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Bob Wallace
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Here's your problem, Roger. Studies find that once batteries fall enough in price hybrids and FCEVs are no longer price competitive. Citigroup (IIRC) set that price point at $230/kWh. Apparently Tesla is now paying Panasonic $180/kWh for their batteries. As for making a profit. Tesla, like any other company that stays in business sells product for more than it costs to produce. For a luxury item the margin might be higher because the market will tolerate it. The markup on a $100,000 car might be $25,000. The markup on a $30,000 car might be $4,500. But if the company sells six $30k cars they make more than selling one $100k car. And there are far, far more people who are willing to pay $30k for a car than there are willing to pay $100k for a car. The ratio might be 1,000:1.
No, I don't think I have the full picture which is why I asked you to explain the route to affordable nuclear. So far what I hear said is: 1. Build new type reactor. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Nuclear electricity becomes cheap enough to compete. I want you to fill in the missing steps of how nuclear gets from >$0.11/kWh to ~0.05/kWh. If you can adequately do that then I'll have some more of the picture. I'm pretty sure cost of fuel is not the answer. And if by not having to refuel for 20 years meant an almost 100% CF that wouldn't do it. Moving from 90% CF to 100% CF would drop the price only a penny or so.
" Smaller Model III with 200-mi range has less popular appeal, and will not bring much profit." A 200 mile range EV for under $30,000 will not be popular? A Tesla for less than the cost of the average new car ($32,046) in the US? The profit margin will be less for the "3" but it will sell as fast as Tesla can crank them out.
The cost of fuel is insignificant for a nuclear reactor. "The average fuel cost at a nuclear power plant in 2013 was 0.79 cents / kWh." NEI That's the nuclear energy industry reporting. Fuel could be free and the cost of electricity from a new reactor would still be well over $0.10/kWh. And that's simply not competitive. If fuel cost were an issue the industry would have moved to thorium.
"Getting off oil (fossil fuels) is added value." Yes, but both EVs and H2 FCEVs do that. I modified your statement a bit. At first the H2 for FCEVs will likely come from natural gas rather than renewable electricity. "Zero pollution at point of use is added value." Both. No net advantage. EVs have a cleaner "tailpipe" since they require less electricity. At least until we get all fossil fuels off our grids. And after we quit using NG for H2. "Not having to compromise driving or have long waits at away from home chargers is added value." Yes, but it's canceled out by the time it will take to fill during the rest of the year. Fast filling would be an advantage to someone who drove >250 miles many days a year. For the normal driver charging will involve less than an extra minute to plug and unplug when they park. Or none at all if they use wireless charging. FCEV tanks fill in 5 minutes or less but you need to add in the time it adds to drive to the filling station and get hooked/unhook, and return to where you were. FCEV drivers will spend a lot more time dealing with filling than EV drivers will deal with charging over the course of a year. "Being able to turn renewables into hydrogen for use anytime you want as transport is added value." EVs parked and plugged in provide greater utility. They will waste less of that electricity as they don't have to go through the wasteful H2 conversion process. If I treated Roger unfairly I apologize. If with manufacturing levels of 500,000 units per year fuel cells drop to $50/kWh that will make H2 FCEVs competitive with EVs with $100/kWh batteries in terms of purchase price. Now, ask yourself, how do we get to 500,000 levels? What's the route for building that large a market with a product that will have significantly higher operating costs and will enter the market at a significant price disadvantage? By roughly the time Toyota gets their ($70,000?, $50,000?) H2 FCEV to market GM and Tesla should be marketing a 200 mile range EV for about $30,000. Be honest with yourself. List the advantages of both EVs and FCEVs and see if you can determine why many thousands of people would spend thousands more for the FCEV. My list tells me that the faster filling time for a FCEV is more than offset by the fact that it has to be refilled for all driving. There's 'no fill while parked' option. I simply see no advantage for H2 FCEVs other than fast filling on long trips. And realistically only for trip long enough that the EV would have to recharge more than once. The meal stop cancels out one charge stop.
Henrik, you posted that the Tesla D has a 5.2 0-60 time. It's 3.2 seconds, putting it in exotic car territory. Here's a list of the fastest production cars. The Porsche 918 Spyder is a 0.8 seconds faster. But it sells for $845,000. Or you could purchase a slightly slower Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport for 1.65 million euros. The bargain car might be the Corvette Z06 at about $90,000. 0.25 seconds faster to 60 MPH. But seating for seven is a bit cramped....
SJC - will the resulting electricity be cheap enough to afford? If so, where do the cost cuts come from compared to a reactor like is being built in Georgia where the price will be $0.11/kWh or higher?
EV owners are likely to spend slightly less time per year plugging in, including long trip recharging, than FCEV drivers are going to spend filling up. ==== "$50kw for a fuel cell stack is not Roger's costs, but the DOE, at a volume of 500,000 " "Recently (10 months ago), Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of Toyota’s research and development group, told Automotive News Europe that fuel cell vehicles will be priced to compete with battery electrics before 2030." One does not take a new technology from 0 to 500,000 a year overnight. (Especially if that new technology has little to no added value.)
"I cant see future FCV being more than 2k cheaper than 200 mile range future EV" I just ran across an article on Tesla's 200 EV 'for the rest of us'. Looks like a 48 kWh battery pack. With batteries moving below $125/kWh (Elon's prediction when the new gigafactory is running) that would be $6k or less. $3k for the fuel cell stack plus whatever batteries the Toyota might use is, I would think no more than $2k cheaper. And I suspect the fuel cell price is very optimistic. I seem to remember someone who seemed to be knowledgeable taking great issue with Roger on his price claim.
Roger, that isn't something I said, it was said by Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of Toyota’s research and development group. You seem to be claiming that Toyota doesn't know the costs for the cars they are building. And Toyota is saying that it will take them 15 years to catch up. I don't think one can make a direct comparison between the Toyota FCEV and the Tesla S. The S is a luxury car, in a totally different class than the car I think Toyota is building. (Could be wrong, but I've seen nothing about the Toyota being exceptional in any way other than its range extender. Do we have any idea how large the stack and battery pack will be for the Toyota FCEV? I didn't find anything with a quick search.
Tesla has now been making cars with autopilot features for two weeks. Every car coming off their line. And we were speculating whether we'd see self-driving cars in a few years or never. The Teslas self-drives itself on private property. It can't legally do so on public roads. The will stop in your driveway and let you get out. And then they will open the garage door and park themselves. In the morning they'll meet you at your door with the AC/heater running and your music playing. Next step, according to Elon, is plugging themselves in. Of course there's always wireless charging.
"Recently (10 months ago), Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of Toyota’s research and development group, told Automotive News Europe that fuel cell vehicles will be priced to compete with battery electrics before 2030." Unless someone made a mistake, that does not sound good. A 15 year glide path to affordability?
Self irony? What a weird turn of words. Yes, FCEVs have greater range. That is their one (and only?) advantage. But with 200 mile range EVs it's an unimportant advantage. BTW, one of the execs at VW predicts 310 to 375 mile range moderate priced EVs by 2020. Telsa is apparently about ready to release a 500 mile range Model S. And the Tesla Roadster will have a 400 mile range replacement battery available by the end of this year. EVs are certainly capable of long range. I just don't see it as highly functional for most drivers. With a FCEV one would want higher range in order to reduce the number of times they would have to interrupt their day to grab a refill. With only 200 mile ranges FCEV drivers would have to refill more than once a week on average. But with 'charging while parked' there's not going to be very much stopping to charge for most EV drivers. Stopping for a charge would happen rarely and when one would most likely welcome a stop.
Dave - I'm not comparing the cost of H2 to gasoline, but to the cost of electricity. SJC - I'm not promoting EVs. I have no financial involvement in what we drive in the future. I'm just someone who is very interested technology and how we get off fossil fuels. BTW, The Nissan Leaf sells for under $30k before subsidies. And the Chevy Spark starts at a couple thou less. For someone who takes very few/no long distant drives per year or has access to an ICEV those are pretty sweet prices if you include the federal subsidy.
"In time, FCEV's will cost no more to buy than ICEV's, while H2 will cost 1/2 per mile on comparison to current ICEV's." Again - it will take large scale manufacturing to bring down the cost of FCEVs. EVs are almost certain to get to the price of ICEVs first which means that FCEVs will never have a purchase price advantage over EVs. And it's not half the price of gas. It's more than twice the price of electricity. Man. We just go around and around and around on the same old stuff. It's a waste of time. Here's the new data. EV batteries apparently are now under $180/kWh. And on their way to $100/kWh. EVs are likely to drop in price much, much faster than most of us expected if that information is correct. (Dave, adding a road tax to both the cost of electricity and the cost of H2 would raise the cost of both evenly. It wouldn't make the cost of H2 less than that of electricity. And with H2 FCEVs you're always filling away from home.)
OK, 3X. You really think anyone (other than a cab driver) is quick charging their Tesla all the time? BTW, the price of a replacement battery is likely to be a lot less than $20k. Right now Tesla is apparently paying about $15k for the batteries from Panasonic. With a 25% markup that would make them a bit less than $20k. But by the time most drivers would need a replacement Tesla is likely to be accessing batteries for around $100/watt. $8,500 to them and ~$11k to customers. Minus the trade in value.
"There are tremendous financial and marketing muscles behind auto and oil and gas companies." Most car companies are going electric. And people, in general, hate the gas and oil companies. People are going to celebrate when the value of oil companies starts eroding as is now happening with coal companies. Car companies made minivans and SUVs because that is what people started buying. Convince me that people will pay a large premium to purchase a FCEV and then another large premium per mile to drive. The fact that about "27 people" in the world believe that H2 FCEVs are our future isn't convincing me. I just can't get that pay more to get less thing....
"My view is that notions that there will be one solution are mistaken." I think we'll move from the four solutions we now have (ICEVs, hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs) to two with hybrids and PHEVs dropping out first. And then to basically only EVs. I just don't see how H2 FCEVs get a toehold. I've got nothing at all against FCEVs, they are perfectly adequate in terms of getting our CO2 levels down. But the math just doesn't work. If the Navigant Research paper is correct, if Tesla is currently paying $180/kWh for batteries and we're on our way rapidly toward $100/kWh batteries, then 200 mile range EVs will soon be cheaper than ICEVs to purchase and less than half as much per mile to operate as H2 FCEVs. It's just math, economics. EVs seem to be rushing to the price target, equaling or bettering ICEVs. FCEVs are going to enter the market in a year or two at a price much higher than most EVs and without an adequate fueling infrastructure to make them functional outside of a narrow zone in California. It will take large manufacturing volume to bring down the cost of FCEVs. Either car manufacturers would have to be willing to sell many tens of thousands of vehicles at losses of several tens of thousands of dollars per vehicle. Or you'd have to find several tens of thousands of buyers willing to pay a large premium to drive something that's not nearly as nice nor as fast as a Tesla S just so that they could say they are driving a FCEV. I think the number of people who would be willing to pay $50k or more for a FCEV when they are likely to be able to get a 200 mile range EV for <$30k will be very small. And unless sales take off the fueling infrastructure will not be built. If we get a $20k 200 mile range "Camry" ICEVs will go extinct. And with $100/kWh batteries we could be there by 2020.
"There is no way a BEV works without serious inconvenience for those without a garage." New York City is in the process of installing 10,000 curbside charge point. In Philadelphia tenants and owners are allowed to install a charge outlet along the curb (which also reserves a parking space for them). Apartment and co-op parking lots are installing outlets. Building regulations in some US cities require that conduit be installed for future charge outlets with new construction. As time goes on apartment complexes will need to install charge outlets in order to attract tenants. 16% of US drivers have a place to plug in where they park. This is a great solution for people who park on the street at night. The grid will need some daytime dispatchable load. I suspect we'll move to wireless charging for most curbside parking/parking lot spaces. Just park and your car will contact the system and arrange the charging and billing.
I can see oil companies investing in H2 stations as a way to make a sideways move and stay viable. But that does not mean that they will succeed. Other than getting to destination a few minutes soon on an all day drive where is the H2 advantage? It's not cost to purchase or cost per mile. It's not convenience (remember, there's already wireless charging). It's not performance, in fact EVs are capable of faster acceleration due to their larger battery bank. The move by gas companies to H2 is pretty much like a livery stable trying to stay in business when cars appeared by switching to different colored horses. "Two leading and biggest automakers cannot both be wrong!" And all the other car manufacturers who are making EVs but not FCEVs can be wrong?
Dave, much is made by some about the time it takes to charge a battery vs. the amount of time to fill H2 tanks. Someone driving a FCEV can fill up in 5 minutes. But someone stopping at a supercharger will need 20 minutes. Are those fair numbers? The 13,000 mile a year FCEV driver will need to stop 43 times, if they drive to almost empty, a year for a fill up. 3.6 hours a year spent filling. The 13,000 mile a year EV driver will need to stop perhaps 10 times a year for a rapid charge. 3.3 hours spent charging. All we're really talking is the ability to arrive at destination a few minutes sooner on the rare days one drives all day long. As much as I try I simply can't find a reason that H2 FCEVs become our future personal transportation.
Pmp - If cells are less than $180 then that's even better news. As you say, there are different chemistries and perhaps Panasonic is building something more expensive for Tesla. Your supercharger price is in the range of what I've seen. About $35k per charging stall. Their cost and the 'free'electricity (solar panels) to power them would be easily covered by the $2k premium charged to the "lesser Model S" cars and rolled into the higher cost of the top priced model. People simply don't drive past the range of the S very often. And almost every Tesla owner is going to charge at home where it's most convenient. -- Dave, unless there is a H2 source which is environmentally acceptable and significantly cheaper than off peak electricity I don't think H2 FCEVs have a chance. We've got a race underway and the victor gets to be "King of the Mountain". Whoever reaches the top of the mountain first will control the market have to be knocked off by the second place finisher offering a significant reason to switch. H2 cars are badly trailing. There are many different EVs on the road right now with more on the way. We're waiting for FCEVs to show up in sales rooms. Over 50% of all drivers have a place to plug in right now. And we've got a lot of public charge points. Almost no one has a place to fill their tanks with H2. EVs look like they will become affordable very soon. There's no quick route that I see for FCEVs to become cheap, it would take economies of scale. You'd have to find tens of thousands of people willing to pay a premium price for a FCEV in order to build that volume. A few thousand true believers will not be enough. Finally, there's the cost per mile to operate. Show us that cheaper fuel, something that can be made widely available and sold for well under $0.03/mile. $0.0299 won't push the king off the mountain. For a 13,000 mile driver using less than $400 of electricity a year you'd pretty much need a fuel that came with free money in order to move them out of an EV and into a FCEV.
"According to the DOE the infrastructure costs of hydrogen and electric vehicles are in fact similar, as it needs a lot less hydrogen stations to refuel cars than charge points." Simple electric outlets, even metered, are not going to be expensive. Installing outlets where people park during the day would mean a valuable source of dispatchable load for utilities which would quickly pay for the outlets. "And the assumption is that the electricity is there when it is needed to charge the car, which is not always true for renewables" Which is not a problem. EVs will need, on average, less than three hours per day. As we move into higher range EVs many cars will be able to skip one or more days of charging. The ability of EVs to be a dispatchable load will greatly assist the incorporation of renewables onto the grid. "As for it taking twice as much electricity to produce the hydrogen as to run a BEV, that assumes it comes from electricity in the first place" Obtaining H2 from natural gas would be a planet destroyer. Plus we simply don't have enough NG to follow that route for many years. PHEVs are likely to become non-competitive soon. PHEVs and hybrids apparently won't be viable with battery prices under $350/kWh. (First link.) Which is where we may already be. (Second link.)
Davemart- Yes, those are cell prices. The don't include packaging and electronics. But the $180/kWh is less than the $250/kWh price threshold at which EVs reach ICEV prices. Perhaps there are ways to lower the cost of fuel cells, but there's still the high operating cost of running on hydrogen. It takes >2x as much electricity and requires extensive infrastructure. I don't care whether EVs or H2 FCEVs replace petroleum. That leaves me free to look objectively at the math for both.
Apparently Tesla is purchasing their batteries from Panasonic for $180/kWh. This is much lower than any number I've seen before. If Tesla/Panasonic can create a 30% cost drop with the new giga factory that will mean EV batteries for ~$125/kWh. If the $180/$125 numbers prove true then we're looking at long range EVs selling at or below the cost of same-model EVs. H2 FCEVs are going to find it harder and harder to gain a toehold in the market with that sort of purchase price and lower operating cost competition.