Charging Ahead: What Will the idea Take for Electric Vehicles to Go Mainstream?

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Charging Ahead: What Will the idea Take for Electric Vehicles to Go Mainstream?

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through the November 2016 issue

Cheaper Batteries

One hundred along with also fifty dollars. which’s the magic number—the cost for one kilowatt-hour’s worth of lithium-ion battery capacity—at which experts believe electric vehicles can become cost competitive with internal-combustion vehicles. The math requires several assumptions along with also approximations, however the idea generally goes like This kind of:

According to Navigant Research, an internal-combustion powertrain (engine, transmission, along with also axle) costs between $4000 along with also $7000 per vehicle, along with also those figures will only rise with fuel-economy stand­ards. “Over the next decade, we expect which range to raise by $1000 to $2000 as you add brand-new emissions aftertreatment like particulate filters for direct-injection engines, 48-volt hybrids, along with also advanced multispeed transmissions,” said Navigant Research senior analyst Sam Abuelsamid.

At $150 per kWh, a 50-kWh pack could deliver 0 miles of range for $7500. Add in $1500 to $2000 for a motor, power electronics, along with also 1-speed gearbox, along with also an EV could reach cost parity without today’s tax credits. EVs also benefit through lower operating costs, a roughly $1000 annual advantage.

The $150 mark will be hardly guaranteed. the idea’s difficult enough to pinpoint lithium-ion battery costs today, let alone a decade through at This kind of point. Jon Bereisa, who worked on the EV1 along with also the Chevrolet Volt during his 35 years with GM, estimates which the Chevrolet Bolt’s 60-kWh pack will be priced at $215 per kWh. Tesla’s head of investor relations, Jeff Evanson, claims product S battery packs cost $190 per kWh, although which figure might be derived via Tesla math—accounting which often ignores R&D along with also capital investments.

Either way, the final $50 or so per kWh may be the most difficult to find. No one predicts significant leaps for today’s lithium-ion technology. Instead, cost reductions will be found in economies of scale along with also manufacturing improvements. Tesla’s Gigafactory will be a $5 billion battery-building chisel which could chip away up to 30 percent of a pack’s cost if the idea comes together as planned by 2020. Abuelsamid predicts which EV along with also gas-vehicle costs will intersect shortly after which, inside the mid-2020s. —Eric Tingwall

Cost for Lithium Ion Battery Packs

Better Infrastructure

More than 60 years ago, President Eisenhower’s Grand Plan laid the foundation for the Interstate Highway System which opened the country to the automobile. The shape of vehicles changed, along with also American life inside the 20th century was redefined.

With several 0- along with also 300-mile electric vehicles slated to arrive inside the next two years, today’s parallel to a pre-interstate America will be our lack of a cohesive fast-charging infrastructure for EVs. If battery-electrics are to replace gasoline-fed vehicles, we’ll need a national, automaker-agnostic network of direct-current Level 3 fast charging, which will restore 75 to 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Tesla’s Supercharger network of fast-charging stations will be the best approximation of which vision for at This kind of point. With thoughtful spacing of stations along with also a consistent interface, the idea comes the closest to providing the American “tank of gas” cadence. In about the time the idea might take to gas up along with also have lunch—roughly 45 minutes—a Tesla can recharge to drive another couple hundred miles, as many times as your family along with also fatigue permit.

For the foreseeable future, drivers of electric vehicles through various other automakers face a very different experience, having a sometimes-maddening amalgam of chargers run by separate charging networks, using varied hardware. There’s also not much consistency among interfaces, with some of the chargers only accepting membership cards along with also fobs for proprietary networks.

Automakers, arguably the largest beneficiaries of a national charging network, haven’t stepped in to institute a better way. Instead, they’ve divided the infrastructure by promoting two competing charging stand­ards along with also connectors, with Asian auto­­makers supporting CHAdeMO along with also the Europeans along with also Americans favoring the Combined Charging System (CCS). Those systems typically charge at 50 kW, well below the 135 kW which most Tesla Superchargers are capable of providing, although both standards look ahead to 150-kW charging. which higher power level might allow a 250-mile EV to regain its charge in half an hour, versus about 80 minutes with 50-kW charging.

As in 1954, our best expect for a national infrastructure plan likely lies with the government. This kind of past summer the White House announced a partnership between the Department of Transportation along with also the Department of Energy which will assess charging-station locations, study faster charging up to 350 kW, along with also form “a 2020 vision for a national network of fast-charging stations for EVs in order to facilitate coast-to-coast, nationwide zero-emissions travel.” which network can’t come fast enough, as we’re not willing to give up the one thing which’s quintessentially American: the freedom of the open road. —Bengt Halvorson

Betamax vs. VHS, 2017 Edition

CHAdeMOCombined Charging SystemTesla Supercharger
CHAdeMO
Vehicles: Kia Soul EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf
Typical Power: 50 kW
Number of U.S. Connectors: 1919
Combined Charging System
Vehicles: BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Spark EV, Volkswagen e-Golf
Typical Power: 50 kW
Number of U.S. Connectors: 1061
Tesla Supercharger
Vehicles: Tesla product S, product X
Typical Power: 135 kW
Number of U.S. Connectors: 2010

Over a Barrel

At the moment, though, demand for these alternative powertrains has slowed. Partially along with also fully electric vehicles currently account for less than 3 percent of U.S. auto sales in their third year of declining market share. Blame cheap gas for the recent dip. Over the past 10 years, the market for electrified vehicles has generally followed the trend of fuel prices, lagging behind by one year. In 2012, gas reached its highest average cost inside the past decade at $3.55 for a gallon of regular. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, along with also EV market share peaked the next year with just less than 0,000 of the 15.5 million vehicles sold. With gas prices on the cusp of dropping below $2.00 per gallon for 2016, the electrification movement won’t be getting any help through the oil industry anytime soon. —ET

Over a Barrel

Charging Ahead: What Will the idea Take for Electric Vehicles to Go Mainstream?

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