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All that is needed is very cheap hydrogen. We don't know how to manufacture very cheap hydrogen. We'd have to drop the price by more than 4x for FCEVs to be competitive with EVs in terms of operating costs. 4x is a huge amount. The laws of physics are standing in the way. (Toyota has said that it costs 17 cents/mile to drive their FCEV. An EV can drive a mile for 4 cents on average retail priced electricity.) We're on track to hit EV purchase price parity with ICEVs by 2021 or thereabouts. After that it should become cheaper to manufacture an EV than an same-model ICEV. FCEVs would have to become considerably less expensive to own and operate than EVs in order for them to replace EVs. Battery capacity should continue to increase giving EVs a higher range per charge/fueling than FCEVs within ten years. For those who drive all day often 500 mile range EVs should be available. Tesla's Destination Chargers will already recharge over 500 miles in 10 hours. A full 500 miles 'while you sleep'. For really cold country we can use the Volvo solution. They already have an auxiliary heater that uses ethanoyl.
Lithium is the gas tank, not the gasoline of EVs. Remember how the price of processed silicon rose rapidly when large scale production of solar panels started? And then how it fell back after more processing plants came online a couple of years later? Remember how the price of wind turbines jumped up around 2010 when installation rates took off? And then how the price returned to what it had been once more factories came online? Remember the story of Henny Penny?
Steel is probably going to be cheaper than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber for a few years.
"An energy scientist from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has developed a new chip that is able to charge a smartphone in less than 10 minutes. He hopes it can eventually be used to charge almost anything, including electric cars. As it is so small, the chip can be embedded into almost all types of batteries. At the moment, lithium-ion batteries charge by having electrical energy slowly drip-fed into them in tiny amounts in order to prevent them from overheating, so the process makes it take longer for them to charge. But if the sensor was embedded in the battery, the battery could charge at full speed because an algorithm in the chip would be able to calculate the exact amount of charge left in the battery by measuring the battery's voltage and temperature. The sensor in the battery would then communicate that information to another sensor chip embedded in the AC charger, which would slash the time taken to charge the battery.​"
In those cases the Tesla auto lane-keeping was being used in situations for which it is not intended. Operator error. "Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) are suggesting that self-driving vehicles should be required to pass a licensing test." That's dumb. Autonomous driving systems will have to pass rigorous testing before they will be approved for open road use. Both government agencies and insurance companies will require it. "Thus, they suggest, the underlying logic for the use of graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems used for novice young drivers does not apply to self-driving vehicles: A self- driving vehicle either has the hardware and software to deal with a particular situation, or it does not." But this is exactly how autonomous driving will be introduced. One skill at a time. We've already become very comfortable with two parts of autonomous driving, automatic transmissions and cruise control. Some drivers have been using self-parking for years. We should rapidly accept adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems. Lane keeping is not fully worked out yet, it's not ready for windy two lane roads and it is having trouble with high glare situations. Over time lane changing will improve. Over time our cars will be able to drive more and more situations without driver assistance.
Harvey, what's your estimation for the percentage of drivers who will be willing to pay far more per mile to drive an FCEV than it costs to drive the other options? Can you explain their motivation?
2015 is setting all time temperature records and these folks want us to use more fossil fuels? What do they not understand about shooting oneself in one's foot?
And while we wait for parking spots to be wired an EV owner who drives 13,000 miles a year could visit a Supercharger six times a month for a half hour and get all their electricity, 170 miles at a time. A half hour while they do their grocery shopping, eat their lunch, do a few minutes of work they didn't get finished at the office, ....
"I am not sure he did not mean 35k USD after gas savings and tax incentives." Musk has clearly said $35k. $27,500 after the federal subsidy is applied. No fuel savings math involved. "I think it is impossible for Tesla to make a profitable luxury small BEV for 35k USD " With the Gigafactory cranking out batteries it is expected that battery pack prices will be $160/kWh, possibly lower. $35,000 - 8,000 (50 kWh) = 27,000 to build the rest of the car and profit. The MSRP for a Toyota Camry is $23k. The Camry is a decent sized car, perhaps the size of the Tesla Mod3. Pull out the engine, fuel/cooling/exhaust systems and transmission. I've read that about 40% of the cost of a ICEV is the propulsion system. $14k for the car without engine. Put in $10k (?) of batteries and electric motor. Spend a few thousand on "nicer" upholstery, etc. - the luxury stuff. Build it for $30k, sell it for $35. That would be a smaller gross profit margin than Tesla is making on the Mod3s (~15% vs. ~25%) but the sales volume would be greatly larger.
I feel faint. The oil industry has been less than honest? Knocks the pins out from under one. BTW, looks like at least four other diesel producing vehicle manufactures might have a case of VW-bola.
Hydrogen is our least efficient way to store electricity. A total economic fail. Reforming methane for H2 simply can't be done on a large scale if we wish to avoid cooking the planet. Same goes for pulling methane hydrates from the ocean. Toyota keeps this up and they're going to get lumped with oil and coal companies as enemies of our grandchildren.
GM does have experience building large numbers of cars. But GM doesn't have access to enough batteries so that they can build large numbers of Bolts even if there is demand. Tesla will soon have enough batteries for 500,000 GM also has 'brand problems'. Tesla has "the" brand name when it comes to EVs. I'm not saying that Tesla will outproduce/outsell GM or any other large manufacturer who starts taking EVs seriously but don't sell Tesla short. Tesla has created a unique car company that has the potential to become one of the major manufacturers. BTW, at this point in time it's likely not the case that EVs are in competition with each other. They're taking away market from ICEVs. As more EVs become available awareness of EVs will increase and probably grow the market for all.
" Certainly we can help the people that have to flee their homes from the terror of AQ and IS." Thank you. We owe it to each other to help out those in need. Many people forget how few years ago Europeans were fleeing tyranny. "What really needs to stop is this bullsnazzle over oil." Absolutely. Make our ICEVs as efficient while we can as we replace them with EVs and PHEVs. Starve the beast.
China is a centrally run, one party, market driven country. The party in charge is called the Communist Party. It's just a name.
I hope you're right, but I'm a bit cautious about any traditional ICEV manufacturer really getting behind EVs manufacturing and sales in the next couple of years. Later on, when they are fighting to hold market share, yes. When EVs have waiting lists and ICEVs are gathering dust on dealers' lots then we will see a change of heart.
"A ic engine comparable electric car with 300 kms range would change the world." Already here at the luxury car level and should be available at the mid-$30k range within two years. -- When reading these battery 'breakthrough' articles it might be a good idea to remember that Musk has said he sees a very clear path to lithium-ion batteries hitting 400 Wh/kg by 2020. No breakthrough needed. ..
Also the Tesla X is being sold and the Audi has not yet been proven to get past the concept stage. Nick, Amazon which is a hugely successful company is not profitable when one looks at the bottom line. Amazon, like Tesla, has a very nice markup on the product they sell. Amazon, like Tesla, is spending money to grow the company. Both companies are spending now in order to make even more money later. And if you like to figure out Tesla's likely production of their ModX over the next year or so then look up the number of reservations they accepted before cutting them off (24,000?). And then look at when they expect to reopen sales.
"Mr. Musk claims that the TESLAs will soon do 1000 to 1200 Km between charges." Yes. And no. Not 1,000 km/600 miles in normal driving. That number is when the ModS is being driven slowly and steadily around a flat track. What Elon has said is that he sees a clear route to 400 mile (640 km) range EVs by 2020. I assume he means ModS priced EVs, not moderately priced EVs with that sort of range. I'm assuming affordable ~200 mile range EVs before 2020. By affordable I mean EVs selling for about the average new car price of $33.5K. That's what the Mod3 should bring. (And by 200 mile range I assume enough capacity to get one 200 miles with the heater or AC running.) If that happens then I think the start gate opens and lots of manufacturers will get very serious about getting a hunk of the EV market. By 2025 we should see 200 mile range EVs below $25k. Most people really do not need more than 200 miles of range. With that much range and access to rapid chargers you can make the all day drive you'll do only a few times a year (if at all) in just a little longer time than if you were driving an ICEV. Those who do long distance driving frequently will want to buy more range.
VW is in a world of hurt. I've seen no one suggest a real fix (new engines are unlikely to happen). Their solution might be a cash rebate to owners to make up for poorer fuel mileage and a buyback program for those who won't accept the cash. Buy at used car prices and sell into a market with lower/no emission standards. And that just takes care of unhappy customers. Dangling parts are likely be put in clamps by governments who go after fraud and other issues.
Tesla's gross profit margin, the difference between the cost of selling price and what it costs to built the car runs between 20% and 30%. That is a higher GPM than other car manufacturers. Take a look - Tesla's losses come not from vehicle production but from business expansion. If you're spending money to grow your business (building a Supercharger network, building a Gigafactory) then you'll show a loss. That's an "investment loss", not an "operating loss". The difference is very, very important. -- Looking at the ModX cost I expect Tesla to show a higher GPM in the near future.
China may, but I'd say the odds are that China won't. Battery manufacturing doesn't have a large labor input and China's labor force is shrinking and, as well, workers are seeking higher wages. China's huge labor cost advantage is shrinking. As well, the Chinese are consuming more which means that China will have less to export. EV batteries are bulky and heavy. It's more likely that EV batteries will be built closer to where they are sold/installed in EVs. I suspect that means that we'll see large battery factories spread around the world, like what is happening now with vehicle manufacturing. The question, I suspect, is who will own the battery plants. Which will likely be the companies, regardless of country of origin, which can develop the best batteries (there may be more than one). -- I think we're very close to the point at which EVs and batteries need no subsidy. If you look at my previous post it looks like we can build 150 mile range EVs for $15k and 200 mile range EVs for $20k. There's no need to subsidized cars selling at those prices. And think it upscale. If BMW can turn out a nice car for $30k, so can Tesla. Except Tesla's will be electric with all the advantages of electric. It really looks like subsidies have done the job they were designed to do. We'll know soon if Tesla can produce <$150/kWh battery packs. If Tesla can do it then other vehicle manufacturers will be forced to do the same.
@mahonj - I'm not saying that batteries will improve at the same rates we seen for semiconductors. Moore's Law, er, Moore's Observation was a doubling every two years. Battery capacity has been increasing about 7% per year which would mean a 10 year doubling. Changing at a different rate. Battery cost, that's apparently dropping at a faster rate. Not many years back we were talking about $1,000/kWh batteries for EVs, now many are talking $400/kWh while Tesla is apparently paying half that. And with the Gigafactory open the cost of cells is expected to move close to $100/kWh, battery packs $130/kWh. A drop from $1,000 to $130 over a decade is approaching Moore-speed. BTW, the rapid drop in cellphone costs was not just the rapid drop of semiconductors. Cellphones because 'commodities' with huge economy of scale savings and profits per unit becoming very slim.
"You won't "save the world" with $80K EVs. You might save it with $20 - $30K EVs." How about <$20k EVs? EVs with at least a 150 mile range? Consider the Nissan Versa. Priced from $12k to $16k, depending on the feature level. About 40% of the cost of a ICEV is the engine and support systems (cooling, fuel, exhaust), IIRC. That makes the engineless cost of a Versa $7,200 to $9,600. That's the cost of building a body and finishing it out with all seats/AC/radio/windshield washer stuff. When the Tesla Gigafactory is running the battery pack price is expected to fall to about $130/kWh. Let's use $150/kWh. At 0.27 kWh/mile one would need roughly a 40 kWh battery pack. At $150/kWh that would cost $6k. Add in a couple thousand to cover electric motor and controller. Now we've got a Versa sized car with 150 miles of range for $15,200 to $17,600. At under $16k we'd have a car with good interior room, AC, all the basics. Making it an EV would increase safety due to the empty frunk crumple zone and with the batteries placed below the floorboard it would be very difficult to roll. The ride should be much smoother due the increased weight and the lower center of gravity would decrease body roll. Eliminating the ICE would make the car much quieter and smoother riding. And it would accelerate like a poked pig. Now, will one of the US car manufacturers step up and grab this market share or will be gift it to China?
We're in the $2k,three pound brick cell phone era of EVs. Affordable EVs have too little range, long range EVs cost too much. We should be in a new era within two years with 200+ mile range EVs selling for about $35k (without subsidy). We're also at the bottom of yet, another oil price cycle. The Saudis can't keep bleeding cash for too much longer. Gas prices are likely to considerably higher in a few months. It's not time to worry about EVs sales numbers. Let's see what happens when we get to "flip phones selling for a few hundred".
" when Tesla is at full speed at its giga factory such a battery will cost 20,000 USD or 200 USD per kwh. Everyone else will have higher costs and smaller factories than Tesla. " Large research firms disagree with you. The materials cost for Tesla batteries is about $70/kwh. The Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory is expected to drop cell price to about $130/kwh (from last year's $180) and pack price to $160/kWh when it's running. Over time cell price should drop to about $100/kWh over time with packaging into a battery pack adding about 30% for a $130/kWh pack before 2020. Other battery manufacturers are expected to catch up with T/P in 2-3 years. Some companies are already expanding their capacity. A 300 mile range is a bit of overkill. A solid 200 miles is plenty for almost all drivers. GM and Tesla think they can give that range with 50 kWh battery packs. That's getting the battery pack cost under $10k in the short run (next couple of years) and possibly as low as $6,500 by 2020. Most of us drive more than 200 miles in a day very rarely. Drive about 3 hours, pause for 20 minutes, drive at least two more hours, pause 20 minutes drive a couple more hours. You'll have covered 500 miles almost as quickly as if you had been driving a 300 mile range EV or an ICEV.