Category Archives: Personal Automobiles

We Are Not Ready For EVs


evpluginUnknownWired has a posting titled “A Two-Day Battle to Charge My Car Convinced Me We’re Not Ready for EVs” by Alex Davies. Davies relates that he borrowed a Nisan Leaf for a test run. He planed to make a trip from San Francisco to Mountain Valley, California for a meeting. The distance from his apartment to the meeting is 35 miles. The mileage available meter on the Leaf indicates its range at the current charge was 50 miles. The trip to the meeting was uneventful. The problems begin when he knows that the battery charge is not sufficient to get him back to his apartment. What follows was several hours getting the Leaf charged.

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Chinese Reject Electric Cars


Henry Lee of the Harvard Kennedy School reports the Chinese chineseelectricsimagesgovernment cannot make their people buy electric cars. The American “Green” press insists that China is the leader in green technology and that they want to join in a pact to reduce CO2 emissions.   Well if you watch what the Chinese do rather than what they say, you would know they have no intention of cutting back on the use of fossil fuels.

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August Electric Vehicle Sales


This might be the right time to begin separating monthly sales of plug-in hybrids vehicles from battery vehicles.  So here goes.

Plug-in hybrids (PHV) August Sales.

The August PHV sales were up by 83% over July’s sales.  Volt led this category with 3,351 vehicle sales and a 52% share of this market. Volt year-to-date sales were 14, 994. The Prius PHV sales were 1,791 and with year-to-date sales of 6,822.   Others making a showing were Ford C-Max with sales of 621 and Ford Fusion Energi with 600.

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(Click on chart for clarity)

The chart does show some reasonably good upward movement for PHEV sales. But not to get too excited just yet, Green Car Congress posts that: “With overall light-duty vehicles sales of 1,503,151 units in August (up 17% year-on-year), according to AutoData, plug-in hybrids had a 0.4% share of the August new vehicle market.”

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) August Sales

The Nissan LEAF August sales were 2,420 with year-to-date sales at 14,123.

Tesla is the elephant in the room.  The next report on sales will be at the end of the third quarter so it is a guess where they rank in the scheme of things.  Green Car Congress reports sales of Leafs plus a number of other models with sales in the 200 or below would add to August BEV sales of 3,206.  They estimate that upward of 1700 Teslas were probably sold in August increasing the total BEV August sales to about 4,900 units. BEV sales would be about 0.3% of the August new vehicle sales.

Still far from impressive.

cbdakota

Fuel Cell Vehicles–Hydrogen Too Costly


A previous posting, “Fuel Cell Vehicles”, reviewed the basics of the fuel cell and the fuel cell vehicles.   At the end of that posting, it was said that: “There are a lot of things going for H2 powered fuel cell vehicles except the economics.”

Hydrogen form Periodic Table of Elements

What does that mean? There are two factors that make H2 non-competitive versus other alternatives.  Factor one is that hydrogen (H2) is very costly to produce, and distribute.   The second are the physical characteristics of H2 that increase the cost of distribution and use.

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Fuel Cell Vehicles


Like the tide, going in and out and so does the Fuel Cell Vehicle favorability.   Right now favorability is pretty well in the tank, but not completely.  The city of London is installing hydrogen (H2) fueling stations with the objective of encouraging their use.  California has a similar program, as does Germany.

Some of you may not be familiar with fuel cell cars because they have been  out of the spotlight recently.  The following is an overview of  the  fuel cell and the fuel cell car.   The cartoon below pictures most of the hardware needed.

Fuelcellcarforblog

Courtesy of http://www.imageproduction.nl

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July EV Sales Down But Still Some Hope For 100,000 Sales By Year End


July sales for the leaders, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were off compared to their June sales.  The Volt sold 1,788 in July versus 2,698 in June.  The Leaf sales were 1,864 in July versus 2,225 in June.

The table below shows the models having sold more that 1000 vehicles year-t0-date.  (Tesla would be in this table but they only report sales quarterly.)

MODEL JULY SALES YEAR-TO-DATE SALES
Nissan Leaf 1,864 11,703
Chevy Volt 1,788 11,643
Toyota Prius Plug-In     817   5,035
Ford  C-Max Energi    433   2,915
Ford Fusion Energi    407  1,991
Ford Focus Electric    150  1,050

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Price Cutting Gives A Sales Boost To The Volt And The Nissan Leaf


GM’s Volt June sales rebounded to 2,698 in June from the reported May sales of 1,607 resulting in year-to-date sales of 9,839. The increase is being attributed to the incentive programs that have lowered the Volt’s price.  It is estimated that there is a one hundred day inventory of Volts at the dealerships.  GM says that it will continue to offer the incentive programs for at least the month of July; no doubt to get the inventory down before the introduction of the 2014 model.

Nissan’s Leaf June sales of 2,225 were slightly better than the May sales of 2,138.  No doubt last months lowering of the price has helped the Leaf.  The year-to-date sales for Leaf are 9,855.

Honda’s Fit EV sales were 208 in June.  Fit EVs sales for the first five months  only  totaled 83.  Honda offered a very attractive lease program last month on the Fit EVs which seems to have been major factor behind  increased sales.  Nissan says they still have a sizeable inventory of Fit EVs.  The Fit EV is available from 200 dealers.  One per month per dealer average, it looks like.

Ford is not having much luck selling their Focus EV with year-to-date sales of 880.  However, the Ford Hybrid has sold 8,177 units in the first 5 months of the year.

cbdakota

h/t Detroit News’ Business + Autos Section.