Tesla recently announced it should hit a run rate of 5,000 Model 3 electric vehicles per week sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 10,000 per week sometime in 2018. The latter figure gives an annualized rate of over 500,000--compared to just over a million pure EVs on the road today worldwide.
Of course there may be delays and glitches. But even so, this announcement is eye-opening, with large implications for both transportation and energy.
The start of this exponential growth curve in clean transport is fantastic!
The electricity grid already exists, and already has enough spare capacity to charge over 80% of American family cars and other light trucks! This - roughly speaking - means the existing grid and powerplants (running at full) can mostly replace petroleum or gasoline markets. (Not diesel for long haul trucking).
“For the United States as a whole, 84% of US cars, pickup trucks and SUVs could be supported by the existing infrastructure, ” said an NREL study.https://eclipsenow.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/phev_feasibility_analysis_part1.pdf
In his post over on BNC "Battery electric vehicles in Australia", Graham Palmer makes a similar point using Victoria as an example:
"[It is likely] that the Victorian system already possesses sufficient capacity to accommodate a significant shift to electric with no additional generation or network capacity. Hence the marginal cost of energising the entire motorcar fleet is extremely low."
"No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.
"This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University [continuing-education lecturer and] economist Tony Seba. The professor's report... has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries."
Post by Roger Clifton on May 26, 2017 13:12:31 GMT 9.5
Extrapolation of an initially fast-growing component often fails to take account of the reaction from the rest of the world as the newcomer impinges upon it.
An example familiar to us is the salesmanship attached to renewables. Consider several alternative energy sources, each of them contributing (including its gas backup) a near-negligible half a percent (0.005) of the average power produced on the grid.
If a salesman projects that each of them will double their contribution every year, then after 8 years, each of them would be producing more power than can be consumed: 0.005*2^8 = 1.28, completely replacing the original conventional generation.
Of course, the "rest of the world" (in this case the beancounters, the land occupiers, all the conventional power producers and all the other alternative energy producers) reacts against the continued expansion and the trend falls short of the extrapolation.
We are all too familiar with the wind salesman's claim that wind (backed by gas) is doubling so fast that in no time flat, wind (with its backup gas) is going to supply all power on the grid, in the process eliminating all use of coal and nuclear. Should we mumble that gas is carbon and all carbon must go, we are assured that eventually all gas will be eliminated too, except of course where required as backup which they quietly admit generates most of the power. From the latter, our investments continue to yield dividends but our consciences are cleared by our token reduction by wind, and local industries benefit from providing our path to righteousness. Truly a miracle of modern morality!
First, Rodger, thanks so much for supplying the additional link to the EV article. I tried the link, and it works just fine for me, too.
As for sustaining high growth rates, it helps if one starts with a good product. Back in 2014, two investment analysts for Credit Suisse, Galves and Patil, said this: "We believe that Tesla has already proven that EV's are inherently better, although most industry observers, and certainly the general public, don't know it yet.... It's almost inconceivable that a new automaker's first offering would be called 'one of the best vehicles in the world' by many reputable auto reviewers, unless the base technology was just better."
Is Tony Seba wildly optimistic about how quickly EV's will take over? Probably. But given the inherent advantages of electric cars, one can't definitely rule his vision out.
Post by Roger Clifton on May 27, 2017 19:09:52 GMT 9.5
Yes, I must admit that the expansion of electric vehicles is cheering evidence of decarbonisation progressing. One encouraging aspect of his projections is the absence of any need for a carbon tax. A carbon tax would increase the price pressure to convert to non-fossil-carbon power, but would initially be unwelcome among today's car lovers. However as the speed freaks (heck, who isn't?) shift their affection away from the gasoline guzzlers, the political feasibility of a carbon tax on fuel would increase.
Well said, Roger. In addition, once a carbon tax is in place nuclear power, especially advanced small modular reactors, will get an immediate boost. A carbon tax will be the equivalent of having a clean portfolio standard instead of a renewable one, or of having permanent operational subsidies for all clean power. Nuclear will fare well in this environment.
So EVs will help promote a carbon tax, and a carbon tax will help advance nuclear. And nuclear will provide cheap, clean, reliable energy for overnight charging, making EVs even more attractive. It's a virtuous cycle.
A hat-tip to the Dutch. Their Stella Vie solar car can carry 5 people 1,000 km in a day, just from the sunshine that strikes it. The vehicle will be entered in the World Solar Challenge, Darwin to Adelaide, from Oct. 8-15.
Post by Roger Clifton on Jul 1, 2017 16:44:40 GMT 9.5
I couldn't find quotes of their solar collectors' capacity (surely a couple of kW), the power of their motor, or their battery capacity. Unless we know such figures, we should ignore them - until they win the Solar Challenge or similar test!
Fewer than 10 days until the final unveiling and first deliveries of the Tesla Model 3, on Friday, July 28.
Of course, much can go wrong--either flaws in the car itself or bottlenecks in the production process. But the following article highlights the car's potential by comparing the Model 3 with the Toyota Camry, the most popular car in the US for the last 14 years.
The Model 3 feels like an automotive tipping point, writes Wired's Jack Stewart. Tesla's debut could mark the point at which almost anyone--not just Tesla fans and the environmentally conscious--could see themselves driving an electric vehicle.
Business Insider also did not hold back. "I've driven pretty much every other all-electric car you can buy, and I can safely say that the Model 3 has no competition," wrote Matthew Debord. "There isn't anybody who's going to sit in the driver's seat of this car and not want it[....] The Model 3 stokes immediate desire, and the lust lingers."
The World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide was a success. The Dutch team Nuon ran away with first place, and the next four teams were from the US, Belgium, Japan, and the Netherlands. A world challenge indeed. J. B. Straubel and Larry Page, participants in previous races, went on to co-found Tesla and Google, respectively. phys.org/news/2017-10-dutch-world-solar-car-australia.html
Ah, taking the car out for a spin... (See fourth photo.)
This Tuesday SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster car into orbit, and then beyond.
"'It's silly and fun, but I think silly, fun things are important,' [Musk] said. 'Normally, for a new rocket, they'd launch like a block of concrete, or something like that. That's so boring. I think the imagery of it is something that's going to get people excited around the world. It's still tripping me out.'"
This Pipestrel Alpha Electro trainer airplane is establishing a beachhead (cloudhead ?) for electric aviation. It's mainly for flight schools, but it might also appeal to general aviation enthusiasts. I was surprised that one can buy an electric plane now, and equally surprised that, if one one has Tesla S-P kind of money, one can afford it.