Some thoughts on the future of automotive EVs

JackFlorey

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A few thoughts on the future of (automotive) EVs.

We are going to see two big changes happen fairly soon:

1) A steady reduction in price that will result in EVs being cheaper than gas cars. As companies like Tesla switch to LFP batteries (not requiring cobalt or nickel) batteries will become cheaper and easier to make. In addition, as local sources of lithium come on line (like the Salton Sea mine) the cost of lithium will drop. These two factors will cause a significant decline in battery cost, currently the #1 cost of EVs.

In addition, a growing used EV market, along with service centers becoming more familiar with EVs, will make used EVs both cheaper and easier to fix.

2) A buildout of solar will make solar power systems more ubiquitous. In California, lower income families will get solar not by having it installed, but by buying older homes that already have solar. This will make electricity for those families cheaper, and thus significantly lower the cost of ownership of EVs.

The combination of these two factors will cause an acceleration in EV sales starting in 2-3 years, and it will continue for another 2-5 years.

The next big effect will kick in when EVs approach 25% of the vehicles on US roads. At that point, the cost of gas will plummet; demand will drop rapidly and supply will remain approximately the same. This will tend to slow down further sales increases of EVs.

The next big issue will be charging. As EVs become more common, on-road charging will become more in demand. Tesla stock will skyrocket again as investors realize that 1) Tesla owns the largest charging network in the US, 2) all EVs are converting to the Tesla charging standard (NACS) and 3) Tesla can basically charge whatever they want for charging other manufacturer's cars. Tesla will turn this money-printing machine into more chargers. The load placed on the grid will be ameliorated by new laws that require solar/storage at charging stations.

In about 3 years the load on the grid will become significant, and this will drive changes to how people charge. Right now 99% of EV owners charge at midnight because that's when the grid is least loaded (and power is cheapest for people on TOU metering.) Once tens of millions of EVs do this, then nighttime will no longer be the easy answer to when to charge. Instead, charging from 9am to noon (greatest solar generation, lowest load) will become more common. Businesses will put in outlets as employee perks, because EVs can plug in for almost no cost to them, and employees will see that as valuable.

As EVs become more connected, power companies will use the variable load they represent to control the load on the grid. Chargers will have discount prices for people willing to go on DR (demand response) where charging rates are reduced - or even reversed - during times of high grid load. This will tend to level out the load seen by the generators on the grid and reduce the peaks that currently threaten to overwhelm grids across the US.

As more and more car companies make EVs, cheap, crappy EVs will start to appear. They will get the same complaints as cheap cars have gotten since the 1940's.

Conservatives will see this as a threat, as they see any progressive change. As EVs grow more and more rapidly we will see increasing vandalism towards EVs and chargers. This will range from ICEing chargers, to the usual keying and spraypainting, to destroying chargers and threatening drivers on the road. We'll see "EVs NOT WELCOME" in parking lots in deep red counties. They will point to job losses at refineries, gas stations and drilling rigs to "prove" that EVs are destroying America.

But as today's conservative have kids, and those kids grow up with EVs, they will no longer seem new and progressive to them. And within 30-40 years EVs will simply be what people drive, no different than fuel injected cars today.

At that point we will still be selling gas cars, but in similar quantities that we sell diesels in the US today. They will become niche cars. Gas prices will continue to decline while refinery capacity far exceeds demand, but this will level out and reverse as oil becomes more scarce and as refinery capacity adjusts to the new demand. Oil demand will still be significant, with fuels for aviation and marine, long distance trucking and spaceflight remaining, and of course there will still be a huge demand for lubricants, plastics, paint and fabrics.
 
As EVs grow more and more rapidly we will see increasing vandalism towards EVs and chargers. This will range from ICEing chargers, to the usual keying and spraypainting, to destroying chargers and threatening drivers on the road.
The ubiquitous EV charger vandalism is already here, now, at least in my area. Not the graffiti, but theft of the charging cables for stripping and selling the copper to the scrapyard for the next day's supply of fentanyl and meth.
 
We are going to see two big changes happen fairly soon:

1) A steady reduction in price that will result in EVs being cheaper than gas cars. As companies like Tesla switch to LFP batteries (not requiring cobalt or nickel) batteries will become cheaper and easier to make. In addition, as local sources of lithium come on line (like the Salton Sea mine) the cost of lithium will drop. These two factors will cause a significant decline in battery cost, currently the #1 cost of EVs
Sure ..🙄🙄…..wake/dig me up when that happens !
The popular online meme is that lithium battery cost is down to <$90 /kWh .!!… show me where that is commercially available .
VW and GM have just suspended EV production, …
Ford admit they loose $38,000 on every Lightening truck and the Emustang is simply not selling at anything like predicted so they are halting a $12 billion investment in EVs
Even Tesla have halted plans for their next plant build following their last Qtr results being way down on forcast.
I would like EVs to become the norm, but that is not going to even begin to be possible until a dramatic improvement in battery technology ( capacity, weight, safety, costs, sustainability, etc) , are realised.
all things being equal, an EV battery pack and systems, will have to cost less than the current cost of an ICE transmission (gearbox) , as i am sure a traction motor and inverter, controls etc, will never undercut the cost of established ice engine manufacturing.
 
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all things being equal, an EV battery pack and systems, will have to cost less than the current cost of an ICE transmission (gearbox) , as i am sure a traction motor and inverter, controls etc, will never undercut the cost of established ice engine manufacturing.
They already have, by orders of magnitude. I'm not sure how you can compare an electric motor and controller to the complexities of a modern ICE car with all of its emissions controls.
 
They already have, by orders of magnitude. I'm not sure how you can compare an electric motor and controller to the complexities of a modern ICE car with all of its emissions controls.
Rubbish !..
the biggest cost component of any cer parts is the “overheads” , in particular for engines and transmissions that is R&D , tooling , and testing etc.
in the ICE world ,, most of those have long been covered and even now are spread over multi millions of units…..but very much not the case for EVs
In reality this meas that sub $1000 engine assemblies are not hard to achieve and older , simple, designs ( Chev V8 ?) can be bought retail for not much more !
Further, if electric motor drive can be produced cheaper than ICE engines, that just means that other costs, transmission, batteries etc, must be even more costly than suggested by the EV industry to make a typical EV $10-20,000 more expensive than an equivalent ICE ?
PS ,. Current lithium battery cost is suggested to be $90/ kWh…..implying a typical 60-70 kWh battery would only cost ~ $7,000 ?
 
You ever notice how many electric motors it takes to run an ICE engine? The point OP was making is that battery costs are coming down, driving sales volumes up. I agree that ICE car manufacturers have a very refined process, but I can't imagine why you think motors and electronics would be less so.
The price difference is what the market will bear, the green image is valuable. That won't last forever.
 
The price difference is what the market will bear, the green image is valuable. That won't last forever.
The price difference is what the manufacturer can tolerate…
the honest manufacturers admit they lose tens of thousands on every EV they sell.
Tesla survive because of the carbon credits other ICE manufacturers have to buy from them .
Oh, ..and an ice doesnt use any high voltage, AC traction motors to run.!
 
The price difference is what the manufacturer can tolerate…
the honest manufacturers admit they lose tens of thousands on every EV they sell.
Tesla survive because of the carbon credits other ICE manufacturers have to buy from them .
Oh, ..and an ice doesnt use any high voltage, AC traction motors to run.!
If you believe it when multi billion dollar corporations say they're "losing money", I'm sorry, life must be really hard for you. If there were instances of that actually being true it would be to try to stake a claim of market share, so its still about making them money in the long run.
 
The popular online meme is that lithium battery cost is down to <$90 /kWh .!!… show me where that is commercially available .
Sure. Here's $94/kwhr: Alibaba.com

Ford admit they loose $38,000 on every Lightening truck

Ford is currently the only manufacturer losing money on EVs, because they are idiots who can't get their act together. Some others:

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I would like EVs to become the norm, but that is not going to even begin to be possible until a dramatic improvement in battery technology ( capacity, weight, safety, costs, sustainability, etc) , are realised.

Been hearing that for 30 years now. Then we DID have dramatic improvements in battery technology, and EVs became popular.

Per Kelley Blue Book prices, the average price of a new EV is $51,000. An average new gas car is $47,000. If you own it for 100K miles you'll save about $4000 in gas and maintenance. So purchase cost is currently higher - but cost over lifetime is the same.

Those prices are biased towards equality at the high end. At the higher end, you are going to see luxury gas SUVs going for the same price as luxury EV SUVs. The difference is primarily at the lower end - the cheapest gas car out there is the Spark for $15K vs. $26K for the Bolt. That's not a fair comparison, of course, since the Spark has a 98hp engine with zero safety features beyond the mandated ones, and the Bolt has a 200hp engine with emergency braking, collision alert, pedestrian sensing, lane departure warning etc. But there's still a difference.

That gap will continue to close, and we will get to the point where the average cost for an EV is lower than the average cost for a gas car. We are almost there now.

i am sure a traction motor and inverter, controls etc, will never undercut the cost of established ice engine manufacturing.

So you don't think semiconductors and EV motors can be reduced in price? Because when it comes to ICE engines, there's no more savings to be had. They have gotten to the lowest possible cost of manufacturing something with hundreds of moving parts. They are still innovating on EV systems, and that will continue. The pure mechanical cost will ALWAYS be lower than an ICE engine simply because they take less materials and require fewer moving parts than a gas engine. Inverter costs are set primarily by parts cost and cost of assembly, and as we have seen with everything from TVs to radios to cellphones, those prices are the easiest to reduce.
 
Ok,…i guess technically you found a lithium CELL at close to that $90 / kWh figure…….but.….
.that is not a “Battery” cost, just a bare cell of some dubious quality from Alibaba !
..oh, and you must have missed those $30 /kWh offers on there ?.
So if you believe that all those EV manufacturers are making comfortable profits on each vehicle, ..why then are most of the key players dramatically cutting back on production ?
Surely every car they produce gives them more income and profit ?
Prices ?…
the “average” new car buyer , (Yaris, Corolla, Fiesta, etc), ..doesnt chose on power or performance , they are mainly influenced by initial cost….why else would Tesla keep chopping the price lower ?…because they dont want the extra revenue ??
The pure mechanical cost will ALWAYS be lower than an ICE engine simply because they take less materials and require fewer moving parts than a gas engine. Inverter costs are set primarily by parts cost and cost of assembly,
As i said before ..ICE materials are simple and readily available in huge quantities and consequently at low cost.
design , development, testing, tooling, etc etc have been amortised over many millions of units produced and are effectivly insignificant.
EV motors and inverters are dependant on high value materials,..Copper, magnets, rare earths, etc ..that are both expensive and constrained in supply….together with huge R&D, testing and tooling etc overhead costs, on comparatively small production runs,...all limiting the cost reductions achievable.
Time will tell how viable EVs really are, but until that <$90/kWh battery becomes commercial and prices are truly comparable,..i dont hold out much hope of them becoming mainstream transport.
 
If you cut through all the ICE vs EV crap; What are you going to do when it costs $20/gal for your fuel when I drive by with my solar power charged, plug in 60 mile electric range 400 miles total range Volt.

It really doesn't matter what the vehicle price is if you can't afford or can't get fuel for the damn thing.
 
So if you believe that all those EV manufacturers are making comfortable profits on each vehicle, ..why then are most of the key players dramatically cutting back on production ?
Surely every car they produce gives them more income and profit ?
Prices ?…
the “average” new car buyer , (Yaris, Corolla, Fiesta, etc), ..doesnt chose on power or performance , they are mainly influenced by initial cost….why else would Tesla keep chopping the price lower ?…because they dont want the extra revenue ??
Most manufacturers are not making profits on their EVs but not all and the situation is rather more complex. EV demand is struggling but much of that is down to interest rates which affect car affordability more than most things. In response Tesla cut prices to maintain demand which forced competitors to lower prices too but while Tesla and to some extent BYD are still making a profit on their EVs even after lowering prices nobody else is and considering many of them are facing other financial issues, Unions, crashing demand for their ICE vehicles in China which was previously the largest market for many, higher debt costs due to interest rates (auto makers are some of the most indebted companies on the planet), etc they all started cutting back on EV production to reduce how much money they are losing.

But this proves that it is currently possible to make and sell EVs profitably and will only be more so in the future, it's not easy and as most legacy autos learned you can't just shove some half baked EV parts into a reused ICE chassis and expect it to be competitive. A few EV startups will probably reach scale and survive but probably not most, a few legacy auto mfgs will figure it out but maybe about half and that's after they get bailed out. The demand and technology trend is only going one way and while many have to burn money now to figure that technology out those who don't will fail to catch up when the time comes.
 
GM CEO Mary Barra, a close ally of Biden’s, has said the automaker will not begin to attempt to produce 400,000 EVs from 2022 through mid-2024 as initially planned. GM is also delaying retooling its plant in Orion Township, Michigan, to build EV pickup trucks…..Those launch delays have coincided with GM and Honda ending their billion-dollar joint venture to produce affordable EVs for Americans as well as markets in South America and China.
demand for EVs among Americans has plummetedwith the all-electric cars staying on dealership lots for an average of 65 days — way up from last year’s average of about 21 days.

“The American public is not ready for the broad adoption of electric vehicles. There are maybe 10 percent to 12 percent of people who really want an electric vehicle … the remainder still want internal combustion,” former GM executive Bob Lutz said this week.
no one has attempted to calculate the full financial benefit of the wide array of direct subsidies, regulatory credits, and subsidized infrastructure that contribute to the economic viability of EVs. In this paper, we show that the average model year (MY) 2021 EV would cost $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without $22 billion in government favors given to EV manufacturers and owners.
 
Funny how companies who are behind on developing EV technology are solidly convinced that nobody wants them in spite of surveys and sales from companies with more competitively priced EVs saying the contrary. It's not like the Model Y is the best selling car in the world or anything.

No way could that, I'm sure highly researched, paper be biased. I'm sure the fact that it was published by a think tank who's funded by fossil fuel companies is just a coincidence.

"In 2015, TPPF had total revenue of $10.8 million.[14] Donors to the organization include energy companies Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other fossil fuel interests."

Besides the obvious holes in the evidence in that paper it seems to me that proves the point that we'll continue to see more adoption. If the government is going to give you money to buy an EV I expect we'll continue to see people taking them up on it.
 
Ok,…i guess technically you found a lithium CELL at close to that $90 / kWh figure…….but.….
.that is not a “Battery” cost, just a bare cell of some dubious quality from Alibaba !
Of course. That is what's available to me. To a battery pack manufacturer, the cost is much lower - and they are going to do pack assembly themselves. No car manufacturer is going to take off the shelf rack mount batteries and build their car with them.
why else would Tesla keep chopping the price lower ?…because they dont want the extra revenue ??
Because they want more market share. This is basic economics. Tesla has the "cushion" to significantly lower their prices and still make a profit so they are doing so. Up until a few years ago there was simply no competition. Now there is.
As i said before ..ICE materials are simple
Platinum, palladium and rhodium are not "simple" materials. They are extremely rare and expensive, and are mined primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, where they use child slave labor. The opposite of "simple."
EV motors and inverters are dependant on high value materials,..Copper, magnets, rare earths, etc
Copper is used in every vehicle out there. Neither rare earth nor magnets are required for EV traction systems - the induction motors in the Model S uses neither.

It should be noted that the Model S does use rare earth magnets in the motors for the windshield wipers, the window motors, the fans etc. So do gas cars.
Together with huge R&D, testing and tooling etc overhead costs
Which have now been paid.
on comparatively small production runs,...all limiting the cost reductions achievable.
The most popular car in America is currently the RAV4, at 300,000 units a year. The Model Y is #2 is at 285,000. There is no significant difference between those two numbers - and no sane person would argue that the RAV4 is a "comparatively small production run."
 
no one has attempted to calculate the full financial benefit of the wide array of direct subsidies, regulatory credits, and subsidized infrastructure that contribute to the economic viability of EVs.
Just as no one has attempted to calculate the full financial benefits of the wide array of direct subsidies, regulatory easements, cheap land leases, tax breaks and subsidized infrastructure that allow gas cars and oil companies to be profitable.
 
That's a breitbart.com article you are quoting? Is that a reputable source?
 
That's a breitbart.com article you are quoting? Is that a reputable source?
Hillhater has never met a totally untrustworthy right wing disinformation site he doesn't love. He aspires to become one someday.
 
In California, lower income families will get solar not by having it installed, but by buying older homes that already have solar. This will make electricity for those families cheaper, and thus significantly lower the cost of ownership of EVs.
You have a lot of wildly specific predictions that almost certainly will not be reality in the future, but I thought this was funny. You think the same lower income families that don't mow their lawn, don't change their engine oil and drive on bald tires will maintain their old solar panel systems and old EV vehicles? :ROFLMAO:
 
That's a breitbart.com article you are quoting? Is that a reputable source?
The source is just a convenient link to the direct quotes from GM.….….
,or do you not believe the quotes ??
Plenty of other sources for the same quotes !
.Here is another quote you probably wont believe…

Hertz pulls back on EV plans citing Tesla price cuts, high repair costs…​

Hertz is pumping the brakes on plans to electrify more of its rental car fleet after EV repair costs came in higher than the company anticipated, and after Tesla price cuts reduced the resale value of the majority of electric cars in its fleet by about one-third.

CEO Stephen Scherr said on the company’s third-quarter earnings update on Thursday, “our in-fleeting of EVs will be slower than our prior expectations.”
The rental car company reported lower than expected margins for the period ending September 2023, and the CEO said EV repairs were one challenge. “Our direct operating expenses remained controlled in the quarter as they grew with transaction volume. On a unit basis, we achieved productivity gains across most categories of auto. The exception remained vehicle damage costs, particularly those on our EVs.”
Scherr also said, “MSRP declines in EVs over the course of 2023, driven primarily by Tesla, have driven the fair market value of our EVs lower as compared to last year, such that as salvage creates a larger loss and therefore greater burden.”
 
Platinum, palladium and rhodium are not "simple" materials. They are extremely rare and expensive, and are mined primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, where they use child slave labor. The opposite of "simple."

Copper is used in every vehicle out there. Neither rare earth nor magnets are required for EV traction systems - the induction motors in the Model S uses neither.
The mass of those materials used in ICE engines is trivial compared to the mass of copper and rare earth magnets used in most EV traction motors ( especially copper in the Tesla S which has a solid copper rotor as well as copper stator coils !)
The production of an average electric car demands around 183 pounds of copper. That is a significant rise from the 48 pounds needed for a standard ICE car.

 
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You think the same lower income families that don't mow their lawn, don't change their engine oil and drive on bald tires will maintain their old solar panel systems and old EV vehicles? :ROFLMAO:
? What maintenance? My solar system and Volt electrical system have NEVER needed any attention. I have owned both for ~7 years.
 
The most popular car in America is currently the RAV4, at 300,000 units a year. The Model Y is #2 is at 285,000. There is no significant difference between those two numbers - and no sane person would argue that the RAV4 is a "comparatively small production run
I dont know exactly what point you are making here, but a “production run” is very different to a yearly sales total.!
The RAV4 has sold over 10 million units alone. , and its basic engine is common in several other Toyota products.
that is a lot of units to amortise design, development, tooling costs, etc over .
So I ask again…
…if EVs are as cheap to produce as ICEs, and batteries cost $90/kWh or less , ….why then is an EV $15,000+ more than an equivalent ICE ?.
 
…if EVs are as cheap to produce as ICEs, and batteries cost $90/kWh or less , ….why then is an EV $15,000+ more than an equivalent ICE ?.

Because the manufacturers are trying to retire their development costs quickly, and because, as always...

The market will bear it. That's capitalism, like it or not.
 
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