The hot story this week is Stanford Professor Tony Seba’s prediction that we’ll see the end of ICE cars in 8 years. I’m not buying. Also, my CleanTechnica series on the Chevy Bolt generated some great dialog, with more than 440 comments across 3 articles. – Loren McDonald
- Petrol cars will vanish in 8 years, says US report from Stanford economist – Author and professor Tony Seba got a lot of buzz this week with his predictions around the end of ICE cars, but his timeline is simply not realistic. CleanTechnica also had a nice counter article from contributor Michael Bernard.
- Electric vehicles to cost the same as conventional cars by 2018 (The Telegraph) – Experts from the UBS’s “evidence lab” made the prediction after tearing apart the Chevrolet Bolt EV to examine the economics of electric vehicles (EVs).
- 5 Months Of Chevrolet Bolt Sales: What Do The Numbers Tell Us So Far? (CleanTechnica) – My take on the sales progress of the Bolt in the US after 5 months of limited availability in a handful of states.
- 12 Factors That Will Limit Chevy Bolt Sales In The US (Part 1) (CleanTechnica) – My part 1 post generated more than 200 comments and some great dialog on the Bolt EV.
- 12 Factors That Will Limit Chevy Bolt Sales In The US (Part 2) (CleanTechnica) – The second part generated many fewer comments, but several readers were intrigued by my points about GM needing to use a different brand, such as Buick or bringing back the Saturn brand.
New and Planned BEVs and PHEVs
- Ford’s first all-electric vehicle will have ‘over 300 miles of range’, be affordable, and mass-produced, says CTO (Electrek) – “We think we have a technology path that will get us a 300 plus miles range and an affordable crossover utility that will be fully competitive” – Ford’s CTO.
- Ford is opening the door to an all-electric F-150 pickup, but they still need a push (Electrek) – Ford’s CTO insists that a hybrid version of the F-150 makes more sense right now, but he kept the door open for a battery-powered only version. The Tesla pickup can’t come soon enough.
- Shift to electric cars will cost money, may lack excitement: Toyota CEO (GreenCarReports) – Toyota’s CEO is clearly not convinced to go all in on EVs. Will this severely hurt the company in say 10 years, if they lag behind competitors?
- Volvo May Ditch Diesels, Switch to Hybrids, Electric Cars (TheDrive) – Leadership at Volvo and parent at the Chinese parent Geely have been sending signals that there would be going all-in eventually on EVs. While they are hedging a bit, it sounds like they will be ending diesel engine production in the next few years.
- Mercedes EQ concept – first ride (AutoCarUK) – The UK car site AutoCar previews a concept version of the EQ C, which is expected to go on sale in the UK in 2019 and have a range of about 310 miles/500 kilometers.
- GM goal: profitable, affordable electric cars built in big numbers (GreenCarReports) – “Our internal focus is to make GM the first maker of profitable, highly desirable, range-leading, and obtainable electric transportation,” said CEO Barra. “highly desirable” may by GM’s biggest challenge.
Charging and Charger Networks
- Volkswagen’s EV Infrastructure Plan Fraught With Tensions Over Competition, Equity Issues (GreenTechMedia) – A lengthy but really good article that shares concerns by some, such as ChargePoint, about VW having too much influence over the charing market.
- Hint to electric car dealers: Charge up before the test drive if you want the sale (Los Angeles Times) – I actually experienced this first hand when I recently took my first test drive of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The sales rep was actually quite knowledgeable about EV (he owned one), but the Bolt only had 12 miles of charge remaining which automatically limited the power and speed of the car. I came back a few weeks later and got to experience the great pick-up of the Bolt, but that first driving experience was not a good one.
- Qualcomm unveils electric vehicle dynamic charging tech – built a 100m test track with 20kW charging (Electrek) – Charging EVs dynamically while they drive on roads is fascinating technology, especially in a future of autonomous cars. But I have to wonder if it will ever make sense because of the cost to install on roads, maintenance, access to electricity, the fact that in 15 years most EVs will have 300-400 or more miles of range and charge in 10-15 minutes.
- Accelerate electric car ownership by standardizing charging points, say experts (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) – “It’s all very confusing, and it’s something that needs to change if electric cars are going to adopted more widely, according to a panel of experts at the Smart to Future Cities event in London today.” Yes, the industry needs to reduce charger complexity and confusion as job #1.
EV Sales and Marketshare
- 23.5% Of Norway Auto Market = Plug-In Electric Vehicles In 2016 (US DOE Report) (CleanTechnica) – Some updated statistics on global EV sales marketshare.
- California Auto Outlook (
California New Car Dealers Association/IHS Markit) – If you are numbers geek, you’ll love this PDF report with statistics on auto sales in California so far in 2017. YTD, PHEVs & BEVs comprise 4.8% of new auto sales!
- April EV U.S. Sales Numbers (InsideEVs) – Now a few weeks old, but in case you missed them. Of interest is the strong showing in 2017 of the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime.