Tag Archives: electric cars

UK on course for 60% of new cars to be electric by 2030

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  • Chargemaster forecasts one million electric cars on UK roads by 2022
  • Current growth in registrations would see 60% of new cars being electric by 2030
  • More than 30 new electric models coming to market by 2020 giving consumers choice
  • Charging infrastructure keeping pace with growth of the electric car market

The UK is already on course to meet the target from the Committee on Climate Change for three-fifths of new cars to be electric by 2030, according to Chargemaster, which is closely monitoring the uptake of plug-in vehicles.

Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, has already predicted that there will be one million electric cars in the UK by the end of 2022, accounting for around 10% of all new registrations.

Forecasts by Chargemaster suggest that nearly one in four new cars will be electric by 2025, with plug-in cars making up around 50% of new registrations by 2027 and 60% by 2030. On the current trajectory, it is likely that virtually every car on UK roads will be electric by 2040.

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said: “The key driver of the electric car market over the next five years will be consumer choice, with more than 30 new electric cars coming to market by 2020. Indeed, within the next year, we will see models including the new Nissan LEAF, Jaguar I-PACE, MINI Electric, Ford Transit Plug-in Hybrid and Tesla Model 3 in the UK.

“The number of electric cars on UK roads has grown significantly over the last five years, from just over 3,000 in 2012 to more than 130,000 today. New electric car registrations will grow by about one third in 2018, while we expect our deployment of new charging infrastructure to double – more than keeping pace with the car market.”

Source: Chargemaster

Faraday Future unveils electric vehicle in Las Vegas to kick off CES

A Faraday Future FF 91 electric car is displayed on stage during an unveiling event at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future showed off in Las Vegas on Tuesday a prototype of a vehicle set for production next year as the China-backed company strives to win credibility in the crowded sector and weather its funding challenges.

The “FF 91”, described by its designer Richard Kim as “weird-pretty”, is a luxury electric SUV Faraday executives say will be the most technologically advanced on the market when it goes into production in early 2018. Advance reservations for the car – which insiders say will retail for about $180,000 – are being taken for $5,000.

“You’re about to witness day one of a new era of mobility,” said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development. “We’re going to show the first of a new species.”

But cash shortages and a recent spate of executive departures have raised questions about the company’s prospects.

Faraday is funded and controlled by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive officer of China’s Leshi Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco (300104.SZ), which is showing its own prototype electric car, the LeSee Pro, at CES. He is also an investor in California-based Lucid Motors, a competing electric vehicle start-up attending CES this year.

Faraday debuted at CES last year with a concept car not intended to be produced, raising eyebrows over the company’s legitimacy and Jia’s overall strategy. A cash crunch at LeEco and Faraday’s missed payments to a contractor working on its $1 billion Nevada factory have spurred more questions in recent months over Faraday’s financial situation.

In late December, LeEco said it was in talks to secure 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from an unidentified strategic investor.

Faraday executives would not comment on the company’s financials.

“We’re hoping to … convince people that we’re real, we are doing a real product, it’s not just a vaporware Batmobile to create attention, but we now have a serious product,” Sampson told reporters during a tour of Faraday’s headquarters in Gardena, California, in December.

Executives say the car’s modular architecture and flexible battery layout will allow for a faster rollout of future models. The car will have a range of about 378 miles (608 km) per charge. Its electric motors will generate a combined 1,050 horsepower.

The FF 91, a long, low, futuristic SUV with a roomy interior has no handles, as doors will open as a driver approaches. Holograms will be projected on the windshield to alert drivers of needed information.

 

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Paul Lienert in Las Vegas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: Reuters

Tesla Makes Reno a Critical Stop on Way to Las Vegas and CES

 Investors invited to exclusive tour of Elon Musk’s Gigafactory

  • Driving down battery costs is key as Model 3 production nears

As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno.

The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling Nevada plant where it makes batteries and energy storage packs. Tesla Motors Inc.’sinvitation-only “investor event” will take place Jan. 4, as the tech and automotive industries swarm into Las Vegas for CES 2017. Though self-driving technology will be in the spotlight this year at CES, Tesla typically skips large industry trade shows, preferring to announce products separate from the pack.

Tesla Gigafactory 1

Source: Tesla Motors

“We are excited to see the scope and scale, not just of the facility itself, but in the levels of automation and potential advancements in manufacturing,” said Joe Dennison, associate portfolio manager of Zevenbergen Capital Investments in Seattle. Dennison said he’s eager to learn more about Tesla Energy products and hear any updates on timing or battery-cost reductions ahead of the Model 3 introduction.

While visitors have to pay their own air fare and hotel costs, they’ll get some time with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, according to guests who have received invitations. Tesla may need the good graces of Wall Street and investors this year as it spends heavily to expand production to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018, some 10 times the number of vehicles delivered in 2015.

Battery Demand

The $5 billion Gigafactory 1 plant was born out of Tesla’s massive need for lithium-ion batteries both for its vehicles — including the Model 3 due in late 2017 — as well as energy storage-devices such as the Powerwall. Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic Corp., is working to collapse its battery supply chain and drive down costs. In its third quarter letter to shareholders, Tesla said “the Gigafactory remains on track to begin cell production later this year.”

A vehicle charger, right, in the lobby of the Gigafactory 1.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Reno has clawed its way back from the recession, embracing tech and the arts alike as the city sheds its image as a second-tier destination for gamblers and visitors to Lake Tahoe. The hope is that Tesla’s gigafactory will attract other manufacturers and help to transform the region.

Musk has said that he expects the fourth quarter to be profitable. It will be the first earnings period that includes SolarCity Corp., the solar-panel installer it bought for $2 billion.

Machinery inside Gigafactory 1

Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg

Tesla boosted a credit linewith Deutsche Bank AG by $200 million, according to a regulatory filing last week. The company has the potential to add another $50 million to that agreement and increased a separate credit facility by another $300 million. Musk surprised investors in October by saying Tesla didn’t need to raise equity or borrow money this quarter, when some analysts were projecting it might soon need $2.5 billion to cover the company’s ambitious growth plans.

CES is heavy on autonomy this year and includes an opening keynote from Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Tesla supplier Nvidia Corp. Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3 sedan will be equipped with hardware to enable full self-driving, and Musk hopes to showcase an autonomous cross country drive from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.

Source: Dana Hull. Bloomberg Business

The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)

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Background: My day job is running a space transportation company called SpaceX, but on the side I am the chairman of Tesla Motors and help formulate the business and product strategy with Martin and the rest of the team. I have also been Tesla Motor’s primary funding source from when the company was just three people and a business plan.

As you know, the initial product of Tesla Motors is a high performance electric sports car called the Tesla Roadster. However, some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.

Critical to making that happen is an electric car without compromises, which is why the Tesla Roadster is designed to beat a gasoline sports car like a Porsche or Ferrari in a head to head showdown. Then, over and above that fact, it has twice the energy efficiency of a Prius. Even so, some may question whether this actually does any good for the world. Are we really in need of another high performance sports car? Will it actually make a difference to global carbon emissions?

Well, the answers are no and not much. However, that misses the point, unless you understand the secret master plan alluded to above. Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars. The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable. In keeping with a fast growing technology company, all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car.

Now I’d like to address two repeated arguments against electric vehicles — battery disposal and power plant emissions. The answer to the first is short and simple, the second requires a bit of math:

Batteries that are not toxic to the environment!
I wouldn’t recommend them as a dessert topping, but the Tesla Motors Lithium-Ion cells are not classified as hazardous and are landfill safe. However, dumping them in the trash would be throwing money away, since the battery pack can be sold to recycling companies (unsubsidized) at the end of its greater than 100,000-mile design life. Moreover, the battery isn’t dead at that point, it just has less range.

Power Plant Emissions aka “The Long Tailpipe”
(For a more detailed version of this argument, please see the white paper written by Martin and Marc.)

A common rebuttal to electric vehicles as a solution to carbon emissions is that they simply transfer the CO2 emissions to the power plant. The obvious counter is that one can develop grid electric power from a variety of means, many of which, like hydro, wind, geothermal, nuclear, solar, etc. involve no CO2emissions. However, let’s assume for the moment that the electricity is generated from a hydrocarbon source like natural gas, the most popular fuel for new US power plants in recent years.

The H-System Combined Cycle Generator from General Electric is 60% efficient in turning natural gas into electricity. “Combined Cycle” is where the natural gas is burned to generate electricity and then the waste heat is used to create steam that powers a second generator. Natural gas recovery is 97.5% efficient, processing is also 97.5% efficient and then transmission efficiency over the electric grid is 92% on average. This gives us a well-to-electric-outlet efficiency of 97.5% x 97.5% x 60% x 92% = 52.5%.

Despite a body shape, tires and gearing aimed at high performance rather than peak efficiency, the Tesla Roadster requires 0.4 MJ per kilometer or, stated another way, will travel 2.53 km per mega-joule of electricity. The full cycle charge and discharge efficiency of the Tesla Roadster is 86%, which means that for every 100 MJ of electricity used to charge the battery, about 86 MJ reaches the motor.

Bringing the math together, we get the final figure of merit of 2.53 km/MJ x 86% x 52.5% = 1.14 km/MJ. Let’s compare that to the Prius and a few other options normally considered energy efficient.

The fully considered well-to-wheel efficiency of a gasoline powered car is equal to the energy content of gasoline (34.3 MJ/liter) minus the refinement & transportation losses (18.3%), multiplied by the miles per gallon or km per liter. The Prius at an EPA rated 55 mpg therefore has an energy efficiency of 0.56 km/MJ. This is actually an excellent number compared with a “normal” car like the Toyota Camry at 0.28 km/MJ.

Note the term hybrid as applied to cars currently on the road is a misnomer. They are really just gasoline powered cars with a little battery assistance and, unless you are one of the handful who have an aftermarket hack, the little battery has to be charged from the gasoline engine. Therefore, they can be considered simply as slightly more efficient gasoline powered cars. If the EPA certified mileage is 55 mpg, then it is indistinguishable from a non-hybrid that achieves 55 mpg. As a friend of mine says, a world 100% full of Prius drivers is still 100% addicted to oil.

The CO2 content of any given source fuel is well understood. Natural gas is 14.4 grams of carbon per mega-joule and oil is 19.9 grams of carbon per mega-joule. Applying those carbon content levels to the vehicle efficiencies, including as a reference the Honda combusted natural gas and Honda fuel cell natural gas vehicles, the hands down winner is pure electric:

Car Energy Source CO2 Content Efficiency CO2 Emissions
Honda CNG Natural Gas 14.4 g/MJ 0.32 km/MJ 45.0 g/km
Honda FCX Nat Gas-Fuel Cell 14.4 g/MJ 0.35 km/MJ 41.1 g/km
Toyota Prius Oil 19.9 g/MJ 0.56 km/MJ 35.8 g/km
Tesla Roadster Nat Gas-Electric 14.4 g/MJ 1.14 km/MJ 12.6 g/km

 

The Tesla Roadster still wins by a hefty margin if you assume the average CO2 per joule of US power production. The higher CO2 content of coal compared to natural gas is offset by the negligible CO2content of hydro, nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar, etc. The exact power production mixture varies from one part of the country to another and is changing over time, so natural gas is used here as a fixed yardstick.

Becoming Energy Positive
I should mention that Tesla Motors will be co-marketing sustainable energy products from other companies along with the car. For example, among other choices, we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity, a photovoltaics company (where I am also the principal financier). This system can be installed on your roof in an out of the way location, because of its small size, or set up as a carport and will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity.

If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be “energy positive” with respect to your personal transportation. This is a step beyond conserving or even nullifying your use of energy for transport – you will actually be putting more energy back into the system than you consume in transportation! So, in short, the master plan is:

  1. Build sports car
  2. Use that money to build an affordable car
  3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Don’t tell anyone.

BMW supports a shift to cities based around people rather than cars

BMW Group supports a paradigm shift to cities based around people rather than cars. Presentation of concepts that explore how urban mobility can be managed without private cars; Electric car sharing as a key component; BMW i3 now available via DriveNow.
BMW i3 at DriveNow Berlin

Electric car sharing represents an important pillar of the BMW Group’s efforts to help create a sustainable model for urban mobility, reduce traffic volumes and improve the quality of life in cities. In order to bring this goal within reach through partnership with cities, the BMW Group set up a Centre of Urban Mobility Competence in early 2015. The team of experts brought together under its roof are working with cities and the relevant stakeholders to develop sustainable concepts for future mobility in urban areas. Today’s press conference signals the official start of operations at the BMW Competence Centre.

At the same time, 100 all-electric BMW i3 cars are now available for DriveNow car sharing customers in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. In London the BMW i3 was already added to the DriveNow fleet in May, and other cities in Germany and Europe will soon follow suit.

DriveNow has added more than 470,000 customers around the world over the last four years, including 430,000 in Germany (120,000 in Berlin). Since 2013, DriveNow has been running 60 all-electric BMW ActiveE cars in Munich and Berlin as part of the WiMobil and ePlan research projects. They have performed outstandingly well in day-to-day use and will now be replaced by 40 BMW i3 cars in Berlin, 30 in Hamburg and 30 in Munich. “Our customers have enjoyed using the BMW ActiveE cars as much as the conventional vehicles in our fleet,” says Nico Gabriel, managing director of DriveNow. “This initiative has enabled us to put around 3,000 people per month behind the wheel of an all-electric vehicle for the first time – and, in so doing, spark their enthusiasm for electric mobility. The introduction of the BMW i3 into our fleet is the logical next step, and will soon be followed by a range of others in Germany, Europe and around the world,” adds Gabriel.

Electric car sharing acts as a catalyst for electric mobility.

Another key element for the BMW Group is the important role electric car sharing has to play in driving forward electric mobility as a whole in Germany. Vehicles involved in electric car sharing schemes boost the use of charging points in cities – and on a more predictable basis. This rapidly makes electric mobility visible and more easily accessible to local people, turning it from a niche activity into an everyday reality. It breaks down barriers and eases the pathway into electric mobility.

eCarsharing is an important component of sustainable urban mobility concepts.

Electric mobility and car sharing represent two important building blocks for the BMW Group when it comes to working with cities to develop revolutionary mobility concepts. As Dr Bernhard Blättel, Vice President Mobility Services at BMW AG, explains: “A significant change has taken place within the BMW Group. In line with our strategic goals, we are setting out to establish ourselves as the leading supplier of premium products and premium services for personal mobility worldwide. We are witnessing the changes our customers and society as a whole are making and we are taking them on board. Our aim is to work towards developing a higher quality of life in cities with ample space for urban living. Set up at the start of this year, the Urban Mobility Competence Centre has since provided us with a team of experts who are working with cities and the associated stakeholders to develop and implement new concepts for future urban mobility. In the BMW Group’s view, it is possible to further improve mobility for people living in urban areas. It is not a contradiction in terms to improve mobility and at the same time ensure cities offer a high quality of life for the people who live there.”

The quality of life in our increasingly densely populated cities can be improved significantly by putting public spaces to different use. One way we can achieve this is by freeing up a large portion of the parking areas currently required. To make this possible, mobility concepts and frameworks need to be in place which can spark people’s enthusiasm for urban mobility beyond their own car. Local public transport continues to provide the backbone of mobility services in urban areas. Complementing local public transport with car sharing schemes and other modes of transport, and creating seamless intermodal connections, allows people to use all the routes through a city. This results in a significant reduction in the volume of cars looking for parking spaces and in the number of parking spaces required, not to mention improvements in air quality and noise emissions.

The recently published main points of the German federal government’s car sharing legislation fundamentally address this approach. The legislation enables cities to offer parking privileges for car sharers over private car users in the public interest. On the assumption that these kinds of incentives apply in equal measure for users of station-based and non-station-based car sharing, cities would be able to make substantial progress when it comes to extending the reach of sustainable mobility.

The same applies to Germany’s electric mobility legislation, which, among other things, gives cities the option of designating parking areas exclusively for electric vehicles. This can also help local authorities meet their aims when it comes to limiting vehicle emissions. Indeed, authorities can combine such an approach with a well-thought-through strategy for sustainable urban development to set the tone and embark on a course towards creating an environment that provides a higher quality of life.

BMW Group is a leading provider of mobility solutions; Urban Mobility Competence Centre paves the way.

The BMW Group has recognised the changing nature of the challenges it faces when it comes to mobility and broadened its corporate strategy accordingly. The company’s strategic roadmap runs up to 2020 and is clearly defined: the BMW Group aims to be the leading supplier of premium products and premium services for personal mobility worldwide. Alongside DriveNow, this involves other services such as ParkNow and ChargeNow. The substantial pressure on parking in central areas of cities around the world gives rise to considerable traffic caused by people looking for parking spaces – and with it unnecessary emissions. For drivers, this is often the most unpleasant part of a journey. ParkNow serves as an integrated platform on which to manage parking using both public areas and private spaces.

The benefits for users are clear. But there are also advantages when it comes to parking space monitoring in cities if parking tickets can be paid for online and the number of ticket machines reduced. Depending on parking demand, it is also possible to use real-time information in cars to manage traffic by showing drivers the likelihood, based on a learning algorithm, of a space being available on a given street. If there are no parking spaces available in a particular area, this allows traffic caused by people looking for spaces there to be avoided from the outset. This idea can be extrapolated to provide another parking management option – i.e. pegging parking prices to current demand.

The intermodal route guidance function integrated into the navigation system of the BMW i3 moves things forward another step. When route guidance is activated, this function shows not only the most efficient route to the desired destination by car, but also an intermodal connection, should this provide the most efficient solution. For example, a switch onto local public transport – using precise timetable data – or a rental bike can be integrated into the route guidance process. The intermodal route guidance function, which will be introduced gradually across all the BMW Group’s vehicles, allows additional traffic to be avoided and the driver to be pointed actively in the direction of alternative local public transport options.

The technical and conceptual solutions we have detailed here are all part of the BMW Group’s constantly expanding portfolio. Working together intelligently, they open the door to new forms of urban traffic management in the years ahead. Our long-term vision is for cities to offer an enhanced quality of life, in which more efficient organisation of mobility solutions helps to create a new environment in which to live. The top priority of the Competence Centre is to safeguard mobility for all users at its current level at the very least. Deprivation or coercion are not an option. Instead, the types of mobility available will be improved and coordinated so effectively that people will adopt them as a logical consequence.

Source: BMW

 

French billionaire Bollore brings electric hire cars to London

  • Vincent Bollore, CEO of investment group Bollore, poses by an electric car following a news conference in London March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

First it was pedal power; now Londoners are being offered electric transport to dodge their way around the city.

French billionaire Vincent Bollore on Wednesday unveiled plans to park 3,000 electric cars on London streets by 2016, as part of a car share project that emulates the popular bike hire scheme started in 2010 under Mayor Boris Johnson.

Bollore, chief executive of the group bearing his name which set up the Autolib electric car-sharing program in Paris in 2011, said electric car hire could help cut congestion and reduce pollution in the British capital.

“Pollution becomes a nightmare … so many cities where you can’t even go out and the planes can’t take off and you have to solve this problem,” Bollore told Reuters at the launch of the scheme alongside one of the compact, silver-and-white cars.

Facing tougher environmental regulation and growing demand for less polluting cars, automakers are investing heavily in electric vehicles, but many consumers have been deterred by the limited distance that electric cars can go on a single charge.

But Bollore, whose company has interests in transport, media and electricity storage, said the yet-to-be named car hire scheme would be serviced by 6,000 charging points installed around London by 2018, up from the current 1,400.

Users will be able to hire a car for £10 pounds an hour, using a smartphone app to find a pick-up point, then leave it at one of an unspecified number of locations.

CAR SHARE

Already established car share schemes such as Avis unit Zipcar, Hertz and independently owned City Car Club only allow drivers to collect and leave vehicles at the same spot. They also use mostly conventionally powered vehicles.

Bollore said drivers would be issued with a card which acted as a key and recognized them, even remembering their favorite radio station. He said 100 vehicles would be parked around London in the next year with the rest to follow by 2016.

The Bollore group, which also operates car clubs in the French cities Lyon and Bordeaux, said it was investing 100 million pounds on the UK initiative, with some 60 million to be spent a year on maintaining vehicles and running the business.

In Paris, the car share scheme has about 12,000 rentals a day with over 4,800 charge points. It expects to break even ahead of its expected target in November this year.

Bollore said he was planning to open his company’s first U.S. scheme in Indianapolis, Indiana, this year with 500 cars and 1,000 charge points.

A lawyer by training and previously an investment banker, Bollore, 61, has become rich by taking stakes in troubled companies, building an investment conglomerate from the family’s paper mills in Brittany, western France.

Source: Reuters