Cal on April 27th, 2017

Voice of America looks at the future of flying: Electric Planes and Flying Cars. See also CITYLABS, When Cars Fly while The Drive tells us about a hydrogen powered flying car.

IDTechEx Research predicts electric vehicles for construction, agriculture and mining will be a $81 billion market in 2027.

Transparency Market Research projects the global electric vehicle charging station market is expected to reach a valuation of US$37.5 billion by the end of 2025. The residential segment is forecast to emerge as the leading consumer. In terms of volume, customers in the residential sector are expected to account for over 41% of the global electric vehicle charging station market in 2017. “The demand for electric vehicle charging stations will rise in response to the increasing sales of electric vehicles,” said the TMR report’s author. While Asia is the largest market currently, the fastest growing areas over the next decade will be Africa and the Middle East. Government incentives and subsidies are a major driver in the car charging market. The major barriers to growth in this market are the high cost of electric vehicles and the large investment required in the initial deployment of charging stations.

The Sun discusses the hidden costs of purchasing a second-hand electric car.

A report by the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany predicts the market for new cars in China will exceed 30 million vehicles a year by 2025 and it expects electric vehicle sales to make up 30% (10.5 million vehicles) of that figure. In 2016, EV sales in China amounted to 2.1% of total vehicle sales.

UK consultants Element Energy say the 86,000 electric vehicles now on the road in the UK will increase to over 4.5 million by 2040, accounting for 7% of the nation’s total energy consumption.

Green Alliance reports that six electric cars charging at the same time on a street could cause local power shortages in the UK. A single EV charge can use as much electricity as a typical UK household uses in three days. The ratio of EVs per charger in the UK has grown from 0.78 to 7.34 in just four years. The European Commission has suggested the maximum ratio to avoid charging blockages and congestion is one in 10.

There are currently 15,812 publically accessible electric charging stations throughout US, according to the country’s Energy Department. These stations account for more than 42,000 individual outlets. Most of these EV charging stations are clustered around major metropolitan areas along the east and west coasts. This compares with between 100,000 and 150,000 gasoline stations spread throughout the country.

ChargePoint, a private service that installs commercial and residential electric car chargers, estimates there are currently more than 600,000 electric vehicles operating on US and Canadian roads. The company predicts that once EVs are widespread, 80% of charging will be at home or at work, while 20% will be at a public location — i.e., in parking lots, streetside. or fast charging stations on the highway.

As of February of this year, US electric vehicle sales totaled more than 580,000 units, representing approximately 1 terawatt-hour of annual consumption. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that EV electricity consumption will increase to roughly 33 terawatt-hours per year by 2025 and 551 terawatt-hours by 2040. Given this expected surge in electricity consumption, gtm discusses how electric utilities can harness EVs as flexible loads.

Tesla announced that by the end of this year it expects to have globally 10,000 fast-charging Superchargers and 15,000 of its slower Destination Charging connectors. In addition, many of its new charging sites will be in or close to urban centers. Currently the company has installed 5400 Superchargers, which provide fast charging at up to 145 kilowatts. Unlike other automakers, Tesla owns, runs, and manages its infrastructure and its charging network is only for Tesla vehicles.

A consortium of British companies has unveiled a plan to test driverless cars on UK roads and motorways in 2019. The Driven group also plans to try out a fleet of autonomous vehicles between London and Oxford. Previous tests of driverless vehicles in the UK have mainly taken place at slow speeds and not on public roads. The fleet of cars will communicate with each other about any hazards and should operate with almost full autonomy – but will have a human on board. Professor Paul Newman, of Oxford University, said: “What’s interesting is what data the vehicles share with one another, when, and why.”

The Auto Future has an infographic on driverless cars.

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Cal on April 26th, 2017

Cal on April 25th, 2017

Demographers have forecast that India may have the largest population in the world as early as 2022, surpassing China.

The US Geological Survey reported that two formations in the Gulf Coast Basin might contain as much as 304.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas plus 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, making the area the largest untapped continuous gas deposit in that country.

Exploration and production spending in the US will increase this year for the first time since the 2014 downturn, which roiled the industry for two years rife with significant layoffs and bankruptcy filings.  Increasing capital expenditures are expected to drive production up this year by 5%, according to Fitch Ratings.

A Norwegian energy company is testing whether or not renewable energy could be used to help increase production in offshore crude oil fields in the North Sea. The pilot project would use wind power to push water into offshore fields to increase reservoir pressure and stimulate production.

The recent find of significant natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean could loosen European countries dependence on Russian gas supplies. If all goes to plan and the Israel-Cyprus-Greece-Italy gas pipeline is built, within seven years the balance of energy security in Western Europe will be radically changed.

Russia is assisting the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in building two 1 gigawatt nuclear power plants, reported Iran’s Energy Minister. Construction is expected to start soon.

Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next ten years as part of its $50 billion program to increase electric power generation and cut its crude oil consumption. The world’s largest exporter of crude oil wants to generate 10% of its electricity from renewables by 2023.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Andrew Wheatley, says Jamaica is on course to achieving 30% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030. Last year, the Caribbean country got 10.5% of its electricity generation from renewables.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission says the Asian country is aiming for non-fossil fuels to account for about 20% of total electricity consumption by 2030, increasing to more than half of demand by 2050. Non-fossil fuels include wind, solar and nuclear.

The Economist reports in dollar terms, solar photovoltaics, onshore wind and offshore wind are at least 10% cheaper per megawatt than they were in 2015. In many regions globally, the costs of generating these renewable energy sources are now comparable with fossil-fuel plants.

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

 

 

 

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Cal on April 25th, 2017

Cal on April 23rd, 2017

Cal on April 22nd, 2017

Tommy Emmanuel plays  Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Live)

 

Cal on April 21st, 2017

 

Hot Club of Detroit performing J’Attendrai

Cal on April 21st, 2017

Japanese automaker Toyota announced plans to build a fleet of heavy-duty, zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell trucks. If Toyota does go forward with the concept, this would be the most powerful hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the market. The truck would generate more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 pound-feet of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12 kWh battery. Combined weight capacity is 80,000 pounds, and estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fillup, under normal trucking operations. Nikola Motor Company recently revealed its Class 8 truck that’s powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The US startup claims its H2-powered truck will have an operational range of as much as 1,200 miles when it’s released in 2020.

China is forcing Toyota to go electric. Until recently, Toyota was one of the auto industry’s major hold-outs against full electrification, and planned to turn to hydrogen as a mainstream alternative to gasoline-fueled cars. Indeed, the Japanese government is on a course to develop a hydrogen economy. However, these plans have been derailed by new automobile policies in China – the world’s largest auto market and one where tough environmental policies are pushing for clean emission cars have challenged global automakers.  Current rules require 8% of automakers’ sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by next year, rising to 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020. Toyota is particularly exercised by China’s proposal to categorize conventional hybrids, like the Toyota Prius, as gasoline-fueled cars. “Those mandates are tough to the point it could wreck our fundamental business case,” said a Toyota executive. “The Prius and other hybrid cars are central to our green car strategy. But now we have no choice but to get over our EV allergy and come up with an electric car.” At the Shanghai auto show last week the Japanese firm said it would start selling plug-in electric hybrid cars in China next year, and aimed to sell an all-electric battery car in China, but gave no time frame.

Retail giant Amazon announced it will be bringing new generation zero-emission, hydrogen-powered electric forklifts and other equipment to its warehouse centers. Saving time in filling orders is a huge cost saving for the company and, unlike batteries, fuel cell forklifts can be fueled up in a matter of minutes and don’t take up storage space.

Research and Markets has a new report that looks at the global fuel cell light vehicle market out to 2032. The focus is on light vehicles, which includes cars, minivans and small trucks.  2,500 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were sold or leased worldwide in 2016, representing a three-fold increase compared to 2015. The authors project that over 22 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be sold or leased worldwide by 2032. That’s a 9000% increase over today. These sales will generate collective revenues upwards of $1.1 trillion for the auto industry by 2032. Information Trends believes that by 2050, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will become the fastest growing segment of the global automobile market. That source predicts that by 2020, sufficient hydrogen filling infrastructures would be in place in several regions of the world, giving an initial boost to the market for fuel cell vehicles.

The city of Vancouver, Canada is down to its last gasoline station in the city’s core and will likely become the first Canadian city without a gas station in its downtown. As in most cities, the value of the land in the core is more valuable for highrise development than pumping gas and more and more stations in these areas are disappearing.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has launched a new car sharing service in the US city of San Francisco. Called Gig, the service lets users drive a car one-way, then park it in any parking spot available.  An app locates an available car, which is unlocked with the user’s phone or RFID membership card. Membership with the AAA is not required to use the app. All Gig cars are hybrid-electric Toyota Priuses. Drivers do not have to return the vehicle to the pickup location. Rather, AAA has an agreement with local governments in the San Francisco Bay area that its 250 Gig cars can be left in nearly any legal parking space.  Mike Hetke, executive vice president of the AAA said:

“Unlike traditional station-based models where you go out shopping for the day and you’re paying for the car while you’re not using it, while it’s sitting there parked, with the one-way model, you can take a car, drive to where you’re going, end your trip, and not have to pay for a vehicle while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. And then grab a different car to drive back home. The service is also cheaper than ride-sharing with a service like Lyft or Uber, because you’re doing the driving yourself. ”

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