AD #2648 – Survey Shows EV Growth Continuing, Nickel Supply Could Keep Battery Prices High, Audi e-tron Scooter

August 6th, 2019 at 11:37am

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Listen to “AD #2648 – Survey Shows EV Growth Continuing, Nickel Supply Could Keep Battery Prices High, Audi e-tron Scooters” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 6:24

0:07 EVs Will Continue to Chip Away at ICEs
0:58 Daimler Develops Huge Bus Charging Stations
1:42 Henry Ford Signed Baseball Up for Auction
2:40 Nickel Supply Could Keep Battery Prices High
3:30 Former UAW Exec Going to Prison
4:45 Audi Reveals e-tron Scooter

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35 Comments to “AD #2648 – Survey Shows EV Growth Continuing, Nickel Supply Could Keep Battery Prices High, Audi e-tron Scooter”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    So there now another caveat (about batteries, i.e. nickel). I’m not saying they’re not coming but quit shoving them down our throat. I’d consider a BEV or hybrid but not willing to spend disproportionate amount of money to acquire one. And all this mining and gathering of resources does sour some of the “green” that is also being thrown in our faces. Maybe they might start saying that we are going ‘greenish’. Everybody’s thinking it (okay, maybe not everybody) but I’m just saying it. And as always: JMO.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    if it were a real scooter like a Piaggio, 2k Euros would be dirt-cheap. But it’s just a damn skateboard, so as a toy, yes, it ain’t cheap.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    1 there are currently BEVs on sale for twice their ICE equivalents, that few, if any, buy, but ALSO a few that are fully competitive in price, as is the Model 3 vs the 3 Series, and even the Model S vs the S or E class, depending on trim.

    I still would hesitate buying one as my only vehicle, until all of the US has a dense fast supercharger network, and the same if Europe (all of it, western at least) has one too. This could make me buy one for the US and one for Europe (probably a used S for the US, and something smaller for Europe so it can fit the narrow streets).

    Until then, a plug-in hybrid with decent EV range for overseas and even a short EV range for the US would satisfy all my electric needs.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    The UMTRI survey results seem reasonable, but a bit optimistic for the % of BEVs and especially Hybrids. Hybrids have been around for over 20 years by now. Why would they take off just now? Did the experts expect double or triple the gas prices? Very unlikely, given the US will be a net exporter of oil and gas in a few years, an UNbelievable change from having to pay half a TRILLION $ a year for our oil imports only a decade ago.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    4 from the link:

    “…That finding is consistent with powertrain experts’ opinions since the advent of the survey in 2006 when 123 respondents suggested spark-ignited engines would cede 55% of the global market to alternative powerplants, including diesels, by 2020….”

    This is really disturbing. It seems the 123 so-called experts in 2006 were largely a bunch of green fanatic academics with no clue about actual market conditions. Pity the article does not also say how much LESS than the above ridiculous 55% will the ACTUAL 2020 number be. I bet it will be around 10% at best!

  6. Larry D. Says:

    5 correction, it will be 10% for the US, but more globally. But including Diesels was a ridiculous flaw in t he 2006 survey!

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 I suspect most of these predicted hybrids are mild hybrids, that provide only a few per cent fuel economy improvement, but are cheap to make.

    I’m surprised there aren’t more serious hybrids sold, especially in Europe, but maybe people don’t know how much they actually improve fuel economy in city driving. Also, Europeans still seem to buy mostly European cars, and VW et. al. have not been leaders in selling hybrids that can match Toyota, or newer Honda hybrids.

  8. Buzzerd Says:

    @1 I think you’re spot on. People have to remember a few of the old sayings like ” there’s no free lunch”. Humans create a lot of waste no matter how you cut it. When it’s a few Billion- not sure you can use few and billion together but… anyhoo When it’s a few billion not such a problem but start hitting 7 or 8 billion. Now a lot of things become a problem.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    1 I also believe that the predictions are pretty aggressive for the increase in hybrids and EVs. Something drastic would have to change to the price of gas, price of batteries/EVs or government regulations to see a continued growth. I honestly believe that unless one of those three things change herein the States EVs and hybrids will soon plateau.

    The cost penalty to go electric is not recoverable by gas savings at this time and it is not as convenient so why would anyone pay more for something that delivers less? Not to say it isn’t beneficial to some applications but those are limited and will soon be filled. After that… batteries prices better drop or double in range. Or gas prices double, or Government mandate through the EPA or flat out banning ICE in certain areas. IMO

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    So Norwood Jewell gets 15 months for stealing 90K from FCA training facility and funneling Millions more to Union leaders.
    Cant help but think if I stole just 5K from Walmart I’m pretty sure I would get more than 15 months. That doesn’t even account for the millions to others that they claim didn’t affect the bargaining agreements. Ha ha.. I suppose the money was just to be a good friend. Maybe some of that money went to prosecutors too..

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 One of my senators, a certain Rick Scott, oversaw the theft of millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, and got off free, and ended up being governor, and now senator. Yeah, most of us would get locked up for stealing even a lot less than $5K from Walmart.

    9 As with other types of cars, and specific models, people who buy EVs buy them because they like them. The one person I know who bought a Bolt likes the way it drives, its utility, and also the low operating cost, while realizing that unless gas gets a lot more expensive than it is now, the car wil never pay for itself, cost-wise, compared to a Cruze or Corolla hatch that would have cost about $8K less. (He was able to use the $7500 tax credit). People who buy $60K Tesla 3s, and people like me who buy $60K Corvettes certainly buy them because they like them, not to save money.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    7 the new hybrids i see in the news are plug-in, but with modest EV range.

  13. Phred Says:

    The report about the UAW-FCA corruption is very disheartening when you consider the union officials are “selling out” their union members for personal gain. These individuals have demonstrated they lack character and have embarrassed their family name in front of their neighbors and fellow workers.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 There are/were a couple plug-in hybrids that actually operate like a pure EV, until the battery is dead. One of them, the Volt has been discontinued, and the other, the i3 isn’t selling very well. The best selling plug-in hybrid, the Prius Prime, will always start the ICE, if you accelerate very hard, but the plug-in power greatly increases gas mpg in normal driving, if the car is plugged in regularly.

    If, and when batteries become a lot cheaper and/or power dense, I’d expect more regular hybrids to become plug-in hybrids. If you could put an 8-10 kWh battery, with provisions for plug-in charging, under the back seat of a Camry hybrid, where the current battery resides, and do it for a few hundred bucks, why not do it? We’re not there yet, though, either in cost or battery energy density.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    14 I was not thinking of either of these 10 year old or more. I said NEW plug-in versions, for example of the BMW SUVs X5 and X3

  16. Larry D. Says:

  17. Larry D. Says:

    15 ‘BMW hasn’t released official EPA numbers yet, but on Europe’s WLTP cycle, it has a range of 80 kilometers. Because of differences in the testing procedure, expect that to work out to around 40 miles in the U.S. In electric-only mode, the X5 has a top speed of 87 mph.

    Interestingly, the X5 has the biggest battery and can go the fastest under electric power in the entire BMW plug-in lineup. It even tops the plug-in version of the new 7 Series.’

    I thought the X5 and the 7 plugins had the ssme powertrain details (saw that a few days ago on some site)

  18. Larry D. Says:–Performance.xhtml?oid=9361267

    a better successor to the S 400 H. I saw this 500 plug-in at the most posh cemetery here in the old country last year, very impressive in black.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    in the UK they also have E class plugin diesels, I would be quite interested in replacing my E class here with this, if I find a way to sell the 2008 Bluetec later.

    “Mercedes is now taking orders for its new E 300 de diesel and E 300 e petrol plug-in hybrid cars. Prices for the diesel start at £47,700 for the saloon and £49,700 for the estate in entry-level SE form. Claimed zero-emissions range for the E 300 de saloon and estate is 34 and 32 miles respectively”

    I’d need 42 for a round trip to the capital, minimum. And these ranges may be Euro-optimistic.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 I wonder if the X5 hybrid has an electric only mode, where it will run on battery only until the battery is dead. There would be greatly diminished performance, but it would be useful for those who want to use the full battery without using a drop of gas, “just for fun.”

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16-19 All of these would have very leisurely electric-only acceleration, if they have a mode for that, but probably adequate fo a lot of driving conditions. It will be interesting to see what they have for drive modes in these vehicles. If they have battery-only modes, they may have conspicuous warnings that “acceleration in this mode will be much slower than in ‘normal’ mode.”

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    As a Tesla Standard Range Plus Model 3 owner with over 12,000 miles since March 26, we love to operate and drive at 1/2 to 1/4th the cost of our former hybrids. Our biggest expense are future tires. Our backup car is a BMW i3-REx and I only take it out every two months to cycle the batteries and lube the REx.

    I don’t care if others drive something else as it is none of my business. But I do look forward to being at the same stop light. This afternoon I drove over 90% hands off using AutoPilot and it was safer for my wife and her dogs.

    We have over a magnitude fewer moving parts trying to tear themselves apart and wear particles loading lubricants. We don’t have rare earths in catalytic converters that keep the air less chocking and poisonous.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 To me, the word is far from out on the total environmental impact of different technologies. With cars, catalytic converters in gas cars use platinum, palladium, and other very “precious” metals. Many EV motors use neodymium. Batteries use a number of different materials with various degrees of rarity. Who knows the real environmental impact of different technologies, now, or 10 years from now? Probably no one.

    As far as number of parts, what difference does it make, if they don’t fail? I remember an old BMW motorcycle dealer in 1970 trashing the then-new Honda 750 Four, with “all of those parts.” It turned out that a Honda Four would run as long as a BMW of that era. The Honda would need a few chains, and the BMW would need replacement, or reconstruction of the spline thing connecting the rear drive to the wheel. Parts count was irrelevant.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    22 “This afternoon I drove over 90% hands off using AutoPilot and it was safer for my wife and her dogs.”

    I have read criticisms of the name “Autopilot” implying capabilities that it sure does not have yet.

    Also, the above sounds like an unfinished sentence, you say it was safer compared to what? You driving? Your wife driving?

    BTW one of the relic cars on my street here is the phoniest of all phony clones, a “Saab” GM Trailblazer SUV. Identical to the TB except for the SAAB nose up front. They did not even bother to change the rear or any of the sheetmetal.

    I saw that car driven by (I assume its owner) who had a 2-3 year old girl sitting between his body and the steering wheel, (I assume his daughter), and letting her “drive” (at least steer) the white elephant. No chance the irresponsible, reckless idiot was stopped and slapped with a huge ticket, nobody gets tickets around here, except parking ones, and those are given not by the traffic police but the local municipality.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24. In addition to the Saablazer, there was the Saabaru, a rebadged WRX.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 There was also a Saabaru, a mostly badge engineered WRX.


    24,25) If we are honest about SAAB, once GM took over they were all badge engineered. The 9-7X and 9-2X being the most obvious due to not much sheetmetal change. But going back to the SAAB 900NG in 1994 they were using GM platforms. They were also using a FIAT platform starting in 1985 for their then SAAB 9000 which predates GM. So there is that too.

    To the 9-7X defense, it did use the Oldsmobile Bravada sheetmetal and not the Trailblazer sheetmetal. The Bravada was cancelled in 2004 and replaced by the SAAB 9-7X in 2005. It also had a unique interior, brakes, and suspension.

    Still a badge engineered car but not as egregious as the 9-2X which was literally a just nose job.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    An Analyst with a major European Bank, not some green nut, came to these conclusions:

    “Wind and solar power can produce seven times more useful energy for cars, dollar for dollar, than gasoline with oil prices near current levels, according to BNP Paribas SA.

    Oil will have fall to $9-$10/bbl (!!!)in the long-term (=?)in order for gasoline cars to remain competitive with clean-powered electric vehicles, and to $17-$19/bbl for diesel, Mark Lewis, global head of sustainability research at BNP’s asset management unit, said in a research report. U.S. benchmark crude was trading at about $55 in New York.

    “Our analysis leads to a very stark conclusion for the oil industry: for the same capital outlay today, wind and solar energy will already produce much more useful energy for EVs than will oil purchased on the spot market,” Lewis said. “These are stunning numbers, and they suggest that the economics of renewables in tandem with EVs are set to become irresistible over the next decade.”

  29. Larry D. Says:

    26 Saab was doomed from the time that the Saab 9000 lost its exclusivity and was merely one of four quadruplets, including a Lancia, an Opel and I forget what else.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    28 Correction, there was no Opel. Send in the Clones:

    Fiat retailed similar derivative versions as the more basic Fiat Croma, the luxury-themed Lancia Thema, and the sports-oriented Alfa Romeo 164.

    As far as the French Bank, the guy was their “sustainability analyst” ( translation: BS artist), and while the French are really good in Math, I’d really like to check his.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe a friend’s ’86 Saab 900 was about the last real Saab. It still had a longitudinal engine with the flywheel at the front of the car.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    Over at TTAC, they had a story about the new, $15,000 Nissan Versa base model. Here is one of the comments:

    “Got one as a rental once. The seats were so bad I traded it in on an FCA product. Penalty box. Buy a used Accord.”

    A far better choice. But if you don’t mind an older model and more miles, GOD, you could do SO MUCH better than the Versa and even the used Accord! (My 1990 Accord Coupe sold, all included, for $15k new) Need I mention the two E class Diesels I got for $10,500 and $11,000 respectively? Not even close.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    28 I assume his barrel prices are all in USD. and says it to fall to $9-10 per barrel to for ICE to remain competitive with EV’s? Ahhh he must be talking about a alternate universe where EVs are already cheaper than ICE’s and the availability of wind and solar keep electric charging cheap.

    The obvious flaw in his random speculation is it will take EV’s to account for over 80% of auto sales before gas would drop to that level and along the way you don’t think electric prices will rise? So when that switch happens you don’t think the ICE might see a resurgence if it becomes more expensive to fuel an EV?

    IMO; If it costs about $.55 a mile to travel in an ICE currently I’m willing to bet in 10 years it will cost the same in an EV (adjusted for inflation) so instead of buying gas your electric costs will be similar. I hope I’m wrong.

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 Sorry not sure all the “to” got added to my comment.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even if gas and electricity were free, the cost of car ownership and use would only drop about 25-30%. Depreciation, insurance, tires, etc. add up to much more cost than fuel. Even driving an old, cheap car that never breaks has as much non-fuel expense as fuel expense.