Most EVs with a useful range of 200 miles or more are sold primarily as higher priced luxury vehicles. EVs priced in the US$20,000 to $30,000 range are typically less than 125 miles in range.
Monthly Archive: November 2019
Transportation and Energy: Electric utilities push for electric vehicle (EV) expansion to grow their businesses
Among a decline in electricity sales in the United States, electric utilities “need a new source of load growth” and “electrification of the transportation sector” is a huge opportunity. To that end, they are pushing for more EVs, even though the effect on greenhouse gas reductions may be mixed for now (due to use of fossil fuel-based generation).
Transportation: #Drone delivery of consumer packages is mostly hype but does have some specific good use cases
Most of the widely hyped drone delivery scenarios are not economically realistic and probably will not happen any time soon. But there are some targeted applications that should make sense to pursue.
Energy: “Climate Central Solutions Brief: Battery Energy Storage” – interesting background on grid-level energy storage
Batteries are likely to be an important component of grid-level energy systems. Solar PV and Wind are both intermittent power sources, plus their peak outputs do not necessarily align with peak demand. Energy storage is a key requirement of “renewable” energy systems for the future.
Tesla drivers in Canada, in -10 to -20 deg C (14 to -4 deg F) temperatures, find their range drops by about 35% (some report worse) during cold weather. Rapid charging also becomes less rapid as cold batteries cannot be fast charged unless they can be pre-heated.
News reports imply that our cars are the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the U.S. In fact, the “transportation” segment is the largest producer but this includes all transportation including business vehicles, medium trucks and semi-trucks, aircraft, ships at sea and more. Drilling down, a reasonable estimate is that our personal vehicles contribute about 13% to GHG output in the U.S.
Increases in student loan availability are a cause of tuition hikes rather than in response to tuition hikes. This effect is also seen in housing (cheap loans made widely available) or health care, where “insurance” becomes a cause of higher prices charged for health services.
EV vehicles targeting the U.S. market are primarily going after the expensive, luxury and high performance segments. Vehicles with appropriate range are not affordable nor practical for a family budget at this time.