Today the great majority of vehicles are still equipped with internal combustion engines but we have been seeing countless news items that portend some big changes down the road. So is the Internal Combustion Engine running on fumes? Let’s find out!
In the U.S. vehicles with internal combustion engines are responsible for 26% of carbon emissions, while Electric Vehicles (EVs) when charged using renewable energy sources produce no emissions. (photo – Electric)
In the U.S., New York and California are leading the EV movement.
New York State committed to the purchase of 2,000 electric government vehicles by 2025 doubling its current fleet. New York is decentralizing its electric grid enabling customers to make and buy renewable energy more easily. Con Ed is adjusting electricity rates to encourage the charging of EVs at times when renewable electricity is more available and affordable.
California leads the country with more than 300,000 EVs and 12,000 charging stations. EV sales in California rose 91% in the first quarter of 2017 over the same period in the previous year. In Los Angeles, starting this year, half of all municipal vehicles purchased will be EVs, increasing to 80% by 2025.
One large area of resistance to EVs in the US comes from the nation’s vehicle dealerships that make the bulk of their profits from servicing internal combustion engines. To counter this, utilities plan to provide car dealers with incentives to sell more EVs and to educate customers on the benefits of sustainable transportation.
It is now estimated that EV sales will surpass Gas Guzzlers by 2038.
The good news for EVs is a worldwide trend pointing to companies that see electric vehicles as key to the future of the automotive industry.
- Volvo announced it will stop producing gasoline-only engines by 2019, focusing on hybrid and all-electric models.
- In Europe, EVs are now being built as mobile generators that can supply excess power back into the grid during peak demand. Nissan, Mitsubishi and PSA Group are on board with the new technology. The program increases the stability of the power grid and the distribution of renewable energy.
- Mercedes Benz and its partner BAIC Motor Corp. are investing $740 million in new EV production in China by 2020.
- Volkswagen is investing $800 million in electrified transportation in California alone. VW is also offering German drivers a rebate of up to 10,000 euros ($12,000US) on the trade in of older diesel cars for a newer, cleaner model. Customers can earn an additional 2,380 euros ($2,800US) if they upgrade to a hybrid or EV. BMW, Daimler and Ford are offering similar plans.
- VW issued a statement saying “we are shouldering our share in the responsibility for climate-compatible, health-compatible mobility on Germany’s roads.”
- The UK has taken the dramatic step of saying that all new gas and diesel cars will be banned by 2040.
- Likewise, France has announced that by 2040 they will ban the sale of all gas and diesel cars. As part of its Paris Agreement targets, France intends to end oil and gas exploration, eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2022 and incentivize homeowners to produce their own energy.
News from Tesla
Tesla has a target of selling 500,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2018 (a five- fold increase from this year) and delivering 1 million cars annually by 2020.
The world’s largest lithium battery manufacturing plant, the Tesla Gigafactory is under construction in the Nevada desert. Upon completion in 2020 the plant will be the largest building in the world.
Elon Musk practices what he preaches
Musk has a Tesla Solar Roof on his home that charges not only the house but his car and feeds excess back into the grid, plus the roof looks fantastic. Similar installations have been completed on the homes of Tesla employees.
In November Musk said “It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account,”
“Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way, generates electricity?’ Why would you get anything else?”
Additional articles highlighting the movement toward clean powered vehicles
By Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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