From ElecTrek, Dec ’19
Trucks and buses need to be EV
The electrification of trucks and buses needs to be accelerated, says a new report released yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).The UCS report states that there are currently about 28 million trucks and buses in the US, or 10% of all vehicles. They are responsible for 28% of total carbon emissions in the transportation sector.
Electric trucks, on the other hand, emit 44% to 79% less emissions than diesel trucks, depending on the type of vehicle. They have zero tailpipe emissions. Further, the ownership costs can be cheaper.
Electrifying US trucks would increase national electricity consumption by 13%, yet would reduce the total demand for energy by 71% due to the efficiency of electric vehicles.
Like FedEx and Amazon, UPS is in the process of electrifying their fleet, and in June 2018, Electrek reported that UPS bought 1,000 electric vans from Workhorse.
For those who wonder about range, UCS has this to say:
The analysis found there are many trucks whose operating characteristics are well-suited for electrification, including those that operate in defined areas and park at central depots where they can be recharged. Two-thirds of U.S. trucks travel 20,000 miles or less each year — an average of 80 miles per day if driven five days per week and 50 weeks per year — well within the operating range of battery electric trucks operating on a single charge.
There are more than 70 models from 27 manufacturers of electric trucks and buses available now, or with production announced within the next two years.
The UCS study says there are three policies that can accelerate the electrification of trucks and buses:
- Financial incentives
- Investments in charging infrastructure
- Standards that increase the manufacture and purchase of heavy-duty electric vehicles
Electric school buses in Florida
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has entered the first phase of replacing older diesel school buses with electric or alternative fuel school buses.
Florida received a total of $166 million from Volkswagen after the 2015 Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. Seventy percent, or approximately $116 million, of the $166 million will be spent to replace school, transit, and shuttle buses.
Florida will fund a minimum of five and a maximum of 10 school buses per each awarded district. For the first round of replacements… the department is covering 100% of the cost. This is to better understand the entire process of identifying, acquiring, and implementing electric vehicles and their infrastructure.
Buses up for replacement must have a 2009 or older diesel engine, and the school district must permanently disable the diesel engine once it’s replaced.
School districts will work with utility companies to install charging stations for the buses.
Tesla is top for MPGe
“Have vehicles become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly?”
A new study conducted by comparison website carinsurancecompanies.com titled “Fuel Economy Trends” analyzed 10 years of data from the US Department of Energy. The point of the study was to understand how fuel efficiency has changed in the US by looking at air and greenhouse gas pollution scores. It asks the question, “Have vehicles become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly?”
When it comes to comparing electric to gas:
By calculating ‘the number of miles the vehicle can go using a quantity of fuel with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline,’ manufacturers can find the miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent or MPGe. Considering the average electric vehicle releases the same emissions as a vehicle that gets 80 mpg, electric cars impact average mpg levels significantly.
In 2011, electric and hybrid cars only made up 2% of the US market, but now make up 10%.
You can read the entire report here, but the main takeaways are:
- Electric cars lead the pack for the highest MPGe — specifically, Hyundai (128 MPGe), Volkswagen (119 MPGe), and Chevrolet (119 MPGe).
- The most eco-friendly car brand is Tesla (10/10), followed by Hyundai (6/10).
- Fuel efficiency has increased by an average of 6.5 MPG (from 20.0 to 26.5) over the last decade.
- Infiniti and Dodge rank among the 10 worst brands when it comes to air pollution and greenhouse gas scores.
- Manufacturers with the lowest MPG were mainly luxury or sports cars. Bentley had the lowest MPG among midsize and small cars, while Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini had the lowest for large cars and SUVs, respectively.
- Honda has the only gasoline/diesel vehicles to average over 30 MPG.
But here’s the good news: Electric vehicles are expected to make up more than half of the new cars sold in the next 20 years. If we’re lucky, maybe it’ll be even more than that.
– Dec. 12th 2019 1:22 pm ETELECTRIC VEHICLES
In Europe, sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars are expected to grow 35% in the first nine months of 2020, according to BloombergNEF. That’s a much faster rate than we’ll see in North America or China, the world’s biggest EV markets.
China’s electric-vehicle market could even contract in 2020 as Beijing reduces EV subsidies. To sustain growth in electric-car sales in North America, Tesla will need to spur continued interest in the Model 3, as we wait for the Model Y’s introduction (and the Cybertruck dominates the conversation).
A slew of other EVs will get introduced in the US throughout the year, including new electric models from Audi, Byton, BMW, Ford, Polestar, Rivian, Volkswagen, and Volvo. But it could take most of the year for these vehicles to arrive and for decent sales numbers to build. At the same time, the fight between California and the Trump Administration over fuel-efficiency rules will create uncertainty.
Meanwhile, the European Union is absolutely sure about its fight to reduce carbon emissions. Car manufacturers must sell emissions-free vehicles in volume or pay stiff EU penalties.
New EU rules say manufacturers must achieve a fleet average CO2 emissions representing the equivalent of 57.4 miles per gallon by next year. That steadily increases to 92 miles per gallon average by 2030 – effectively requiring all automakers to immediately begin shifting to electric vehicles or face steep fines. Smaller EVs take precedence over crossovers and trucks.
NordLB analyst Frank Schwope told BloombergNEF:
It’s better to subsidize electric cars than to pay high fines for selling combustion engines. We should see steady gains in the numbers next year.
There will be carrots as well as sticks. Consumer incentives to reduce the price of an EV by as much as 6,000 euros (about $6,500) are offered in Germany, France, and to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom. The biggest sellers of EVs in the US, notably Tesla, will no longer benefit from federal incentives.
As expected, some European auto industry leaders are reluctant to make the change, wanting to stall based on claims of weakening overall sales, potential job losses, and Brexit uncertainty. In the past couple of years, European CO2 emissions have increased as consumers on the other side of the pond shift to profitable, gas-guzzling SUVs. Many forecasts predict a decline in overall vehicle sales in Europe of about 5 to 10%.
EVs and plug-in hybrids accounted for about 1.5% of all passenger cars sold across the EU in 2018. But the electric momentum is already beginning. In Q3 2019, sales of electric vehicles made up 3.1% of new registrations, according to industry data.
In the next three years, the number of available EVs in Europe is expected to reach 150 models.
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Europe’s Green New Deal
The European Commission (EC) released a new climate change action plan on Wednesday known as the European Green Deal, with the subtitle, “striving to be the first climate-neutral continent.” The plan aims to make the European Union “climate neutral” by 2050.
The EU is currently third, behind China and the United States, in global greenhouse gas emissions. The new plan contains even more ambitious emissions cuts than the EU’s Paris Climate Agreement commitments. The EU’s goal for 2030 has gone from a 40% reduction to a 50% reduction, with the added goal for 2050 of eliminating 100% of the bloc’s net greenhouse gas emissions.
But the European Green Deal is light on the details of how this massive transition would actually proceed. For example, the plan doesn’t provide a detailed description of the energy sources that would power the EU to zero emissions by 2050, what technologies might help it get there, or any policy mechanisms that could help incentivize climate-friendly business practices. [EC president Ursula] von der Leyen acknowledged this, calling it a ‘broad road map,’ rather than a step-by-step action plan.
However, the plan does recommend a carbon tax that would apply to emissions associated with imports from countries with weaker climate policies.
Ester Asin, director of the European policy office at the World Wildlife Foundation, said of the new plan to the Guardian:
The proposed package is comprehensive, identifying the right areas for action — from biodiversity and nature restoration to climate change and stopping deforestation.
However, by emphasizing continued economic growth as a key objective, the commission has missed an opportunity to challenge the traditional growth paradigm in favor of an approach that would respect planetary boundaries.
– Dec. 12th 2019 1:05 pm ET
Electrification is taking over every segment of transportation and now even fire engines are going electric. The Menlo Park Fire District is looking to bring a $6 million electric fire engine to the US.
Rosenbauer, an Austrian-based fire engine manufacturer, has built what it calls “the world’s first fully electric drive fire truck”:
“The future trends such as the silver society, gender shift and individualization suggest that the working methods of fire departments will change fundamentally. The CFT, therefore, stands for an ergonomically optimized vehicle that can be adapted to a wide variety of requirements and operated intuitively. Connectivity, globalization and knowledge culture reflect the importance of communication and digitization in our society. The networking of man and machine will become increasingly important and will also make a decisive contribution to the success of operations. The topics of mobility, new ecology and urbanization are important when it comes to environmental protection and traffic. The Concept Fire Truck is electrically powered and is, therefore, environmentally friendly, maneuverable and safe.”
The electric vehicle, which apparently costs $6 million, is already being tested by fire departments in Europe, but Rosenbauer is looking to bring it to the US.
They revealed that they have been in discussions with the Menlo Park Fire District and they even brought a prototype to California.
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told ABC7 News about his intention of purchasing the electric vehicle:
“When I came into the fire service, I was told, ‘The fire service is 200 years of tradition, only impeded by progress. Well, we’re throwing that out. That doesn’t make sense. We’re in Silicon Valley.”
While the price is much higher than a diesel-powered fire truck, which can run up to $1 million, they are expecting some important savings in maintenance costs.
The fire department sent a mechanic, Rudy Torres, to Austria to see if the Rosenbauer electric fire engine could work for them and they are confident it could.
Electric powertrains have fewer moving parts than gas-powered engines and generally require less maintenance.
Rosenbauer says that its electric truck is equipped with a 350 kW electric powertrain. It didn’t disclose the size of its battery pack, but the company says that it can operate for more than 30 minutes.
Now the Menlo Park Fire District is seeking approval from the Fire Board to purchase the vehicle.
“If we do sign a contract, we’re going to be one of the premiere Fire Districts that are going to say, ‘Hey, we helped design this,’”
If they do purchase it, they expect to take delivery in 2022.
Here’s the electric fire engine’s specs sheet:
US wind power is growing
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), as of September 2019, cumulative US-installed onshore wind capacity exceeded 100 gigawatts (GW) on a nameplate capacity basis.
As of Q3 2019, 41 states had at least one installed wind turbine. Texas led the country with the most capacity at 26.9 GW, followed by Iowa (8.9 GW), Oklahoma (8.1 GW), Kansas (6.2 GW), and California (6.1 GW). The top four states make up 50% of the total US installed wind capacity.
The EIA expects that an additional 7.2 GW of wind capacity will come online in December 2019 and that another 14.3 GW of wind capacity will come online next year. That would put the US at about 122 GW of wind capacity by the end of 2020.
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