Those of you who have been following my messages know that I am exceptionally more optimistic about how quickly the auto market will transition from ICEs (internal combustion engines) to electric.  I have said for a long time that conventional wisdom is way to conservative.  I am not sure what criteria that is being used but I have a different perspective.

It only seems to make sense that once the price of EVs are competitive or less than ICEs, range on a charge is similar to an ICE, charging is fast and ubiquitous than why would anyone want to show up in a fossil fueled dinosaur?  Since EVs  don’t need gas  there will be additional savings and a trip to the gas station will no longer be necessary.  (Debbie and I are now both driving fully electric cars and plug in in our own garage.)  There will be also be substantial savings on maintenance since EVs have only a fraction of parts than does an ICE.  (This will be a big problem for car dealers who rely substantially on service income.  The parts supply business will go through an enormous transformation as well.)

The last part of the equation is the availability of charging stations especially for those that park on the street or in multiple tenant buildings.  If there’s a profit to be made, this will get figured out.  In fact, there are many solutions that are being developed.  For example, if we can put a parking meter at every parking spot on a street we can certainly put a charging station there.  In fact, I’ve seen them in Portland, OR and in other cities.  And, I’ll bet that wireless charging will be available soon as well.

Finally, utilities and oil companies are waking up and realizing that change is coming and faster than they previously believed.  They are realizing that this will have an enormous impact on their business models.  The following two articles discuss this.  One is related to the power industry and the other the oil business.  Click on the following link for the oil article and read the full article related to the electric industry further below.  

And for those of you that want the quick summary, it follows the link, as usual.

“The world’s biggest oil producers are starting to take electric vehicles seriously as a long-term threat.”

“OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs”

“BNEF expects electric cars to outsell gasoline and diesel models by 2040, reflecting a rapid decline in the cost of lithium-ion battery units that store power for the vehicles. It expects 530 million plug-in cars on the road by 2040, a third of worldwide total number of cars.”


“Others making similar expectations according to the BNEF note include:

  • The International Energy Agency more than doubled its central forecast for EVs, raising its 2030 EV fleet size estimate from to 58 million from 23 million.

  • Exxon Mobil boosted its 2040 estimate to about 100 million from 65 million.

  • BP anticipates 100 million EVs on the road by 2035, a 40 percent increase in its outlook compared with a year ago.

  • Statoil ASA, the Norwegian state oil company, says EVs will account for a 30 percent of new sales by 2030.”

Utilities insist ‘the cars are coming’

Sales of EVs will surge in the coming years, and major new infrastructure will be needed to support them, according to a new report from the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation.

The trade group, which represents 70 percent of the electricity industry, forecasts that 7 million plug-in EVs will be on the road by 2025 — up from 567,000 at the end of last year.
And EEI projects that EV charging ports would have to increase almost fortyfold to support sales promises by automakers.
The utility industry welcomes those projections.
“Electric transportation is a win-win, meeting customer needs while also supporting America’s energy security and sustainability,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn in a statement.
Seven million new EV drivers would need 5 million charge ports by 2025, said Kellen Schefter, the manager of sustainable technology at EEI, and co-author Adam Cooper, the director of research and strategic alliances at IEI. Home and workplace chargers could supply 90 percent of those needs.
They forecast that there would need to be more than 2 million additional charge ports at workplaces and in public places by 2025. Current estimates show that there are now between 50,000 and 70,000 charge ports at workplaces and in public spaces.

‘No-regrets investment’

EVs offer a long-term business opportunity for utilities that have faced lower revenue because of energy efficiency programs and rooftop solar. If the entire U.S. vehicle fleet plugged into the grid, it would boost electricity consumption 30 percent.
But EV sales in the United States have barely cracked 1 percent and are still propped up by incentives like a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Major automakers are developing dozens of new models, and electric companies are increasingly promoting the technology, offering reduced rates for charging and funding and building refueling stations themselves as part of their long-term plans.

“We get a lot of questions from members when they’re talking to policymakers and regulators: ‘How real is this market?'” said Schefter. “It is real; the cars are coming. This will help our members make the case to get more involved.

“We want to make no-regrets investment here and put money in things that are known and useful,” he said.
Those efforts are ramping up despite the Trump administration’s eschewing previous commitments on EVs (E&E News PM, June 7).
EEI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Energy in 2015 to promote EVs.
Today, utilities around the country are building EV programs for a variety of reasons, including meeting state climate targets, boosting load and accommodating customers (Climatewire, June 20).

Last year, the California Public Utilities Commission approved proposals by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison to build 12,500 new charging stations. Kansas City Power and Light Co. is building around 1,000 charging stations in Kansas and Missouri.

But those investments are not without peril. Kansas regulators refused to let KCP&L use ratepayer money to fund the stations, shutting down the program.

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