EV Obsession Launches EV Forums! −


100% Electric Vehicles

Published on June 4th, 2016 | by Zach

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EV Obsession Launches EV Forums!

June 4th, 2016 by
 

I was never much of a forums dude. But I slowly got more and more into them while covering electric vehicles. I think I first stumbled across the GM-Volt.com forum, and then the Tesla Motors Club forum. As you’ve probably noticed, I also stalk the official BMW i forum now. There’s a lot of great stuff in these forums — a lot of great stuff — and I probably spend far too much time in forums now, but I also had some reason to want more.

For one, readers have asked us to start a forum several times over the past few years. It has long been on the agenda to explore the possibility so that readers could start their own threads, topics could be arranged and referenced in a more helpful format, and discussions could more easily progress in a continuous fashion.

Additionally, while the independent forums for specific EVs are wonderful, they get cluttered with a ton of posts about minutia that are a bit much to wade through — I do it as part of my job, but don’t think a lot of innocent bystanders are interested in doing so.

Lastly, since the forums are tied to specific cars or brands, there isn’t a lot of cross-discussion regarding various models, which I think is unfortunate. Or, when there is such discussion, it seems quite warped due to the self-selection bias of the people involved in that particular model or brand’s forum.

EV Obsession ForumsSo… I finally created some forums of our own. Since most of the discussions these days tend to revolve around EVs (and for another couple of technical reasons that I won’t go into), the forums are hosted on EV Obsession instead of CleanTechnica (go to: http://evobsession.com/forums/). However, I have created a dedicated forum there for electricity sources, and one for batteries.

I’m not sure if it was a good idea, but, in addition to a general forum for all electric cars, I also set one up for the “electric car market,” one for EV charging, and one each for most of the major car companies. Will have to wait to see if each of these gets used … or if any of them get used! 😀

To try to get a little momentum there, below are the first posts on a few of the forums. All of them are by me except the first one by trendsetter Max Holland!

Have a look and click these forum threads to join in, or head to the main forums page and see if you are stimulated to start a thread.


Battery prices and EV market penetration, by Max Holland

Thanks to Zach for creating these forums. Zach’s recent battery price round up on Cleantechnica (http://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/15/ev-battery-prices-looking-back-years-forward-yet/) provoked me to do some back-of-envelope calculations about how evolving battery prices would affect EV sticker prices, and relative market penetration compared to ICEVs. I repost part of that conversation here, and welcome any feedback.

==
All we keen observers know that battery cost is key to overturning ICE vehicles (and thus ending the fossil fuel era), so we are all interested in this topic. I was also interested to run some numbers to see at what $/kwh various EVs reach sticker price parity with ICEs in an equivalent market segment (assuming for simplicity that the non-drivetrain features/quality/costs/price are identical) and without subsidies. I emphasize that given the much lower running costs and many other benefits of EVs, they don’t have to reach sticker price parity to become more attractive to the average buyer than ICEs, but nevertheless to understand the pattern might be interesting. There are lots of variables, so I have assumed that a 200 mile range 50kwh battery is seen as ‘minimum comfortable’ in mid-market segments ($25k to $50K), as Telsa and GM figure and many commentators suggest. I am focussing in on mainly these (arbitrary) price points, but they do straddle the ‘average’ US new car sticker price (around $33k). More on my assumptions below.
At 200 mile range, an EV is at ‘sticker price parity’ with an ICE at the following $/kwh:

At anything > $75k price point, parity is already reached (at $200/kwh)
At the $50k price point, parity is at $150/kwh
At the $33k price point, parity is at $100/kwh
At the $25k price point, parity is at $75/kwh
(At the $20k price point, parity is at $60/kwh)

Again – this is only sticker price parity – the mass-market value proposition of course comes in well before parity is reached due to big savings on running costs and many other EV benefits! But even for a Luddite who thinks that the sticker price of an EV should be ‘no higher’ than its ICE equivalent, and is satisfied by a 200 mile range, these are the numbers.

My assumptions are based around a 2014 academic study (Kochhan et al. ‘An Overview of Costs for Vehicle Components’) suggesting that the non-battery cost of electric vehicles are around 90-92% of an equivalent ICE vehicle. They figured that the 76-78% of non-drive-train costs are similar, but the EV drive train (excluding battery) might make up just 14% of the remaining cost (compared to the ICE drive train costing 22-24% of an ICE vehicle). If this is correct (or was correct in 2013-2014 when the research was done) it leaves 8-10% of the remaining vehicle cost for the battery. In the longer run I assume this 8-10% will be conservative because in EVs, inverters, motors and other electrical components can get significantly cheaper with volume and technology learning, relative to 2013-14 costs. Non-drivetrain costs could also turn out to be cheaper relative to ICE vehicles, e.g. vibration tolerances can be lower, engine noise insulation and heat insulation lowered, electrical auxiliary systems relatively less costly (amongst other things, please suggest ideas). So to give a baseline to the variables, I assume that as volume increases, total non-battery vehicle costs might get down to 85% of the equivalent ICE vehicle costs, which leaves us 15% margin to absorb the battery cost. If anyone wants to suggest an alternative figure, that would be welcome. The above parity figures already assume this 85% figure.

What is interesting for me is that the figures suggest that at $100/kwh, everyone happy with 200 miles range who is buying a new vehicle around the $33k price point (or above) will automatically choose an EV because it’s sticker is going to be cheaper. Musk is on to something! ? Given the running cost savings and other benefits, likely this will hold at lower price points also (likely anything above $20k-$25k).

For folks who are happy with an urban-only vehicle with 100 mile range (and rent something else for occasional longer trips) the sticker parity comes earlier/at lower price points (I assume a 25kwh battery):

At anything > $33,333 price parity is already reached (at $200/kwh)
At the $25k price point, parity is at $150/kwh
At the $20k price point, parity is at $120/kwh
At the $15k price point, parity is at $90/kwh

As I’ve mentioned – I am not claiming price parity is necessary for an average buyer to choose an EV over an ICE. There are lots of other savings and benefits to EVs, so this is just a baseline to work from. I’d appreciate others suggesting how these savings might add up to make the e.g. the 5 year ownership proposition at 10k or 15k miles a year an equivalent (or better) overall proposition relative to ICEs in different segments. Regulatory factors may well overtake these considerations anyway, as Netherlands and Norway already plan to outlaw new ICE sales for passenger vehicles after 2025. We will likely be at $100/kwh (or better) by then, so the market above $33,000 (or likely 20-25k given other savings & benefits) will effectively already have ‘banned’ ICEs. So it is within reason. The value proposition for EVs is higher in Europe anyway due to significant fuel duty, and generally less long-distance road trips etc. Carbon taxes will change the boundaries for ICEs also in favour of EVs. And of course fully autonomous vehicles will change everything completely, since most city dwellers likely won’t bother with car ownership at all.

I welcome any feedback, cheers.

[I had a brief exchange with Bob Wallace]:

[Bob]:
I don’t see any problems with your numbers but would like to suggest that purchase price parity is not as important as monthly out of pocket costs during payoff.

Let’s assume a six year loan at 4.5%, 13,000 miles per year, $0.12/kWh electricity and $3/gallon fuel. Here’s a really rough monthly cost to own and operate….

A $35k Tesla Mod3 with no subsidy = a $28k ICEV

A $35k Mod3 with $7,500 subsidy = a $22k ICEV

[Max]:
Thank you Bob for filling in some numbers for the rough 6 year cost around this price point, making the EV proposition even more compelling. For a $33k segment EV to be the same longer term value as a $28k segment ICEV even without subsidy is great for consumers; there’s definitely going to be a word-of-mouth (and media) effect to spread this ‘good value’ message once the Model 3 and Bolt start getting into circulation – especially since they will both have sports car performance (more-so the Telsa). One other conclusion from my looking at the numbers, and the upper and middle price brackets favouring EVs first, is that ICEVs will increasingly be associated with lower price brackets and have a negative connotation, further boosting the image/status of EVs. Roll on the EV revolution! Cheers

[Bob]:
” ICEVs will increasingly be associated with lower price brackets and have a negative connotation”

That’s a factor that I don’t know how to monetize, but ICEVs are likely to be seen as ‘old tech’ and will lose cache.

“What? You’re still using a crt monitor gasmobile? You stuck in the past?”

join in the discussion here.


Introductions

It’s nice to get to know people. So, if you don’t have a problem sharing a little info, please provide a little (or lot) of info here about yourself and your connection to EVs.

To kick things off, I’m the director & chief editor of CleanTechnica.com & EVObsession.com (also the founder of EVObsession.com) and obsessively cover EVs full time on these sites.

I have reservations down for a Model 3 for my wife & I and one for one of our writers. Though, I’m also considering a used BMW i3 and dreaming about one day getting a Tesla Model X … but that’s unlikely. And, of course, I’m eager to see and drive the Model Y!


Which company will be 3rd to launch an “affordable” long-range electric vehicle?

(Following the Chevy Bolt & Tesla Model 3, presumably.)

I’m going to guess Nissan.


Long-Range EV Expectations for 2020? (US/EU)

How many 200+ mile electric car models do you think will be on the market in 2020? Thinking out loud…

1. Tesla Model 3
2. Tesla Model S
3. Tesla Model X
4. Tesla Model Y
5. Chevy Bolt
6. Another one from GM (no idea what it would be)
7. Nissan IDS
8. Long-range Nissan LEAF
9. Another one from Nissan
10. BMW i3
11. BMW i5
12. something from Volkswagen
13. something from Porsche
14. something from Audi
15. something from Ford
16. something from Renault
17. something from Mitsubishi


Electric Car Sales

Got news or views on electric car sales? Share here!


What Does The Electric Car Market Need To Succeed

Critical things that I think the electric car market needs in order to succeed include:

1) Widespread superfast EV charging (not just for one company — Tesla).

2) Long-range electric models in classes that span the various needs and interests of the broader car market (including pickup trucks, SUVs, large sedans, small sedans, large hatchbacks, small hatchbacks, minivans, etc.)

3) A clear solution (or, more likely, multiple solutions) for the majority of people living in homes where home charging isn’t possible.

4) A much larger and more efficient battery production market.

5) Dealers that are willing to and interested in selling EVs.

6) Better automaker advertising regarding EVs.

7) Cost-competitiveness with gasmobiles with the same features, size, etc. (Almost there, and already there with the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and (soon) Tesla Model 3.


Tesla Model Y News

Tesla Model X News

Tesla Model S News

Tesla Model 3 News


Volkswagen: Serious? or playing us?

Volkswagen has made some bold claims regarding long-range all-electric cars in the past year or two. It has also talked repeatedly about a serious shift to EVs. But it is known for putting out a lot of PR vaporware.

Do you think VW is serious about becoming a leader in the EV arena? Or do you think it is bluffing and hyping beyond what it will deliver?

Also, in that regard, I think it was part of the effort to get a 150 kW charging standard in Europe. But do you think it is working on bringing an actual 150 kW charging network to fruition (with partners)?


Audi: Serious? Or “tomorrow never comes?”

Audi has made some bold claims regarding long-range all-electric cars in the past year or two. It has also talked repeatedly about a serious shift to EVs. But it is known for putting out a lot of PR vaporware.

Do you think Audi is serious about becoming a leader in the EV arena? Or do you think it is bluffing and hyping beyond what it will deliver?

Also, in that regard, I think it was part of the effort to get a 150 kW charging standard in Europe. But do you think it is working on bringing an actual 150 kW charging network to fruition (with partners)?


So, what are you waiting for — go jump in!


 

Don't forget to follow EV Obsession on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and/or RSS! Do it for electricity!


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, SCTY, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB. After years of covering solar and EVs, he simply had a lot of faith in these companies and felt like they were good companies to invest in as a portion of his retirement strategy. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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