August 3rd, 2014

How Many BEVs are out on the roads these days/months/years?

From January:

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140114/OEM05/140119794/teslas-global-sales-top-22000-in-2013-stock-rises-16

> 22K from Tesla, worldwide, in 2013.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/07/us-tesla-motors-results-idUSBREA460ZW20140507

So first quarter > 6400, second quarter they did succeed in delivering around 7500, putting them on track for their 35K target for 2014.

So call it 22K + 35K by the end of the year = 57K, throw in the Roadster years and it'll be around 60K Tesla on the road by the end of the calendar year.

Nissan Leaf hit 100K in January of this year, and in May, they broke 3K units in a single month.

http://green.autoblog.com/2014/06/03/nissan-leaf-sells-3117-may-climbs-over-3000-first-time/

The Leaf appears to be pulling ahead of the Volt month by month, but I won't be counting the Volt because it is technically a PHEV, rather than a BEV (it is not an all-electric drive vehicle; it is a hybrid drive vehicle. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether you run the gas engine or not; it's a technical aspect of how the car works.).

I think it's safe to say that there must be something like 200K BEVs driving around (globally -- not just here in the states). For reference purposes (remember, that 200K is a multi-year cumulative number, NOT a single year's sales), global car sales in 2013 were about 82 million and are expected to be a little higher this year.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-car-sales-seen-reaching-85-mln-in-2014-ihs-2013-12-16

I'm not sure what to make of this. Perspective matters. On the one hand, annual global BEV sales may break one basis point fairly soon (that is, 1 in 1000 cars sold may soon be a BEV). On the other hand, 1% of global car sales looks a long, long ways away.

On the third hand, this looks really fucking hilarious right now, in the middle of 2014.

http://web.mit.edu/sloan-auto-lab/research/beforeh2/files/Cunningham_BS_thesis_2009.pdf

Nissan's Leaf is nowhere in any of the descriptive material, much less the charts. In conjunction with Tesla, 5 years on, it is producing numbers in the US sufficient to make this statement, in particular, look much less plausible in 2014 than it was in 2009:

"the BCG Scenario 2, BCG Scenario 3, and Deutsche Bank production projections could be seen as highly optimistic."

But you know, that person has an engineering degree from MIT, and I'm a middle-aged mother of two in Metrowest who went on three test drives last week and otherwise hasn't really given BEVs a ton of thought beyond, yeah, no, I don't want that one, either. This is the week where I changed my mind. There are usually a lot of sheep baa'ing along behind me, altho sometimes I find myself all alone and completely lost.

If you read some or all of the MIT paper, and are wondering, here is what isn't happening at Detroit Electric:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Electric

Reading that is even worse than reading about the Fisker Karma. You just kinda shake your head and go, what?

As for Th!nk, well, they were gone a couple years after the thesis was done, declaring bankruptcy in 2011.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_TH!NK

You wouldn't necessarily know from reading what I post here that I spend a fair amount of time whinging on about the Reality Distortion Field around Musk/Tesla, but I have to say, I have been _wildly_ unfair about that car/that guy. Elon Musk delivers on the projects he works on (that Hyperloop think was only ever a design idea), which is more than can be said for Detroit Electric and Th!nk. The Tesla may not be For Me, but it is growing numbers, producing supportive infrastructure and directly addressing the battery production ramp-up problem, altho I don't see any evidence that he's helping on the interoperability issue in terms of charging standards.

ETA: Here's the "BCG" scenario source, a paper from Boston Consulting Group about, well, actually completely worth reading, even five years on. (Rev date seems to be Jan 2009)

http://www.bcg.com/documents/file15404.pdf

They assume 9K miles per year driven, which is interestingly low compared to a lot of car analysis, but much closer to what R. and I do.

Altho I have to say, don't _ever_ take investing advice from these guys. They are unbelievably foolish when it comes to thinking about how and why new things are adopted. Their model is a pure-play rational model based on total cost of ownership. Yeah, because _that's_ what drives people to buy cars. [<-- Sarcasm. Heavy, heavy sarcasm.] The Tesla Model S doesn't fit _anywhere_ in their universe, much less the upcoming Model X, and if you read that paper, you'd have _no freaking clue_ that a big part of electric car appeal is performance under measures that absolutely _punish_ range and TCO.

I guess I think that the best way to imagine how many cars could possibly be non-ICE vehicles in 2020 is to recognize that we're right around 1 full replacement cycle away from 2020 right now. Sometime between now and 2020, most cars currently on the road will be replaced with something newer. And most cars, if I read the statistics correctly, are in households with at least one other car. So I think that means that about a quarter of the cars _could_ become non-ICE vehicles (on the premise that most people don't want to be in a household composed exclusively of BEV/plug-in hybrid, wtf vehicles, but almost anybody would be willing to have one of those around as a daily driver) by 2020. Given that oil has developed a real predilection for hovering around $100/barrel, give or take, over the last few years, there's a meaningful motivator for having a car that gets good gas mileage or other power metric equivalent. So about a quarter of the cars _could_ be PHEV, HEV, BEV, wtf, and mostly people would like that, so any estimate that is greater than a quarter needs to explain how people suddenly become that appalled at ICE vehicles and any estimate that is a lot less than a quarter needs to explain why people prefer driving extremely efficient ICE vehicles vs. a sexier hybrid like a Porsche Panamera (<-- to use a completely ridiculous example). BCG's estimate feels a little off to me, but not by a lot -- it's more their reasoning to get there that bugs me.

More from BCG:

http://www.bcg.com/documents/file80920.pdf

July 2011 date on this one.

Oh, hey, I think I finally get the charging standards

Try, very hard, not to think about VHS vs. Betamax. It is a poor analogy.

The first thing you need to know about is SAE J1772.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772

If you are on PlugShare, you'll see these everywhere. Everywhere. They are NOT fast chargers, unless they have some additional qualifiers on them, which, short form, they don't, yet, but they may soon have words like "ComboCharger" or "CCS" or something along those lines. AC chargers/fast chargers are sort of forever split because different regions have done AC differently, however, DC is DC is DC so in theory you could at least make the DC part a shared protocol (might be the wrong word).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combo_Coupler#Combined_Charging_System

I think that we can expect in the future to see a lot of Fast Charge stations that have Chademo (Nissan) and CCS hookups (which only BMW would currently make use of), in much the same way that each fuel pump currently has a bunch of hoses for different grades of fuel, and maybe a really different looking hose that is labeled Diesel. Open question how Tesla interacts with all of this.

ETA: And while all Nissan dealers seem to have some sort of charging station, they don't all -- maybe not even most -- have the Chademo fast charger. Nissan is exploiting the dealer network to provide a comparable service to the Tesla network:

http://theenergycollective.com/katherinetweed/427191/will-nissans-free-ev-charging-rival-teslas-supercharger-network

ETA: http://insideevs.com/180-nissan-dealerships-us-chademo-fast-chargers/

There really does seem to be a West Coast bias, but that's not surprising.