A review of trends in the electric vehicle market from the International Monetary Fund found that, in the four years ending in 2015, the pace of growth in EV sales was 120%. Using the transition in the 20th century from horse-drawn carriages to fuel-powered vehicles as a benchmark to measure progress, the report found that pace suggests petroleum powered motor vehicles could vanish from markets in advanced economies within the next 20 years. “What this means is that policymakers and automotive businesses must anticipate the potential consequences of the rise of electric cars and start implementing the right policies for a smooth ride.”

Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa announced the development of a lithium-ion battery that will give electric cars twice the range that today’s designs do, for the same cost. The battery will go into mass production in 2020. The battery design would allow manufacturers to shrink the size of the battery, and thus cut the car’s weight, energy usage, purchase price, and operating cost.

Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn. The line will supply electricity for the electric drive of a hybrid truck. The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange. With this field trial, the eHighway will be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time.

A new report by consulting firm Wood MacKenzie suggests electric vehicles could account for 21% of the global passenger car fleet by 2035. The authors project a consistent, marginal change in the automobile industry that will disrupt established markets long before a wholesale switch away from hydrocarbons occurs. The means global crude oil demand could shrink by at least 6 million barrels by the mid 2030s. The analysis also forecasts a double-digit growth for renewable energy—specifically wind and solar power—increasing to 30% of total global power supply in 2035, up from 8% today. Paul McConnell, research director of global trends for Wood Mackenzie, said:

“The falling cost of EVs and their batteries will put EV purchase prices on par with internal combustion engine cars, boosting consumer demand. This is going to force automakers to develop even better EVs or far more efficient internal combustion engines, as per-mile running costs become a key differentiator between the new technology and legacy engine types.”

The German government announced it has set aside 300 million euros ($355 million) to help build tens of thousands of electric vehicle charging points on the German highway network. The federal transport minister said: “The main obstacle to expanding electric mobility is not a technical one but rather people’s concern that they will run out of battery power while they are on the road.”

The Czech Republic plans to spend $52 million over the next six years on building recharging and refueling stations for vehicles that run on electricity, natural gas or hydrogen across the country.

Global investment firm Morgan Stanley forecasts numerous markets have reached an inflection point where renewable energy will become the cheapest form of new power generation by 2020. Globally, the rise of renewables is set have a dramatic effect on electric utilities as they rapidly adopt renewable sources of energy. A dramatic drop in the cost of producing solar panels coupled with more efficient wind technology (via increase blade length and taller turbines) are lowering the generating costs for the utilities. Morgan Stanley sees India reaping the greatest benefits as its coal-fired electric power plants are replaced by cheaper solar power.

The US Energy Department reported that wind industry added more than 8.2 gigawatts (GW) of electric generating capacity last year, representing 27% of all capacity additions in 2016. Last year, wind supplied about 6% of all US. electricity, and 14 states now get more than 10% of their electricity from wind. Iowa and South Dakota produced more than 30% of their electricity from wind, The state of Texas led the nation in having a total installed wind capacity of 20 GW. According to a department spokesman, ” a combination of federal government subsidies, state mandates, and technological advancements continue to help drive new wind capacity additions.”

The city of Orlando, Florida is the 40th city in the US to commit to 100% renewable energy. Last week the city council unanimously approved a resolution to move to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

 

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