Americans want EVs, Canadians can’t get them, solar cell records and green energy in the oilpatch

American Automobile Association: 1 in 5 US drivers want an electric vehicle

May 8, 2018
American appetite for electric vehicles is heating up. A new AAA survey shows that 20 percent or 50 million Americans will likely go electric for their next vehicle purchase, up from 15 percent in 2017. With lower-than-average ownership costs, increased driving ranges and the latest advanced safety features, AAA sees a strong future for electric vehicles. To help “green” car shoppers make an informed choice, AAA conducts independent, rigorous test-track evaluations of plug-in hybrids, hybrid and fuel-efficient, gas-powered vehicles.

AAA’s survey found that “range anxiety” is beginning to ease. Among those unsure or unwilling to choose an electric vehicle for their next car, 63 percent (down 9 percent from 2017) cited not enough places to charge as a detractor while 58 percent (down 15 percent from 2017) expressed concern over running out of charge while driving.
»» Read the full survey at AAA

sevenminutesolar: There were 17.5 million cars sold in the United States in 2017. If 1 in 5 of those were electric, that would mean EV sales of 3.5 million. Which is about the number of electric cars on the roads in the whole world right now. Of course there are not going to be three and a half million EVs sold in the US next year, partly because people don’t always buy what they say they want to buy, and partly because the automobile manufacturers don’t have the supply ready. (See Canada, below).

What is really interesting about this poll, though, is the way that the barriers are crumbling. People are less worried about the range. People are less worried about reliability. On the benefit side, they are also starting to understand that the maintenance and fuelling costs are lower than for fossil fuel cars.

As with all products, the supply and demand is key. What seems to be happening here is that the demand is growing and will soon be what is referred to as ‘pent up’. It is about to be relieved though. From 2019 onwards, Volvo will be producing only electric or hybrid vehicles. Other European manufacturers like Peugeot and Renault are moving quickly. Not to mention the Chinese manufacturers who together sold over 500,00 EVs in their home country. Tesla, of course is satisfying the electric itch and it appears it will be joined by fellow disruptive innovator Dyson which is introducing an electric car in 2019.

GM has also committed to an all electric future…aiming for 20 models by 2025, seven years away. Last year, GM had a 17.6 share of auto sales in the United States, about 3 million cars. So to go back to the AAA study, a half million more people say they want to buy an electric car this year than all of the people who bought a GM car of any kind last year. It would appear this revolution is well underway.


CleanTechnica: New solar cell efficiency record

April 16, 2018 by Tina Casey

Last November the EU consortium Solliance announced a world record of 13.5% for its thin film perovskite solar cell, and just last week it updated its perovskite PV progress. The latest iteration of the cell hit the 14.5% mark.

Perovskite refers to a class of lab-grown, crystalline materials that mimic the structure of the naturally occurring mineral perovskite. They are relatively cheap and easy to grow in the lab, and they can be used in a thin-film format that provides the additional benefits of high volume, low-cost solar cell manufacturing.
»» Read the entire article at CleanTechnica

7minutesolar: As this full article details, the problem with perovskites is that they degrade in heat and humidity, so the lowered costs in manufacturing don’t give any long term advantage. There are thousands of people working on stabilizing perovskites for solar cells, and someone somewhere is going to crack it. Either that or someone will come up with an unexpected way to make photovoltaics long lasting as well as easy and affordable to manufacture. For now it seems like perovskites are the most likely solution. When it happens – whichever technology prevails – it will be a giant step forward in making solar energy an affordably easy decision for everyone.


Automotive News Canada: Canada’s growing EV market dogged by product shortage

May 7, 2018 by Steve Mertl

For people in the market for an electric vehicle in Canada, patience is a virtue. Waits of up to a year are not unusual, and availability of demonstrators is spotty.

Rob MacGregor brokers used-EV sales for a Vancouver Honda dealer. He considered expanding to new EVs but found local dealers could not promise timely delivery.

“The situation is such that new EVs are next to impossible to get your hands on,” MacGregor told Automotive News Canada. “Yes, you can pre-order them. Good luck. You’re probably going to wait a year before you get one.”
»» Read the entire article at Automotive News Canada

sevenminutesolar: This article demonstrates the conundrum of EVs in Canada. The country has a  notoriously low penetration of electric vehicle sales (except in Quebec), but those who want to buy the cars can’t find them. It is a microcosm of the intent outlined in the AAA survey above – but with the intent now put into unsatisfied action. More EVs, please! (NEWS FLASH: Tesla announced, literally as this post was being published, that Tesla 3 deliveries to Canada are beginning.)


Sustainable Biz Canada: Greengate plans $1B in Alberta green energy projects

April 24, 2018 by Mario Toneguzzi
Greengate Power Corporation has major plans for the Alberta market and beyond and is currently pursuing the development of more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable and clean energy projects in Alberta and across North America.

In Alberta the provincial government’s climate leadership plan calls for a phasing-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030. It is to be replaced with 5,000 megawatts of renewables, creating a $10-billion opportunity for investment in the sector.
»» Read the complete article at SustainableBiz Canada

Images: EV: AAA Green Car Guide, Perovskite thin film cell: Science Trends
Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

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