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No surprise here. The politicians are kept in power by donations from the auto industry so the old auto industry keeps controlling the legislation so that they can keep making highly polluting and unsafe cars. Recall that 1.2 million people die every year in auto accidents and additionally several million dies prematurely every year from breathing the exhaust gasses from engines made by the auto industry. The only hope we have to stop this madness is that new companies like Tesla, Google and Apple start making self-driving BEV vehicles of all kinds to transport people and goods safely around without any pollution.
The webpage of Western Lithium informs that this Nevada based mine contains a total of 11 million tones of lithium carbonate. Another webpage (see links below) informs that 85% of the Nevada resource is minable so about 9.35 million ton of lithium carbonate. To get this into perspective it requires 0.6kg of lithium carbonate to produce 1 kWh of lithium batteries (may vary from chemistry to chemistry but roughly so). In other words, the Nevada site could be used to produce ((1000/0.6)*9.35) = 15.6 billion kWh of lithium batteries or about 1 billion Volt PHEVs or 650 million Nissan Leaf EVs. And that was just one possible mine in the US. Countries like Chile still has the cheapest lithium carbonate on the planet and can mine it for about 2000 USD per ton. This is also possible in Tibet and Bolivia. At 10.000 USD per ton the Nevada site is probably good business. That price will still only be (10000/(1000/0.6)) = 6 USD worth of lithium carbonate for 1 kWh of lithium battery that currently cost minimum 200 USD to produce. Most importantly lithium can be extracted from the salt in sea water. You can get that cheaply from desalination facilities. That sypply will be all humanity ever will need for this solar system. Lithium is not to worry about. References
E.C.I. the Bolt cost 37k USD (not 30k) has a 60kwh battery and is comparable to a 20k USD gasser that does 400 miles on a tank and refuels nearly instantly. The Bolt is a lot of progress compared to the Leaf but it is still far from becoming mass market. In 2035 we may get to 100 USD per kwh at the pack level including gross profit. That is optimistic IMO and getting lower than 100 USD per kwh will be very difficult. It means a 100kwh pack that can do the needed 300 miles for the Bolt will add 10k USD on top of the price of a comparable gasser that has a 50 USD gas tank. I have therefore concluded that BEVs will never be mass market self-owned cars because that 10k USD battery is too much for an otherwise 15 to 20k USD car. For mass market BEVs to happen we need autonomous BEVs that can do 100,000 miles per year and be durable for 1 million miles and thus be able to spread the cost of the battery over many more miles than possible by a gasser and also take advantage of low electricity cost and maintenance per mile. In about 2018 Tesla will launch a new version of their cars that can drive 100% autonomous on all roads in nearly all kinds of weather. It will not be legal to use it as such (unless you sit in the driver seat ready to take over in a situation that will never happen in a lifetime because of a redundant autopilot system) but the law will be changed when (disabled) people start to protest against not being able to take advantage of them in full and when Tesla has gathered enough data to make it clear beyond any doubt that autonomous driving is safer than human driving. I expect Tesla will be allowed to start a commercial autonomous taxi service somewhere in the world by 2020 (initially based on Model 3) and that it will become the key value driver for Tesla in the subsequent years. Tesla will keep selling luxurious cars including the Model 3 but it will be a diminishing part of their business.
Yoatmon very good points. That also explains why the old auto industry wants to force Tesla to sell through auto dealers. The dealers have zero incentive to promote the sales of an electric car that has very little maintenance. Moreover, because it has an autopilot system that minimizes accidents there is even less repairs to profit from. In other words, forcing Tesla to use dealers would be a way to bankrupt Tesla and get rid of an unwanted competition. It just makes me dislike the old auto industry even more.
Sorry should have said 1.2 million traffic death per year. There are 10s of millions of traffic accidents per year globally.
That industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption was made possible because VW lobbied hard for it to happen. They principally orchestreted it in the first place. Now that the fraud is widely acknowledged VW is lobbying hard to change the emission legislation so that they can keep pollution at the much higher real world pollution rates. The old car industry is not at all interested in making non-polluting and safer vehicles. It would require huge investment to make cars safe and non-polluting and the industry does not want to make that investment as it hurts their profits and employee perks. I have lost hope that the old auto industry will change by itself and they have enough sway over politics to prevent a change that is politically enforced over the industry. My hope is that new companies like Tesla, Apple and other we have not even heard about yet will change the industry using autonomous and battery electric vehicles to enable much safer, pollution free and cheaper transportation for everybody. That is how we will do something about the 1.2 million traffic accidents every year and about the 4 million people that every year dies prematurely because of diseases caused by breathing exhaust gasses from combustion engines made by the auto industry.
The thing that changes these predictions completely is the emergence of self-driving everything. We will not need that many light duty vehicles when people stop buying cars and rely on autonomous taxis instead that does over 100k miles per year instead of about 15k miles per vehicle per year. With that many miles battery electric is more economical than oil so oil demand will disappear also. The same goes for transportation of goods. It will by automated using autonomous trucks and robots. Diesel and gasoline will cost more than electricity so we stop using it in an automated world. It cost about 1.5 USD per mile to ride a human driven taxi. Uber took 15 cents out of that cost by using a datacenter and aps for taxi hiring instead. So we get 1.35 USD per mile. Self-driving Uber taxi’s will take 1 USD out of the cost so we get 0.35 USD per mile. However, we are not done. Rightsizing using self-driving two seaters instead of large 5 seaters will cut cost to 20 cents per mile. Moreover designing the car for durability and low maintenance (1 million miles to scrap) will cut price to 15 cents per mile. Finally, making the self driving technology superior and reducing accidents to a minimum will bring the cost per mile down to about 10 cents per mile. This is revolutionary it will change everything and these changes will happen on a massive scale after 2020.
The 2018 timeline is when Musk thinks Tesla will be ready with autonomous autopilot for their cars. He may be too optimistic that has been seen before. However, it fits with the 2018 timeline the CTO of Mobileye has for launching a suite of sensors for fully autonomous driving. Tesla uses sensors from Mobileye. I think Tesla and Mobileye are working very closely together so that Tesla’s engineers are already using prototypes for that 2018 sensor suite. Musk has also taken the unusual step of personally supervising Tesla’s development of the autopilot program. Programmers and engineers in that program is reporting directly to Musk. The autonomous autopilot is Tesla’s highest priority above everything else including Model 3 launch and giga factory. I know everybody say that Google is the leader in autonomous driving. I also used to think like that but in the past 2 months or so I have grown convinced that Tesla is the leader because they are the only car maker in the world with over 50k cars on the roads (and rapidly growing) that has a partially autonomous autopilot that can receive software updates OTA and that is linked to a back-end data center that monitors the fleet and that can use that data to improve the reliability of Tesla’s autopilot. Nobody else has that. Google only has 60 cars (others have less) but they are not in the hands of real consumers so it does not really count. Tesla’s current autopilot can drive on most roads in most weather conditions. What Tesla lacks is an autopilot that can drive on all roads in nearly all weather conditions and do it significantly safer than the average human driver. I think Tesla can do it by 2018. After that it will (as Harvey say) be a matter of making the system better and better to the point where it practically never fails and can beat even the best human drivers by a very large margin and also do things that humans can’t do like driving in total darkness of extreme fog or rain.
I think the stuff that took decades of development and 10s of billion of R&D dollars was sensors and microprocessors. Now they finally reached a level where they are good enough to make self-driving everything from cars to rockets to vacuum cleaners. The final step of adjusting these sensors and chips for autonomous cars is not that hard or costly. Currently only 50 software engineers and 150 hardware engineers work with Tesla's autopilot. They are done in 2018 and may have grown to 600 people. Tesla will spend a few 100 million USD to finish development of the fully autonomous autopilot. Tesla as I get it only buy sensors and CPU from other companies. They make the circuits and software and datacenter for the autopilot internally.
Musk said he would not use the term autonomous until Tesla’s autopilot could operate without any human supervision ever. Currently it is just a human monitored autopilot just as it is in modern airplanes. However, Tesla’s game plan is to improve that autopilot by adding better sensors to coming versions of Tesla’s cars and off cause through OTA updates of the autopilot’s software. Musk expects that their autopilot will become fully autonomous by 2018. At that time Tesla’s customers will be in the awkward situation that they have got a car that can drive better than they can under all circumstances but the law will still require them to be in the car and be ready to take control. Musk has said that the fully autonomous autopilot will include a redundant autopilot system that takes over if the first autopilot system fails for whatever reason. Only in the case that both autopilot systems fail simultaneously will the human driver be needed. That might happen very seldom. Indeed if the autopilot fails once every 100,000 miles the combined system will fail once every 10,000,000,000 miles (100,000*100,000). We are talking about critical technical malfunctions not about accidents that will happen also when the system is working as intended. The point is that in 2018 driving a new Tesla with redundant autonomous autopilot the probability that you will ever be prompted to take over from the car will be practically zero but the law will still require that you sit in that driver seat and be ready to take control. In 2018 Tesla will be gathering data from millions of daily miles driven in autopilot mode and in manual mode. Tesla will use that data to prove to the authorities that their cars should be approved for fully autonomous driving without any requirement that a driver be present in the driver’s seat. Tesla will probably need all of 2018 to collect data and the law somewhere in the world will subsequently need all of 2019 to be changed to allow for non-human monitored autonomous cars on public roads. So in 2020 Tesla could be ready to launch the world’s first autonomous taxi service and that will become Tesla’s main business going forward.
You don't need LIDAR to make these maps that enable autonomous driving within 3 inches of precision at high speed. Mobileye is doing it with image sensors that cost a faction of LIDAR. The fully autonomous cars needs 360 degrees vision and redundancy of all components so you end up with 8 or more cameras or LIDARS in a final production car that cannot have an ugly and non-aerodynamic sensor rack on the roof. So a seamless sensor department at each corner of the car is necessary just like the navigation lights. LIDAR cost minimum 1000 USD a piece and cameras less than 100 USD so cameras wins over LIDAR in final production models. For anybody who needs to understand the R&D race toward fully autonomous production vehicles the following one hour lecture by CTO of Mobileeye is highly recommended. It is really insightful and also confirms E. Musk's prediction that fully autonomous cars that can go everywhere is technically doable by 2018. Then one more year of data gathering on tens of thousands of vehicles (read Teslas) in order to convince legislators it is safe enough to not require a driver behind the wheel in such vehicles and one more year for legislators to make a law that allows for autonomous cars on public streets without drivers. So commercial availability somewhere in the world by 2020 and everywhere on the planet by 2025 (for the most bureaucratic and slow working jurisdictions).
Harvey I will. Count on it. Eci repeating a valid argument does not make it less credible. I will keep arguing what I think is right and I will keep criticising those I don't think are right. That is does not always please you is really not my problem.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2016 on Chevrolet unveils the Bolt EV at Green Car Congress
Same price as the Leaf and the e-Golf but twice the battery and twice as powerful at 160kw peak. I really don't see any market for the e-Golf and the Leaf when this Bolt arrives. I am glad to see GM stepped it up on engine power. That means it cannot be compared to a 15k USD gasser. Now it is more like a 20 to 25k USD gasser. So the Bolt is still too expensive to become a mass market car. What matters is how many they will sell. Hope that 24 and 30kwh BEVs will be history in 2017. Make the Bolt with an option for an OTA upgradable autopilot system and it will be even more interesting for the environmentalists that are buying this car.
@ ai_vin the way Tesla has solved the situation you depicts is that Tesla's autopilot uses a datacenter where each Tesla on autopilot upload a map of the road it passes with instructions for how to navigate it. If the first Tesla that passes the road turning that corner discovers that road visibility is less than the braking length it will attach a driving instruction to turn that corner at a lower speed so that the next Tesla that drives that road on autopilot will do it at a speed that allows it to stop fully and avoid any accident. This datacenter road mapping and driving instructions is already a reality for the 50k and counting Tesla's with autopilot today. Also any accidents that involves a Tesla with autopilot will be better documented with video, radar and ultrasonic images to establish guilt. I other words, self-driving cars will lead to better justice. Moreover, Tesla is working to enhance the autopilot system so that it can operate with sensor input from all Tesla cars at a particular location in time. This means that the autopilot will be able to take that corner at higher speeds if another Tesla on that road sees that the road it clear. The future of the auto industry is driven by driverless technology that in turn will enable cost saving vehicle sharing and pollution fee and highly durable BEV transportation of everything from people to containers. Those who did not get that at this year CES will get it the hard way in a couple of years when they lose their current job.
There is an extremely informative article in Fortune from dec 21, 2015 where E. Musk is interviewed about Tesla's roadmap to fully autonomous cars. Musk says their autopilot system will be gradually upgraded in the coming years and sometime in 2018 it will become fully autonomous in the sense that it should be able to drive the car at any place a human can drive it and with significantly less accidents than possible by an average human driver. Musk expects that after about one year after they start selling these fully autonomous cars Tesla's datacenter that monitors Tesla's cars will have accumulated enough statistics to overwhelmingly prove that when Tesla's cars are operated in autonomous mode they have less accidents and can drive in more conditions than humans can (like extremely heavy rain and snow where humans may not have visibility but where the radars of the autonomous system still function). Musk will use that evidence to convince authorities that they should start the process of making laws that allow for fully self-driving cars without any requirement for a licensed driver in the car or even a steering wheel or a gas pedal. Musk expect different jurisdictions (states and countries) to spend at least 1 years finishing such legislation and some jurisdictions even over 5 years. Musk does not say it in the interview but it is obvious in my opinion that Tesla will launch a dedicated driverless taxi service as soon as some jurisdictions allow this to happen. Consequently Tesla's autonomous game plan look like this. In 2018 Tesla will start selling cars with a fully autonomous autopilot option. In 2019 they will have enough evidence from 10s of thousands of cars to convince some authorities in some countries and states to make fully autonomous vehicles without licensed drivers street legal. In 2020 the first state or country will permit such vehicles and Tesla will start their mass-market autonomous taxi service. After that expect extremely fast growth in such services until they become fully global in 2025 and more or less has annihilated sales of any new gassers and diesels on a global scale in 2030. Expect 50% of all know auto-makers that came too late to the self-driving game to be gone by 2030. Oil will still power a rapidly shrinking global fleet of old gassers and diesels but after 2050 that will also be finished. Forget about fuel cells as they will not happen and forget about mass-market long-distance BEVs that are fully autonomous and cost as little to own and drive as a self-driving taxi that can be used by many more and be build for endurance. That will never happen either. BEV ownership will be for the wealthy and even most of the wealthy may not want that option because it has very few benefits compared to a taxi service and several disadvantages like taking care of maintenance and cleaning yourself. *** One more thing. Musk says that making a fully autonomous car is no longer difficult because all the necessary pieces are in place (read sensors, computers, data centers, software tools). It will only take a few thousands Tesla engineers 24 more months to get the job done.
@BK4 there is no conspiracy. It is a 15k USD car with 2.5k USD of extras and a 20k USD battery at 55kwh or 364 USD per kwh at the pack level including gross profit. The 140 USD rumor was just that a rumor. Tesla still has the lowest battery cost because they is the world's largest consumer of batteries. If anything Tesla seems to increase their cost advantage on battery packs.
This is also a way to get volume rebates for Volvo. Tesla does the same. Autopilot sensors and computers is really expensive stuff if you just make a few thousands of them. It needs to get into every car made this also simplifies production that there are less configuration options to be checked at the factory floor.
I was sceptical of this Chinese takeover. Thought Volvo would be shout down and moved to China altogether. However, it turned out to be a blessing for Volvo that has prospered more than ever since that takeover. Nothing wrong with Chinese capital as lang as it is done by private Chinese entrepreneurs like in Volvo's case.
SJC it is a huge challenge but with regard to cars I believe it can be accomplished in a few years with a fairly small group of really good programmers (about 50) and a somewhat larger group of hardware engineers (about 150) because the right tools they need have finally become available: 1) supercomputers that can handle the computational burden of image processing in milliseconds using little power, 2) affordable high quality sensors and 3) AI programming tools like deep learning and object recognition software. Everything that moves could become self-guided within the next 5 years: Vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, space rockets (like Falcon 9), war drones and, of cause, cars, busses, trucks and airplanes.
E.c.i. as you probably can imagine I am enthusiastically interested in technology and the question of how we can use new technology to make a better world. Because I spend a lot of my free time to study and think about that I believe I get a few good ideas along the way. However, it would be sad if only a few people heard about them so I blog about it at GCC and else ware thereby potentially reaching thousands more. I sincerely think that creating driverless vehicles of all sorts are the fastest way to end oil and most of this planet's pollution and death by accidents and it frustrates me that the world's largest industry is not investing more money in making that happen. Instead, the go along investing in endless of micro improvements of existing combustion engines, fuel cells that will never happen and also BEVs that target the most impossible gasser segment to compete with - the 15k USD gasser. Maybe, if I keep arguing that this is all wrong and driverless BEV taxis is the fastest way to obtain mass market implementation of BEVs, then maybe, someone out there with real power reads it and I succeed in changing their mind and thereby actually make a difference for the better.
SJC the first teraflops supercomputer came to life in 1997. It was a million watt monster occupying a hole house. This shoebox probably uses less than 100 watt and is 25 time faster.
Tesla's strategy is only to make a BEV if it can be made better than a comparable gasser and for the same price. E.g. the Model S is better than Porsche Panamera and they cost the same. Like Model X is better than Porsche Cayenne and they cost the same. The problem with the Bolt is that it compares to Chevrolet Sonic that costs only 15k USD has full range and fuel nearly instantly. This is why the Bolt will also be a failure. It can't compete with comparable gassers and only have appeal with truly diehard environmentalist. When Tesla launch the Model 3 it will cost the same as a BMW's series 3 and be a better car so it will sell ice-cream on a hot summer day. We will see if I am right but I am sure I am. The strategy is all wrong by the old automakers because they keep making plug-ins that sucks compared to their gasser competition. If they can't change that strategy they will continue to fail and Tesla, Google(?) and Apple(?) will continue to eat their market shares. However, Tesla will not be a real and global thread until they start making millions of self-driving taxis that does 100k miles or more each per year for paying customers. That will change the world and it starts in 2020 to 2022. Hopefully, Tesla will not be the only such taxi service in that time frame. The more the merrier and the faster the global change.
So Audi is essentially still in the lab. They need a large test fleet on public roads or they are not making any important progress as fast as required to stay relevant in this industry.