How to Get 5 Electric Vehicles Using the Same Amount of Lithium Currently Used in One
Most people who read this newsletter really want an energy transformation, ending the use of fossil fuels, replacing ICE monster polluters with EVs. But there is one real problem we have to address, and it comes up over and over here and elsewhere on the internet: “Where are we going to get all the lithium we need to do that?
The good news in all of this is that there is an answer, which is immediately available, and would save a lot of people a ton of money – each:
- Make EVs that are specifically designed to cover the average needs of average people!
- Or (stated in a different manner) Make super-boring EVs that just do what is needed to cover most daily needs.
Let’s consider the specs of a real car that is currently for sale, and selling well (not currently available in the United States, where everything has to be either sexy or “normal” to sell):
- Range for least expensive configuration: 74 miles with a 9.2-kWh battery
- Range for most expensive configuration: 105 miles with a 13.8 kWh battery
- Top speed: 62 miles per hour
- Seating: 4 people
- Storage: 26 cubic feet
In China, it starts at $4,200. At the high end, it goes for $5,540. It is the Hong Guang MINI EV
This is a novel take on electric vehicles, but not one I totally disagree with. Instead of making larger battery EVs with huge ranges, why not make smaller battery EVs that fulfil the majority of a driver’s daily requirements and allow five times as many vehicles to be made with the same raw materials?
Of course, there are going to be problems with this - mainly from a user acceptance point of view. But if you were to sell this on a financial basis: “Spend $5,500 on a car that covers 90% of your daily motoring needs and rent a bigger EV if you need to go further”, it makes complete sense.
Another EU Country to Offer $3,000 for an E-Bike When Trading in an Old Car
A new proposal would see French citizens
offered €2,500 (USD $2,991) toward the purchase of a new electric bicycle. To receive the credit, new riders will have to surrender an old gas-powered car to be scrapped. French-made electric bicycles like some of Peugeot’s new models can be purchased for €2,500, which would allow riders to get a free e-bike out of the deal. But a single-car trade-in could also buy a pair of even more affordably priced imported e-bikes, turning a single-car family into a two e-bike family.
There are many countries for which this will not work. France, however, is not one of them. The relatively small size of Paris as a major city, alongside the relatively large number of motor vehicles that roam the streets - and the fact that apartment living is fairly ubiquitous in the capital - means that an electric bike grant for scrapping a car makes a lot of sense. Why spend a lot of money keeping (and parking) a car in Paris - where the parking is bad and the traffic is worse - when you can scrap it, get paid €2500 by the government and use that to get two foreign-made ebikes?
Bye eFlyer 800 Will Fly You and 7 Friends 500nm at 320 Knots, or More With Solar
The eFlyer 800, announced today,
will have only one-fifth of the operating costs of traditional twin turboprops and is geared for the air-taxi, air-cargo, regional, and charter aircraft markets. However, internal combustion and jet aircraft often have much longer ranges, so this plane will focus mostly on short-haul one- to two-hour flights.
“The eFlyer 800 is the first all-electric propulsion technology aeroplane that achieves twin-turboprop performance and safety with no CO2 and extremely low operating costs,” said George E. Bye, Bye Aerospace CEO. “This type of remarkable economy and performance is made possible by the electric propulsion system and advanced battery cell technology that results in significantly higher energy densities.”
We’re big fans of electric aviation on the podcast and newsletter.
This seems like an aircraft that could hit the sweet spot when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint of aviation. It’s not going to stop people from taking big family holidays across the Atlantic or around the world to Australia, etc. But for smaller feeder routes across the country - or for air taxi and cargo routes - this would be ideal. It is also an exciting proposition for airlines struggling to recover from some of the cyclical phases of the airline industry as it dramatically reduces the costs per hour for flying these planes.
The EU’s Green Fuels Law Uses Tools From the Combustion Engine Age. It’s Time for a Change
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail”. These famous words by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow could well apply to the promotion of renewable energy in transport. If the only tool you have is the internal combustion engine, you tend to treat biofuels as the only tool available to get the job done. But that would be lazy thinking. We urgently need to start taking renewable electricity seriously as a transport fuel.
This begs the question, why does the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED)
still allow EU member states to achieve its targets exclusively with a blunt hammer, like biofuel blending? In fact, 25 of the EU’s 27 countries only allow fuel suppliers to meet their renewable transport fuel targets with biofuel blending. This is an approach that dates back to the age of the internal combustion engine.
This is an aspect of green policy that I hadn’t consciously understood. Of course, if all you know is fossil fuel and ICE technology, all your policymaking is going to be seen through that lens. It is absolutely the old ‘if all you have is a hammer every problem is a nail’ mentality.
It means that ‘progress’ can be seen to be being made with minimal impact on the fossil fuel industry and minimal actual impact on overall emissions reduction targets.
We need to get cleverer about this.
Daimler Unveils New ‘First of Its Kind’ Electric Truck Charging Station
Daimler and Portland General Electric (PGE) have unveiled a new ‘first of its kind’ electric truck charging station in Portland
, Oregon. The site is designed for trucks and buses to easily enter and exit the charging stalls. They are going to use the station to study heavy-duty truck charging.
There are two key items of interest in this article - one of which is obvious, but the other less so.
Firstly there’s the fact that Daimler and PGE are putting in charge points for electric trucks. These will be designed for the higher voltage charging needs of electric trucks to minimise the time spent off the road charging.
But the second point is that they are designed in a way that is often lacking in many car-based charger stalls - the ability to drive in and out of them with a trailer etc.
Those of you who follow Bjorn Nyland when he used to take his Model X with a trailer to do Nimber tasks will recall some of the contortions he had to do to get into some of the charging stalls that Tesla provides at Superchargers.
This new design removes all those contortions and makes it easier for large vehicles with trailers to charge.