Posted 01 December 2008 - 01:33 AM
Electric vehicles expected to dominate market by 2030
As 45% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, there will be no solution to climate change without a replacement for the internal combustion engine. The Tesla two-seat Roadster is a high performance electric sports-car with a $109,000 price tag. Tesla’s Roadster does 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can go 250 miles on a $2.50 electricity charge. It effectively covers the high-end electric vehicle (EV) market. The last weeks saw several developments indicating that more affordable EVs are near, with market domination expected by 2030.
Nissan announced 10 days ago it had signed agreements with the governors of Oregon and Tennessee for a limited release of its EV in 2010. "It's a brand-new, ground-up vehicle, well designed, with all the amenities, crash-tested,” said Oregon Gov. Perry. His state is already building charging stations and Tennessee is the site of Nissan’s US headquarters and one of its two US factories. The first EVs will be for “government and commercial fleets” in those states and will help iron out any problems.
Last Tuesday, Nissan/Renault announced it had signed a similar agreement with Portugal, delivery beginning in 2011. In return, Portugal agreed to build 1300 charging stations and target 20% EVs for its government fleet. Nissan/Renault has signed similar contracts with Israel, Denmark and Japan's Kanagawa prefecture. Mass-marketing of the EV will begin in 2012.
In an interview on the same day, Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said his EV without battery would cost the same as a conventional car. The battery would be leased at a monthly fee, which along with recharging costs would be on par with fuel costs for conventional vehicles. When questioned about the battery’s short range, reported at 100 miles, Ghosn said that will improve with time. "If you wait for the perfect battery, you wait till 2030." Nissan/Renault has an agreement with Better Place, an Israeli based company, to develop a worldwide presence to lease EV batteries and build networks of stations for battery exchange and re-charge to extend the driving range.
Ghosn believes EVs could account for 10% of global motor vehicle demand by 2020 and 50% by 2030. If Nissan/Renault’s EV engineering is as good as this pre-rollout, they will dominate that growing market.
BMW unveiled its city EV on 20 November. The two-seat Mini E runs on a lithium-ion battery, gets up to 150 miles per charge and recharges in 4.5 hours. BMW will place 500 EV Minis in California, New York, New Jersey US and Berlin Germany by March. The leasing fees are $850 a month, $500 more than its Mini Cooper S. The high leasing price puts the Mini E in a luxury-car price range as it includes the cost of a fixed battery. If this is the case, Nissan/Renault’s EV with its low entry price and a leased battery could have an advantage, even with a later market entry.
San Francisco EV capital of US
At a press conference last Thursday, mayors of 3 San Francisco Bay Area cities announced public-private investments to establish the area as the “EV Capital of the U.S.” The mayors are teaming up with Better Place, a Nissan partner, to build an open network to service fixed- and exchange-battery vehicles to enable long-distance trips. Better Place says the EV stations will be installed by 2012. The San Francisco Bay Area is the home of Tesla.
Ireland targets 40% EV by 2030
The Irish government announced a target last Wednesday of 10% EV by 2020 and 40 % by 2030. The announcement by Irish Energy Minister Eamon Ryan of the Green Party, said the ultimate target was "to switch our transport system off oil." Ryan said Ireland was well suited to switch because of its size. A charged battery would travel 160 km, enough to get from Dublin on the east coast to Galway on the west coast.
Utilities to push EV
US power companies are planning to buy several thousand EVs and plug-in hybrids in bulk to maximise night-time revenues. Most of the cars would be used in service fleets, but some could be made available to company employees and even to customers. Top executives at a half-dozen power companies have been informally discussing a collective purchase for the past six months, said Bill Johnson, chief executive for Progress Energy in Raleigh NC.
The strategy would allow two of the nation's biggest polluters, the utility sector and auto industry to reduce GHG emissions. The move would chip away at the global energy dynamic by shifting fuel sales from foreign oil nations to local electric utilities.
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix