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San Diego
Electric Car Insider Magazine
Interests: electric cars, electric motorcycles, electric bikes, electric vehicles
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The US won’t need these in 100 days. We will need them in 20 days. Stay home, people. Wash your hands. Wear a mask when you’re at the grocery store. Wear disposable gloves at the gas station. Do it like your life depended on it.
This is fantastic news. Bravo to all the folks in WA that helped make this happen.
One need look no further than the characterization of someone who wants a non polluting car as an “addict” to understand the credibility of that source. Tavares is on the wrong side of history. Actually, it’s more likely he’ll simply be forgotten.
YOY sales is a sawtooth, like almost every other growth curve. Zoom in, and any given time period can look great or ugly. Zoom out, and the long term is revealed. When that trend is a J curve, looking back a year or two tells you very little about what growth the next few years will look like in absolute numbers unless you know in advance it’s a J curve. New electric car introductions, filling segment gaps like CUVs, SUVs and trucks is going to make a big difference in consumer acceptance. Also the network effect. Looking at some of the new models on the horizon, things are just about to get exciting.
Steadily falling battery prices, at both cell and pack level, are a historical fact. The Nissan Leaf went from ~70 mile range in 2010 to 226 mile range in 2019, a 300% increase. Price of the car stayed about the same, mid-thirties. GM just announced that their collaboration with LG Chem will push prices under $100/kWh. More detailed reporting on battery pricing: Both 24M and Oxis have demonstrated batteries with 350 W/kg. Cars with a plug give consumers access to $0.03 mile transportation. That’s a market reality today.
OP> GM’s joint venture with LG Chem will drive battery cell costs below $100/kWh. A significant milestone. This is said to be the threshold where BEVs can be produced at cost parity with ICEs.
Earlier GCC mentioned 24M had achieved energy density of more than 350Wh/kg, with improved cycle life, safety and cost.
Completely agree about short hop, see a lot of promise in the Harbour Air and MagniX collaboration. Just not convinced that tilt-rotor will be an early success. Just count the number of motors and multiply by max current draw x climb to 1,500-2,000ft. Really curious how this is a winner near term.
I’m curious why so many of these new electric aircraft prototypes are VTOL. It is a much more energy intensive flight regime, much more difficult, more risk. It’s not like you’ll be taking off from your back yard. More heliports than runways to be sure, but it seems like a conventional fixed wing like the eFlyer or Alice would be feasible far before a VTOL.
The “one upsmanship” on this truck, if it is ever built, will be raising the ceiling on the price of a pickup truck. But who is going to pay the cost premium of an FC you only need on long trips into the back country with no charging infrastructure (and no H2 dispensers). Or towing long distances, where you have to find both H2 and DC fast charging before proceeding on your way? What will the price premium be for the FC? $30k? $60k? More? What are the extra development, tooling and supply chain costs for adding the FC? An extra $500m? 1b? More? With a 400 mi Rivian on the market and 500 mi Cybertruck on the market, and BEV trucks from Hummer and Ford also likely on the market by the time Nikola ships unit 1, really hard to see who buys the Badger in sufficient quantities to justify development and production costs. Seems like an enormous distraction for a start-up who already has a lot on their plate.
Fascinating that this announcement references a combined truck-trailer weight of 18,000 lbs, and then a towing capacity of 8,000 lbs. Considering that Nikola also mentions 160kWh battery plus 120kW fuel cell, the weight of that truck comes into sharper focus. If Nicola can get the H2 infrastructure built as they have described, I’d actually have an application for a couple of these, but with 300 mile battery only range , you have to wonder how many people are going to pony up the cash to buy a truck that has the added expense of a FC that will very rarely be called upon to extend range. Cool mobile generator to be sure. But who buys a generator with that trim level?
Seems like a strong argument for the viability of battery electric trucks for the majority of those trips.
I agree that 500 miles is not going to be necessary (or even desirable) for an ordinary car. Cars that get 200+ miles of range are quite capable of replacing gas cars for all in-town driving because you start every day with full fuel. With reasonable charge infrastructure and 100kW + charge speeds, 500+ mile trips a few times a year become viable. I’ve driven from San Diego to Vancouver in my Model S (265 mi range) and from Sarasota FL to Montreal in my Model 3 (315 mi range) It is really quite easy and convenient. But Rivian has announced 400 mile range for their truck and SUV, and Tesla has announced 500 mile range for the Cybertruck. So I believe it’s likely that there will be an application for 500+ mile batteries. Tesla just keeps setting the high water mark. Whether it’s this chemistry or another, who knows? My main point is that the economics of cycle life are not completely intuitive. I’d love a 3,000 cycle battery. But I’d seriously consider a 500 mile 500 cycle battery that lasted 250k miles, 16 years (15k miles per year). Especially if the replacement cost falls by 8-10% per year. $30k battery in 2020 becomes $7,901 in 2036 if 8%. Whether or not that replacement is viable probably depends a lot more on the state of the upholstery and ball joints than the engine and controller.
Cycle life is still a limitation of these batteries, but keep in mind that 500 cycles for a 500 mile battery is 250,000 miles. No surprise that these are used in high value aerospace applications. The steady progress is impressive and almost certainly heralds a high water mark that will set new expectations, standards of performance and most importantly, massive additional investment in OXIS and competitors. Volkswagen and Tesla appear to be expecting similar capacities on their roadmaps within the next few years. Exciting times.
Interesting that among the three steps identified by EVC Euisun Chung, infrastructure build-out was not mentioned. This is not just a matter of cost reduction, it requires massive capital investment. So much that no industry, including the oil or gas industries, is willing to fund the transition. On the other hand, the auto industry and the utility industries *are* making the required investment to support battery electric cars. To anyone making energy or transportation investments or engaged in public policy, this is a fact worth serious consideration, and as much research as necessary to understand why this is so. The automakers pursuing H2 do so because it presents a wonderful opportunity to build a technology moat. It’s very difficult for startups and new market entrants to participate (it’s difficult enough that Toyota, Hyundai and Honda have not fielded vehicles with performance and TCO competitive with BEVs).
This is the kind of article I read GCC for. It’s an antidote to all the other dismal news. Congratulations to the OXIS team, this is an incredible achievement.
I applaud Toyota’s vision and courage to make this investment, but curious why they would believe battery energy density would be sufficient to power a VTOL (!) but not sufficient to make a daily driver equivalent to a Tesla Model 3 (300+ mile range).
Lack of education is the biggest barrier for electric vehicles Electric cars are typically cheaper than gas cars after dealer and manufacturer discounts and federal, state and utility incentives, fuel cost and maintenance savings. Range is not an issue for any 200+ mile BEV, because you start every day with full fuel. For those who need more range, PHEVs fill the bill. Charging sites is a non-issue for Teslas, which may explain 75% new sales market share for BEVs. For the others, major charging infrastructure roll-out by Electrified America, NYPA, EVgo and others will bridge that gap within the next few years. Very few people with a driveway or garage could not make the switch now without any inconvenience and with the benefit of lower total cost of ownership. For apartment dwellers, programs like SDG&E, SCE and PG&E multi-tenant charger installations provide a solution. A lot of low hanging fruit to be had now that there are really viable electric cars in production up and down the line-up.
It’s really important to wear a helmet, but in the shared scooter market, where they are scattered around a city like discards, that’s tough to accomplish. While vacationing in Hawaii, I woke up in the back of an ambulance. It was the only day I didn’t wear a helmet that trip. Low speed ride on level ground, no worries about safety. Fractured skull, $13k hospital bill. Always wear your helmet, kids. I don’t know what the solution is for shared scooters but it’s a problem that needs to be solved. Maybe require racks with helmets and disposable liners.
SH> There is no technical reason (no fundamental breakthroughs needed) that it cannot be applied at every scale you care to imagine and in every facet of the industrial energy economy. No consumer electronics application for H2, which is what drove the technical development and cost improvement of batteries. The technology is not the barrier. H2 and battery electric vehicles both exist in the consumer marketplace. Cost of acquisition, cost of operation (fuel price $15/kg), reliability of fuel sources (lengthy station outages), performance of the vehicle (not exciting), longevity of the vehicle (life limited 10,000 psi tanks) are the issues holding back widespread H2 adoption. Battery raw material cost is not the barrier you suggest. When the energy density doubles and quadruples, the material cost, absent exotic material requirements, stays flat. Yoatmon’s sulfur post is a great example - it’s actually cheaper than the most popular current chemistries. Nano structuring is being used to improve energy density with a reduction in materials. Maximum uptime is not a requirement for consumer applications. Everyone needs to sleep. Even in commercial driving use cases, those trucks have rest stop and meal break downtime which could accommodate 30 min charging profiles. 10 minute recharge is not a requirement for the vast majority of users, especially those willing to save $90 in fuel costs on a 500 mile trip. Even so, Porsche has demonstrated 15 min charging and Electrify America has begun installing 350kW chargers. Not really necessary, but the roadmap is there. EP has already made the case that for people who need quick refueling on long trips, there is a great solution available now.
Steadily falling battery prices, at both cell and pack level, are a historical fact, no claims needed. Even a consumer not remotely aware of analyst reports can saw the Nissan Leaf go from ~70 mile range in 2010 to 226 mile range in 2019, a 300% increase. Price of the car stayed about the same, mid-thirties. For folks interested in more detailed reporting on cells and packs: Non-plug hybrids are fine, cutting your gas bill in half is a good thing. But cars with a plug give consumers access to $0.03 mile transportation. As Yoatmon points out, pair a plu-in car with solar and you have cleaner, cheaper fuel more secure from price and supply variations and disruption than H2 or oil. Hope everybody is ready for gas prices to go up drastically considering current geopolitical news and an unstable US presidents that likes to pick fights.
Completely agree. States have a ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) mandate not an BEV (battery electric vehicle) mandate. Any of these manufacturers, including Tesla, could have chosen to build FCEVs. Those that chose to; Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, have sold minuscule volumes to an increasingly disenchanted customer base. The company that built quality, desirable BEVs and matching charging infrastructure has racing fans and has been well rewarded in the marketplace and stock market. If the infrastructure to fuel the cars doesn’t exist, it’s pretty hard to field a competitive product. To say nothing of the performance limitations of the drive train, cost of fuel, cost of FC stack, life limited 10,000 PSI tanks etc, etc, etc. If Nikola pulls off building a nationwide H2 charging infrastructure for their trucks, I’ll applaud louder than anyone else. And then I’ll buy two. But until someone ships a viable FCEV I can drive daily without limited fuel availability e.g. solid reliable local, reasonably available cross country, I’ll go with what works. I still own a couple of PHEVs - 2018 Volt, Outlander (BMW i3 REx went to the kids). They are completely viable vehicles. I’d recommend them to anyone who needs the fuel flexibility and doesn’t mind the occasional oil change and tuneup. It’s a good time to drive electric.
Correction: ...from $1,000/kWh in 2010 to $156/kWh in 2019. They expect the price of an average battery pack to be $94/kWh by 2024 and $62/kWh by 2030.
Bloomberg NEF tracks battery prices objectively, shows impressive cost reduction, from $1,000/kW in 2010 to $154/kW in 2020. Tesla Model S now achieves 370 mile range. Rivian delivering 400 mile range truck in 2020. Ford Mustang Mach E will also provide long range capability. 200+ mile range cars now available from GM, Nissan, Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, Hyundai, Kia, Volvo. More coming in 2021. 1,000 mile travel in California costs: Hydrogen: $210 according to California Fuel Cell Partnership Gasoline: $160 according to Electric: $30 according to LADWP One of these technologies is going to win. Gentlemen, place your bets.
Good Point Ed. Also omitted from the analysis of the odd popularity of trucks for regular use in US vs other markets is the bonus depreciation /Section 179 tax accounting rules. When you can buy a luxury truck for an effective 30% less than a luxury sedan, it creates a pretty big market distortion. US is incentivizing the wrong behaviors. We need a carbon tax.