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Europe Risks Wasting €27 Billion Battery Opportunity with Weak CO2 Targets — Study

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Originally published on Transport & Environment.
By Paul Bell

The EU and the UK risk wasting €27bn in battery investments if they fail to strengthen car and van CO2 emission standards, analysis from Transport & Environment (T&E) shows.

While investors have poured billions into the battery industry, and Europe is set to have enough batteries to power over 90% of all new vehicle sales by 2030, a slowdown in electric vehicle sales would jeopardise Europe’s chance of becoming the global leader in one of the twenty-first century’s key technologies.

Europe’s surging EV market has resulted in plans for 38 battery gigafactories, totalling over 1000 GWh of output and almost €40bn in investment. Yet, weak CO2 standards between 2022 and 2029 give carmakers little incentive to increase the sales of electric cars until 2030. This will result in well over half of the expected output having no market. This is a missed opportunity to boost Europe’s economy and secure thousands of skilled jobs, says T&E.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and emobility at T&E, said:

“The battery industry is successfully responding to Europe’s e-mobility ambitions, yet EU policy-makers are failing to provide regulatory certainty and guarantee an adequate market for electric vehicles. The EU and UK must raise CO2 standards throughout the decade to avoid wasting billions of investments and derailing the battery boom.”

Planned battery production could be almost three times higher than the minimum demand in 2025–2030, according to analysis by T&E. Under current regulations, battery demand will be a mere 174 GWh in 2025, rising to 485 GWh in 2030, when a more ambitious CO2 standard finally enters into force. This is far below the anticipated 462 GWh of battery capacity by 2025, growing to 1,144 GWh by 2030. Much of the excess battery supply can be solved by raising the 2025 CO2 reduction target to 25% and setting an additional target of -40% for 2027, says T&E.

To date, 17 of the 38 planned gigafactories have secured full funding, worth €25.5bn. A further 10 projects have secured partial financing, including many that are key to Europe’s domestic battery autonomy such as Britishvolt in the UK, Italvolt in Italy, Freyr in Norway, and Basquevolt–Nabatt in Spain. An additional 11 projects — including Volkswagen’s four gigafactories — have recently been announced, but no data are yet available. Higher CO2 targets would directly benefit the newer wave of predominantly European battery projects.

Julia Poliscanova added:

“While higher targets would secure investments today, achieving and maintaining global leadership is much bigger than this. Battery manufacturing is the most valuable part of the EV supply chain and with China and the US also pumping huge amounts of cash into battery making, Europe’s wasted investments this decade will be nothing compared to the opportunity missed this century.”

The EU is expected to propose new car and van CO2 targets in July. T&E recommends that the EU increases the 2025 target and sets an additional binding target for 2027. All petrol and diesel cars engines should be phased out by 2035 at the latest, says the group.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/12/europe-risks-wasting-e27-billion-battery-opportunity-with-weak-co2-targets-study/

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We’re Buying A Tesla. Here’s Why.

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July 25, 2021. A momentous day in history? Hardly. But a significant day for me nonetheless. You see, that’s the day when my wife and I finally decided to buy a Tesla. We have put in our order, our non-refundable deposit has been paid, and we have gotten confirmation from Tesla that our brand new pearl white Model Y will be available in November.

Why Did It Take So Long?

I have been writing for CleanTechnica or one of its affiliates for more than a decade. I have written thousands of articles, many of them dealing with electric cars and the batteries that make them go. I know the intimate details of how to compute true cost of ownership, the joys of one-pedal driving, and the ins and outs of charging an EV away from home.

Screenshot by the author.

For the past 3 years, a used Nissan LEAF has been my primary means of transportation. I am somewhat embarrassed to say — being a car guy from way back who drove an MGB for 20 years and a Miata for 20 year years after that and won multiple autocross and TSD rally trophies along the way — the LEAF is one of my favorite cars ever. I enjoy driving it as much or more than all those MGs and Miatas that came before it.

For me, it is close to being the perfect car, except for one thing — range, or rather the lack of it. My LEAF is a base model. No fast charging option, which means no trips of more than 70 miles or so. When my wife and I need to go further, we rent a car. It also has none of the electronic nannies — lane keeping, blind spot detection, emergency braking, and so forth — that are available on many cars today.

The LEAF showed us what driving an electric car is like. Call it a “gateway drug” if you will. It took away all our fears about driving an electric car and convinced us we never wanted to go back to the smell of exhaust, oil changes, and pumping gas. But we also wanted to move on to a more modern car, one with all the features that have become de rigeur today.

So Many Choices

The number of electric cars available to Americans has exploded in the past 2 years, and thanks to CleanTechnica, I have had the opportunity to drive many of them. I flew to Portugal to drive the Jaguar I-Pace, a car I absolutely loved. I also traveled to Zwickau, Germany, for the start of Volkswagen ID.3 production and San Antonio to test drive a Kia Niro EV. I find the Ford Mustang Mach-E very appealing. Kia and Hyundai have some exciting new offerings. And of course everyone is waiting for the Volkswagen ID. Buzz to arrive.

I have written articles about all of them, explored their virtues, and extolled their best qualities. In truth, many of them are fine automobiles and I would probably be happy with most of them. But they all have one thing in common. They are not a Tesla.

Why Tesla?

I consider myself reasonably well informed on most aspects of the EV revolution. With so many choices, why did my wife and I choose to buy a Tesla? There are several reasons.

  • Supercharging — The internet is buzzing with stories about people who experience problems when it comes time to recharge their non-Tesla cars. Broken chargers, phantom chargers, chargers that require special memberships — the tales of woe are endless.
  • Tesla is 5 years ahead of the rest — Whether it’s Volkswagen, Ford, or someone else, the tales one hears online about software glitches are legion. Yes, many cars today can be updated over the air and those glitches will be solved eventually. But Tesla has been doing this longer than anyone else. Its systems work today, not months or years from now.
  • Resale value — No car is an investment, but Teslas hold their value better than any other electric car.
  • Dealers — I spend a lot of time on the EV subreddit forum searching for ideas to write about for CleanTechnica. Lately, the horror stories about the scams and outright frauds perpetrated by dealers when it comes to selling electric cars are legion. Outrageous markups and add-ons — one Ford dealer charged a Mach-E customer $1000 for a set of locking lug nuts that can be bought online for $39 — are the norm. They use bait and switch shenanigans that would make a mafia don blush. Many dealers are trumpeting $7,500 online discounts that are nothing more than the federal tax credit that the dealer wants to pocket instead of the customer. I would rather have a colonoscopy than arm wrestle with another car dealer. It’s a more pleasant experience.
  • Price — When all is said and done, a Tesla is priced fairly. I have been checking out the ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6, the Mach-E, the Niro EV, and the Bolt. Many of them cost $45,000 or more. I found a new Bolt Premier online with an MSRP of $48,000. The Bolt is an OK car — I drove one once and enjoyed it — but it is no Tesla. Not by a long shot.

Why The Y?

It came down to a choice between the Model 3 and the Model Y. My wife and I wanted more range than the Model 3 SR+. The dual-motor Model 3 and the Model Y are pretty similar in price. (When you are spending that much money, a few thousand dollars is not that big a deal.)

Frankly, I like the look of the Model 3 better. It is sleek and svelte whereas the Model Y is more bulbous. But the Model Y offers some significant advantages, especially for people like me who are politely known as “older Americans.” It sits higher and is easier to get in and out of. Style is one thing, but creaky hips, balky knees, and aching backs really appreciate all that extra space.

Second, the Y has a hatch. My wife and I went to Home Depot this week to buy a small vanity for a renovation we are doing. When we got it outside the store, it just wouldn’t fit in the trunk of our Honda Civic. We wound up partially disassembling it and squeezing it into the back seat. We might never need to carry something that large again, but there is something especially appealing about having a hatch that can swallow all sorts of bulky items that would never fit in a Model 3.

The Takeaway

People buy on emotion and justify their decision later with facts. That is wisdom that every professional salesperson understands. I have done my research, read all the articles, perused all the online car sites, and done all the calculations. The bottom line is, a Tesla without any sales incentives is a better value than all those other cars that have them.

My old Irish grandmother always warned me about being penny wise and pound foolish. Yes, I could buy an electric car for less money, but I couldn’t get a better value than the Tesla. And that’s the real honest to gosh, triple net bottom line.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/26/were-buying-a-tesla-heres-why/

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Cleantech

Quickly Robin, To The Batt Mobile!

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Holy guacamole, it’s the Modern Mining Initiative. The recalcitrant Australian federal government is supporting electric vehicles by issuing grants to companies electrifying diesel vehicles in the mining industry. They have granted almost $10 million to Batt Mobile of Newcastle NSW and Elphinstone of Tasmania to develop electric mining equipment for underground hard rock mines. This will help remove the risk of toxic fumes, save money, and improve miners’ health and well being.

Batt Mobile commented: “This will catalyze the electrification of global hard rock mines, and deliver emission reduction, safety, and productivity outcomes. Securing local jobs into the future, we are ready to power on!”

Image courtesy of Tembo e-LV

The Australian mining industry is slowly shifting to the use of more and more electric machinery. In 2018 it was reported that Toyota was cooperating with BHP in a trial of electric Land Cruisers at several mining sites. They are using a Land Cruiser 70 that has been converted to electric. BHP is trialing the Relay BEV (from Miller Technology) at its Moranbah mine. All are being charged by Tritium high-speed chargers.

Toyota has inked a deal with Vivo Power to supply Land Cruiser bodies ready for the installation of an electric drivetrain. Vivo Power CEO Kevin Chin stated: “This partnership with Toyota Australia is a testament to the outstanding potential of Tembo’s technology to decarbonize transportation in some of the world’s toughest and hardest to decarbonize industries.”

Hopefully these trials will eventually lead to more global use of light electric vehicles in mining. With the rush of utes and pickups coming in the next two years, Toyota may find it may have left its run a little late. Rivians, Cybertrucks, and electric Ford F-150s may take up this lucrative niche market.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/26/quickly-robin-to-the-batt-mobile/

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How To Watch & Listen To Tesla Shareholder Conference Call Live

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Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/26/how-to-watch-listen-to-tesla-shareholder-conference-call-live/

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Just For Fun — World’s Slowest EV Drag Race

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Most of you are familiar with the antics of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May on the BBC’s Top Gear show. That trio was famous for filming themselves doing ridiculous things in cars — gigantic burnouts and lurid power slides — while driving some of the world’s fastest and most powerful cars.

What Car? — another group of lads from the UK — has done something quite the opposite. They assembled 4 electric microcars or quadracycles and put them through their paces on a test track that included a slalom course and a 400 meter drag race. All in all, it was one of the slowest drag races in history — and one of the quietest. The contestants — if that is the right word — were a Renault Twizy, a Citroen Ami, a Micro Electric, and a 2009 Reva G-Wiz. Here’s the video:

“Drag race” and “Twizy” are not words you often find in the same sentence. And frankly, that part of the video is the least important. What the viewer learns is less about ultimate performance — performance in this case being a relative term — and more about all 4 cars and what they are like to live with in the real world.

Suffice to say, all of them are primarily intended for low-speed urban commuting. Only the Twizy can be driven legally on the motorway in the UK. It is also the most expensive, even though doors are an extra cost option. The rest are too slow, with the Ami limited to a top speed of just 28 mph. The Micro Electric, meanwhile, comes with air conditioning, a sunroof, and an actual touchscreen.

When it comes to handling, the Ami was the clear winner, while the rest had cornering characteristics ranging from marginal to downright scary. None was judged to have a comfort level satisfactory for more than short trips across town.

The video is informative and entertaining to watch. An electric microcar may not be your cup of tea, but keep in mind the Wuling Guang MINI EV microcar is outselling the Tesla Model 3 in China. Clearly, there is a market for these tiny transportation devices.

A comment on YouTube from Iain Rowan sums it up nicely. “The Twizy is awesome! I had one for nearly 2 years. So much fun to drive especially with a tuning kit. Yes it’s not practical, it has no windows and it can’t be locked but that just makes it even more quirky. I found all sorts in my Twizy of a morning, leaves, animals and even snow. Just be prepared for the constant attention.”


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/25/just-for-fun-worlds-slowest-ev-drag-race/

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