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San Diego
Electric Car Insider Magazine
Interests: electric cars, electric motorcycles, electric bikes, electric vehicles
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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.
I would love to see these in the US.
OP> U of Manchester ... developed a doped graphene cathode... ...they report 100% charge capacity of Li-S batteries using the cathode material with 500 charge/discharge cycles at 0.5 C, 1 C, 2 C and 3 C charge rates. ***100% capacity at 500 cycles at 3 C.*** As SJC points out, the cost of the graphene cathode is the likely hurdle here.
If you are able to get the discounts, rebates, tax credits and fuel cost savings described, the total savings of EV vs ICE is $35,720 assuming a $3,800 EV purchase premium at point of sale. I was able to get $10k discount on an I-Pace and BMW i3. You can find these EV discounts if you look and are not in a hurry to purchase.
Completely agree. The first financial analysis completely omits the negative externalities of extracting and burning hydrocarbons, and using the atmosphere as an open sewer. You just can’t reach some people, except through the wallet and pocketbook. The above example also ignores the additional savings of clean vehicle federal tax credits, which add another $7,500 in the US, and $10,000 total including state rebate in the two most populous states in the US. The first example also ignores asymmetrical manufacturer dealer discounts. $10,000 discounts have been available at various times over the past few years in the US on: Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Jaguar i-Pace.
Assuming a nominal $100 per month fuel cost savings, the breakeven TCO is 4.4 years. Over the next 10.6 year life of the car, the fuel cost savings is another $12,720. Add $1,200 in oil change and $1,800 in tuneup savings and the EV is $15,720 cheaper to own and operate. $15,720 is nearly half the cost of the average new vehicle (46%). That's a pretty compelling argument to drive an EV.
Typical EV drivetrain not including battery was $3,800: "For the representative BEV, we use a 2017 model year Chevy Bolt. Its electric propulsion system is made up of an e-motor, including an integrated single-speed transmission ($800); other components of the e-drive module (besides the e-motor), such as motor housing, gear train, resolvers, etc. ($400); an invert ($700); and other parts1 ($1,900) (Hummel, et al. 2017). Thus, the cost of an electric powertrain, excluding the cost of the battery pack, was estimated to be $3,800, 16% lower than the cost of a full ICE powertrain at $4,500. We use the market-average price for a battery pack in 2016 from Hsieh, et al. (2019): $289/kWh, which assumes lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt chemistry matching the dominant battery technology for vehicle applications in model year 2017."
OP> By 2023, average prices will be close to $100/kWh, according to the latest forecast from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). At that point, battery prices will be 9% of what they were in 2010. A 60kWh battery, nominal for 200+ miles range on a car with an efficient CoD, will cost ~$6,000. MIT's recent "Insights into Future Mobility" described typical 2017 ICE drivetrain cost as $4,500: "For the representative ICEV, we use a 2017 model year VW Golf. Its ICE powertrain is made up of combustion engine parts ($1,700), combustion engine auxiliaries ($1,370), transmission ($600), exhaust system ($520), and engine control unit/ sensors ($310) (Hummel, et al. 2017). This yields a total propulsion system cost of $4,500. The VW Golf has a gasoline turbocharged engine using direct injection; the cost of the powertrain accounts for about 20% of the entire car price."
Haha, 250,000 pre-orders with $100 deposits in just a few days. Exceeding 2018 sales of all the other trucks including Toyota and Nissan, with the exception of Ram, Chevy And Ford. Yep, quite a “stunt” all right. Just like the “stunt” of Tesla Model 3 sales, Model 3 now the most popular EV by far, with just under 50% of EV market share, selling almost as many as all other EVs combined.
Alan, I guess it depends on your definition of “handles well.” You can see in the profile view that the entire body is above the wheel centerline. About 40 years ago, I was driving right behind a microbus that that took a right turn at speed and rolled twice. It’s an experience I will never forget.
Astute comments, gryf. I am wondering though, if the Cybertruck should be considered semi-monocoque because at very least the B pillar, and probably the A and C pillars, appear to be significant structural members in the doorless profile view. The door skins, almost certainly, provide no load bearing capability. I’d be astonished if the pillars were not stamped steel box structures internally, like most cars. The lack of chassis frame rails I get. The top of this car appears to be a classic truss.
I haven’t seen much commentary anywhere about how this vehicle is a rolling truss. Clearly designed from first principles to actualize the stressed skin construction. I don’t think I’ve seen this level of whole-vehicle innovation since Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car.
EV West does beautiful work. Congratulations to Michael Bream and team for landing the highest profile client in the world for this Micro Bus. That is a quite an honor and testament to the quality of their craftsmanship. I imagine VW has some very specific plans for this vehicle in preparation for a new car release. This is one of at least two vintage Micro Buses that have been converted in recent years.
Elon Musk, as usual, is ahead of the curve. It’s all angles now. Clearly, he designed a vehicle for the post-apocalyptic world we appear to be on the brink of. I put a reservation down last night. Perfect vehicle to tow my airstream.
It’s rational to be skeptical. But the timeline on reserving judgement is short: “Nikola said it will show the batteries charging and discharging in front of the crowd at Nikola World. The date of Nikola World ... is expected to be fall of 2020.” So in a year we’ll know. Nikola has beaten everyone to the punch or they have not. Even if they have not, it’s a fait accompli by someone by 2025. So much money being poured into solving this problem and relentless progress occurring. Someone will throw the 500W/kg punch. Interesting that Nikola is touting battery breakthrough progress when they originally staked their reputation on being able to build a hydrogen highway. Synergistic to be sure, but at $100/kW and 500wh/kg, H2 becomes superfluous. $30k for a 900 lb battery which yields 300 mile range for a Class 8 Semi would create an instant market for all-electric trucks.
Charles Morris, writing in Charged: "According to RMI’s Breakthrough Batteries Report, venture capital firms invested over $1.4 billion in battery tech in the first half of 2019 alone. Total manufacturing investment - both previous and planned through 2023 - amounts to around $150 billion. By 2023, the capital cost for new battery manufacturing capacity is expected to decline by more than half compared to 2018. Battery costs could drop to $87/kWh by 2025 (in March, Bloomberg estimated the current average cost at $187/kwh)." Ford just announced 300 mile range, 99kWh battery for the Mach E. Whatever the commercial opportunity for Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages, batteries are going to be a hard act to beat for passenger cars.
Nice to see Ford get serious about an electric car. Bravo! Will be interesting to see how the reservation system works out considering the sales will be through the dealer channel.