Perhaps most EVs ARE just compliance cars....

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woodgeek

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In a recent thread, I got into a OT discussion with @peakbagger about EVs in which he asserted that EVs are all really just compliance cars sold because of state of California CARB mandates. I was dismissive, but recent events lead me to a 'mea culpa'.

I was swayed by the sheer volume of sales of EVs in the US (inside and outside CA) and around the world. The number of models and planned models (over the next few years) seemed large (>25) and the number of makers selling plug-ins were basically all of them. Sales growth has been robust in the US (breaking 1% of light duty sales, 1.5% of 'cars') and globally (30% yoy growth in EU, >100% yoy growth in China), etc.

@peakbagger told me that they were all 'compliance cars', built in low volumes, perhaps at a loss (esp when engineering costs are included), to be sold in CA (and other incentive markets overseas) to avoid FINES or the need to buy expensive CREDITS for non-compliance with the CA mandate for zero emission vehicles, ZEVs. (He also argues that Tesla is propped up by that same credit market, a topic for another day).

Looks like he is more right than I gave him credit for.

48 hours after the recent election the 'auto alliance', a lobbying group for the major car makers wrote a letter to the President-Elect that makes it clear that they would like the CARB ZEV mandate rules either unmade, or its regulatory costs to the makers be acknowledged in other ways during rule making. There is no discussion of EV costs falling exponentially, but rather of the threat that building ZEVs and CAFE-regulation cars will make all cars prohibitively expensive for the average American car buyer. Talk about taking away the Apple Pie!

The Letter is Here: http://www.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA1078111110.PDF

The signatories are basically ALL the makers except Tesla and NIssan, which are coincidentally the only ones trying to sell EVs in all states and countries.

Conclusion: the GM Volt, the coming GM Bolt (with a 240 mile range), those cute little carbon fiber BMW i3's that are selling like hotcakes....their makers would be just as happy if they could just shut down those lines and quit making 'em.

My Nissan LEAF EV lease is up in May 2017, and I was thinking of getting a Bolt. Now, no way. I think I will go for another Nissan product (being too cheap to get a Tesla). The remaining question is whether I want to get a new lease before January (with the existing $7500 fed incentive) and buy out the last 6 mos of my current lease (prob $1000), or risk re-leasing in May, perhaps with the Fed incentive scrapped.

Other coverage of Letter:
http://www.autonews.com/article/201...ut-to-trump-on-regulation-seek-review-of-fuel

http://insideevs.com/automakers-ask-trump-to-ease-emissions-rules-ev-mandates-get-ready-for-a-war/

Discuss!

One question...can the EV genie be put back in the bottle?
 
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The EV issues bear watching ... as do all the EPA regs as that will likely be the next area looked at. I heard the mention of farm fertilizers ... noted due to the algae bloom on the west end of Lake Erie which puts fish stocks at risk (purportedly caused by high phosphorus due to fertilizers) . http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/algae-lake-erie-michigan-1.3846249 Not sure what effect it has on human health. A concern as I have family in the Windsor/Detroit area. It sounds like the EV and other decisions may become more personal choice and cost/benefit analysis in the future.

I would suspect that federal incentives may dry up quickly just based on statements to date but you never know as there seems to be subtle shifts in thought going on. You've got a little time to see what may be coming but keep your eye on the dead-lines.
 
The other way to look at the letter is that the signatories represent everyone who doesn't actually want to be in the EV business because it represents a threat to their existing ICE business.
 
The other way to look at the letter is that the signatories represent everyone who doesn't actually want to be in the EV business because it represents a threat to their existing ICE business.

Sure. The thing that threw me is that these same companies happily turned out PR materials about how their EVs were so great, how they were the future, etc, and actually did the hard, expensive work of engineering them and making them. Of course, in the earlier environment that can be good business, even if they don't want to make or sell EVs.
 
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You will notice that that area on the west coast screaming the loudest doesn't have a battery construction plant located there, hmmmmm............. among a host of other little details. Another small problem is than the infrastructure in the electric department is woefully unprepared to handle the extra strain. That west coast area with the big mouth already has problems in that arena.
 
You will notice that that area on the west coast screaming the loudest doesn't have a battery construction plant located there, hmmmmm............. among a host of other little details. Another small problem is than the infrastructure in the electric department is woefully unprepared to handle the extra strain. That west coast area with the big mouth already has problems in that arena.

Not sure who you are referring to @blades.

In a similar vein, I have always been amused by the Tesla fanboys that act like theirs is the ONLY EV maker (when both Nissan and GM were outselling them, the former in 'pure' EVs) for many years in a row. At this point, their opinion appears a bit more accurate....that the other makers have no interest in making EVs.

That said, the $7500 rebate on a Tesla is a much smaller percentage than it is on any of the other vehicles, and was set to run out in a year or two (when they get to 200k US sales), and yet the other _luxury_ makers are seeing Tesla actually taking a measurable fraction of their market share. I don't see how DT changes that market dynamics short of banning EVs.

And the infrastructure is not much of an issue for existing vehicles...I charge my commuter at home, and Teslas can be charged at home and supercharged on many roadtrip routes.
 
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I would expect incentives to go away rather quickly, but I would not expect automakers to discontinue their investments in EVs. Tesla has already proved that there is a market for a well-made EV, and the market will not collapse entirely without the incentives. Electric propulsion is a real threat to the ICE, and the major car makers do business outside of the US where nothing will be changing. If GM or Ford, for instance, gave up on all electric vehicle research, then they might as well just become a truck maker - that's not a really good idea long-term.

But if you can ask for and get a release from all regulations, and you think that there is no downside, why not do that? The auto makers aren't the brightest bunch in the world when it comes to common-sense PR, with Toyota, GM, and VW being good recent examples.
 
Some positive changes require a shift in attitude and a slightly different manufacturing process and are often met with great resistance as it cuts into the bottom line. I don't see a problem with reducing or eliminating certain problem factors ... VOCs for one. I think CA lead the charge on that too. Less harmful products have evolved. Guess I have a slightly different perspective though as I lived about a 1/2 hour drive from Love Canal were Hooker Chemical failed to meet environmental obligations and reeked havoc on people's lives and health.

blades, Nevada's not close enough? https://electrek.co/2016/07/27/tesla-gigafactory-july-2016-new-aerial-pictures-gallery/
 
I fear that the US is about to undergo a complete about face on climate change. We are about to enter a period of damn the torpedos and full oil & coal ahead. The new admininster also wants to get rid of wind power, thinks they're ugly. This not only condemns the next generation, it drops America behind in development of alternative technologies. Let's hope that Musk and others can prevail as a counterpoint.
 
While I largely agree BG, I have to say that we have had 8 years of 'all of the above' energy plans (the most popular politically, of course), and it is possible that we will keep 'all of the above' and the only thing that really changes is the lip-service. While I think DT will downtalk COP21, and undo the CPP, and that is bad enough, its not clear that we will happily take business from heavy manufacturers in the midwest (i.e. those making wind turbine towers). I suspect COP21 will limp forward without US leadership. In the US, a lot of climate goals will be made at the state and city level, lots of populous cities and population in blue areas.

And of course, one wonders how he will fix coal. Given global trends, which private investor is going to invest in a coal project that will take 30 years to pay off, even if the CPP is gone? At the simplest level, can't we assume that the pendulum will swing back to coal regulation in 8 years plus or minus? Moreover, coal investors **are aware** that the coal bust of the last 3-4 years is not due to Obama (since the CPP was never put into action, just started planning), but rather to the steep dropoff in Chinese demand for met coal for steel.

The wind and solar incentives are already on a taper to zero over the next few years....he might not really prioritize an earlier phase out that goes after money making vested interests and politically popular programs (RE remains VERY popular with Americans of all political stripes, lots of wind power in red states).
 
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While there are federal regulations that may disappear, I tend to agree with woodgeek on the state regs holding the line ... if they have regs in place. Incentives may dry up, maybe not if they are supported by US based manufacturing. Not sure how much change there will actually be to trade agreements if it supports US industry/manufacturing interests. It's going to be an interesting ride...
 
While I largely agree BG, I have to say that we have had 8 years of 'all of the above' energy plans (the most popular politically, of course), and it is possible that we will keep 'all of the above' and the only thing that really changes is the lip-service. While I think DT will downtalk COP21, and undo the CPP, and that is bad enough, its not clear that we will happily take business from heavy manufacturers in the midwest (i.e. those making wind turbine towers). I suspect COP21 will limp forward without US leadership. In the US, a lot of climate goals will be made at the state and city level, lots of populous cities and population in blue areas.

And of course, one wonders how he will fix coal. Given global trends, which private investor is going to invest in a coal project that will take 30 years to pay off, even if the CPP is gone? At the simplest level, can't we assume that the pendulum will swing back to coal regulation in 8 years plus or minus? Moreover, coal investors **are aware** that the coal bust of the last 3-4 years is not due to Obama (since the CPP was never put into action, just started planning), but rather to the steep dropoff in Chinese demand for met coal for steel.

The wind and solar incentives are already on a taper to zero over the next few years....he might not really prioritize an earlier phase out that goes after money making vested interests and politically popular programs (RE remains VERY popular with Americans of all political stripes, lots of wind power in red states).
Good points. It's unknown what infrastructure will be invested in. Did you note who is being considered to be appointed as head of the Dept. of Energy? That might be an indication.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/oil-billionaire-considered-lead-energy-department/
 
Speaking of appointments, I do find it interesting that he pledged to drain the swamp and, before he's even taken office, has appointed a geoengineering company staffed by alligators and other denizens of the Everglades to do the work.
 
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;lol;lol
 
Well, at least wind energy will be somewhat safe because Chuck Grassley is a big proponent of it because his state benefits greatly from it.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-en...ump-will-attack-wind-energy-over-my-dead-body

As for everything else, good luck.

If they appoint oil and gas people to run the key energy positions, then you know it will be fossil fuels full speed ahead. And if it is that, then expect oil prices to rise somehow. At these levels, the oil industry is not making enough money to warrant investing in more drilling capacity unless they think prices will go up. That would be the early indicator of where prices are headed to.

Killing efficiency and conservation programs seems to me to be a good beginning to start driving up oil prices. So forget about the Weatherization Program at DOE. CAFE standards are going to be rolled back, SUVs (which are already selling in greater numbers because of low gasoline prices) will probably sell even more, especially if they create a tax credit for buying one like they did in the early 2000s. And I don't put it past them to hinder Tesla with grid fees and additional taxes just to slow their distribution system and eventually put them out of business. And don't forget SpaceX gets NASA contracts for rocket launches - those contracts could be taken away just to put Musk in greater difficulty.

Finally, a little conflict in the Middle East to one of the big oil producing countries will go a long way to reintroduce the war premium in oil prices (which during the Bush years was estimated to be $10-$20 a barrel, if I remember correctly). Sorry to be so cynical, but I have seen this movie before.
 
The problem with trying to raise oil prices is they're very likely to find that they can't. The price of oil, ultimately, is based off the financial ability of the middle and lower classes to afford to buy things made from, transported by, and powered by that oil. The purchasing power of the lower and middle class is down significantly in inflation-adjusted dollars. The sources of debt (which are what enabled the pre-2007 run-up in oil prices), which can mask reduced real income for a time, are mostly used up. If the energy companies do something to raise the price of oil, they're going to soon learn that most of us can't afford the new prices and instead react by consuming less. In fact, that's already been a clear cyclical trend since 2007. Oil prices rise slightly, purchasing drops slightly, oil prices drop slightly. Rinse and repeat.

Fundamentally, oil prices can't again rise to the point that we saw pre-2007 because the middle and lower classes are unable to afford the increases off their incomes and there's insufficient available debt to hide that fact.
 
Gasoline prices don't have much elasticity. If you need to get somewhere, say work, and your only option is your car, then you have to use the car.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=19191

I agree with your premise that debt has helped households hide their loss of earning and purchasing powers, but there is plenty of room for oil prices to double from where they are now, and the economy could easily support those prices. People just adjust around it and spend more money on energy by sacrificing somewhere else.

Again, I find it hard to believe that the oil people advising DT are going to pump more and bring oil prices down to hurt their own business.
 
Yeah the way we've built the US pretty much means that if you want a job and to be able to get the the grocery store, you have to own a car. However, if the price of oil rises, the inelastic portion of your consumption grows to be a larger portion of your income. If gas prices go up, your spending on things like clothing, household goods, and other things (even energy to heat the house) must go down. All of those things factor in to the demand for (and therefore price of) oil because they're made of oil byproducts and transported from the sweatshop to your door using oil based fuels.
 
interesting little ditty from NYT, "
In a startling study published in February, researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that those incentives meant that each time an electric vehicle or other green car was sold in place of a conventional vehicle, fleet carbon dioxide emissions increased by as much as 60 tons and gasoline consumption increased by as much as 7,000 gallons a year.

The E.P.A. has said it thinks this trade-off is worthwhile, because green car sales could lay the foundation for a bigger switch to electric vehicles. But a relaxing of fuel emissions standards could derail that assumption.

Jeremy Michalek, a professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon, said that putting a price on carbon in the form of a carbon tax would be a simpler and more effective way to pursue fuel efficiency in the nation’s vehicles." link
https://t.co/cVvZHxnMXN
is this another might be, maybe, what if ?
 
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In a startling study published in February,

Doug, if you are going to provide a link to a pay wall article, you should at least explain the findings of that study or post a link to another article that explains it. Sorry to sound harsh, but I hate pay walls.

http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2016/march/federal-policy-afvs.html

http://phys.org/news/2016-03-federal-policy-reverses-benefits-alternative.html

The issue is not that AFV burn more fuel, but that under the current CAFE standards scheme, it allows the manufacturer to offset the sale of a AFV with the sale of higher gasoline consuming vehicle. This sounds stupind until you realize that people hate the idea of a carbon tax, even one that is revenue neutral. So this convoluted CAFE scheme tries to work around that reality, while trying to get the EV market going.
 
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Ah, I see now your original link was mixed up and leads to an ACS publications page. While you meant to link to NYT. Thanks for posting the correct link now.
 
I thought the goal was a free for all in US oil, gas, coal production as stocks in environmentally protected areas would become fair game. I hope not but do recall reading something along that line...

Alberta has a bit of a mess on it's hands. Farmers, by legislation, have to lease their lands for oil/gas production. With the downturn, many companies have walked away leaving unpaid electric bills. They were relying on the rule that they could charge the land owner for unpaid bills. That rule was supposed to apply to residential units ... not commercial oil/gas operations that need phase 3. Province is supposed to step in with unpaid land lease payments to help farmers recover them or pay them outright. Unpaid utilities may be the next in line:( My question would also be who covers clean-up and capping?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/farmers-insolvent-energy-company-power-bills-1.3850204
 
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