Electric vehicles (EVs) currently make up less than 1% of the world’s car market. However, a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests the next decade will see an explosion in the purchase of electric vehicles and that by 2040 a third of the world’s new cars will run on electrons. The reason: the falling cost of lithium batteries for EVs.  Costs have dropped 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kilowatt-hour last year. That puts unsubsidized EVs on pace to be cost-competitive with petrol engines within 6 years.  Bloomberg predicts that by 2030 this cost will be down to $120 per kilowatt-hour.  Commentators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said:  “In 2015 sales of EVs grew some 60 percent. If that trend continues, and battery prices keep falling as quickly as they are, the 2020s could bring a shock  to the global oil industry.” Bloomberg predicts by 2040 electric motors will displace 13 million barrels per day of crude oil, which would be a shock to world oil markets.

The UK government announced it will invest £40 million in projects to boost the use of electric vehicles (EVs). The cities of London, Nottingham, Bristol and Milton Keynes will get the lion’s share of this investment. The money is going towards cutting-edge innovations to improve the infrastructure for EVs and thereby encourage citizens in urban areas to purchase them. The city of London hopes to have 70,000 EVs a year sold by 2020 and almost a quarter of a million by 2025.

In the US, the California Energy Commission has awarded $9 million to 4 companies to build electric vehicle fast-charging stations along major routes in the state. The funding will be used to create DC (direct current) fast-charging stations along Interstate 5, State Route 99, and Highway 101 which run from the top to the bottom of the state. The program is part of an overall objective of completing the West Coast Electric Highway which stretches from the Canadian province of British Columbia to Mexico’s Baja California.

US automaker, General Motors, has started a new car sharing service.  Called, Maven, it has launched in the US city of Ann Arbor, Michigan to service students and faculty at the University of Michigan. The service will feature GM’s electric cars, the Volt and the Bolt. GM vehicles will be available initially at 21 parking spots across the city. Additional city-based programs will launch in major U.S. metropolitan areas later this year, including Chicago and New York.  GM is also developing car sharing services in Germany and China.

Statistics Netherlands reports wind generated electricity increased in that country by nearly 20% last year, accounting for more than half of the 13 billion kilowatt hours of electricity produced from renewable sources. Renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, biomass) supplied 11% of Netherlands’s electricity in 2015.

The European Wind Energy Association announced that the total wind turbine capacity in the European Union increased last year from 129 to 142 gigawatts. Most of the wind energy comes from Germany, with 32%, and Spain with 16%.

The US Energy Information Administration reports that Iowa is the first state in the country to get more than 30% of its electricity from wind. The midwest state now generates 31.1% of its power from wind. South Dakota is second with 25.5% followed by Kansas (23.9%), Oklahoma (18.4%), North Dakota (17.7%) and Minnesota (17.0%).

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