tesla Loses Stranglehold As EV Revolution Accelerates

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Volvo became the first major auto company to announce the phase out of the internal-combustion engine from its lineup. The Chinese-owned Swedish car company announced on July 5 that every car it builds beginning in 2019 will have some sort of electric motor, “marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business,” the company said in a press release. “This is about the customer,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO, said in a statement. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” Volvo’s entire lineup will either be fully electric or hybrid-electric by 2019. Volvo laid down a marker, becoming the first company to announce the beginning of the end of gasoline and diesel-powered cars. […]

Lightyear One solar car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

A Dutch startup is planning to bring a completely solar-powered electric car to market, which could theoretically let some drivers go for months without plugging it in. The ne plus ultra of electric cars might be in the works, thanks to a team of alumni from Solar Team Eindhoven , which has been developing prototypes of 4-seater solar family cars for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge since 2012. The startup Lightyear promises to combine onboard solar cells with an efficient battery pack and an optimized design to deliver a road legal 4-seat electric car that can charge itself from sunlight. We’ve heard claims like this before , but have yet to see one of these electric unicorns fully come to life, other than as entries into events such as the World Solar Challenge. According to the company, its Lightyear One model will not only be capable of driving between […]

Every Volvo car launched from 2019 to have an electrified powertrain; “the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car”

Volvo Cars announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business. Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars. The announcement represents one of the most wide-reaching moves by any car maker to embrace electrification. The company said that its decision highlights how—more than a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine—electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history. This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish. —Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief […]

Volvo Gives Tesla a Shock, As Others Plan Electric Push

6 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Volvo, the auto maker that spent 90 years polishing a reputation for safety, indicated Wednesday it is mounting an ambitious challenge to Tesla Inc.’s electric cars. But the even tougher news for Tesla’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, is that the Scandinavian company isn’t the only deep-pocketed rival planning to compete with the Silicon Valley pioneer. Nearly all global vehicle makers are mounting their own electric-car push,…

Volvo delivers an electric shock to carmakers

6 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Two events this week signalled a step change in the pace at which electric vehicles are taking to the road. Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s first mass-market Model 3 car will start rolling off production lines tomorrow, ready for launch at July’s end. That was followed by Volvo’s pledge on Tuesday that the Swedish carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, will cease manufacturing combustion engine-only vehicles altogether by 2019. Thenceforth, every Volvo model will be powered solely by batteries or by a battery/petrol hybrid. Less than 1 per cent of cars on the road today are electric powered. What is significant, and the context in which Volvo’s declaration was made, is the rate at which that is changing. Electric car sales were up 42 per cent in 2016, about eight times faster than growth in the overall market. There is a healthy debate within the motor and energy industries as to whether battery-powered vehicles or fuel cell cars, powered by hydrogen, represent the future. The latter are behind in their evolution, held back by (among other things) the energy-inefficient process used to extract hydrogen for fuel. Either way, it is possible to foresee a future where fossil fuels play a limited role in personal transport. We are still far from realising the broader dream of a green, low-carbon economy. Nonetheless, it is becoming ever easier to envisage a world with strong economic growth alongside cleaner air, lower carbon emissions and less dependence on oil. Already, the rate at which green technologies are being adopted has far exceeded the expectations of many of the world’s experts, bringing hope that Donald Trump’s nostalgic affair with fossil fuels will represent an aberration rather than a reversal in global efforts to tackle climate change. There remain, however, significant obstacles to more rapid adoption of electric cars. The first is technological. At present the range of these vehicles, at a maximum of about 300km. remains a disincentive, particularly in countries such as the US where drivers are used to driving long distances on a tank of “gas”. Batteries remain a wild card. They need to become more powerful and cheaper. The amount of investment towards that goal is encouraging. However, even Tesla has suffered hiccups along the way.

Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines

6 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Volvo Cars on Wednesday became the first mainstream automaker to sound the death knell of the internal combustion engine, saying that all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries. The decision is the boldest commitment by any major car company to technologies that currently represent a small share of the total vehicle market but are increasingly viewed as essential to combating climate change and urban pollution. While most major automakers offer hybrids and battery-powered options, none of them have been willing to forsake cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel fuel. On the contrary, United States automakers have continued to churn out S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, whose sales have surged because of relatively low fuel prices. Yet Volvo’s move may be the latest sign that the era of the gas guzzler is slowly coming to an end. Tesla, which makes […]

The Global Oil Demand Driver That Is Being Ignored

When looking at oil demand, oil market analysts focus overwhelmingly on passenger vehicles. One of the hottest debates today is over the prospect of peak oil demand : whether or not electric vehicles along with general trends towards more fuel efficiency will ultimately lead to a peak and decline of total oil demand worldwide. No doubt the upcoming release of Tesla’s Model 3 will spark more than a few columns on how it could be the beginning of the end for oil. But the conversation often overlooks the role that heavy trucks and freight play in driving demand. The International Energy Agency just published a report arguing that the world needs to get a handle on fuel efficiency for freight, or else oil demand will continue to rise, regardless of how many Tesla’s are on the road. Freight transit is crucial for economic growth, and indeed, it tends to […]

Volvo Plans to Go Electric, to Abandon Conventional Car Engine by 2019

5 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

For Volvo the internal combustion engine has run its course. In the face of competition from upstarts like Tesla Inc., which begins production this week of its new mass-market Model 3 electric battery-powered family car, the Chinese-owned automotive group on Wednesday said all new Volvo models from 2019 would be either fully electric or a hybrid. Volvo is the first major auto maker to abandon the technology that has powered…

Volvo to use electric motors in all cars from 2019

Volvo Cars announced that every model from 2019 onwards would have an electric motor, making it the first traditional carmaker to call time on vehicles powered solely by an internal combustion engine. Volvo said on Wednesday that it would put electrification at the core of its business. From 2019 it will only make three types of cars: pure-electric, plug-in hybrids, and so-called “mild” hybrids combining a small petrol engine with a large battery. “This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it, we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”  The Swedish carmaker was purchased by Chinese domestic carmaker Geely in 2010. The new owners have proven to be a catalyst in the race to electrify its models, as China is already the world leader in electric car sales and Geely is the only Chinese-owned carmaker producing vehicles for the US. Nearly 265,000 pure-electric vehicles were sold in China last year, versus 110,000 in all of Europe, according to data compiled by EV-Volumes.com.  Globally, the market for pure-electric cars is tiny, accounting for less than 1 per cent of sales last year, but the market is growing quickly. From January to March, global sales of plug-in vehicles — comprising EVs and plug-in hybrids — rose 40 per cent to 191,700 units, according to EV-Volumes.com.  If the growth rate since 2013 were to continue, then eight out of 10 cars sold in 2030 would be plug-ins.

Tesla Set to Deliver First of Its Lower-Cost Model 3 Cars July 28

3 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk indicated late Sunday that the company would deliver the first batch of its new Model 3 sedans on July 28. Customers and investors have been eager to know when the Silicon Valley company will start delivering the car, which at $35,000 is far less expensive than its two existing models and which Tesla intends to sharply increase its total sales. Tesla had said production would start this…

New Zealand puts more emphasis on electric vehicles

New Zealand’s government said Tuesday it was introducing new measures aimed at increasing the number of electric vehicles on the nation’s roads. The government said the number of electric vehicles on the road was high, but more progress was needed to meet national goals. Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Natural Resources Minister Judith Collins unveiled new measures that would spread levy funding across more activities for the greatest gain. “We think there are opportunities to improve New Zealand’s energy productivity and reduce emissions by focusing on the transport and industrial sectors in addition to electricity efficiency,” Collins said in a statement . The International Energy Agency found substantial gains in the sale and construction of the infrastructure needed to support a broader […]

GAC Motor targeting 1M unit sales by 2020, 20% new energy vehicles; entering US market by 2019; transition to electric “may be quite long”

20 Jun 2017   China, Electric Cars

GAC Motor was one of the few automakers, and the only Chinese auto brand, to take the main stage at last week’s Michelin Movin’On 2017 global sustainable mobility summit in Montreal. During his talk, Yu Jun, president of GAC Motor, said that his rapidly growing company is targeting sales of 1 million units annually by 2020, with 20% of those being new energy vehicles. Yu said that GAC plans to introduce seven new energy vehicle models—including both electric and hybrid plug-in designs—to the market this year. GAC has already established its first North America R&D Center in Silicon Valley, and plans to to enter the US market no later than 2019. As the fastest growing Chinese automaker, GAC Motor has achieved 85% compound annual growth rate for six consecutive years. In the first five months of 2017, GAC Motor has already blown past previous records with 207,000 cars sold, […]

Tesla Said Close to Agreeing on Plan for China Production

20 Jun 2017   China, Electric Cars

Local plant would allow automaker to bypass 25% import tariff Tesla’s China revenue tripled to more than $1 billion in 2016 Tesla Inc. is close to an agreement to produce vehicles in China for the first time, giving the electric-car maker better access to the world’s largest auto market, according to people familiar with the matter. The agreement with the city of Shanghai would allow Tesla to build facilities in its Lingang development zone and could come as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Details are being finalized and the timing of the announcement could change. Tesla would need to set up a joint venture with at least one local partner under existing rules and it isn’t immediately clear who that would be. Representatives for Tesla at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, didn’t immediately respond […]

Daimler vs Tesla: The Electric Truck War

19 Jun 2017   Electric Cars

As Tesla prepares to jump into the electric truck market, Daimler is poised and ready to take on the competition. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has been investing heavily in the global truck business for years. The German automaker now has five commercial truck brands: Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Freightliner Trucks, Mitsubishi FUSO, Western Star, and BharatBenz. Freightliner has 40 percent market share in the U.S. heavy duty vehicle market. In an April Twitter post, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that a Tesla semi-truck reveal has been set for September. And that the company’s truck team has done “an amazing job. Seriously next level.” As for a pickup truck, that will be rolling out in 18 to 24 months from April, Musk said. Tesla is preparing to meet demand in global markets like the U.S., Europe, and China, where vehicle emissions rules are getting tighter. Most of these trucks are […]

The Seismic Impact Of Self Driving Cars On Oil

6 Jun 2017   Electric Cars

All self-respecting automakers today have an electric car project. Most are either working on or considering an autonomous vehicle, too. E-cars are hot. Self-driving ones are even hotter. And according to one new report, they may take over roads much sooner than most analysts project. RethinkX is a freshly set up think tank that will issue a series of reports on major disruptions in technology, starting with transport . According to the authors, co-founders James Arbib, a venture capitalist, and Tony Seba, an entrepreneur, autonomous cars will be the dominant form of transportation in the U.S. by 2030. That’s in stark contrast to most forecasts, which see the evolution of self-driving cars as much more linear than it actually is, Arbib and Seba argue. That’s because driverless car technology is a tech disruption, and tech disruptions take much less time to unfold, Seba says. In the report, Arbib and […]

Volkswagen’s Electric Effort Charges Up Detractors

6 Jun 2017   Electric Cars

Several state officials and auto makers are pillorying Volkswagen AG’s plan to sell battery juice to Americans driving electric cars, contending the project more resembles an unfair government-backed windfall than penance for cheating on emissions tests. The German auto giant will build an extensive network of charging stations in the U.S. in coming years, part of a $2 billion, decade-long promotion of environmentally friendly transportation in a market where electric cars are unpopular. The commitment is part of a…

Move Over Tesla, Europe’s Building Its Own Battery Gigafactories

30 May 2017   Electric Cars, Europe

Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla Inc. is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a 500 million-euro ($543 million) plant to assemble lithium-ion energy-storage units for Daimler AG , which produces Mercedes-Benz and Maybach luxury cars. The facility 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Berlin highlights a push by both major automakers and power companies into energy storage. The technology is crucial to drive the next generation of green vehicles and to hold electricity from wind and solar farms for when it’s needed most. With two dominant industries moving in the same direction, the cost of batteries is likely to plunge quickly, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “As battery costs fall and their energy […]

Who Will Lead The Transportation Transformation?

13 May 2017   Electric Cars

A moment of truth is at hand, not just for Tesla, not just for electric vehicles, but for transport generally. It is by no means clear that Tesla will ever earn any money, real money, the kind of money that makes your market cap worthy of industry leadership. Earnings matter and the time has come for Tesla to produce the goods , not just the Model 3. (Click to enlarge) The good news is that even if Tesla were to go out of business (which is neither a prophecy nor a preference) EVs are going to replace internal combustion engine autos; the only question is when? I like to think it will happen by 2030, hence: 0 to 60 in 15 Years (where 60 is percent-market-share). This claim is not as ridiculous as it sounded a year or so ago. Indeed, Bloomberg New Energy Finance just published the illuminating […]

Exclusive: IEA to review oil demand outlook after China, India signal auto policy shifts

The International Energy Agency will review its electric vehicle (EV) use and oil demand forecasts after India and China recently signaled new policies in favor of electric cars and vehicles using other alternatives to gasoline. In its current policies scenario, last updated in November 2016, the IEA expects vehicle demand for oil to rise until 2040. But after the world’s two fastest growing oil markets, China and India, indicated they are likely to take radical turns away from gasoline, the IEA says it will need to review its forecasts. “We will therefore revisit our analysis of future EV market penetration on the basis of these new announcements for the next World Energy Outlook 2017, to be released on 14 November,” an IEA spokesman told Reuters. In […]

DOE: China alone accounted for 42% of global plug-in vehicle sales in 2016

About 756,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) were sold in the world in 2016, with 95% of those sales in China, Europe, the United States, Japan, and Canada, according to figures compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE). China alone accounted for 42% of sales (316,800 units). China’s 2016 PEV sales grew by 53% from 2015’s 207,000 units—most of which were all-electric vehicles (EV) (244,400 units, or 77%). PHEV sales reached 72,400 units in 2016 in China. By comparison, US PHEV sales in 2016 were 72,900 units, slightly outpacing China; however, US battery-electric vehicles sales were only 86,700. All of the European countries combined had 11% PEV sales growth from 2015 to 2016 (209,300 units), with an EV share of 44% (91,300 units). The United States PEV market grew by 40% during the same time frame, with over half (54%) of sales being EV in 2016. Japan’s PEV market […]

The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming

26 Apr 2017   Electric Cars

Oil major Total SA says EVs will drive 30% of car sales Outlook is more bullish on EVs than most forecasters Electric cars are coming fast — and that’s not just the opinion of carmakers anymore. Total SA , one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is now saying EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade. The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.” Couse’s projection for electric cars is the highest yet by a major oil company and exceeds BNEF’s own forecast, said Colin McKerracher, head […]