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Open Letter to Justin Trudeau about accelerating EV adoption

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Peter_M, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

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  2. SMSMD

    SMSMD Member

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    No representation from Alberta?
     
  3. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    #3 S'toon, Jan 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    There's a Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Club? This is news to me.

    I was watching the Canada Post van dropping off the mail to those boxes they have for the mail carriers to get the mail from the other day and I thought to myself "I don't see any reason why those can't be electric vehicles, like the US has." Y'all know the benefits. Lower fuel costs, lower maintenance, etc. etc.
     
  4. SMSMD

    SMSMD Member

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    I was surprised too!!...I thought it was you who was involved as you are the Only SK i have seen around on this forum...Happy new year
     
  5. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Oh, there's a couple. You might have seen Internet Dude's videos. Mayhemm did the E-mazing Race at least twice in his P85.
     
  6. decibel

    decibel Member

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    IMHO the letter focuses too much on capabilities consistent with the recent past, while any public policy intervention should be focussed on bringing the future sooner.

    The letter argues for a purchase incentive for EVs with "minimum all-electric ranges of 50km", if you want to change the world the focus should be on the next generation of EVs (model 3, Bolt, Leaf) and the goal of a 300+ km BEV at a cost in the $30k range.

    Similarly, the focus on incentives for a general term like "DC fast chargers" rather than on "chargers that deliver at least xx kW" seems inutile given the availability of low-powered DC chargers. A 25-50 kW charger is not going to change long distance travel, as only enthusiasts are willing to drive 2 hours (230+ km) and charge for 1-2 hours (25 or 50 kW charger for a car using 200 W/km) in order to drive for another 2 hours. In my opinion, wide scale adoption of affordable BEVs with a 300+ km range
    for long distance travel will require chargers with the power to allow an individual to drive for two hours and charge in less than 30 minutes in order to drive for another 2 hours; in this regard a 50 kW DC charger is woefully under-powered for a car with a 300+ km range.

    So let's focus public policy on what we need for wide scale adoption of zero emission vehicles in 2017-18, when Tesla, GM and Nissan are all aiming to deliver
    affordable BEVs with a 300+ km range.
     
  7. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Excellent point!

     
  8. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

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    Agree 100%. So the question is what can governments do to help advance long-range EVs (300km+) and fast chargers (100kW+)? The problem right now is that only Tesla does either, and governments won't support initiatives that favour a single manufacturer, particularly one that so far only makes expensive cars.

    Again it comes back to the core issue - carmakers other than Tesla aren't making compelling EVs because they don't see short-term profit in it. They say a big part of the problem is the cost of batteries and they claim a technical breakthrough is required to bring the costs down, but that sounds like an excuse to avoid changing their business. Even more frustrating, they say that they aren't building EVs because the demand isn't there. With the billions they spend on advertising, surely they understand that they can influence demand, and that they haven't attempted yet to build demand for EVs. I'm no expert in the finances of car companies, but even if battery costs don't come down much, it seems impossible that an electric car with hundreds fewer parts than a gas car would be more expensive to make, once manufacturing volumes ramp up. Warranty repair costs should drop too.

    Governments are understandably uncomfortable with betting on technologies, companies or industries. They can help most on the consumer pull side, by laying out a clear vision of the benefits of EVs to the owner and to society, and by tipping the economic balance in favour of EVs for the consumer (e.g. eliminating taxes on them). The carmakers will eventually have to respond to consumer demand.

    It's a serious question though - many of us have been writing letters to politicians, asking them to do something, but it's hard to know what specifically to ask for. The 300km/100kW goal is not even on the radar of the politicians - they are still thinking all that's needed is more charging stations. So what can governments do to advance the 300km/100kW vision?
     
  9. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    One thing that I think is needed is a way to deal with the higher up-front capital cost. Most people look at the price they pay initially and balk at a higher up-front cost even if it saves them money over five years due to lower outlay on maintenance and fuel. I think that will hurt the M3 when it finally comes out, although demand will probably exceed supply for a while.

    So maybe we need a Transportation as a Service (TaaS) business model where you pay a fixed all-in monthly rate for your car, including fuel and maintenance (for a fixed kilometerage per year). You could even hedge this out a few years, at least on the gasoline side, by buying futures.

    An analogy is lighting - Phillips is now providing Lighting as a Service. This should increase adoption of LED lighting. It is much the same problem as with EVs.
     

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