Release Date: 05/11/18
US Consumers Increasingly See Electric Cars as an Attractive Option.
The AAA’s survey on consumer buying intentions indicates that 20% of consumers intend to buy an electric car (EV’s) as their next car. That is up from 15% last year. It appears that the increase is driven by the increasing choice that consumers have in EV’s. If half of those ultimately decided to buy an electric vehicle in the next 5 years, that would represent a 10-fold increase in EV sales. CNN.com (More Americans say they'll buy an electric car.)
A Japanese Consortium to Develop Solid-State Battery Technology
A consortium of Japanese automakers has teamed up to develop solid-state battery technology. Solid-state battery technology holds the promise of a safer battery with greater energy density and of lasting for a greater number of charging cycles. Solid state batteries also offer significant manufacturing cost savings, allowing automakers to do away with fire containment structures and battery cooling systems. Worried about advances from the US in this technology, Toyota, Honda and Nissan have joined with battery makers Panasonic and GS Yausa and the Japanese government to fund a $14 million initiative to develop solid state batteries with a 340 mile range by 2025. Green Car Reports (Japanese automakers team up to solidify next-gen batteries.) As of yet, no one has proven that solid-state battery production can be scaled to commercial levels, but the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, John Goodenough, at the University of Texas battery has produced a battery he claims has three times the density of lithium-ion, charges in minutes and continues to operate consistently at temperatures below freezing (an issue with lithium-ion). Computer World (Inventor of new lithium-ion battery responds to skepticism.)
Citi Sustainability Report-2 billion Cars by 2050
A comprehensive report by Citibank on Sustainable Cities is well worth reading to understand the challenges faced by continued population growth and urbanization. One prediction in the report is that by 2050 private car ownership is expected to double to 2 billion cars. To understand why the Chinese are leading the world in electrifying their automotive industry, congestion and air pollution are estimated to cost an astounding 7-15% of GDP. Citi.com(SUSTAINABLE CITIES Beacons of light against the shadows of unplanned urbanization.)
Bus Electrification Impacting Oil Demand
One area that we have been following closely is the conversion of bus fleets to electricity. China, again, leads in this area, adding 9,500 electric buses every 5 weeks, or the equivalent of the entire London bus fleet. Because buses consume 30 times the fuel of cars, the pace of the electrification of the bus fleet is starting to have an observable impact on petroleum demand. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that this year all EV’s will reduce oil demand by 279,000 barrels a day. Of that 233,000 is from electric buses alone. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Electric Buses in Cities: Driving Towards Cleaner Air and Lower CO2.) Cities like Los Angeles, Paris, London and Mexico City are starting to take notice with commitments to convert their diesel bus fleets to electricity by the mid 2020’s.
These last two stories, illustrate the necessity of providing a solution to urban electrification. Space restrictions, lack of private residential garaging, expensive public garaging, and the draw on the grid from more concentrated living and fleets (like buses), will require innovative infrastructure solutions to these charging needs.
Electric Trucks 1912
Finally, there has been a lot of press around electrifying the freight industry with the Tesla Semi. But one American company beat them to the punch by over 100 years. The Commercial Truck Company of Philadelphia built these 5-ton electric trucks in 1912. Used by Curtis publishing to delivery periodicals silently at night, the vehicle on the left was in service for over 50 years. Both of these C-T Model A’s were recently up for sale in Hemmings Motor News.
Release Date: 05/11/18