Almost 50 new pure electric-car models will come to market globally between now and 2022. Globally, there will be 136 EVs on the market by the end of that year, and that does not include the hybrid models or hydrogen fuel cells.

Analysts at Bernstein Research calculate that a 500-kilometer battery for an electric car costs $14,000 while an internal combustion engine is less than $5,000.

The Canadian city of Montreal has more electric taxis. Local startup Taxelco is transitioning its fleet to electric cars. It already had 110 EVs and is now expanding to 350 all-electric vehicles, as well as introducing an electric delivery service and even electric trucking. 40 new electric taxis will be on the road by the end of the year. Currently, the company uses Tesla Model X SUVs, Tesla Model S sedans, Nissan Leafs, and Kia Soul EVs. Next year the taxi operation is launching Téo Cargo and Téo Express. The former will operate a fleet of 10 electric 18-wheeler trucks to transport cargo between Montreal and Toronto, and the latter will be a local package delivery service using only all-electric vehicles.

Car-charging infrastructure company ChargePoint wants to make it easier to use and pay for supercharging at its 40,000 stations across the US. The company announced it is introducing a smartphone application that utilizes “Tap to Pay” technology to make paying for fast-charging seamless and intuitive. The company’s stations can be used by any electric car. The app is available on Android right now, and will available to iPhone users later this month with Apple Watch support. The payment process takes just two steps: “Tap” your device on a ChargePoint station, and plug your EV in to begin charging. There are no complex touch screens to deal with.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017 forecasts that by 2040, 54% of new car sales and 33% of the global car fleet will be electric. Bloomberg expects electric vehicles to reach price parity with comparable internal combustion engine vehicles (on an unsubsidized total-cost-of-ownership basis) across mass-market vehicle classes by 2030. Battery only vehicles will account for the vast majority of EV sales owing less complex engineering and less costly powertrains. Improvements to manufacturing and battery density are projected to decrease the cost of EV batteries by more than 70% by 2030. Bloomberg noted that even by 2040, however, the world might still grapple with a dearth of charging infrastructure. A lack of home charging will be a “significant barrier to adoption and will restrict EV sales from reaching 100%.”

The market share of electric vehicles in China are expected to be 2% or even 2.5% by the end of the year. China’s near-term goal is to have EVs including hybrids reach 8% of new car sales next year, 10% by 2019, and 12% by 2020.

The UK’s RAC Foundation warns that lack of fast charging infrastructure could dampen the impact of the electric car revolution. It says the big strides being made by car manufacturers in better battery performance – reflected in the growing distance vehicles can travel – needs to be matched by a rollout of high-performance public charge points, particularly on motorways and major A roads in the UK. As of June 2017, there were 4,476 public EV recharging sites in the UK with a total of 12,849 individual connectors. This compares with about 8,500 petrol stations. The Foundation report found that 13% of the EV charging sites were out of service and that lack of standardisation of connectors and charging protocols has resulted in a bewildering array of types of charge point, connectors and tariffs which confuses the public. It also noted rapid (50 kilowatt+) charge points are essential for battery electric vehicles on long journeys. Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Almost every day companies are announcing their latest foray into the electric car market but the charging network threatens to be the weak link.

Few of the nation’s 30 million car owners think twice about the process of refuelling with petrol or diesel: pull onto a forecourt, flip the filler cap, insert the nozzle and a couple of minutes later the job’s done.

Not so with plug-in electric cars, where you need to find the right charger at the right location with the right tariff scheme. Even then it needs to be serviceable and not already in use by someone else.

The danger is that the future of the electric car suffers the equivalent of bed blocking in the National Health Service, with queues of frustrated drivers stymied by the lack of adequate, widespread, reliable refuelling opportunities.”

The New York Times writes about the charge time trauma experienced by electric car drivers. “Compared with a five-minute pit stop at your local gas station, charging an electric vehicle is a glacially slow experience. Modern electric cars still often need an entire night to recharge at home, and even at a commercial fast charging station, a fill-up can take an hour or more.”  While charging times will eventually shrink to little more than 10 minutes, that is not likely for several years. According to car charging infrastructure company, ChargePoint, 80% of EV charging in the US is currently done at home.

Did you know? Electric vehicle battery chemistry causes charging to go more slowly after a battery is 80% full.

Researchers from the Moscow State University announced they had developed a new method for the synthesis of cathode material that could significantly shorten battery charging periods. This method, according to the team, can reduce the charging times for EV batteries down to 30-60 seconds for up to 75-80% of capacity. This compares with 30 minutes for recharging 80% of the battery at Tesla’s Supercharger stations.

The US city of Santa Monica, California is installing 300 new or upgraded public electric car charging stations by 2022 to meet expected EV demand. The city currently has 65 charging locations. The additional stations will be located throughout the city in residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, parks, libraries, beach parking lots and at other public facilities. The move is part of the city’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. Last year there were 1,428 registered EVs in Santa Monica and this figure is predicted to reach 4000 by 2021.

Currently there are 16,000 public electric vehicle charging points in the US, offering 44,000 individual outlets of varying charging speeds. By comparison, there are 120,000 gas stations nationwide, many of which have 10 or more pumps.

The US state of North Carolina is concerned that half of its road tax revenues could be gone in 4 years as the electric car and autonomous vehicle revolution expands. Presently half of the state’s transportation budget is financed by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels. But that revenue source could dissipate quickly if federal and state governments if car-efficiency standards increase and electric and autonomous vehicles become commonplace. This week the state’s transportation secretary told legislators that the state needs to act swiftly to locate new road-building revenues that don’t rely on petroleum taxes and that depend less on personal car ownership and operation.

Cow poop to power hydrogen cars? In the town of Shikaoi, Japan in a dairy farming area of the northern island of Hokkaido, the Environmental Preservation Center has a pilot project underway to develop biogass and hydrogen infrastructure to process cow manure into fuel for cars by producing hydrogen. A cow produces enough dung annually that when converted to hydrogen, it can power a fuel-cell vehicle for about 10,000km, about the average that a person drives in a year in Japan. If all livestock excreta is converted into hydrogen, it could meet the annual fuel-cell needs of about 3 million cars.

Car Throttle takes a look at hydrogen cars. Also see Hydrogen cars: what are they and when will we drive them?

 

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