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.

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