Cal on July 23rd, 2017

Projected Global Electric Car Growth to 2040


ICE = internal combustion engine vehicles                EV = electric motor vehicles

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017

Cal on July 22nd, 2017

“What oil companies and car companies are saying [about future sales of plug-in electric vehicles] is diverging.  This is a trillion-dollar question, and someone is going to be wrong.”

    —Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis for Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Cal on July 22nd, 2017

Cal on July 21st, 2017

US consulting firm AlixPartners says Chinese automakers are on track to produce 49 of the 103 new electric car models that will be launched globally by 2020. Chinese automakers account for 96% of the EVs sold in that country. Automakers sold about 330,000 electric vehicles in China in 2016 – or 1.4% of total light vehicle sales in the Asian country. The report also said China is hoping to have nearly two-thirds of the world’s manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries by 2021. AlixPartners forecasts by 2025 electric vehicle batteries should be cost competitive with internal combustion engines. Lower battery costs could help boost consumer acceptance of EVs.

With many sources making predictions about imminent substantial electric car demand, others are cautioning that limited supply of essential materials for batteries could put the brakes on EV growth. The key minerals are lithium and cobalt. Caspar Rawlas, analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said: “When we get to a point when there’s a number of competitive, relatively cheap electric vehicles on the market which is coming around 2020, that’s when we’ll see potential problems.” The most crucial mineral for lithium-ion batteries is lithium. Last year, the global demand was 75,000 tons and by 2020 Rawlas forecasts demand to double. Automakers are projected to keep demanding more and more lithium as they rapidly build more EVs. The supply/demand ratio for lithium will depend on how quickly consumers around the world gravitate to electric vehicles. If demand is tight, prices for lithium could soar. About 70% of the world’s lithium deposits are concentrated in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Cobalt is even more problematic. Its demand is expected to increase by 2020 by as much as 40% according to Rawlas, and it has become more important than ever over the last four years. Cobalt production is currently concentrated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which accounts for two-thirds of world supply. Since the market for these minerals is tight and demand for electric vehicles is only increasing, there’s a potential for the supply of these raw materials to limit the number of EVs that can be produced. See Electric car boom spurs investor scramble for cobaltChina-led electric car boom shakes up metals market as cobalt sees 150% surgeElectric car demand sparks lithium supply fears; and Is The Electric Car Boom Running Out Of Fuel?

Daimler announced it will make electric car components and batteries at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Untertuerkheim, Germany.   Untertuerkheim will become a competence center for integrating the electric powertrain into production, and will include a battery production facility. Daimler currently has two battery plants in Kamenz and one in Beijing. Powertrain modules for electric vehicles will be assembled in Untertuerkheim and supplied to other locations such as the Mercedes passenger-car plant in Sindelfingen. By 2025, pure electric vehicles will likely account for between 15% and 25% of Mercedes’ total global sales.

Porsche has its first high speed electric car charging stations.  Two ultra-fast 800-volt chargers were constructed at the company’s new office in Berlin, Germany. They can handle up to 350 kilowatts for future electric cars. For Porsche’s upcoming Mission E, that would mean an 80% charge in 15 minutes. A similar charging station is under construction at Porsche’s American headquarters in the US city of Atlanta and many more will be built by the firm in time for the launch of the Mission E in 2019.

Shell Oil announced it will begin to install electric car charging points at petrol stations in the UK. The first stations will open at its service stations in Greater London and Derby by the end of this year. The charging stations will offer 50 kilowatt charging speeds, which is considerably faster than a home charger. The charging points will be compatible with CHAdeMO and CCS compatible electric cars.

A consortium of companies are constructing a network of fast chargers for electric cars along Canada’s Trans-Canada Highway. 34 fast chargers are being built in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba  – a total distance of approximately 3,000 kilometers, with the stations spaced approximately 100 kilometers apart. Each station will have three charging units to allow three vehicles to be charged simultaneously. Charging at Level 3 and higher, EV drivers will be able to charge their vehicles in just 20 minutes.

Green Car Reports tells us about electric car charging stations:  what’s best, what’s cheapest, what to avoid?

Green Car Reports tells us how a hydrogen car is serviced by a dealer.

More than 22.2 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be sold or leased worldwide by 2032, according to Research and Markets in its latest report on the global market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The authors project these sales will generate collective revenues upward of $1.1 trillion for the automotive industry by 2032. By 2050, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will become the fastest-growing segment of the global automobile market. Currently hydrogen vehicles are made by Toyota, Hyundai and Honda.  The market will become more competitive as Mercedes-Benz roll outs a fuel cell vehicle in the second half of 2017, followed by several other automakers over the next few years. Until a critical mass of customers is reached in the 2020s, the market will remain confined to governments, early adopters and affluent segments of society. By 2020, sufficient hydrogen refueling infrastructure will be in place in several regions of the world, giving an initial boost to the market for these vehicles. As fueling infrastructures further expand during the 2020s, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are expected to gain greater market acceptance.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cal on July 21st, 2017

Cal on July 20th, 2017

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications. Described in a paper in the journal Chemistry of Materials, the approach involves substituting germanium in the solid electrolyte for two more readily available elements: tin and silicon.

Israeli startup company, Eviation, plans to build an all-electric short-haul 9-passenger airliner capable of flights up to 600 miles and have it flying by 2020.

Global automakers are urging China to delay and soften planned quotas for sales of electric and hybrid cars, saying its proposals will be impossible to meet and would severely disrupt their businesses. Keen to combat air pollution, China is planning to set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least 20% of Chinese automobile sales by 2025, with a staggered system of quotas beginning in 2018. The strict new rules include harsh penalties for non-compliance, such as the cancellation of licenses to sell non- electric cars in China. Auto makers from the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea have written the Chinese government saying: “The proposed rules’ ambitious enforcement date is not possible to meet. At a minimum, the mandate needs to be delayed a year and include additional flexibility.”

US crude oil production has increased by nearly 500,000 barrels per day since the end of 2016 to 9.3 million b/d. Most of this increase has been shale oil, although there has been a slow and steady rise in off shore production. Total US oil production is expected to reach 9.9 million barrels per day next year, the highest level ever if forecasts are accurate.

Since OPEC’s (and Russia’s) crude oil production cut began in January increased production from Canada, the US, Nigeria, and Libya have largely offset the 1.8 million barrels per day reduction in production that is supposed to be taking place. Experts are now doubting whether some of the crude oil producers have found ways around the cut. Several countries surged their production above normal so that could start cutting from an abnormally high base. Others have increased exports in the last six months by drawing on oil reserves. A few others, such as Iraq and Iran, may simply be cheating on their production figures. Without deeper cuts, most observers believe the production cut will not achieve its objective of raising world oil prices.

Talos Energy confirmed a discovery at the Zama-1 exploration well offshore Mexico. Initial estimates place the reserve potential at between 1.4 billion and 2 billion barrels of crude oil.

The US looks to become the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of 2022, just behind Australia and ahead of Qatar, the International Energy Agency said. Overall, global LNG export capacity would reach 650 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year by the end of 2022, compared to less than 452 bcm a year in 2016.

Coal is projected to provide the largest share of US power generation in 2017, retaking the crown from natural gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The agency projects coal will generate 31.3% of the US’ electricity in 2017 compared with 31.1% for natural gas.



with h/t Tom Whipple

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cal on July 20th, 2017

 …the primary demand drivers of oil consumption, contrary to popular perception, are not cars. Bulk of the demand comes from trucks, aviation and petrochemical manufacturers, so it is too simplistic to assume ‘peak demand’ for oil in a matter of years and tie it in to the growth of electric vehicles.”


— Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

Cal on July 19th, 2017



Drivers in central London, UK will be able to charge electric and hybrid cars through lampposts as part of a unique pilot project in Westminster. (see photo above)  The idea comes from ubitricity which has developed charging points to fit inside ordinary streetlights. Additional lampposts are planned for Hounslow, Richmond, Kensington, Chelsea, and Barnes.

UK electric grid operator, National Grid, forecasts electric vehicles could create 18 gigawatts (GW) in extra demand in peak times by 2050. The Grid believes that recent developments suggest the EV market will grow much more rapidly than originally forecast. It sees 1 million EVs on UK roads by the early 1920s and 9 million by 2030.  By 2050 EVs could make up 90% of all UK new car sales. The 18 GW figure could be reduced significantly if the government mandates “smart chargers” in homes and public places. The Grid is coming out with this study now to ensure there is public debate over the future of EV growth and to ensure the grid is capable of easily handling any increase in demand at peak times.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance now forecasts by 2040, 54% of new car sales and 33% of the global car fleet will be electric. China, the United States and Europe will make up 60% of the global electric car market. The forecast rests on the belief  that battery costs are falling faster than expected and rising commitments from automakers. Last month, a report from the Edison Electric Institute projected a similar EV boom, predicting 7 million zero-emissions vehicles will be on US roads by 2025—up from 567,000 at the end of 2016. Bloomberg sees EV purchases taking off between 2025 and 2030 “as EVs become economical on an unsubsidized total cost of ownership basis across mass-market vehicle classes.” By 2029 most automobile segments will have reached price parity with comparable internal combustion engine vehicles.

Dutch bank ING predicts all new cars sold in Europe will be electric by 2035, driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale. This forecast is much more aggressive than most other projections which think it will take another 30 years to reach this number of cars sold. ING believes pure electric cars would “become the rational choice for motorists in Europe” sometime between 2017 and 2024, as their prices fall, their ranges increase, and charging infrastructure becomes more widespread. The key will be falling battery costs. ING thinks in Germany electric cars and petrol powered cars will reach price parity by 2024. Motorists’ concerns over “range anxiety” will evaporate in the 2020s as the distance between charges goes from the 100-150 miles  today to 400 miles and above in the next decade.

Nissan expects 20% of its vehicle sales in Europe will be electric by 2020. Currently Nissan’s EV sales account for 5% of its European sales. In order to reach its 20% goal, the company would have to increase its EV sales to 150,000  per year.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,