Swiss bank USB believes the global diesel car market will “almost disappear” within the next 10 years due to the Volkswagen diesel scandal, consumer mistrust, tougher engine emission standards, and the falling cost of electric cars. The firm goes so far as to say the move from diesel to electric and hybrid alternatives is “obvious and likely irreversible.” USB predicts diesel’s share of global car sales will fall from 13.5% now to 4% by 2025. In Europe, where diesel sales have traditionally been very strong, sales will tumble from 50% to just 10%. Mild-hybrid engines (where a petrol engine is aided by an electric motor and energy recovery system) will overtake diesel sales by 2021 and account for a quarter of new car sales by 2025.
Nissan Motor Co, Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp announced they will combine their electric vehicle platforms in an effort to bring prices down to levels comparable to conventional gasoline cars. Renault and Nissan have struggled to lower costs enough as they developed their electric cars separately. The three companies will use the same vehicle platform as Nissan’s remodeled Leaf electric car expected to go on sale around 2018. In addition they will share key components such as the motor, inverter and battery, a move that would lower the Leaf’s price by about 20% to US$17,000. New cars would start being produced by 2018.
The US state of California plans to promote electric car adoption by including its electric power utilities in the installation and operation of charging infrastructure. Recently Pacific Gas & Electric was given approval to deploy 7,500 electric-car charging stations in its service area in northern and central California, at an estimated cost of $130 million. PG&E must deploy at least 20% of the charging stations at multi-unit dwellings. Additionally, it will place at least 15% of the new charging stations in disadvantaged communities. PG&E will own and maintain the charging stations in multi-unit dwellings and at workplaces in disadvantaged communities. PG&E also will own the wiring and other infrastructure that supports each charging station. PG&E will be allowed to own up to 35% of the charging stations, while the rest will be owned by building owners or third parties. The state has set a goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2025.
Norway now has 100,000 electric vehicles on its roads according to the Electric Vehicle Association. The Nordic country’s goal is to increase this number to 400,000 over the next three years. Generous state-funded measures, including tax breaks, free city tolls and free parking, have catapulted Norway to the world’s highest number of electric cars per capita. With a population of 5 million, Norway has a total of 19 electric cars for every 1,000 inhabitants, with electric vehicles making up for almost 20 per cent of new car registrations.
The Asian country of South Korea now has 10,000 electric cars on its roads its Environmental Ministry announced. The ministry plans to set up vehicle charging stations at roughly 12,000 venues across the nation by the end of 2017, including fast-charging stations in some 1700 locations. The ministry also plans to increase the sales of electric cars by 14,000 units next year by extending subsidies of more than 14 million won to those who purchase an electric car. Additional subsidies of 5 million won are also available from local governments. EV buyers also enjoy the tax benefit of up to 4 million won, including the exemption of individual excise tax of up to 2 million won.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed an app to help you decide what electric car is best for you. Called MyGreenCar for iPhone and Android phones, it compares available EV options based on your unique driving habits. Users simply install the MyGreenCar app on their phone, select the types of cars they have their eyes on, and then drive around in their current car as they normally would. In the background, the app collects data on how you drive. Are you an aggressive driver? Do you brake quickly? Are you always getting stuck in rush hour traffic? Do you commute long distances at high speed? Or do you have to climb a steep hill to get to work every day? Your data is then crunched by MyGreenCar’s servers, powered by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. The app predicts your costs, fuel economy, and charging needs. Before you set foot in a single new car, MyGreenCar lets you virtually test drive thousands of options to narrow it down to the options that fit your lifestyle, tastes and values.
GreenCarReports compares electric car battery warranties.