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Issue #44 - Battery costs down 98%, Dutch installing 1.5m new chargers by 2030, Tesla introduce 50% price cut for off-peak Supercharging, and ditching single-use water bottles.

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #44 - Battery costs down 98%, Dutch installing 1.5m new chargers by 2030, Tesla introduce 50% price cut for off-peak Supercharging, and ditching single-use water bottles.
By Gary Comerford • Issue #44 • View online
News is out this week of the latest UK vehicle sales figures for March.
March 2021:
Battery BEVs = 22,003 (+88%)
Electric plug PHEVs = 17,330 (+152%)
YTD 2021:
Battery BEVs = 31,779 (+74%)
Electric plug PHEVs = 26,613 (+94%)
Total market share = 13.8%
Pretty impressive, I’d say.

This Week's Podcast.
The EV Musings Podcast: 83 - The Cadence Charging Episode
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
Lithium Battery Costs Have Fallen by 98% in Three Decades
Without a doubt one of the key drivers to lowering the price of an electric car is the price of the batteries which are in the vehicle.
Batteries have come a long way in 30 years. In the early 1990s the storage capacity needed to power a house for a day would have cost about $75,000. The cells themselves would have weighed 113kg (250lbs) and taken up as much space as a beer keg. Today the same amount of power can be delivered at a cost of less than $2,000, from a 40kg package roughly the size of a small backpack
There are two ways to reduce the price of the EV batteries: 1) reduce the number of batteries in the vehicle - thereby reducing the potential range. 2) drop the price of the battery pack itself.
As you can see from the figures above the price (and size) of a battery has dropped precipitously over the last few years. That’s why an original 24kWh Nissan leaf can now be upgraded to a 60kWh battery for a price that is a lot less than the original battery cost - and which will fit into the existing battery space.
With raw materials falling in price and demand increasing the price per kWh will hit the magic $100 within a year or two. That’s when price parity will occur.
The Dutch Plan to Install a Million Chargers by 2030
It has been said that infrastructure problems need two things to make them happen: political will and enough people to do the work.
This was true right back from the building of the pyramids and the walls of Jericho to modern day infrastructure projects such as President Biden’s $1.9T infrastructure plan. If the people in power want it to happen (and have the manpower to make it happen) it will happen.
The Dutch situation is a prime example. They recognised that they needed an extra 1.5m chargers installed to support the growth in electric cars. To make this happen they put in place infrastructure processes which meant that when a buyer purchased a new EV they requested a new curbside charger. This was processed by the charging company and - with luck - the new charger arrived at the same time as the new BEV.
All this was backed and mandated by the government who recognised that - as part of a united plan to move the country off fossil fuels - this sort of joined-up thinking was necessary.
Tesla Introduces New 50% Supercharging Discount at Night in California to Help With Capacity
Balancing the grid has been one of the Holy Grail aspects of renewable energy. Having the ability to move the load requirements for elecricity is one of the things that means peaker plant requirements will reduce over time.
Tesla - with 20,000 Superchargers worldwide, many charging at 250 kW - are in a prime situation to influence the usage of these chargers by giving price incentives.
It is introducing a new 50% discount for Supercharging during the night at Supercharger stations in metro areas in California.
Since the introduction of the Model 3 new Tesla owners have stopped receiving free supercharging. While the price is still a respectable 24c / kWh for 250kW charging, the option of halving that for the minor inconvenience of moving when you charge has to be a powerful incentive for many drivers.
Companies such as Octopus Energy with their Agile Tariff, are also attempting the same thing by reducing prices at time of low usage (i.e. in the middle of the night) to incentivise users to move thier high volume electric usage from peak times (16:00 - 19:00) and put it either earlier or later in the day.
UK: BMW I3 Prices Lowered to Qualify for the Government Plug in Car Grant
I mentioned in an earlier version of the EV Musings Newsletter that I thought the chance of motor manufacturers dropping the price of their vehicles to below £35,000 so that they fall under the price cap for the government grants was pie-in-the-sky thinking.
However BMW have proven me wrong. They’ve lowered the price of their two electric i3 models to be under £35,000. Prices now start from £33,805 OTR for the BMW i3 and £34,805 OTR for the sporty BMW i3s before the grant. The high levels of standard specification offered on both versions have remained unchanged
That’s good news. It seems that companies such as Peugot have done the same. Tesla offered to pay the £2500 rebate to purchasers who were caught unawares by the grant parameter change
This is one time when I am happy to be proven wrong.
Why This Grocery Chain Is Ditching Single-Use Bottled Water
Alongide renewables and electrification of transport, recycling & reducing are two of the keystones behaviours that will help drive a reduction in fossil fuel usage.
One of my personal bugbears (especially as someone who delivers groceries to people via supermarket Home Delivery services) is the number of people who spend a fortune on bottled water. In certain areas - and with certain types of water - people are paying more per litre for bottled water than they are for petrol! This is ridiculous, unsustainable, and unneeded.
So it was great to see at least one supermarket in Oregon, USA removing single use water bottles from their stores. Resuable and refillable bottles have instead been put in place. The fact is that with very few exceptions, water from the tap - if left to cool in a refrigerator - is indistinguishable in taste from most mineral waters bought off the shelf. Sure, if you live in an area with bad drinking water this might not be the case. But for the majority of people they would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
More of this, please.
A cool EV or renewable thing
bp Pulse has just announced a partnership with The EV Network to build a number of fast charging hubs across the UK.
Actual concrete details are still fairly scarce about this but what we do know is the bp Pulse will put together “a significant number of new ultra-fast EV charging destinations in the areas with high volumes of traffic” These are all going to be 175kW chargers and above, will - if the graphics are to believed - have canopies over the chargers and attached amenities and facilities.
These of you who listened to the first episode of this new season will realise that what bp Pulse are talking about are installs that are similar in many ways to the Electric forecourt concept Gridserve are pushing forward.
I love this idea. As I said at the time the Gridserve electric forecourt is fantastic. The first bp Pulse ultra fast charging hub will have 24 ultra fast chargers and will be live ‘somewhere in the UK’ later in 2021.
Obviously the devil is in the details with things like this: How many locations are we talking about? I’m assuming there will be more than a couple. But how many? 10? 50?
Will they all be 24 chargers are similar? Or will we get one ‘flagship’ location and a number of smaller hubs with, say, 8 chargers similar to the hub at MK?
Also where will these be located? The press release just says “High traffic locations targeted, including alongside the UK’s motorway network” They could put ten of them around the M25 and along the M4 and still fulfil the brief whilst not helping anyone in places such as Wales, Devon and other areas of low charger density.
I’ll keep an eye on this one.
Something To Think About.
The Final Chapter In The Volkswagen Diesel Cheating Saga Is Being Written
Finally...
Next week we look at travelling across Europe in your EV. What apps/ cards/ precautions do you need to have in place? We talk to two experienced EV drivers who’ve both taken the bull by the horns and driving across the length and breadth of the continent.
Thanks for reading this. I want it to be one of the ‘go-to’ newsletters for EVs and renewables. If there’s anything you feel might improve it please drop me a line at evmusings at gmail.com
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Gary Comerford

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