Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BCSEA Webinar: Full Charge on Electric Cars!

webinar:  British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association
webinar video at

John Stonier, VeloMetro

Up to 1915, about half of the cars on the road were electric
Edison's nickel steel batteries in at least one electric vehicle have lasted until 1990
300,000 electric vehicles in USA, mostly in WA, OR, CA
The market has recently switched to buying all electric rather than hybrid
8 states have zero emission vehicle mandates:  CA MA CT OR Maryland RI NY and VT
Electricity is about 20¢ per liter equivalence to gasoline [in British Columbia]
Range is now sufficient for in-city but not quite yet for between cities driving but 300 kilometer [186 mile] batteries are in the pipeline
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are more expensive and more expensive to operate than electric 
An electric car is by definition a luxury vehicle and will last longer with lower operation costs:  1/6 operating costs, 1/6 maintenance, 1/3 depreciation, 3-5x life expectancy of gasoline vehicels
Batteries for Nissan Leaf should last 15-20 years
20% less total costs than internal combustion (his calculation is more like 40% over 10 years)
Tipping points:  condo charging for urban drivers (load sharing), access to HOV lanes, higher incentives, inter-city charging strategy, public charging for hospitality industry - EV tourism in BC, distance based auto insurance
Three DC fast charge standards:  CHAdeMO, SAE Combo, Tesla - SAE may be best
More light truck options:  Nissan NV200EV, Smith Electric, EV Fleet makes pickup sized vehicles, Via Motors makes the VTrux
Autonomous vehicles have all been electric
Vehicle to grid - decentralize storage and demand response

Q: battery upgrades?  Tesla is offering one for earlier Roadsters.
Yes but Nissan has changed the size of the battery bay which may require chemistry advances and may be some aftermarket suppliers too.
Q:  Critical business models?
Tesla did it right - start with luxury for quicker returns, attracting influencers and early adopters, corporate sales and direct marketing
Q:  Five person car?
Nissan and Tesla both have family sized cars and utility vans (Nissan).  Not yet light trucks.
Q:  Pull a trailer?
Hybrids also don't pull trailers.  Not sure why
Q:  Coal burning for electricity?
Electric cars use 1/4 of the energy to do the same thing and the grid is getting greener.  Coal is more costly than alternatives.

VeloMetro trial is happening in Vancouver this summer.  Human power, solar electric hybrid vehicle, less than 200 pounds.

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