Despite the desire by governments around the world to quickly expand the number of EVs on their roads, industry analysts believe this may not happen due to a lack of viable batteries. Most EV manufacturers use lithium-ion batteries to power EVs and they are in such high demand there are concerns whether enough batteries will be produced in order to meet this demand. Currently there are enough of these batteries available to construct 1 million EVs a year. Analysts at IHS Markit expect annual production of electric vehicles to reach nearly 4 million vehicles by 2020. Hence, production of lithium-ion batteries will need to jump four-fold in order to meet 2020 demand.

The European Union has approved new rules that will require any new house or apartment building to include electric car chargers starting in 2019. The law also applies to home renovations.

A consortium of private companies and the “Connecting Europe Facility” of the European Union have announced the launch of the Ultra-E project. The code name refers to a network of 25 charging points that will link Holland, Belgium, Germany, and Austria. These stations will offer a charging power of up to 350 kWh, which is more than double what Tesla’s Superchargers can deliver, and seven times more than the majority of current European standard chargers. Recently both Both Volkswagen and Porsche have hinted at electric cars that can replenish their battery – or a large percent of it – in no more than 15 minutes.

The UK is attempting to increase the number of electric trucks on its roads. The government has announced a plan which will allow firms to receive grants of up to £20,000 to switch large trucks to new electric-powered equivalents. The scheme is targeted at diesel vehicles over 3.5 tonnes so that all vans and trucks meeting the necessary requirements will be eligible.

To increase the number of electric cars in Scotland, the government has introduced the Low Carbon Transport Fund, which gives access to interest free loans of up to £35,000 toward the purchase of an EV. Applications to the Low Carbon Transport Fund are open until March 2017 or until all the funding has been allocated.

Japanese automaker Honda said it expects that by 2030 two-thirds of its global sales will be represented by hybrids, plug-ins, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and battery electric vehicles.

German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen says it will enter the EV market for the first time in 2020 and expects to sell 1 million EVs by 2025. The company is confident it will meet its goals because over the next five years it believes EV battery range anxiety will be solved, the cost of batteries will be much cheaper, and the electric charging grid will have improved substantially. By 2025 VW also expects to have an autonomous car. (See interview with VW American executives here.)

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota plans to sell hydrogen fuel cell buses next year. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government intends to use these fuel cell buses for public transportation and hopes that two will be on the road at the beginning of next year. Toyota says it expects to have 100 of these buses operating in the Tokyo area ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. has started construction of an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Poland. The plant that is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018 and will be capable of producing battery cells for more more than 100,000 EVs that can run up to 320 kilometers on a single charge. When it begins operation it will be the largest EV battery production facility in Europe.


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