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The Global Smack-down Against the Infernal Combustion Engine Achieves Full Charge

As the climate-wrecking fossil fuel age was climbing to dominance in 1943, Winston Churchill perhaps made the most famously telling Freudian slip of all time. In an attempt to laud the transition from the horse and buggy to the fossil-fuel driven car, he said to an audience at Harvard:

“Man has parted company with his trusty friend the horse and has sailed into the azure with the eagles, eagles being represented by the infernal combustion engine–er er, internal combustion engine. [loud laughter] Internal combustion engine! Engine!”

And as people from the Arctic to the Maldives to Bangladesh to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico can now attest, the effects of the gasses produced by internal combustion have indeed started to become quite infernal as the leading edge of climate change related disasters begins to take hold.

(The LA auto show this week was dominated by new electrical vehicles.)

But at the same time that seas are rising and the weather is worsening, there is renewed hope that all this infernal combustion and related climate wrecking carbon dioxide spewing into the atmosphere may start to taper off. For if the age of unsustainable fossil fuels was heralded by an infernal engine, then the age of sustainability itself is being heralded by blessed batteries and the cars they power.

UBS — 1 in 6 New Cars to be Electric by 2025

For the electrical transition is happening now. And it’s charging up as we speak.

According to a recent report by UBS, the number of affordable, desirable electrical vehicles will vastly expand between now and 2020. Multiple vehicles that are competitive with, if not matching the performance of, Tesla’s Model 3 will be available by that time. These models will continue to proliferate through 2025.

(UBS estimates rapid increases in EV market share. This is bad news for fossil fuels and good news for sustainability.)

At the same time, prices for both batteries and vehicles are expected to fall. Total cost of ownership for electrical vehicles is already less than a comparable fossil fuel based car for a number of models. This is due to lower fuel and maintenance costs. However, overall total cost of ownership is expected to be less on average than fossil fuel cars by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, base price for EVs is expected to out-compete that of fossil fuel based cars by 2025 even as EVs are expected to consistently outperform ICE vehicles by that time.

As a result, UBS expects that between 6 and 25 percent of all new cars will be electric by 2025 with the average between these two predicted ranges hitting 16 percent or 1 in 6 of all new cars sold.

Volkswagen Invests More than $12 Billion in EVs

Tesla, presently the global EV market leader, is today’s company to beat. And Volkswagen, recently stung by an emissions scandal, appears to be stepping up to the plate as a serious challenger.

The company, this month, decided to invest 12 billion dollars to build as many as 40 electrical vehicle models in China. A market that by itself may support as many as 6-9 million EV sales per year by 2025. Volkswagen, in total, aims to sell 1.5 million electrical vehicles per year at that time.

(Volkswagen electrical car, SUV and Hippie Van spotted in California on November 27th. Image source: Clean Technica.)

Already, the company is developing multiple high-quality models to include an electric version of its iconic hippie bus, an electric car based on traditional Volkswagen styling, and a new SUV crossover called the CROZZ. All are expected to have a 200+ mile electric range and feature better performance than their fossil fuel counterparts.

Movement Toward Electrification Across Entire Industry

But it’s not just Volkswagen that appears ready to move aggressively toward electrification, pretty much every major automaker is adding new EVs between now and 2022 — with a number focused on total or near total electrification (see Jaguar video at top of post).

To name just a few, GM plans 20 new electrical models over the next six years, Ford plans 13 by 2020, and both Daimler and Renault plan to have 8 BEVs on the road by 2022. New entrants like BYD and Tata are also advancing electrical vehicles in their home markets of India and China. And the above-mentioned Jaguar expects all its new vehicles to have electric or hybrid electric drive trains by 2020.

Tesla Still Leading the Charge, But Will that Last?

Though numerous factors have driven the industry toward electrification to include falling battery costs, concerns about mass devastation from human-caused climate change, and drives by cities like Paris and nations like China to clean up air quality, it was Tesla, primarily, that proved to the world that EVs could be mass produced at market-setting quality and performance.

Tesla advances continue today with news reports indicating that the Model 3’s performance beats pretty much all of the BMW 3 series internal combustion engine cars hands down. And reviewers over at Motor Trend have gone so far as to call the Model 3 a BMW 3 series killer.

Meanwhile, indications are that production bottle necks may be starting to clear for the market-setting Model 3. Panasonic recently announced that battery production for the vehicle is about to speed up even as the company introduced reservation options for non employees this past week. If this is the case, Tesla is in the process of securing at least a 1-2 year jump on most major automakers.

(The new Tesla Roadster. Image source: Tesla.)

Tesla has also not let its various aspirational goals slip. Its offering of a 500 mile range long-haul truck by 2020 at $180,000 is yet another trend-setter. And the new Tesla Roadster with a 250 mile top speed, a 600 mile range, and featuring hyper-fast charging will basically far outperform even the top fossil fueled vehicles in pretty much every metric.

As the race between Tesla and the rest of the auto industry to produce the next trend-setting EV ramps up, it looks like the main loser will be that old pollution-belching infernal combustion engine. Good riddance.

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59 Comments

  1. wili

     /  November 29, 2017

    Funny, I automatically change it to ‘internal’ when I read the headline. It all reminds me of the earlier warning against ‘dark satanic mills.’ Would that we had heeded those warnings earlier as a civilization.

    Meanwhile:
    Puerto Rico, Day 70:
    —Millions still w/o power
    —Hundreds of thousands still w/o clean running water
    —Still a humanitarian emergency
    Now, the island faces a potential financial storm of a different kind

    San Juan mayor: GOP tax bill would be worse for Puerto Rico than hurricanes

    San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Tuesday said the tax legislation Republicans are pushing in Congress will have worse consequences for Puerto Rico than the hurricanes that hit the island earlier this year.

    “This would be a much more devastating blow to our economy than Irma and Maria put together,” Cruz said on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

    Cruz noted that the tax proposal includes a 20 percent excise tax on goods imported from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States. That provision, she said, would destroy the island’s economy.

    “[Our economy] is crippled already, this would obliterate it,” she said.

    The San Juan mayor accused President Trump’s administration of failing to protect the U.S. territory from the possibility of a humanitarian crisis, while claiming that GOP lawmakers have repeatedly pledged they will fix the language in the bill but have failed to do so. …

    (Thanks to sig at asif for text and links)

    Reply
  2. wili

     /  November 29, 2017

    ttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

    The experimental study is the first to directly show harm to songbirds, extending the known impacts of neonicotinoids beyond insects.

    Reply
  3. Greg

     /  November 29, 2017

    It was only a few short years ago that I thought a VW Passat running on biodiesel was the future or fuel cell vehicles. Ha. Thanks Tesla. Now, everywhere I turn I see small ICE’s and their imminent demise. Scooters, mowers, generators, etc. already smell and sound like stranded assets. The batteries make all the difference. Manufacturing is sexy again. Making machines can be inspiring and not destructive.

    Reply
    • That’s all fine, but many labour-saving devices (and most vehicle travel) are symptomatic of deeper bad design across society. Almost all manufactured things have designed-in obsolescence so their Carbon footprints are still huge.

      Reply
  4. Vic

     /  November 30, 2017

    I’m wondering why Volkswagen would include an infernal diesel fired generator in their latest EV photoshoot, against the palm tree lined backdrop of one of the four man-made oil extraction islands dotted along Long Beach California.
    Perhaps it’s the only way to reach the audiences of the Breitbarts and WUWTs of this world…

    Reply
  5. Vic

     /  November 30, 2017

    A spring heatwave across Southern Australia has seen some areas experiencing a record breaking run of hot weather not seen for more than a century.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/australias-record-breaking-heat-about-to-give-way-to-flooding-rain/news-story/f16ebb4aedece7a631d2fbebc469a23f

    A temporary reprieve from the heat is expected over coming days as a kinky Jetstream formation is set to unleash widespread heavy rain, thunderstorms and flooding across the south eastern quarter of the continent.

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  November 30, 2017

      http://satview.bom.gov.au/
      The storm development of this system is breathtaking, can get excellent coverage from the BOM site!!
      Currently most of the development is out to sea with a few outbreaks across Victoria and more in South Australia

      Reply
    • John S

       /  November 30, 2017

      This nullschool view immediately reminded of CBob’s recent catch about the hot spot off SE Australia, although I have no science on this whatsoever

      At variuos hPa it looks to me it has something to do with a ripple has turned into a monster bulge up to the SW tip of Australia. And with the Temps being pulled down off the landmass the whole thing has become a fan heater aimed toward the Antarctic

      https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-222.54,-47.31,426

      Reply
      • Vic

         /  November 30, 2017

        Yeah that hot blob’s pretty full on.

        The unusually warm and humid air it’s been generating is now about to interact with a strong cold front. Should be quite spectacular.

        Reply
    • John S

       /  November 30, 2017

      Should have used this
      https://screenshots.firefox.com/dDbMMioiwSngawDE/earth.nullschool.net

      And its still early Spring so the land hasn’t really warmed up yet, just looks dramatic

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  November 30, 2017

        Storms springing up everywhere now!
        This system has been forecast separate of any influence from tropical NW of Australia, however on recent satellite images, cloud and airflow associated on the outskirts of hurricane/(cyclone here) Dahlia (Dahlia itself is growing faster than predicted) seem to be interacting with the NW extremity of this system?
        Surely not, if this system gets another moisture feed who could even predict what might happen?

        Reply
        • Matt

           /  November 30, 2017

          I am hoping that the system tracks too fast eastward for a feed to get established from Dahlia

    • John S

       /  November 30, 2017

      Not just SA, moving into Victoria next…

      Victoria is facing a “major weather event” in the coming days as thunderstorms threaten to dump torrential rain and cause flooding in almost all of the state.

      Forecaster Scott Williams, from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said thunderstorms developing over western Victoria this evening would move to other parts overnight and into Friday.

      “Those thunderstorms will gradually all weld into a massive, great rain band, and that band will spread down across the state on Friday night and Saturday morning,” he said.

      “This is a vast, intense, high-impact event for this state.”

      “If we’re going to get gale-force south-westerly winds, a high tide, 150mm of rain in Melbourne over two days — that’s three times the December average — we’re going to have massive flooding.”

      Thunderstorms are common in Victoria in November, but not on this scale.

      [furthermore] Growers fear the deluge has the potential to wipe out an entire season of crops. [grains, stone fruit, vegetables all under threat…]

      Ashley Mills, from the CFA in north-east Victoria, said the rain could push the fire danger period back by three weeks in some parts of the state — but he warned against complacency.

      “If we’ve got high 30-degree temperatures and low humidity, we’ll still see the potential for fires to develop quickly, even within three weeks after an event like that,” he said.

      The heavy rainfall could also pose a problem if it triggers growth, he said.

      “So later on in the season we may well see some fuel loads that may present as a bit of an issue.”

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/victoria-weather-heavy-rains-floods-forecast/9209902

      Reply
  6. Fantastic outlook! Any foreseeable global data and forthcoming articles on 1) the pace of infrastructure to support EVs and 2) the other mass produced belcher, the two-wheeled motorcycle? Some great looking prototypes being shown at Industry shows and in their magazines.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 30, 2017

      2)
      “No doubt, there are still hurdles to educating this market on the thrills and combined benefits of riding an electric bike, but we’re seeing a promising future with an 18x increase in sales this year.”
      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/11/29/alta-motors-redshift-platform-soars-41-dealerships-across-u-s/

      Reply
      • Much obliged. Dual-sport (the next “must have” imho across all generations) will create a huge EV market, but a lost opportunity if the on-road recharging infrastructure is not in place, and I’m in CA. Go to the eastern side of the Sierras, where, per capita, only the elite recreate, and it will be a long slog before we can rely on a chain of on road recharging stations w/o subsidies. Reasonably sized and weight portable batteries and rapid solar chargers will be the only option otherwise. I’m all for sticking to my backpack, a PLB, a JMT map, and the bare essentials, my feet, otherwise.

        Reply
  7. Jim

     /  November 30, 2017

    Anyone who takes a serious look at how to move to a green energy economy is invariably confronted with the dual issues of energy efficiency issues and waste. Americans, in particular waste a lot of energy – lights left on, doors open, using large SUV’s to drive to the corner market – you name it.

    Efficiency is a whole separate issue, and the personal automobile with a well to wheel efficiency 16% – at best – is one of humankind’s worst uses of energy. The reason stems from the fact that it takes a lot of energy to discover, find, drill, transport, refine, transport, and finally burn petroleum in an ICE engine with significant thermal and frictional losses. A number of people in this on-line community will correctly argue that mass transit is a better solution. I don’t disagree one bit, but I think it’ll be a cold day in hell before I see a viable system in my hometown of Phoenix.

    So this leaves us with the EV. Charging efficiency is about 87%-90% (inverter losses and heat), and discharge efficiency is about 80% for a total roundtrip efficiency of about 70%. If this power is provided by renewables there are only minimal transmission losses. Even in the case of dirty coal fired power plants generating your electricity (about 32%-35% efficient) you still end up ahead in terms of CO2/mile.

    Personally, I think the transition to EV is going to happen much faster than projected as a result of (1) Environmental mandates by governments (Sweden, India, China, Bangladesh, Germany), (2) Significantly lower operating and running costs, and (3) Improved driving performance. Not necessarily in any order. The key of course is cost, but LiIon batteries are dropping in price fast.

    I’m curious what other people think. Is this going to be a fast transition, or a slow painful one, or will EV’s be the purview of rich for a number of years?

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.6b00177

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  November 30, 2017

      It’s going to be fast, with the real sweet spot coming in a couple of years from now. By then newest EV’s will have some very compelling operating cost savings, and that, above anything else, is what will drive sales. There are a growing band of folks who are paying relative peanuts for their motoring, and word will get around.

      Tesla have done a great job of showing what the state of the art looks like, and the traditional manufacturers are throwing a wall of money at trying to get their EV products to market. Any cynicism about the EV market seems to have evaporated as the battery price has dropped. Funny that.

      Of course,the whole thing has kind of been supercharged (!) by our huge air quality issues, and impending regulation, but it is based on the underlying economics more than anything.

      I think the upper UBS estimate will look more and more realistic as time goes by, because motoring, for most people and commercial organisations, is driven by the bottom line. Perhaps the only uncertainty is how fast we can mass produce them, but by the time you get to 2025 that issue will be history.

      Have a look at the sheer quantity of stories about EV’s shown here, and it is the same every weekday.

      http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Lifestyle/Motoring/Green+Cars

      It wasn’t like this 10, or even 5 years ago. In fact, there has probably been more investment announced in EV’s this year, than all the previous years added together (I might be exaggerating a bit here, but it would be a close run thing if we actually did the numbers).

      Of course, looking at Greenland, we might need our cars to be boats as well, at the rate we are going!

      Hat tip to RS, excellent summary of where we are at. What an extraordinary year this has been. 🙂

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  November 30, 2017

        Thanks Mblanc. I tend to agree that the transition is likely to go faster than slower. I think the global car industry was shocked to see the huge demand for the Model 3 when reservations opened last year, and that seemed to be an inflection point where automakers began to take EVs seriously.

        And I’m willing to be that the rates of lung and heart disease will begin to show improvements early in the transition.

        Reply
    • Paul in WI

       /  November 30, 2017

      I think that the rate of adoption depends on how the public perceives electric vehicles as being practical and how well they compare with the performance of standard infernal combustion vehicles.

      For instance, a couple of questions have been gnawing at me when I think about possibly getting an electric car for my personal use. Examples of a few concerns that I have are the following:
      1. How well will electric cars operate in cold climates? Will they perform well if it’s 20 degrees below zero? Living in Wisconsin, this is a serious concern.
      2. Can the battery pack provide enough energy for driving down the road at 75 mph while having air conditioning or heating comparable to a conventional internal combustion vehicle?
      3. What is the anticipated life span of the battery pack and what would be the replacement costs? How long until a loss of performance is noticed?
      4. Are the electric drive train components as reliable as those in a conventional internal combustion vehicle? A conventional vehicle will often go 150,000 miles without needing major repairs. How long will the electric drive train components last and how much will repairs to the electric drive train cost? I suspect that if we are just talking about electric motors on each wheel as opposed to heavy transmissions and gear boxes in conventional vehicles this may not be much of a concern, but I don’t know for sure if this is the case.

      Believe me, I would personally like to have an electric vehicle, and may even be willing to sacrifice on some of the issues that I raise above to have one in the interest of reducing my carbon footprint. However, I wonder if the average citizen who may be less environmentally aware would be willing to make similar sacrifices if internal combustion vehicles are superior in the areas that I mention above. I don’t know if they are superior in these areas compared to electric vehicles so if anyone has actual experience with electric vehicles, please let me know.

      I hope that electric vehicles continue to improve and achieve parity or even surpass conventional vehicles in the areas I mention above. It sounds like the electric vehicle technology is rapidly advancing so that gives one reason to hope for a similar rapid adoption of these vehicles by the general public.

      Reply
      • All of your questions have already been answered in the real world with nods to the affirmative in all cases to EV’s over ICE’s. A good place to follow the progress is at https://cleantechnica.com/.

        Reply
      • Jim

         /  November 30, 2017

        Paul, As Gingerbaker mentions below, most of these concerns have been addressed, generally positively.

        Tesla claims to designs their electric motors and drivetrains for 1 million miles, and real world battery life testing is showing that the Tesla battery retains over 90% of its capacity at 250,000 and is predicted to retain 80% capacity at 500,000 miles – matching early laboratory work done by Tesla. At 16,000 miles per year, that’s 31 years of driving. (I haven’t seen data on how age affects LiIon batteries, only data on the number of charge/discharge cycles).

        And because EVs have fewer moving parts and don’t have the hundreds of feet of wiring, tubing, hoses and other things that tend to fail on an ICE vehicle, there’s reason to believe they’ll be significantly longer lived – yet another imperative if we want to live in a sustainable world.

        It’s refreshing to hear someone say they’d be willing to sacrifice on some issues to move to EVs. Too often the refrain is one where, unless charging stations are as fast and ubiquitous as gas stations, it’s a non-starter.

        https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-battery-life-80-percent-capacity-840km-1-million-km/

        Reply
        • Mblanc

           /  December 1, 2017

          I think the roll out will be a bit slower in some areas for various reasons, very cold or remote places for example, but it is all relative.

          Maybe tough areas will take an extra 5 years to benefit from those lovely cost savings, but it really won’t be that long, given the current rate of progress.

  8. Andy_in_SD

     /  November 30, 2017

    Check out the “smog wall” from India smacking up against the Himalaya’s.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2017-11-28/5-N25.3125-E77.67773

    Reply
  9. wili

     /  November 30, 2017

    More on the heatwave in the North:

    Heat wave scorches Greenland up to 54°F warmer than normal

    Reply
  10. Vic

     /  November 30, 2017

    Tesla’s big BAMF battery flexing its muscles last night…

    Reply
  11. I believe Churchill had a lot to do w causing WWI and it has to do with war for oil..He was head of the British Navy when they decided to stop using coal for the ships.So he wanted a train line to the Middle East..German also wanted their oil and here we are still fighting .

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  November 30, 2017

      I did not think about Churchill until the very early 1980s (before the final coal strike) when my mother was on short term supply teaching in the Rhondda and she told me a story of how at a school assembly a history teacher started blathering about Churchill and the whole school sixth form stood up and marched out. This being 70 years after Churchill sent troops into Tonypandy (pronouced ton-uh-pandy) to confront striking miners.
      https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/the-tonypady-riots-and-why-winston.html
      He also was a supporter of chemical weapons and encouraged there use
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons
      “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes,” he declared in one secret memorandum. He criticised his colleagues for their “squeamishness”, declaring that “the objections of the India Office to the use of gas against natives are unreasonable. Gas is a more merciful weapon than [the] high explosive shell, and compels an enemy to accept a decision with less loss of life than any other agency of war.”
      Even his war record indicates how important he viewed links with the Empire and in particular India eg the disaster in Gallipoli WW1 and Italy WW2.
      Trouble now is the myth has overtaken his varied record.

      Reply
      • He was clearly a deeply flawed man. But he stood strongly against Fascism.

        Reply
        • Mblanc

           /  December 1, 2017

          Can’t stand the man for historical family reasons (it would have been nice to meet my Viennese anti-nazi refugee Grandad, but the internment, the stress of deportation to destination unknown, then fighting through barbed wire to try to get to the lifeboats after being torpedoed, then 12 hours in the Atlantic Ocean swallowing oil pretty much finished the poor bugger off. Google the Arandora Star if you are interested), but I would acknowledge he had a few hugely significant moments, which are rightly remembered. However, it is interesting that he lost the immediate post-war election in 45, which tells you all you need to know about the amount of trust the British public had in him, so soon after after his finest hour.

          Britain wallows in it’s belief in a glorious role in WW2 (it was continually summoned up during the nationalistic excesses of the referendum campaign), when the reality was that it was the Russians that did most of the dirty work.

          If you look at disaster at Gallipoli, the botched invasion of Norway and the idiocy of his Italian ‘soft underbelly’ advocacy later in the war, you realise his record was pretty patchy despite great war leader hype.

          I think he is remembered for being something he wasn’t, but he did make some good speeches, and he did fight off the appeasement faction in 1940. which was crucial in keeping the Germans fighting on 2 fronts.

          If you read the biographies, you will find he was so deeply flawed, he bears little resemblance to the hagiographies we accept as fact today.

        • Mblanc

           /  December 1, 2017

          Sorry for the rant RS, I guess you can see that I have skin in the game, as you Americans like to say.

          Feel free to take it down, as it is so OT.

  12. coloradobob

     /  November 30, 2017

    Lives and homes are at risk over the next few days as Victoria faces what could be an unprecedented weather event with rainfall so heavy it is expected to cause major flooding throughout the state.

    As the record-breaking rain bears down on Victoria, forecasters have said the state is entering “uncharted territory” with all of Melbourne’s rivers predicted to flood.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-weather-record-rainfall-and-flash-flooding-to-kick-off-summer-20171129-gzvk4s.html

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 30, 2017

      “Half the inhabitants of Melbourne have probably never seen something like this,” Mr Williams said.

      “This is a vast, intense, high impact event for this state.”

      Reply
  13. Lots of EV models being ‘announced’. A lot of vapourware being hyped. But – I’ll say it again – the only EV manufacturer doing anything about EV charging stations in the U.S. is Tesla.

    And the charging infrastructure situation in the U.S. is pathetic. Even Tesla owners can not make long trips easily yet, if at all. This is important – because it means EVs will not work for single-car families. They will be, at best, the second car of multiple-car households. Used for local travel. Until the charging infrastructure is in place, ICE vehicles will always have an out-sized market share, and we will be emitting CO2 from vehicles for way too long a time.

    God forbid these ‘announced’ EVs ever get built – it will make the situation worse. How serious are auto manufacturers about EVs if they are only announcing theoretical car models, but staying completely mum about building charging stations?

    Reply
    • A little overblown here, Ginger. Each home is a charging station and charging infrastructure is proliferating. Also, it’s worth noting that the average range of an ICE vehicle is 280 miles. At a certain point, EV range alone begins to outweigh longer trip charging issues. Most drivers don’t take more than two trips of greater than 300 mile distance each year.

      Reply
      • Ok, I was a tad overblown. 🙂 Perhaps because I have experienced the issues first-hand. I wanted to buy a Chevy Bolt – heck, I wanted to be the first on my block to own one. Then I loaded the top three charging station apps into my computer, and took a look around. What I found was disturbing.

        There are very few charging stations around me in Vermont, and not many Level 3 charging stations in New England. Most of the hundreds of stations you will see if you take a quick gander are Level 2 only. And many of these are in parking garages, in very limited number. There are fewer than 5, if memory serves, in Manhattan. So, add overnight parking to your bill. But it gets worse.

        The charging apps show comments from users. Many charging spaces are ICE’d in. Many of them will not work with a Bolt. Many of them do not work at all. Even worse, there are quite a few reports of chargers seeming to work, then mysteriously stopping – after you have left the area, of course, thankful you found a spot.

        Many of the level 3 chargers output only low power – nowhere near what Chevy promises you will find to achieve even its paltry 90 miles in 1/2 hour.

        So, sure, we have EVs with a range of 240 or 300 miles. The problem is, after you have driven nearly that amount and are visiting someplace which is NOT your home, it is going to be either very difficult and/or extremely inconvenient to get back home. Read what people – even Tesla drivers – are doing to plan a trip. They are very often planning routes by charger availability – which means going a hundred miles or more out of their way. And often, still having problems and adding many hours of charging and waiting. A four hour trip home can take eight hours. Or an overnight stay.

        So, my hopes of leasing a Bolt was overruled by She Who Must Be Obeyed. Right now, a household (my household anyway) still needs some sort of ICE vehicle for long trips, for emergency trips, for trips when you must get home for work on a specific day, etc. We are looking at a plug-in hybrid now. Hopefully, things will get better re charging stations. But…

        I gotta be honest. I see absolutely zero news about new charging stations in the U.S. except for California and Tesla. I can not find any Federal program or monies for it. Nothing about state monies. Almost nothing about municipal monies. Europe? Tons of stuff. Just not here.

        We need to talk about this a lot more, or EV’s will remain a boutique item for the upper income folks only. God forbid that $7500.00 Federal rebate dies this week. Meanwhile, we are putting down a deposit for a Model 3 as soon as we can!

        Reply
        • OK. So this is an excellent explanation. Thank you for it. Based on both your and Jacque’s discussion here, I’ll be digging deeper. But I think it’s fair to say that barriers for long trips are lower than they were a couple of years ago. And that they are still falling. And I think you’re also right in pointing out that Tesla has a serious advantage RE charging infrastructure. Which may well be one thing that’s driving all those Model 3 preorders.

          I think the U.S. and world will look a lot different in two years in this regard.

    • But I do agree that Tesla has a major advantage when it comes to charging stations. And that the U.S. does need to up its game in that respect. My opinion is that once EVs start proliferating, many venues will add chargers just to try to capture the revenue from people buying meals, snacks, and roadside merchandise.

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  November 30, 2017

        Today, Tesla is really the only game in town if you want fast DC charging. This will be changing with VW’s vehicle agnostic charging network being built as part of the Diesel gate scandal, and Volkswagens subsequent settlement with the EPA and California’s CARB. These will be 350 kW (in California) and 150kW for the rest of the US.

        Separately German automakers are working on a 350kW system for Europe that will charge to 80% in 15 minutes, and Tesla is developing a higher power charger for it’s Supercharger network (currently 150 kW). Musk has hinted it would be higher than 350kW.

        But not all vehicles can accept the faster charge rates. Interior cabling, battery cooling, and battery anode/cathode surface area need to be designed to accept the high current.

        Since occasional long distance travel is a must for most people, it becomes easy to see which automakers are serious about EVs and which aren’t. Personally I was very disappointed to see the otherwise well reviewed Chevy Bolt be hobbled in such a way – it is a sure fire way to limit sales.

        https://electrek.co/2017/07/10/vw-ev-charging-network-electrify-america/

        Reply
        • I wonder if a seperate ‘charge access’ rating would be helpful for new EV models? I mean, we rate things like fuel economy and range on the sticker. But the chargeability of EVs is pretty important as well.

        • Jim

           /  November 30, 2017

          Hi Robert,

          There wasn’t a ‘reply’ button on your comment, so I replied to my comment. I think a charge rate rating would be great. The link below is from 2015, but it shows the charging capability of many EV models at the time. Granted this is not an issue when charging overnight, but it pretty much eliminates use of the car for interstate travel.

          This is where Tesla is highly differentiated. Their cars are fast DC capable, and Tesla has built out an extensive network of Superchargers. Pundits who like to say GM will crush Tesla once they get serious about electric cars don’t realize the benefit of the Supercharger network, nor do they fully appreciate Tesla’s knowledge of battery chemistry and the significant value of being vertically integrated into battery manufacturing.

          To be sure, many families have more than one car, so using one for city travel and commuting is a viable option. But, from a marketing perspective GM’s Bolt is always going to be viewed as inferior to the Tesla model 3 on this factor alone, despite the
          otherwise positive reviews it’s received.

          I think things changed when Tesla offered the model 3 and the automotive community, and Tesla, were shocked at the large number of pre-orders. That, and the large number of countries talking about banning ICE cars, caused automakers to rethink EVs from a niche market to essential to their survival.

          Now we’re beginning to see several automakers get serious about building cars capable of fast charging, and ensuring that the charging infrastructure is in place. Unfortunately the US manufacturers are still lagging in that regard.

          https://evobsession.com/electric-car-charging-capabilities-comparison-of-27-models/

        • Abel Adamski

           /  November 30, 2017

          From what I have read re the US situation, (being an Okker Down Under looking at emulating a duck over the next few days)
          Musk offered a partnership deal in the charging network to the major US manufacturers (including funding and building and site selection and plug compatability) – they said Nyet, after all automakers do not own or build petrol stations historically. That is the oil companies turf. Effectively dropping boulders on their feet.
          (Too many shootings as it is in the US so back to stones)

          Leaving Tesla as the main player with all the other private stations being of wildly variable capability and compatibility.

          As pointed out VW is working at it in the US, Daimler and the other Euro auto and truck manufacturers just don’t have the network and have the task ahead of them even if they have the trucks and the vehicles.

          This also a factor for the Hydrogen fueled and why the stated objective of the NIKOLA is to build 380+ Hydrogen charging stations around the US. Using electrolysis and wind or solar as feedstock.
          The problem with Hydrogen fuel cells has been contamination other fuel cell as the Hydrogen has been derived from fossil fuels and is not pure.

          So if the Nikola vision emulates the Tesla one, their fueling network will also support the Toyota’s etc allowing spread of the hydrogen fuel cell/EV

        • Jim

           /  December 1, 2017

          HI Abel,

          You are indeed correct about Tesla offering access to their Supercharger network to other automakers under very favorable terms. They all declined. Musk also promoted the benefits of home + auto batteries as a way of stabilizing grid voltage, frequency, and voltage to the Edison Institute – to no avail.

          I suspect company leaders simply did not understand the rate of change that is occurring. This is exactly what happened to Kodak, Blockbuster Video, and the original AT&T.

          I’m familiar with Nikola’s H2 plans. Please tell me more about the hydrogen contamination problem. Does this relate to steam reforming of methane? Any reason to believe it would extend at all to water hydrolysis?

    • Jacque in southern Utah

       /  November 30, 2017

      I live in the red rock canyon country of southern Utah, tourist mecca, where long-distance driving between ANY services is required. Most larger campgrounds have the Nema 14-50 plug-ins. There is already TESLA charging available at places like Gallup, NM; Sedona, AZ; entrance highways to the Grand Canyon, Page, AZ; St. George, UT; Kanab, UT; Moab, UT,and even in little Blanding (near Bears Ears National Monument, and little Escalante, UT (on famous scenic HWY 12 through the soon-to-be-obliterated Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument for coal mining). I’m already impressed.

      https://pluginamerica.org/get-equipped/find-an-ev-charging-station/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxonYy-jm1wIVE_5kCh1aTwCHEAAYAiAAEgJIyPD_BwE

      Reply
      • Thanks for this, Jacque. Update much appreciated.

        Reply
      • I have found these useful:

        https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point

        https://chargehub.com/en/charging-stations-map.html

        https://www.plugshare.com/#

        To use these resources correctly, you must filter out all charging stations except for the ones with the exact connector for the EV you will be driving. And then, because most folks will only be using stations when they are on a trip, you will want to filter out all but the high-power stations. Note that only Tesla cars can use Tesla charging stations.

        If your area of interest resembles mine, you will discover that a map with seemingly hundreds of charging points suddenly becomes very sparsely populated. Now, pick out individual charging stations to read the user comments. Some of the newer, larger charging stations work pretty well. But a lot do not. YMMV! :>D

        Reply
        • Thanks for these resources, Ginger. Huge help.

        • Mblanc

           /  December 1, 2017

          Is the government not putting money into recharging points in the US? I’m pretty sure that is happening over here, but I would have to check.

          My only other point is that it really can’t be that expensive to put in recharging points at locations that already have the power, but maybe there is something I’m not quite understanding.

          We have seen a steady reduction in petrol stations over a long period, here in the UK, and some of those sites are already being bought up to become recharging stations. In Wandsworth (in London) the local council are even putting car chargers in some of the lamposts, which must be a pretty cheap solution.

  14. Jim

     /  November 30, 2017

    Governor Brown on Climate Change.

    Reply

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