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Plug In Drivers Not Missin' the Piston

This is the Kodak Moment for the Auto Industry. Electric vehicles are here to stay. Their market acceptance and growth will continue....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

ICE on the Road Ahead for Another 100 Years

How long will there be gas-powered cars, aka internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, on the road? 

Several of my fellow EV advocates have made grand predictions about "the big" breakthrough. How it is just around the corner and it will launch EVs and they will quickly take over. While that would be nice, things tend to happen more gradually. So if it won't be a breakthrough and a flood, what might the transition to plug-in vehicles look like?

Breakthroughs, large and small, can and do happen. However, even when big breakthroughs occur, technology does not immediately disseminate to everyone. The technology has to evolve, become easier to use, more accessible, and move through the technology adoption lifecycle.

The chart below shows the adoption of recent technology examples like the internet and smartphones, as well as older examples including electricity, telephones, and washing machines.


So how long will it take for plug-in cars to dominate the roads? Anytime you look to the future and make a prediction on this scale, two things are guaranteed: one, you are making a lot of assumptions; two, you will be wrong.

Here are a few of my assumptions:
  • Energy storage technology will continue to gradually improve 
  • Gasoline will not simply run out one day, but it will get more expensive
  • Fuel cells, CNG, and other alternatives will remain niche markets
  • The combination of car sharing and population growth will result in the total number of cars on the road remaining relatively constant (this one just simplifies the math, but, hey, it could happen)
  • We won't all be living in Waterworld or Bartertown in 20 years
That said, let's make some predictions.

We know the recent history of plug-in vehicle (PEV) sales for 2011-2013. They were 0.14%, 0.37%, and 0.62% of the passenger car market, respectively. This is a good growth rate, but it is still less than a 1% market share. Such a small sample set makes it difficult to know what market share PEVs will have in 5 years, let alone the next 50.

Hybrid car sales started in the U.S. in 2001 and more than a decade later they have not gotten much more than a 3% market share. If plug-in cars did the same, they wouldn't be disruptive and this wouldn't be a very interesting exercise. So, I will make the assumption that PEV sales will continue to grow quickly: I'll use the following successful adoption curve:


In this model, PEV sales cross the chasm to the mass market during the '20s (2020s that is). PEV sales continue to grow in the '30s and '40s. In the '50s the growth rate slows after dominating the mass market. Now only the laggard buyers remain. By the '70s nearly every new vehicle sold plugs in.

PEV sales cross the chasm during the '20s (2020s that is).
Given these sales, how long will there be ICE cars on the roads? The service life of an ICE vehicle can be more than 200,000 miles. In some cases, accidents or poor service cut this life short. I'll assume a mean service life of 12 years. Combining this with the PEV sales data from the chart above yields the chart of ICE vehicles on the roadways below.




Although it will be a rare sight, 100 years from now, you might be able to spot the occasional ICE vehicle on the road.

Even given these optimistic PEV sales projections, gas-powered cars will dominate the road for at least the next 20 years. And, although it will be a rare sight, 100 years from now, you might be able to spot the occasional ICE vehicle on the road.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle the Electric Vehicle Way

Electric vehicles significantly reduce the amount of energy needed for transportation. After the batteries degrade and their mobile life is done, these batteries can be reused for renewable energy grid storage. The materials in an electric vehicle’s batteries are not consumed as the batteries are used. This means when you are done with them, they can be recycled into new batteries.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Portland Gets An Electric Bus

TriMet, the regional public transportation company in the greater Portland, Oregon area, is testing an electric bus from BYD.

They held a Riders Club sneak preview on June 20th at the Beaverton Transit Center. Attendees were invited to kick the tires, talk to staff from TriMet and BYD, and take a quick ride on the bus. This report and photos are based on the feedback from attendees Rick Durst & Gary Graunke.

BYD Electric Bus in Portland, Oregon
Here are the bus stats:
  • battery: 325 kWh of LiFePO batteries (about the same as four Tesla S P85)
  • range: 110 to 140 miles
  • battery voltage: 500+ volts
  • there are 3 separate battery packs
  • recharge time: 2-4 hours
  • twin 90 kW motors propel the bus
  • it has good acceleration up to 30 mph, a bit slower after that
  • two larger motor sizes are available 
  • there are two charging ports
 TriMet said, depending on the route, the bus could be used for a full service day.


The bus can be plugged directly into 480V 3-phase power at 100 Amps. It has air suspension that can drop down the body of the bus for easier entry and a smaller front profile while driving, just like a Tesla S! :-)



The bus is built in Lancaster, California.

A competing bus is made by South Carolina company named Proterra. That bus uses a smaller pack and DC quick charging.

The range and recharge time of this BYD bus are already good enough for many TriMet routes. As batteries continue to improve, the viability of electric buses will also improve.



BYD is a battery company--the bus is the easy part.

Photos and content provided by OEVA members Rick Durst & Gary Graunke

Oregon EV News of the Week 2014 June 17

Your weekly digest of Oregon Electric Vehicle news, events, and
multimedia. Feel free to forward it. To get on (or off) the mailing 
list, just email me: patrick at oeva.org. 

Stay current with us on twitterfacebookgoogle+, or paper.li.  

OEVA is now an AmazonSmile partner.

Top Stories ================================================
Nissan Electric Van Comes to Portland
o Event Photo Blog & Video http://buff.ly/1q5UoCO 
o Green Car Reports http://buff.ly/1ivsJDN 
o Portvandia http://buff.ly/U0OJRs  


Upcoming Oregon EVents =====================================
o We'll be in the Hillsboro Rotary Club 4th of July Parade
o Oregon EV Fest 2014, July 5th at Pioneer Courthouse Square http://buff.ly/1gHfXFO 
o Tesla Motors Club's Connect 2014, 2nd annual users’ conference, July 18 http://buff.ly/1geHPSf 
o OMSI Drive Revolution: The Future of Transportation, July 19http:/ http://buff.ly/1lELHIP 
o FHWA Workshop on Electric Vehicles, EV Roadmap 7 bonus event, July 23 http://buff.ly/1iPvVcp 
o Computers with Wheels, EV Roadmap 7 Bonus event, July 23 http://buff.ly/1iPuURM 
o EV Roadmap 7: Making Connections, July 24 http://buff.ly/1eqxd2j 
o Energize Oregon Coalition Meeting, July 25 http://buff.ly/1k3iGtG 
o Plug-in 2014, July 28-30 http://buff.ly/1sZV61J 
o 3rd annual BC2BC All Electric Vehicle Rally scheduled to start, Aug 10 http://buff.ly/1aWgQoK 
o Route 66 International Festival - EVs wanted, Aug 14 http://buff.ly/1ggx9Cs 
o National Drive Electric Week will be September 15 - 21 this year http://buff.ly/1nTY9dC 
o The Battery Show, September 16-18, 2014 Novi, Michigan http://buff.ly/1cqo3M4 


Northwest EV News of Note ===================================
o John Wayland starting a business selling Black Zombie electric muscle cars http://buff.ly/1is3aUc 
o John Wayland builds the Black Zombie, A 750 HP electric Mustang, H8rs Bewarehttp://buff.ly/1iqW4PZ 
o Calling EVs for the Waldport Beachcomber Days Parade http://buff.ly/SS9mOV 
o Oregonian Letters to the Editor: EV parking in Rose Quarter http://buff.ly/1iCTV3J 
o SAE Combo Faster Charger Online in Portland http://buff.ly/1qhHWA9 
o Brammo Names Distributor For Latin America http://buff.ly/1kU6koz 
o BMW i3 Ride & Drive in Oregon http://buff.ly/1saoM0T 
o Oregon is one of several target markets for the 2015 Kia Soul EV http://buff.ly/1ir5qey 
o UrbanBlissLife finds it easy own a Plug-in in Portland http://buff.ly/1io3KCv 
o Oregon DOE is accepting applications for EV infrastructure projects through July 25http://buff.ly/1u3WlNI 
o Oregon looks at adding more renewable investments to state's portfolio http://buff.ly/1oKuhPY 
o Portland State research explores the grid impacts of EV charging http://buff.ly/UrlJmc 


Photos & Videos ============================================
o Nissan e-NV200 van at Electric Avenue at Portland State http://pic.twitter.com/0EZdM1V5H7
o Warm Springs DCFC is online http://pic.twitter.com/sFKQyf6y62
o video: Portland among first to test Nissan's new electric fleet van http://buff.ly/1iBHFjW 
o Sharing a classic: The White Zombie Summer 2010 Compilation http://buff.ly/1q4zuEl 
o There are over 8,000 public charging spots in the US http://pic.twitter.com/nIg4xBEUgE
o Nathan Fillion Will Never Buy A Gas-Powered Car Again! - YouTube http://buff.ly/U0RS3L 
o Experience Electric #TheBetterRide - YouTube http://buff.ly/1qhILsJ 
o What does a record breaking EV parade look like? - vimeo http://buff.ly/1qiPtP9 
o What Tesla Model S owners had to say - YouTube http://buff.ly/1qg5aGE 
o Volkswagen e-Golf Production - YouTube http://buff.ly/1vhKqOW 
o Experience Electric (video) http://buff.ly/1vhISVh 
o General Motors Protest In Portland 6.9.14 - YouTube http://buff.ly/1ivBCgC 
o Pikes Peak Customized Tesla Roadster - Photos & Video http://buff.ly/1sdgnd2 
o Edmonton Alberta Testing BYD Electric Buses (w/video) http://buff.ly/1iBIsRP 


Other EV News of Note =======================================
o Kiss Your Gas Goodbye http://buff.ly/1ivlKLd 
o ClipperCreek announces $395 Level 2 home charging station http://buff.ly/1oZv1Rs 
o Printed ultracapacitor almost as thin as a sheet of paper http://buff.ly/1qmM2a5 
o Tesla Model X Update: Prototypes In Fall, Production Early 2015 http://buff.ly/1vvz8Xw 
o New Jersey Assembly Unanimously Passes Bill to Reverse Anti-Tesla Legislationhttp://buff.ly/1slwdm6 
o Why An Electric Car Saves Fleet Operators $16,000 In Lifetime Cost http://buff.ly/1iBGhxE 
o VIA Motors Launches Plug-in Hybrid Airport Shuttle http://buff.ly/1qjCg8R 
o The Battle for Fast Charging | Who's Winning http://buff.ly/1vqHwHz 
o Mitsubishi To Launch All-Electric Assault on Pikes Peak http://buff.ly/U0TB8Y 
o Nissan, BMW, Look to Adopt Tesla's Supercharger Standard http://buff.ly/1lsFmpa 
o Interviewing the director of 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' 
   about the rebirth of EVs http://buff.ly/U0Nj9q 
o CleanTechnica's EV car guide http://buff.ly/U0MHRa 
o 11 maps that explain the US energy system http://buff.ly/1hWlycV 
o Cadillac Dealers Advertise $19,500 Off ELR’s MSRP http://buff.ly/1kB9zfy 
o US Plug-In Vehicle Sales http://buff.ly/1vhLkem 
o Impacts Of Incentives On Electric Vehicle Market http://buff.ly/1vhHrGl 
o EVs Selling for Less than Conventional Cars? http://buff.ly/1vdT3dr 
o Boston-Power raising huge $250M round to make more electric car batterieshttp://buff.ly/1qdsHIo 
o Severe Issues with Fuel Cell Vehicle GHG Emissions Claims and Hydrogen Infrastructure Grantshttp://buff.ly/1hSFYny 
o Plug-in Hybrid Trucks Promise Big Fuel Savings http://buff.ly/1is20rG 
o Accord Plug-In a practical spin on green motoring http://buff.ly/1uasS4Z 
o Chevy Volt Was The Highlight Of Bob Lutz’s Career http://buff.ly/1uarZZW 



=D~~~ Live Regeneratively!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

History Backs Up Tesla’s Patent Sharing - Harvard Business Review

History Backs Up Tesla’s Patent Sharing - James Bessen - Harvard Business Review: "Some commentators have noted that Tesla’s move will help it hire talented engineers. Others see it as a brilliant PR move. They are right, but Tesla’s action is also central to their business strategy. There are real benefits to sharing knowledge that substantially outweigh the costs and this economic logic is very similar to the economics that motivated past innovators to share."

SAE Combo Faster Charger Online in Portland

Portland has her first SAE Combo DC Faster Charge system. You can call CCS (combo charging system) or SAE Combo. It is located on Electric Avenue (SW 6th and Montgomery) on the Portland State campus. You can use this on the Chevy Spark and the BMW i3 (and more cars coming soon).

The cool this unit from efacec is that it has both CHAdeMO and CCS so you can charge up a Nissan Leaf, Mitsu i-MiEV, or (with an adaptor) a Tesla Model S. This is one of 5 CCS units that are planned to be installed in Oregon this year.









Thursday, June 12, 2014

BMW i3 Ride & Drive

Kuni BMW in Beaverton Oregon hosted a Ride & Drive event on June 12th, 2014. Here is photo blog of the event:













Calling EVs for the Waldport Beachcomber Days Parade



Do you love parades?  

Now that the Oregon Coast Electric Highway is nearly complete, we’re showing coast residents and visitors that EV travel and ownership is very do-able, cleaner, and greener! If you’re interested in a road trip to the Coast next week and flying the EV banner, then join the Waldport Beachcomber Days Parade entry on Saturday, June 21st. 

We’ll be staging at 11 A.M. for the parade at noon. All you have to do is drive slowly and wave! Chris Chandler will have door signs and flags ready for you. Just email her to sign up and let her know you’re coming: cc@clpud.org

Thanks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nissan Electric Van Event

Nissan and Portland General Electric (PGE) held a joint Ride & Drive press event on June 11th, 2014 in Portland Oregon for the e-NV200 electric van. Nissan was handing over the keys to PGE for a 6 week evaluation program. Here is my photo-blog of the event:

The event was held at PGE HQ at the Portland World Trade Center building.

The key is officially handed off; she doesn't want to let go. After a couple laughs, Charlie eventually wins the key from her.  

This is one of only two e-NV200 vans currently in the United States. The other one is in the same evaluation program at FedEx in Washington DC. These two vans will travel the US for about a year and they will get new "owners" every 6 to 8 weeks. This will allow Nissan to collect feedback from many companies, large and small. The FedEx van is next scheduled to go to a family owned bakery. The bakery owners are Leaf drivers in their personal lives. Soon they'll be able to drive electric at work too. 
Charlie Allcock of PGE behind the wheel. Charlie (an EV driver himself) said that PGE would love to get some of these permanently and if they were available today he would order them immediately. 
The van has plenty of room for tools and equipment. Sidebar #1, I didn't like the name e-NV200. It just seemed like a jumble of letters to me, but it is a fleet vehicle, so I guess a cool name is not as important. Later, I started thinking about it as Electric Nissan Van (eNV) and the name made more sense. 
I was told about the van arriving at PGE a couple a couple of weeks ago under a "press embargo". This meant that I could not disclose the information until this event. However, if you are someone that reads the MyNissanLeaf forum, then you might have read the posts by the PGE driver of the van. He loved it so much that he posted photos, talked about his experiences, and answered questions about it. I guess someone forgot to tell him about the embargo. It has been said that driving an EV can quickly turn you into an EV advocate. This van is no exception.
It was my turn for a test drive. I was surprised just how much like the Leaf it felt. I had the "EV grin". I assumed a work van would have stiffer suspension and a rougher ride but it felt just as smooth. The acceleration was also similar to my Leaf's. It has the same motor, so this is not surprising. I thought perhaps this one would be geared lower. It even stopped smoother than my 2011 Leaf. This is likely an upgrade that common to the 2013 Leaf.
As we glided through downtown Portland, I did notice that the dash layout was different (see stock photo below). And the nav system was a Pioneer, rather than the custom Leaf system that included EV charging stations. The product specialist, Evan, that rode with me said they didn't have the US nav system ready yet, but would before it is rolled out here. 
Evan continued and informed me that the van could be configured the fleet managers' specifications. This model had the same 24kWh as the Nissan Leaf, but it would be possible to get more battery capacity; although he would not tell me what other size(s) would be available. Other options were also available such as 120V or 240V outlets (this one didn't have any) and all the options that the gas powered van has such as tool cabinets and roof racks were also available. PGE had a roof rack added to this one so they could carry ladders on top of it.
Nissan e-NV200 at Electric Avenue in Portland Oregon
There was one place I *had* to take the van, that was Electric Avenue, of course. In the photo above that is Evan, our e-NV200 product specialist in the photo above. Sidebar #2, I plugged the van into the Eaton Level 2 charger. That happens to be the charger that does not work with 2013 Nissan Leafs (or the e-NV200). There is a note on the charger that explains that Eaton has found the cause of the problem and that unit is scheduled to be repaired or replaced soon. That was fine the van had nearly a full charge and I just wanted it plugged in for the photo.
Nissan e-NV200 in Portland Oregon
I asked Evan a lot of questions about aerodynamics and load impacts to the range. He said that Nissan has not released any official data for this yet. For low-speed urban use, like PGE has planned for this one, aerodynamics are not too important. One of the points of this program is for fleet managers to get an idea where they can best utilize these and for Nissan to understand what changes the fleet managers would like to see. 
Nissan stock photo of the e-NV200
My first EV was a fleet vehicle, it was a Chevy S10EV that served its fleet life at Disneyland and then I got at an auction. This van was much nicer than a 1998 truck. I really liked it. The e-NV200 vans are available for fleet sales in the UK today, Japan later this year, and the US sometime next year.

You can read more about the van at Nissan's official site: http://www.env200.com/ 
There they list the cargo space (4.2 cubic meters), max speed (75 MPH), and other specs you might be interested in. 

Here is a quick video from the event:
cheers, 
Pat

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Oregon EV News of the Week 2014 June 3

Your weekly digest of Oregon Electric Vehicle news, events, and
multimedia. Feel free to forward it. To get on (or off) the mailing 
list, just email me: patrick at oeva.org. 

Stay current with us on twitterfacebookgoogle+, or paper.li.  

Top Stories ================================================
o Oregon is 1 of 8 States To Increase Zero Emission Vehicles http://buff.ly/1pGW82w 
o Meet the First Chief Electric Vehicle Officer in the Nation http://buff.ly/RN84no 
o Oregon man gets top spot on Fastest Electric Car in the World http://buff.ly/1pEBIY2 


Upcoming Oregon EVents =====================================
o Our next meetup is June 12th http://buff.ly/1ua7u1w 
o We'll be in the Hillsboro Rotary Club 4th of July Parade
o Oregon EV Fest 2014, July 5th at Pioneer Courthouse Square http://buff.ly/1gHfXFO 
o Tesla Motors Club's Connect 2014, 2nd annual users’ conference, July 18 http://buff.ly/1geHPSf 
o OMSI Drive Revolution: The Future of Transportation, July 19http:/ http://buff.ly/1lELHIP 
o FHWA Workshop on Electric Vehicles, EV Roadmap 7 bonus event, July 23 http://buff.ly/1iPvVcp 
o Computers with Wheels, EV Roadmap 7 Bonus event, July 23 http://buff.ly/1iPuURM 
o EV Roadmap 7: Making Connections, July 24 http://buff.ly/1eqxd2j 
o Energize Oregon Coalition Meeting, July 25 http://buff.ly/1k3iGtG 
o Plug-in 2014, July 28-30 http://buff.ly/1sZV61J 
o 3rd annual BC2BC All Electric Vehicle Rally scheduled to start, Aug 10 http://buff.ly/1aWgQoK 
o Route 66 International Festival - EVs wanted, Aug 14 http://buff.ly/1ggx9Cs 
o National Drive Electric Week will be September 15 - 21 this year http://buff.ly/1nTY9dC 
o The Battery Show, September 16-18, 2014 Novi, Michigan http://buff.ly/1cqo3M4 


Northwest EV News of Note ===================================
o Hillsboro Hops stadium gets solar carport over EV charging stations http://pic.twitter.com/9VhnZS9jF5
o Electric Avenue in Portland is getting some upgrades http://pic.twitter.com/gBgbeWTsJO
o 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Arriving At Dealers, Updated, Cheaper http://buff.ly/1oOAE6v 
o Oregon engineer hopes to see his electric plane take flight http://buff.ly/1u8YxFH
o PGE gets a Nissan e-NV200 Electric Van http://pic.twitter.com/k9meXHiZLT
o PGE gets a Nissan e-NV200 Electric Van (2/2) http://pic.twitter.com/f6AXYRdXZV
o Lease the Brammo Empulse for as little as $269 http://ow.ly/xtXwV 
o Alltrax Inc is a motor controller manufacturer in Grants Pass, Oregon http://buff.ly/RMyjdI 
o Oregon Charging Ahead Toward Electric Cars & Trucks http://buff.ly/1ozgYTY 
o Portland Crowned King of Bike Commuting http://buff.ly/1wsIdBN 
o Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars http://buff.ly/1oqNAzl 
o Action Plan for 3 Million ZEVs http://buff.ly/1mHWK5P


Photos & Videos ============================================
o A tree fell on a LEAF. Driver lived. Details: http://buff.ly/1pw85e5  http://pic.twitter.com/QyYJaJvmq6
o This is range anxiety http://pic.twitter.com/cj3MDEfSqb
o World Record Electric Vehicle Parade Stuttgart - YouTube http://buff.ly/1tBSTKb 
o DELIVER Electric Van Is A Sci-Fi Package Shipper http://pic.twitter.com/6LLjK0h6ny
o Electric Car World Record, Stuttgart, 2014 http://pic.twitter.com/vyq0DKNBvU
o Weather Versus Climate - YouTube http://buff.ly/1nBQWA4 
o Something new on Electric Avenue PDX! http://pic.twitter.com/TTJECEUfLV
o Predicting the future of energy is not easy http://pic.twitter.com/tBgMQFZwMe
o video: Electric cars no longer a thing of the future http://buff.ly/1pEz4S5 
o EV Ownership: Conversation w/ Experts by Union of Concerned Scientists http://buff.ly/1kmFMqz 
o Riding our Works Electric Rovers in Cannon Beach, Oregon - YouTube http://buff.ly/1nyFaGF 
o Electric Avenue PDX via http://pic.twitter.com/arsmhpDGwF
o inFact: The Cult of Nikola Tesla - YouTube http://buff.ly/1nyEaSK 
o Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - Benefits & Features http://buff.ly/RHdpwk 
o MINI Superleggera Electric Roadster - YouTube http://buff.ly/1k4WAZ1 
o TurboCord: Portable Dual-Voltage EV Charger - YouTube http://buff.ly/1k4P7ZU 
o VIA Motors 402HP Extended-Range Electric Truck - YouTube http://buff.ly/1gAYzn4 
o BMW i3 Safety Tips From The Track - YouTube http://buff.ly/1k0UqcV 
o Google Self-Driving Car Project  - YouTube http://buff.ly/1k0T95C 
o Saying Goodbye can be hard to do VW E-Golf - YouTube http://buff.ly/1oqy721 
o Chevrolet Volt among the most dependable cars money can buy http://buff.ly/1nw9Gyn 
o Electric Motorcycle Racing Crash Laguna Seca - YouTube http://buff.ly/1h9MZQz 
o What you look like driving a gas-powered car http://pic.twitter.com/rnCpwd9Uun


Other EV News of Note =======================================
o Will we see Tesla Motors in Formula E racing? http://buff.ly/1jPqydR
o “I now realize how much I miss my Volt” ? http://buff.ly/S4qJuX 
o Tesla Motors 2014 Shareholder Meeting http://buff.ly/1hxqOUB 
o Solar Panels & Electric Cars Will Kill Gas Stations, Says Professor http://buff.ly/SqwML0 
o Nissan Crushes Sales Record With LEAF In May http://buff.ly/SqsC5O 
o Chevrolet Volt Sales Continue Upward Trend in May http://buff.ly/TaajT9 
o 70% of Vehicles Riding on Underinflated Tires http://buff.ly/1h0YWrm 
o EPA Rule Changes Mean That Grid Powered EV Will Get Cleaner - YouTube http://buff.ly/1tBTjA4 
o Tesla Model S Production Rate Now 700 Units Per Week, growing http://buff.ly/T50JAX 
o Worse Than Poop! http://buff.ly/1gOsU1J 
o Take an "EVselfie" and you could win $250 http://buff.ly/1oEhQ9Z 
o How Far Can A Volt Go In EV Mode? How About 81.8 Miles http://buff.ly/1pECioD 
o Volkswagen to enter US market with electric e-Golf http://buff.ly/1pExKOU 
o Buying a Nissan LEAF? Read this guide http://buff.ly/1wx8Oxw 
o Electric buses could save school districts millions http://buff.ly/1kmybIz 
o First BMW i3 Drivers Share Impressions http://buff.ly/1k4VUD1 
o Tesla CTO JB Straubel “I really love batteries. I might 
   love batteries more than cars.” http://buff.ly/1k12FWr 
o Electric Bus that never has to stop to recharge http://buff.ly/1kfI0YE 
o Top 5 most popular electric cars in the US http://buff.ly/RxIpPu 


=D~~~ Live Regeneratively!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

There is No Market for Hydrogen-fueled cars!


I recently did an 11-part article on hydrogen fuel cell cars. I covered H2 generation, infrastructure, costs, and many other aspects. One thing I touched on in part 9 is that fuel cells vehicle manufacturers have alienated many current EV drivers.

This article (link) in the SFGate, they expand on the point. Who are the potential buyers of a hydrogen fuel cell car? People that have been waiting for zero emission vehicles have bought plug-in cars. New people are being brought to the market by seeing how great their friends and neighbors vehicles are. More plug-in vehicles are coming to market each year and they can "fill up" in your garage.

What market does that leave for H2 cars? The gas-die-hards are not going to use anything other than liquid fuels and plug-ins dominate the alternative market. Perhaps there are a few people waiting for H2, but that alone would be a small market.

Another point from the SFGate story: If it is so apparent that there is no viable H2 car market, why are Hyundai, Honda, & Toyota continuing to push this technology? In part 4 of my series I suggested that it may be "island thinking". On an island, a small amount of infrastructure can meet the needs of the population. This is not the case for the US.

The SFGate story offers three financial possibilities to why these companies continue to push H2 cars. One, the companies have been investing research money into H2 development for more than a decade. The article suggests (although they don't use this term) that they are suffering from the sunk cost fallacy. Secondly, the article suggests that Hyundai specifically would likely have to pay licensing fees and/or patent royalties to develop plug-in vehicles. This would make plug-in cars less profitable to the company than a car without these licensing burdens. The third reason offered in the SFGate story is that car companies don't manufacture batteries. This means that they would be sharing the profits for a major price component of the car with another company. I have written previously, that I believe this is the primary reason that the EV1s were crushed.

Auto manufacturers don't want their cars to be just a shell wrapped around someone else's batteries. Today, range and performance depend on batteries. For most car companies that means another company's technology. And worse, much of the profits go to the battery company.

It was nice to see an article that examined these aspects of the H2 car market. If you ever find market research data that shows the prospective market demographics for FCEVs, please share the link below.