Oasis Charger Corporation: EV Market Update 042018

This week’s Electric Vehicle (EV) stories seem to concentrate on governmental and municipal responses to the unique demands of EV’s.  It is a reminder that EV is a disruptive technology.  The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been the dominant technology for more than eight decades and cities, real estate, businesses and energy delivery infrastructure have developed around that model.  Moving away from a gas station energy delivery model (or petrol station for those outside the US) to a model where energy is delivered to your home, office or hotel or while you shop, or watch a film has significant implications for a number of economically important businesses.
 
An important initiative on the regulatory front, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and several other state agencies, including NY DOT and NY Thruway Authority, have asked NY regulators to eliminate demand charges for DC fast EV chargers.  Similar to proposals in California and Oregon, these agencies have also asked regulators to require utilities to develop plans to encourage the take up of EV’s.   Demand charges are based on the highest usage by a commercial enterprise within a given month. Demand charges particularly affect companies that use a lot of power but over short periods.  The NYPA has requested that fast chargers be exempted from demand charges and to consider longer-term rate modification to "align with their low load factors and sporadic usage." (read: Utility Dive "New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges".)
 
One challenge is delivering energy in dense urban environments.  The disappearance of gas stations in cities like Manhattan indicates that delivering energy is not just a challenge for EV drivers. Cities with primarily on-street-parking face a logistical issue in providing charging facilities for EV cars.  It may also pose societal fairness issues, especially in countries that are looking to ban the sale of ICE’s.  However, a number of cities are looking at innovative solutions.  In London, Ubitricity is installing chargers on lampposts and providing customers with a proprietary cable to plug in (watch: Ubitricity | Fully Charged).  Similar to models rolled out in Holland, Belgium and Germany, Seattle and New Orleans are piloting programs that allow residents to install chargers on public property outside of their home.  Holland is also experimenting with the opposite model—installing public chargers on private property.  (read: GreenBiz "The smart city's blueprint for EV infrastructure"). With air pollution a particular problem in urban environments, EV’s are an integral part of the solution but also require innovative urban planning responses. 
 
Staying on the topic of urban pollution, India cities face a stunning level of air pollution.  A significant contributor to that pollution is the ubiquitous rickshaw.  Often poorly maintained and lacking catalytic converters, the two-stroke engines used by these taxis produce about 13 times the amount of particulates as other ICE’s.  However, a Bangalore based ridesharing company, Ola, has ambitious plans to address the problem.  Ola is rolling out 10,000 electric rickshaws and is targeting 1 million by 2021. (read: CNN "India's Ola wants to put a million electric vehicles on the road"). Interestingly, Ola’s plans are backed by a number of international investors, including Japan’s Softbank.
 
Finally, Tesla continues to come under pressure from traditional automakers.  Jaguar has responded to the success of the Model X with the I-Pace.  And the fact that the Model S has become the best-selling luxury sedan has not gone unnoticed by Audi and Mercedes, who previously dominated this market segment.  Mercedes has announced the EQ S (read: AutoCar "Mercedes-Benz to launch ultra-luxurious EQ S electric saloon in 2020").  While at the same level as the S class sedan, it not simply an electric conversion of an existing ICE.  Mercedes is designing the car as a separate model to take advantage of the flat battery.  The EQ S is part of the 10-model new EQ electric brand, which is planned to include a mid-sized SUV (the EQ-C) and a smaller, more affordable, sedan to compete with the Tesla Model 3.

Paul Vosper
pvosper@oasischarger.com
+1 (929) 777-0093

 The Mercedes EQ-C:

The Mercedes EQ-C: