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Days of Hybrids numbered?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by VolkerP, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    An interesting thought struck me during the last days, discussing battery breakthroughs and oil prices.

    A McKinsey study from 2012 featured a nice graph for the economic viability of different drive train technologies. While some years have passed, I think the fundamental idea is still valid. So here is the info graph:
    oilage3.png

    Two things have changed materially since 2012:
    1) battery prices more than halved
    2) oil price halved

    So the economic window for HEV and PHEV drivetrains is quickly closing. You would expect that consumers now pick gas guzzlers again. But there are CO2 fleet limitations in EU and other limitations in effect in other important markets like U.S. or China.
    The cheapest way to fulfil these today would be BEVs.

    And hopefully, while battery prices continue to drop, not even raising gas prices can make hybrids sexy again.

    My conclusions:
    1. The days of PHEV are numbered, and they will never come back.
    2. BEVs will establish a solid foothold within all manufacturers fleets.
     
  2. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Maybe. I'm skeptical about where they placed their boundaries - the logic in parts of the chart isn't obvious to me. Do you have a link to the article?

    Until we get to the fabled 600 mile rage and five minute recharge EV, it's a lot easier to sell skeptical ICE drivers on a Volt or similar than it is a BEV - even a long range one like the Bolt or Model 3. (Assuming the Volt type car is actually explained and marketed and doesn't experience a major smear campaign.)

    I think cars like the Volt will have a role for another decade or so as a gateway drug - giving people most of the EV benefits without the risks, and showing ICE drivers both what kind of range they really need and why EVs are better. After that, the public perception may have changed enough to truly embrace EVs in the mass market.
    Walter
     
  3. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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  4. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    As someone who has had a Volt for about a month now I think you hit the nail right on the head. As someone with a 64 mile commute everyday I can drive all (if I plug in at work) or nearly all of it EV, which you quickly come to love, but can also hop in the car and drive out into the boonies somewhere with merely a glance at the fuel level. It's not as good as a pure design BEV like the Model S, but for the near and maybe mid future it's a more appealing option for many people. However, it also serves to prove to them that with enough range (and Superchargers!) they don't need gasoline any longer.
     
  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    The sales of pickups, large SUVs, and large mini-vans is very ripe for PHEV once gas starts to climb again. Pure EV versions are not in the cards. To get 200 miles out of a heavy vehicle with high frontal area, high Cd, and high rolling resistance would require 200+ kWh worth of battery, or over 2000lb and at least $30,000 premium, and towing range would still be a big issue since "fast charging" would be a complete joke. BEV would be a poor choice in powertrains. Dropping it to a 40 mile range with 50kWh using PHEV cuts the cost, weight, and has no towing range limits.

    Right now, operational costs on sedans and CUVs are low no matter what drivetrain is used in the US. One might be cheaper to operate, but none are expensive. The reason for buying a BEV are purely for the superior quality of the driving experience, you aren't really saving a significant amount of money in 5 years of ownership, actually losing if you need a second ICE vehicle to supplement it.
     
  6. eloder

    eloder Member

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    I think we all may be very surprised at how willing consumers will be able to live with relatively "slow" charging speeds, when it means transforming 10 mpg while towing into 40-60+ mpge on your own electricity and completely free on a supercharger network.

    200 kwh batteries at Model S prices will likely be possible within a decade. Many contractors or workers who only tow or work in a specified boundary could replace these vehicles and save gobs of money much sooner than that.

    Anyways, regarding PHEVs disappearing: it's definitely a possibility. A lot of articles I've read have highlighted drops in PHEV/hybrid sales, though EVs are still going strong as oil prices dropped. Eventually the cost of the bigger battery will be much cheaper than a $4k generator or a complex hybrid drivetrain--even right now that $4k could net you something like 18 kwh, just basing the costs off of Leaf replacement packs today.
     

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