"Back in 2008, a lot of people thought higher (sales) numbers were achievable within 10 years," Michael Holman, a research director at Lux Research, told Design News. "But that's an area where people have come around to more realistic views. They're realizing that it might take a longer time, coupled with some fundamental scientific breakthroughs, before the battery costs get down to the level that's needed."
To be sure, the forecast isn't grim for all electrified vehicles. Plug-in hybrids, particularly those with smaller batteries, seem to have a better near-term outlook. By 2020, Lux Research predicts the auto industry will hit annual sales of 600,000 "light" plug-in hybrids (like the Prius PHV) and 150,000 "heavy" plug-ins (like the Volt). In contrast, Lux says sales of pure electrics will reach just 60,000 per year by 2020.
It's worth repeating that battery size plays a big role in those numbers. The Prius PHV, for example, employs a 4.4kWh lithium-ion battery (hence the higher sales forecast), while the Volt uses a 16kWh pack, the Leaf employs a 24kWh unit, and the Tesla Model S can reach as high as 85kWh. The bottom line is that the vehicles with massive battery packs generally have lower sales expectations.
None of this should be a surprise, of course. Bigger battery packs cost a lot more. And despite the ever-present hype around electric cars, consumers will usually reach for the more cost-effective solution first. "The economics of battery-electric cars don't make a lot of sense right now," Holman told us. "With hybrids -- even micro-hybrids -- you can get similar benefits in terms of reduced gasoline cost for a lot less money."
Actually, the $25K came from me. I got it from a former Tesla executive who presented to our local IEEE chapter. The $40K came from an incident where a couple of owners had let the cars run out of charge. In 2009 the CEO of the company, Elon Musk, quoted a replacement cost of $36K. They were also selling futures on a new battery for $12K. This is all a matter of public record.
The packs need to be actively managed. If the control system goes down, the pack will have problems, and perhaps fail. They are actually assembled by hand from a very large number of cells about the size of a standard battery (I think it is AA size, but it could be slightly larger).
Where does the 25k battery pack figure come from, motorhead? The free charging stations are free only for the Tesla customers, but anyone will be able to use them. Actually a great investment to get in on the energy distribution network of the future. Obviously, there are no investors that would invest in a product that gave everything away for free, if so, they would call it charity, there is always a catch somewhere, the smart people look for the catch, and can read between the lines.
surely the lack of proof over the existence of AGW and god is the same ?
Surely no. You're conflating religion, which is faith and without uncertainty, with science, which is evidence-based and always has uncertainty by definition.
Please provide references where the IPCC has backpedaled on its predictions. Where is the "dropping return of the AGW argument"? Where do NASA satellites disprove AGW by showing "there's lots of cooling going on"?
if someone can categorically prove that CO2 is dangerous I will be against it too
No one is claiming there aren't uncertainties, otherwise it's not science. Just that the uncertainties are down to being somewhere between we're screwed and we're truly doomed. Obviously, if you need 100% proof without uncertainty, then you'll stay in denial, convenient for a piggish lifestyle and to not being part of the solution. Hence the problem is harder to solve. That's society's dilemma, the mother of all tragedy of the commons.
fixitsan: yup. you are a denier, I said it. Your first paragraph ALMOST gets to a good point, but the rest leaves much to be desired. Number 1: No evidence of God exists whatsover. There IS a lot of evidence that points to the conclusion of a warming trend GLOBALLY. Your argument is based on faith, but in science, faith plays no part. Here is a classic Fruedian slip: "i am shrewd enough to know that denying means refuse to believe the truth" You are a denier by your own definition, because you fail to examine the facts, and instead go on your feelings. I would like you to examine the evidence on this page before you say "the ANTArctic ice is this year at it's greatest volume ever recorded" http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/september-2012-a-record-breaki-1/83218
You are probably referring to the SEA ICE EXTENT, which is a far cry from "the ANTArctic ice" which on one side of Antarctica is high, and other regions are low, mainly due to prevailing winds (it seems). The acutal amount of ice in Antarctica is decreasing, and more sea ice extent would lead one to believe that more ice is separating from the continent, leading to the more evidence of global warming. Here is an reality check concerning any increase in ice extent in the Antarctic (BTW: The Arctic ice extent is at record lows). This was at the bottom of the article, so probably went unnoticed by our brilliant contributor, who overlooked the first several charts, to find the chart at the end of the article he thought would support his biased and unresearched notions.
Dr. Sharon Stammerjohn of INSTAAR, University of Colorado, provides a review of the differences between Arctic and Antarctic climate controls on sea ice and helps place the events in context.
"First, climate is warming over much of the Antarctic continent, as shown in several recent studies (e.g., Steig et al., 2009) and is related to Pacific Ocean warming (Ding et al., 2010) and circumpolar winds. Both warming and ozone loss act to strengthen the circumpolar winds in the south. This is due primarily to persistently cold conditions prevailing on Antarctica year-round, and a cold stratosphere above Antarctica due to the ozone hole. Stronger winds generally act to blow the sea ice outward, slightly increasing the extent, except in the Antarctic Peninsula region, where due to geography, winds from the north have also increased, pushing the ice southward. Thus, sea ice extent near the northwestern Antarctic Peninsula continues to decline rapidly, while areas in the Ross Sea and the southern Indian Ocean show significant increases (Stammerjohn et al., 2012).
Comparing winter and summer sea ice trends for the two poles is problematic since different processes are in effect. An expansion of winter Antarctic ice could be due to cooling, winds, or snowfall, whereas Arctic summer sea ice decline is more closely linked to decadal climate warming."
to fixitsan: Deniers are usually the people who read the headlines and never actually look at the evidence in detail.
I agree there appears to be bias, reporting on space travel many technical reporters will go to great lengths to share their hopes, but on EV's the same reporters don't have hopes at all, a lot of the time. Why have hope for space travel when it isn't going to happen, not for a useful purpose at least, in your lifetime ? Surely having hopes for EV's isn't a sin ?
I have to disagree with the use of the CO2 'denier' label though. Is someone who doesn't believe in god a god denier ? surely the lack of proof over the existence of AGW and god is the same ?
If ten years ago i had made a prediction of 20% return on your investment over 30 years of investing with my company, yoiu might have been sceptical, but might have thoguht it possible and even believable, and so invested with me. Then over the past ten years my prediction of the level of return has diminished, from a hardcore 20%, to 10%, then 5%, then ' Probably will return something'
I'm using this investment analogy because the IPCC has continued to reduce it's predicted environmental 'disaster returns on investment' continuously over the past 10 years from 'All hell and fury and floods and plagues' to 'probably going to see something different, somewhere'.
All I ask is, at what point int he financial investment scenario above do you realise there is asomething wrong with the predictions ? Most people would remove their financial and intellectual investment well before the return dropped to just 5%.....so why are so many people still investing in the dropping return of the AGW argument.
If I am labelled a denier for being shrewd with my intellectual investment (after doing much research and watching how the IPCC have continually reduced the level of predicted disasterous effects) then so be it. but i am shrewd enough to know that denying means refuse to believe the truth, and as yet the IPCC hasn't been able to say just what the truth is, without changing it later on, and that, looks a lot like con to me.
I am against pollution which is dangerous, and if someone can categorically prove that CO2 is dangerous I will be against it too, but for now, the trees which are increasing their rate of growth as a benefit from higher CO2 levels, and the debatable temperature 'rises' (depends who's data you use, NASA satallites say there's lots of cooling going on and the ANTArctic ice is this year at it's greatest volume ever recorded) I am going to hold off from intellectual investment with what appears to be an intellectual con.
If that shows a "drumbeat" of bias against EVs and sustainability, then we sure have a funny way of showing it.
Mr. Murray, I couldn't have put it better myself. It's funny that you may equivocate or have mitigating words defensive of EVs buried in your articles, but people who aren't enthusiasts or don't have time to read these only see their DN Daily Update in their IN boxes with titles including words like "...Volt fires..." (plural). I've found these two UBM pieces:
Then in the article that is the first link in your comment, you subsequently wrote:
Chevy Volt batteries have caught fire. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is investigating, and General Motors has offered to buy Volts back from any owner who fears the electric cars will catch fire.Chevy Volt batteries have caught fire.
So does it mean the Chevy Volt is unsafe? The short answer is, no -- ...
You used the plural of battery, yet the previous link, written by Brian Fuller, lists 3 fires of which 2 were said to be not caused by the Volt. I've since only seen the debacle referred to as fires, as in > 1. If there was more than one NHTSA or other fire, I haven't read it reported in DN or elsewhere. Something's missing or there's a fear factor not being accounted for.
Then, you got the jump on the Volt cost issue with this article you wrote:
Tell me what sounds optimistic or positive about this for EV's. You include: "...Those (high price) numbers place the Volt close to low-end luxury vehicles. As we've said before, the Volt is a car for those with an untraditional sense of luxury -- well-to-do people who are willing to spend the extra money to clean up the environment. ..."
Ouch. Then, after quoting two anti-EV commenters on this site (great research!), there's: That's probably why, before the fire investigations(my emphasis) affected sales (helped by UBM articles), the Volt was still running below its projected sales levels for 2011. Even with a big December, it fell about 2,300 units short of its year-end sales goal of 10,000. So it's a stretch to blame everything on bad publicity.
Yes, we know EVs are pricey until they mature in technology and in economies of scale. They need to be produced in higher volumes before they can compete with high volume cars like the Cruze. That's why financial incentives are needed from the government. Then in that same article you raise the question of whether the Volt can continue in the marketplace. Where did that come from?! You seem to be among the first, if not the first, to have suggested that the Volt may or could be terminated. Of all the EV sources I read, Greencarreports, Autoblog, gm-volt.com, mynissanleaf, etc., I'd never heard that suggested anywhere else. What effect was this supposed to have?
Last comes your March 7 article addressing speculation that the spring production line shutdown again spelled doom for the car:
WTF?! It doesn't matter that you conclude the opposite, it's the threat you lend credence to. It's as if my wife hurt her leg and then you announce to the world that it's not because I beat her. Here's more cold water: When the Volt returns, however, it will still face stiff competition. The Chevy Cruze Eco, built on the same platform as the Volt, offers more than 40 mpg and costs half of what the Volt does.
I've driven both cars and the Cruze, while nice for what it is, is no Volt. It doesn't have the latter's high torque, smooth, quiet propulsion and in the real world few Cruze owners would ever see 40MPG. The average Volt owner sees 128MPG from gasoline.
So why the article and its pessimism? Do you think it helped drive perspective buyers to dealerships or away from them? I understand it's not your job to sell their cars, but this was just doing the opposite. Is that your job, to drum up fears and doubts?
And finally regarding another topic critical to sustainability, there is the regularly and oft repeated Daily Update headline, which I most recently received just today(!):
Why does UBM keep linking this? Of the hundreds or more climate scientists in the world--not just scientists in general--, at least 97% of the experts believe global warming is a grave and serious threat to our planet, and probably underestimated in its effects, rather than overestimated. Yet a mere 16 known deniers, some of whom are not even climate scientists wrote this letter that has been debunked in Forbes and the Guardian, among other publications.
That last link mentions that "...255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down."
Did you report that or that the 16 denier letter was followed up by a letter written by 39 climatologists that thoroughly put the WSJ 16 letter to shame?
I haven't seen any UBM teasers out on this rebuttal.
What does this say about UBM other than that it severely cripples your publisher's scientific credibility to the point of laughingstock? Except that global warming is a very serious topic and it could really use some credibility in engineering media. Does UBM have an anti-science bias? Sure seems so with respect to climate science. What else is there?
So yes, Mr. Murray, UBM's headlines and general tone comes off as negative toward EVs, and reads like a drumbeat against EVs and against sustainability.
The sad fact is that pure EVBs are not the solution, although providing an option of different sized battery packs could go a long way towards solving a few of the problems. Why carry a 200 mile range battery pack when one's daily commute is ten miles? A 50 mile battery pack would provide a very good margin and be only a quarter of the weight.
The real solution, for those willing to forgo air conditioning, is in the manually controlled start-stop vehicle. Manually controlled because there is no possible way to have a computer be adequately aware of it's surroundings, and no way can a computer system adequately handle driving conditions, and no way an automated system could be idiot-proof enough to provide good performance. Start-coast-stop control can easily triple the miles per gallon delivered, with no modifications to the engine program, only different starter motor and a means to uncouple the engine while stopped or coasting.
Only a small portion of city driving involves acceleration, with the result that the engine can be off for a large part of the time, which results in the reduced fuel consumption. Of course, this method provides very little improvement in the constant speed, long duration, driving modes. But the advantage is that it is simple to include and does not need any breakthroughs to implement.
There is only one way to get efficient transportation and cut our National trade deficit: tax all foreign fuel.
If gasoline had a pump price of $10/gallon, the extra money could be used to reimburse the automakers for the domestic content (translate as American jobs) that they contribute. And pay their legacy costs of retirement funds for existing retirees and the health insurance of their older workers (which the transplants don't have).
Then, because the cost per mile would be so high for gas guzzlers, no one would buy them. And many more people would buy electric vehicles and PHEV's, since they run on nuclear powered electricity (and hydro and wind and solar - none of which use foreign fuel). And many would use public transportation saving more fuel, and move closer to work saving more fuel and car-pool saving even more and other things that nobody has even thought of yet but will come out of the marketplace when gasoline and diesel are expensive.
Nothing beats the invisible hand theory of Adam Smith - i.e. capitalism creates improved products at the lowest cost.
A "neighborhood electric vehicle" is basically a weatherized golf cart, so it solves the problems you described. There are a bunch of models out there but no single one has garnered a lot of market share. Here's just one example so you can see what I'm referring to: http://www.greencar.com/articles/bombardier-debuts-under-7000-neighborhood-electric-vehicle.php
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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