Roadmap To Electrification: Please Have Toll Ready
Battery electric vehicles are widely seen as the most promising long-term automotive greentech, but they’re also hardly poised to take over the industry. A host of issues are keeping EVs out of mainstream acceptance, ranging from battery capacity issues to the lack of a charging infrastructure. For a group of electric transportation-sector businesses though (including Nissan, which is heavily hyping its Leaf EV), it’s nothing $124b in government support won’t fix. A press release on the Electrification Coalition’s “Roadmap” explains:
The Electrification Roadmap presents a bold and specific vision: By 2040, 75 percent of light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the United States should be electric miles. As a result, oil consumption in the light-duty fleet would be reduced by more than 75 percent, and U.S. crude oil imports could effectively be reduced to zero… “It is absolutely crucial that all of the key elements of an electrified transportation system are introduced in a highly coordinated fashion and in a way that is effective, affordable, and appealing to actual American consumers,” [David Crane, President of NRG Energy] said. “Introducing all of the separate elements, from cars to infrastructure, simultaneously in select communities across the country will move electrification beyond the early adopters; policymakers will witness the national benefit derived from a new kind of transportation system while consumers will benefit firsthand from a new kind of driving experience.”
A remarkable new study predicts that at least 14 million electric cars will be zooming around the US by 2020, and reckons that EVs could account for a startling 75 percent of all light-duty miles driven by 2040.
Yes, well, the Electrification Coalition isn’t getting together to volunteer to foot the bill. Permanent consumer tax credits of $7,500 per EV purchased are on the table, as well as 50 percent credits for infrastructure construction, test pilots, and more. According to the WaPo, the total bill would come out to $124b in taxpayer support, including $13.5b on infrastructure and $75b on consumer credits. No wonder Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn is featured heavily, breathing such alluring lines as “we are not a maker of electric cars. We are a maker of affordable electric cars. That is the most important thing from the beginning.” Of course he also goes on to admit that without such tax credits this would not be strictly true. Nissan was the only major automaker to sign on to the Roadmap, which is a little strange considering GM’s Volt is supposed to debut late next year, not long after the Leaf. On the other hand, as a government-owned firm, it’s probably appropriate that GM not cheer too loudly for $124b in more taxpayer-funded business plan support.
Download a PDF of the Roadmap from the EC here.
ZoomZoom on Nov 18, 2009Blackberry, iPhone, and many of the newer laptops use very advanced charging models to keep their batteries in tip top shape. And yet, lasting time is still not predictable. Technology and "battery models" can't overcome ignorance. Most people I know are not well educated about their batteries. They run their cell phones, laptops, or blackberrys down dry. Continually. And then they complain that their batteries won't last more than six months. One friend of mine is always and forever saying "I can't talk long, my battery is about to die." Meanwhile, my laptop is a year old, my cell phone is 2 years old, my iPod is about 5 years old. All are still going strong. She won't listen to me, so I've given up. One could even say that a cellphone or laptop is *more* competent at managing the end of a charge in a battery, since software will kick in to reduce overall device performance to conserve the last little bit of charge. I think my cell phone won't allow any calls to be made when the battery is under 20% SOC. Except for a 911 call. But I don't let it get that low. I try to charge it when it's down to 40%-50%. People won’t accept that kind of output from a car. They want it to run the same till it can no longer move. It doesn't matter what people will or will not accept. At some point, we are all governed by physics, regardless of who we "think" is in charge.
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- DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
- Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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- MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.