California considering combustion vehicle ban

According to California Air Resources Board chairperson Mary Nichols, Governor Jerry Brown has inquired about banning new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles in the state. Nichols added that the state would likely not request a waiver from the U.S. EPA, but would seek an alternate legal path if the state chooses to implement a ban. The Chinese government, which has already suggested that it will proceed with such a ban, has set an official timetable for automakers to meet ZEV sales requirements (China’s policy design is similar to California’s ZEV program). Large automakers will be required to earn credits from “New Energy Vehicles” amounting to 10 percent of all their vehicle credits by 2019 and 12 percent by 2020, which a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst calculates would account for approximately 4-5 percent of an automaker’s total new vehicle sales. The executive director of C40 Cities commends bans on gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, but argues that climate and air quality goals will require a new transportation dynamic that replaces our dependence on passenger cars.

California considers following China with combustion-engine car ban (Bloomberg): According to the chairperson of the California Air Resources Board, California governor Jerry Brown has expressed interest in banning vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines. The governor is interested in pursuing ambitious climate goals similar to those announced in China, France, and the United Kingdom. CARB chairperson Mary Nichols expects the state would not seek a waiver from the EPA under the Clean Air Act to ban gasoline- and diesel-powered cars, but would likely seek a different legal authority.

The International Council on Clean Transportation performed an assessment of emerging zero-emission heavy-duty technologies to support decarbonization of the freight sector in the 2025-2030 timeframe. The assessment finds that heavy-duty electrification is essential to decarbonizing the transportation sector, that heavy-duty EV options could be cost-effective by 2030, and that large-scale recharging investments will be needed to achieve climate goals.

Market

Guess who’s buying ZEVs in California (Future Fuel Strategies): A recent study on the factors that influence California EV sales indicatemulti-unit dwellings have a negative correlation.

EV sales in North America to be 50% higher in 2017 than in 2016, Navigant Research report states (Clean Technica): Analytics firm Navigant Research estimates that EV sales will be roughly 50 percent higher in 2017 than sales in 2016. The Navigant report also expects that EV market growth will be sustained over the coming years, but will likely not match the 50 percent mark.

In shift toward EVs, Volkswagen looking for cobalt contracts (Ars Technica): To meet growing EV ambitions, Volkswagen and other major automakers are seeking long-term contracts with cobalt suppliers. Cobalt is a significant component in current lithium-ion battery technology. Estimates for VW’s cobalt needs would exceed $1.6 billion at current prices.

How commodity demand would change in a 100% EV world (hint: a lot): Visual Capitalist created a visual based on a UBS report that dissected a Chevy Bolt to study the metals used in the vehicle and the battery to estimate the impacts of EV adoption on market futures. The visual shows that lithium and cobalt will use will increase dramatically, while the use of metals such as platinum that are used in catalytic converters will likely fall.

Transitioning to zero-emission heavy-duty freight vehicles (The International Council on Clean Transportation): An assessment reviews emerging zero-emission heavy-duty technologies to support decarbonization of the freight sector in the 2025-2030 timeframe and analyzes cost of ownership and life-cycle GHG emissions in China, Europe, and the United States. The assessment finds that heavy-duty electrification is essential to decarbonizing the transportation sector, that heavy-duty EV options could be cost-effective by 2030, and that large-scale recharging investments will be needed to achieve climate goals.

Charging Infrastructure

Tesla might build convenience stores at its charging stations (Engadget): Tesla may be considering adding convenience stores to some of its SuperCharger locations. The automaker would seek partners to run the stores.

Policy

China gives automakers more time in world’s biggest EV plan (Bloomberg): China has set an official timetable for automakers to meet ZEV sales requirements. Large automakers will be required to earn credits from “New Energy Vehicles” amounting to 10 percent of all their vehicle credits by 2019 and 12 percent by 2020. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst notes that the credit structure would mean that ZEVs would account for approximately 4-5 percent of an automaker’s total new vehicle sales.

Welcome to the future: what does the post-combustion engine era mean for our cities (CityMetric): National, state, and local policies to ban gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles and promote EV adoption are laudable, according to the executive director of C40 Cities, but deeper steps must be taken to revolutionize transportation by ending the ubiquity of private cars.

Batteries and Technology

EasyJet joins forces with US startup to develop electric plane (Bloomberg): Low-cost U.K. airliner EasyJet is working with a U.S. startup to develop an all-electric commercial plane within a decade. The tandem is setting their sights on a plane that can fly 225 miles, a range that covers 20 percent of the passengers that currently fly with EasyJet.