EVs now 4 million, 5 million in 6 mos. Most Important Charging is Home (or Work to maximize solar use). GM & Delta Americas Working On 180 Miles In 10 Minutes Charging.

September 4th, 2018 by  in Clean Technica

General Motors is partnering with Delta Americas to develop extremely fast charging technology that will allow electric car drivers to add 180 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, according to Bloomberg. To put that into context, that is three times as many miles as Tesla drivers can add in 10 minutes using today’s Superchargers and 50% more than Porsche owners will reportedly enjoy with their new Taycan or Cross Turismo when those cars go on sale (and charging stations are available).

EV fast charging networkThe development process is expected to take place over the next three years and will support General Motors’ plan to have 20 electric cars with rapid charging capability for sale by 2023. It is being assisted by the US Department of Energy, says Jalopnik. The new charging system will deliver 400 kW of electricity with 96.5% efficiency — the highest number of any charging system. Such high efficiency will be made possible by using solid-state transformers — an industry first.

“We’re thrilled to lead such an important project and have a stellar team of researchers and partners in place that are more than ready to take on the challenge of setting a new standard for EV fast charging,” President of Delta Americas, M.S. Huang, tells The Drive. “By utilizing solid state transformer technology, we have the opportunity to create unprecedented charging speed and convenience that will ultimately help support the DOE’s strategic goal of increasing EV adoption across the nation.”

High efficiency will become critically important to the electric car revolution as it moves forward, helping to lower the strain on local utilities as more and more chargers get added. Extremely fast charging will also be a boon to urban residents who do not have access to a charger in their apartment or condominium buildings. Instead of waiting for hours to charge at a public charging location, they will be able to top up their batteries in about the same time it takes to pump a tankful of gasoline. Since the average American drives less than 30 miles a day, one trip to a high power charger could provide enough power for a week’s worth of driving in just 10 minutes.

Jalopnik adds, “There is an arms race in the EV market right now, and it’s perhaps the most exciting thing happening in the world of cars. The first company that can make electric conveyance an option for city dwellers will win big.”

CleanTechnica has a number of questions about this new charging standard, especially whether it will be available only to GM owners or will be compatible with other charging standards like CCS. We also want to know what the specs will be for the onboard chargers GM plans to include in its future cars to enable such rapid charging and whether the fast charging technology will be optional or standard on GM electric cars.

General Motors did not respond immediately to our request for further information. We will update this story if we hear back from GM with more details.

4 Million Electrified Vehicles Sold Globally, 5 Million Expected In 6 Months (BNEF)

September 3rd, 2018 by 

“Nobody wants to buy an electric car.” You hear that all the time from the troglodytes who owe their fat salaries to fossil fuel interests. But the truth is, sales of electric cars are skyrocketing and the pace is accelerating. Are we near that long sought after inflection point when electric cars go mainstream? Here’s some input from Bloomberg New Energy Finance head Colin McKerracher:

Tesla Model 3 EVs

“Inflection points are notoriously difficult to call. Generally with consumer products, these things take longer than expected to get going, but then go faster than expected once they do. I think we’re still several years away from a true inflection point on EV adoption, but it’s definitely getting closer. Consumer choice really matters here, and for the numbers to really spike there will need to be cost-competitive models across all segments. That’s still going to take some time, but if you look at the launch plans of major automakers, there’s an incredible number of models coming in the early-to-mid 2020s.

“Of course, EV sales are often clustered and some areas have already reached the steep part of the adoption curve. Car dealerships in Oslo or Palo Alto, for example, would likely tell you that inflection point passed some time ago.”BNEF reports that, including electric buses, 4 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide as of the end of June. It expects sales of electric passenger vehicles to hit the 4 million mark by this month. Note, however, that BNEF counts any vehicle with a battery as an EV, so the numbers include hybrids like the Toyota Prius that have no charging ports.

But here is the real news: It took 60 months for the first million EVs to find buyers. The time needed to reach successive sales marks is shrinking. It took 17 months to get from 1 million to 2 million and only 10 months to get from 2 million to 3 million. BNEF predicts the 5 million mark will arrive about 6 months from now.

Unsurprisingly, China — with its aggressive incentives and policies — is now the world leader in EV sales. It accounts for roughly 40% of all EV sales. BNEF expects that trend to continue. China will reduce direct incentives next year and replace them with a credit system patterned on the one used in California. Each battery electric car will get three credits, a plug-in hybrid two credits, and a hybrid 1 credit. Manufacturers of conventional cars will need to buy credits from EV makers in order to sell their combustion engine offerings, which will make the price of traditional cars higher.

BNEF expects California to continue leading the way in the US market. EVs — again, that means including hybrids in this analysis — are already about 10% of sales in the Golden State, but the data shows an interesting change in buying habits. Where once the hybrids led the way, plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars are now outselling hybrids. We have Tesla and the arrival of the Model 3 to thank for that. “Californians will soon be presented with compelling, cost-competitive electric vehicles of many different types. Those factors will probably drive sales up significantly,” says BNEF.

EV sales CaliforniaThat inflection point Colin McKerracher talks about is probably still a few years away, but the trend lines are all pointing to exponential growth. As Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes all bring their electric cars to market in the near future, the upward trend should get steeper still. Waiting in the wings is the Tesla Model Y, which is expected to be even more popular than the Model 3 if such a thing is possible. For EV advocates like CleanTechnica readers, the sea change we have been hoping for is right around the corner.

Want more from Colin? Here’s his presentation and Q&A at rEVolution 2018 in Amsterdam, where CleanTechnica Director Zach Shahan was co-host:

For EVs to Really Get Traction, Home Charging Needs to Be an Option:

Where charging happens and how convenient it is can be a significant determinant behind the decision to buy an electric car, researchers argue.

BY  AUGUST 31, 2018, Government Tech
The opportunity for easy overnight recharging may be one of the surest routes toward a wider adoption of electric vehicles in the United States.   “Home location charging is the most frequently used and the most influential in the purchasing decision and the vehicle usage,” said Gil Tal, research director with the Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center, within the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.
Tal and his colleague Scott Hardman, a researcher also with the research center, gave a webinar presentation Aug. 29 with Meeting of the Minds, a global network of thought-leadership and a platform for knowledge-sharing digital programing, to discuss the future of electric vehicles and some of the policy directions local and state governments can take to encourage wider adoption by the driving public.
“And when I say, ‘home,’ I mean overnight. Sometimes it’s not their home charger, but overnight-charging is the most important charger,” Tal added.
The discussion comes at a time as many cities and states are exploring a buffet of approaches to grow electric vehicle adoption. States like Oregon are taking a multi-pronged strategy to increase charging opportunities at multifamily housing developments as well as upgrading the state’s West Coast Electric Highway, a network of 44 fast-charging stations along Interstate 5, Highway 99 and other highways.
Virginia intends to invest some $14 million over the next three years to install direct current (DC) fast chargers along major interstates and U.S. highways, as well as Level 2 chargers — a slightly slower charging unit — at popular destinations.
Columbus, Ohio, is offering rebates to taxi operators who switch out old gas-powered cars for electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, Sacramento, Calif., will be the location for $44 million in electric vehicle infrastructure and mobility services, as part of its relationship with Electrify America. In addition to new charging locations, the project will launch GIG Car Share, a “free-floating” car-share platform, powered by AAA, that will place some 260 entirely electric cars in Sacramento available for rent.
All of these projects could be viewed as the sort of “holistic” approaches regions should take to encourage EV adoption, researchers argue, which would also include purchase incentives, education, outreach and consumer engagement.
“For any new technology to receive market entry, consumers first need to be aware of it, which would mean they know what an electric vehicle is, they know the incentives that are available for them and they know that there’s charging infrastructure,” said Hardman.  Shoppers would then move to the phase where they gain more knowledge about the different technologies and brands available to them, before moving to the decision-making phase where they go out and buy a car. “For the market to be successful, we need to help people move through this process,” said Hardman. “However, at present, we seem to be sort of lagging in this area.”
The number of buyers who are seriously thinking about buying an electric car and have test-driven one has gone unchanged from 2014 to 2018, said Hardman.“Despite the fact that over these four years there’s been this huge growth in the market,” he added.
Electric vehicles account for less than 1 percent of cars and trucks on U.S. highways, according to a report by the Electrification Coalition. Despite these findings, lawmakers have set ambitious goals to grow electric car adoption. California — the largest market for electric vehicles — plans to have 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2025, a growth of more than 600 percent from today’s number, according to a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Where charging happens and how convenient it is can be a significant determinant behind the decision to buy an electric car, researchers say, who add that policy-makers ought to steer the conversation toward a goal of making overnight charging or workplace-charging convenient and available.
“In many cities, overnight can be a charger at your local elementary school that is a block or two away.” Tal offered. “In high-density locations home-charging may be a public, city-owned garage.” 
Consequently a workplace charging opportunity could just as well be chargers located at a public transit hub, he added.
Much chatter has been devoted to the development of charging plazas — roadside locations providing high-speed DC charging where a typical electric vehicle’s charge can boost from near zero to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. Electrify America plans to fund the construction of 2,000 fast-chargers across 484 sites in the next year.
Those infrastructure developments, which carry high costs, may not be the best use of resources. Public charging allows more miles traveled, “but is not a prerequisite for EV adoption,” said Tal.
“More than 80 percent charge their car at home,” he explained. “The people who are not charging their car at home are not doing it usually because they have free workplace charging.  
“Home charging is sufficient for most people,” Tal continued. “If they drive farther away from the range of their car, they can use a fast-charger every once in a while.”
Another finding by the research team — perhaps much to the consternation of EV owners — is, “charging should not be free,” he said.
When charging free, car-owners will forgo charging at home, and instead wait until they arrive at a location where a free-charger is located — workplace, public garage, etc. — and therefore these charges will always be “congested.”
“There is no way to build enough chargers if they are free,” said Tal.
“If they are congested, and today half of the workplace chargers in California are congested, they are not dependable,” he added. “If you really need this charger in order to make it back home, you cannot trust it.”

Skip Descant Staff Writer

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.