A new study from McKinsey & Company finds electric car battery costs fell from US$1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to US$227 per kWh last year – or by almost 80%. (This refers to battery pack cost and not just the battery cells. The costs of both are often confused.) Current projections put EV battery pack prices below $190/kWh by the end of the decade, and suggest this number could fall below $100/kWh by 2030. McKinsey sees $100/kWh as the target for ”true price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles (without government assistance or incentives)”. Automakers capable of staying ahead of this declining cost trend will be able to achieve higher margins and possible profits on electric vehicle sales sooner. Tesla Motors claims it passed the $190/KWh line in 2016 enabling the company to achieve close to 30% gross margin on its flagship electric sedan, the Model S. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted at a possibility of his cars achieving a battery cost of $100 per kWh in 2020, some 5 to 10 years before most estimates.
China’s electric vehicle charging station and infrastructure market will reach US$29 billion in 2020, according to estimates by the State Grid Corporation of China. Stat Grid is a private company which is planning to install 29,000 new charging poles in 2017 and have 120,000 charging poles in service by 2020. In a push to improve EV infrastructure, China expects 800,000 poles to be put in place this year around the country. 150,000 poles were already installed in China at the end of last year.
Nissan and BMW announced they will be building 174 new DC fast-charging station in 33 US states. While these stations are specially built for Nissan’s LEAFs and BMW’s i3s, their network will be publicly available to all electric vehicles with CHAdeMO or SAE Combo (CCS) connectors. Nissan and BMW have been partnering on the development of charging stations in the US for a few years now their network includes over 668 DC fast-charging stations in some 50 metro areas.
By the middle of this year, the UK government expects there will be more than 100,000 plug-in electric cars on the country’s roads. Last year 36,907 new EVs were registered in the UK. Today, more than 35 EV models are available to UK motorists – four times the number on the market just five years ago – with yet more new versions set to be launched this year.
BP predicts the number of electric cars on the world’s roads will rise from 1 million today to 100 million by 2035, but says fossil fuels will still account for 75% of the world’s energy mix in 2035. In its 2017 Energy Outlook, the energy company says despite electric cars spreading rapidly and renewable energy recording exceptional growth, crude oil demand would still rise because of rising prosperity in the developing world. Electric cars would not be a “gamechanger” for the oil industry.
Popular Mechanics tells us how a hydrogen refueling station works.
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific said it will switch to biofuels made from landfill rubbish on select long haul flights. Cathay flights to Hong Kong from the US, where the new fuel is produced, will use a combination of conventional jet fuel and biofuels starting in 2019. The carrier had invested in the US-based sustainable biofuel developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, which converts municipal solid waste into aviation fuel. In 2015, China’s Hainan Airlines flew from Shanghai to Beijing in that country’s first commercial flight using biofuel made from cooking oil. The Boeing 737 plane used a 50-50 mix of conventional jet fuel and biofuel made from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants in China. Australia’s Qantas and Air Canada have both tested biofuel on commercial flights.