The US Department of Energy foresees gas-powered vehicles dominating through 2040 reports the Detroit News.  It predicts that in 2040, 78% of all cars and trucks will run on gasoline, down slightly from 82% last year. It predicts a big upswing in micro-hybrids and other advanced fuel technologies to 42% of all vehicles by 2040. EIA predicts full hybrids will account for 5% of vehicles in 2040 — up from 3%t today. Diesel vehicles will double to 4% from the current 2%. The energy department predicts just 1% of total sales will be plug-in hybrids and 1% full electric vehicles in 2040.

SHDLOGISTICS tells us about the market for hybrids and EVs over the next decade. A new study by IDTechEx forecasts the total global gross value market for hybrid and pure electric vehicles will reach US$334 billion ten years from now. The market will primarily consist of large or very heavy duty vehicles purchased for the military, industrial and commercial sectors. Toyota will be the largest seller of EV because it  is number one in electric forklifts and hybrid cars and near the top with its electric buses. China is expected to purchase 80% of all all electric buses manufactured over this time frame. a large market for small electric aircraft and robot lawnmowers are expected near the end of the coming decade. (You can access the report here.) 

PRNewswire mentions another report on the global electric vehicles market to 2020. Market research firm Bharat Book Bureau forecasts global EV sales will reach 7.5 million units by the end of 2020, growing at an annual growth rate of around 19% during 2014-2020.

The Globe and Mail says the success of the electric car market is due to “lavish tax breaks.” As the sale of these vehicles is dependent on government subsidies around the world, the author concludes “the overall EV market can be charitably described as a flop…Their market share is insignificant in spite of the billions of dollars of R&D and marketing thrown at the technology.”  The article focuses on the generous subsidies available in Norway that have enable it to become the largest EV market in Europe.  Other countries with fewer subsidies, such as the UK and France, have a dismal record of the public buying these vehicles.

Drivers don’t want electric cars. They are too expensive and their ranges are too short. Cities and highways lack the infrastructure to charge EVs. Even if you can find recharging stations, you better pray there is a cinema or restaurant nearby so you can kill a couple of hours while the batteries get juiced up. Oil prices, while still at the low triple-digit level, remain affordable. The new generation of diesel engines are so fuel efficient that EVs are losing their allure.

The Daily Mail writes about how UK drivers are not using publicly-funded EV charging points. Installed at a cost of 8.3 million pounds, 75% of the  1,392 EV charging points installed in London failed to attract a single driver between July and September of this year. So far the UK government has spent 16 million pounds installing 8600 charging points in the country and yet there are only some 16,500 EVs and plug-ins to use them. The government has built the network, but the drivers have not come.

From Clean Technica we learn that EV manufacturer Mitsubishi is planning on lowering the price of its 2014 i-MiEV in the US by almost 25% to counter slow sales in that market. The price will drop from $290,000 to $22, 000 (before government subsidies). The charging of the battery has also been reduced to 7 hours for fast charging and to 14 hours for regular charging.

Green Car Reports gives us etiquette tips on charging an EV. (with video)

MIT Technology Review writes about the negative impact of cold weather on EV batteries. The authors don’t expect a quick fix soon as battery technology is still slowly evolving.

Cold weather presents two main challenges for electric vehicles: cold air limits battery performance, and running the heater drains the battery. As temperatures go below freezing, some drivers accustomed to traveling 250 miles on a single charge have seen their car’s range drop to 180 miles. Drivers in extreme climates might see the range decrease even more. That might force drivers to choose cars with bigger batteries than they would need in the summer, adding $10,000 or more to the cost of the cars.

Ford Says 70% of its cars will have start-stop technology by 2017 according to DAILY TECHStart-Stop technology automatically turns the engine of the car off when it is stopped in traffic or at a light. When the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine automatically springs back to life. Ford says it can improve fossil fuel efficiency by 10%. It is one of the avenues automobile firms are taking to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines as they compete with EVs.

The Chinese capital of Beijing has announced an ambitious plan to phase out all diesel buses in its downtown area by 2017 says CRIENGLISH. The city plans to buy 13,825 new buses in the next few years powered either by electricity or natural gas. By 2017, 66% of the total 21,000 buses in the city will be electric or natural gas and the remaining 33% will be clean diesel.

NGV Global News reports that he Finnish Biogas Association has published a map of public biomethane filling stations in that Nordic country. The plan is to provide a map of these stations right across Europe.  You can access the Finnish map here.




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