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  1. Elon Musk is well known for trying to disrupt old industries. He builds spacefaring rockets in-house and makes them reusable, dramatically lowering the cost to leave Earth. He showed electric vehicles can be made and sold in large quantities, because if they’re fun to drive, people will want to buy them. But when the question of batteries was raised on a Tesla earnings call in the summer of 2017, Musk asked for help: “Can someone please come up with a battery breakthrough? We’d love it.” Musk was being a little facetious — he and Tesla CTO JB Straubel had just been asked about then-recent news that Toyota was reportedly in the “production engineering phase” of an electric car powered by a still relatively unproven technology: solid-state batteries. https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/16/17695866/henrik-fisker-solid-state-batteries-electric-cars
  2. Dropping battery prices and increasing adoption will speed EVs along the price reduction curve. In little more than five years, it will be cheaper to buy and run an electric car than a gas-powered car. This, more than anything else, might be the tipping point that gets people off the gas teat. The figures come from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and rely on predictions that battery prices will drop and that sales of electric cars will jump, reaching 35% of global car new sales by 2040 or roughly 41 million vehicles. This would be a 90-fold increase on today’s electric vehicle (EV) sales. CHARLIE SORREL 08.16.16 9:45 AM In little more than five years, it will be cheaper to buy and run an electric car than a gas-powered car. This, more than anything else, might be the tipping point that gets people off the gas teat. The figures come from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and rely on predictions that battery prices will drop and that sales of electric cars will jump, reaching 35% of global car new sales by 2040 or roughly 41 million vehicles. This would be a 90-fold increase on today’s electric vehicle (EV) sales. "At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices, said BNEF’s Colin McKerracher in a press release. "Lithium-ion battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kWh last year. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in." The people at Bloomberg also predict a recovery and rise of oil prices, which will make gas vehicles more expensive to run. Right now, EVs are being bought, like all new technology, by early adopters. But soon, like with cellphones, iPods and VCRs, the prices is supposed to drop and the rest of the population follows along. Eventually, driving your car to the gas station to fill up will seem as absurd as having to wait a week to get your photos back from the lab or queueing at the bank on a Friday lunchtime to withdraw enough cash to last the weekend. Another thing which may make electric cars cheaper is size, or a lack of it. A smaller car needs less power to move it around. Today’s huge cars are possible partly because gasoline is such an efficient way to store energy. You can move a lot of steel, glass, and plastic cup holders on a relatively small tank of gas. When we move to batteries, we might realize just how wasteful it is to haul around all that extra weight, and buy smaller cars instead. One reason people buy big cars is safety. When a big car hits a small one, the small one will come off worse. But if all cars were smaller, then that wouldn’t be a concern. The switch to electric and the rise driverless vehicles, presents a big opportunity for cities to rethink their infrastructure. Taking away parking spaces, or banning SUVs might be political suicide, but it’s a lot easier to control new things. For instance, subsidized charging could be banned in on-street parking spots or limited only to cars under a certain size. And as city centers are pedestrianized, delivery vehicles could be limited only to early-morning or overnight access (something already in effect in some cities), which means that small cars never have to meet big trucks. All this assumes that we keep using cars, when it might be better for everyone just to get rid of the things, in cities at least, and give all that space back to the people. That’s a long shot, though, so in the meantime we’ll settle for zero emissions, and silent electric motors over noisy machines that pump toxins into our air as they rumble by. http://www.fastcoexist.com/3062751/world-changing-ideas/electric-cars-could-be-cheaper-to-run-than-gas-cars-by-2022
  3. Electric cars are on a collision course with the status quo. Oilprice just published an article titled, Electric Vehicles And The 5 Trillion Dollar Market Transition, in which Peter Tertzakian writes, “There is little debate in my mind that big changes are forthcoming… When it comes to oil and autos, big is a word that is not big enough. Transitioning not one, but two of the largest industries in the world simultaneously is unprecedented. Both have multi-trillion-dollar roots” and the stakes are high. That said, who’s poised to win this epic vehicle electrification race? Which countries and carmakers are best positioned? It turns out that there’s a company trying to figure all this out. Quartz reports that, “AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm, launched a new index this month to track the progress of companies and countries electrifying their vehicle fleets. As a whole, the world is barely off the starting line.” Ladies and gentlemen, start your… ummm, batteries. Above: AlixPartners’ Marcus Kleinfeld and Jens Haas discuss global changes impacting electric vehicle adoption (Youtube: AlixPartners, LLP) First, which automaker is leading the electric race towards the future? No surprise here — Tesla is clearly the company that’s all-in on EVs. “Tesla leads the world in devoting its entire lineup to electric vehicles, but… China’s market, split among dozens of EV manufacturers, has also seen several manufacturers make EVs a centerpiece of their lineup… The rest of the field will have to play catch up. Behind Tesla and eight Chinese companies, BMW brings up the rear with 0.7% share of is vehicles as EV in the second quarter of 2017.” Above: Electric vehicle share of each automakers volume in Q2 2017 (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners) Next, which country is out front on the world’s EV stage? According to AlixPartners, China’s electric cars are really racking up the miles. And, “what ultimately matters [most] is miles. For electric cars to dent emissions and fossil fuel consumption, the cars must displace conventional vehicles. To measure this potential, AlixPartners summed the total electric battery range of all hybrid and EVs sold. It found that China leads the pack with total potential range of 13 million miles for all-electric vehicles, nearly triple the US, its nearest contender.” That said, there’s a big opportunity for automakers that sell their electric cars in China, especially Tesla. Above: China sells the most electric range capacity for e-cars in the world (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners) Not surprisingly, Tesla is looking to establish a wholly-owned factory in Shanghai in order to take advantage of this fast-growing customer base in the Chinese electric car market. It turns out that China is also the world leader for electric car registrations. In fact, “China seized the lead [from the U.S.] in 2014, and shows no signs of slowing. It is growing at twice the global average rate of 42% per year, according to Fleetcarma, despite being the world’s largest market. Globally, China accounted for 45% of all EV sales last year.” Above: China is leading the world in the number of new EV registrations (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners) So China is the winning country in the worldwide electric car race, right? Not so fast. “No country has done more (on a per capita basis) than Norway to go electric. In September, all-electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for a record 60% of new car sales, reports the Financial Times (paywall)…. [and] those numbers are still rising fast thanks to generous subsidies and incentive policies. The country is aiming for zero emissions of all new cars by 2025. Even AlixPartners’ analysis which excludes hybrids and EVs with ranges below 311 miles (500 km)—most of the country’s EVs still have less than 400 km range—Norway is leading the way.” Above: When analyzing electric vehicles as share of total sold, by country, Norway tops the charts (Chart: Quartz via AlixPartners) So depending on how you look at it, Norway and China are leading the world (via different metrics) toward an exciting, electric vehicle future. And, although China has a number of fast-growing electric automakers, AlixPartners concludes, “Tesla Inc. is by far the top-ranking manufacturer in the auto-company measures, with sales in the second quarter of 2017 (the most recent quarter measured in the Index) totalling 6.6 million miles’ (10.6 million kilometers’) worth of e-range and with a fleet e-share of 100%.” === Note: Article originally published on evannex.com, by Matt Pressman Source: Quartz via AlixPartners
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