It’s Drive Electric Week!

Across the country, communities are promoting the environmental, financial, and health benefits of driving electric vehicles (EVs)  EarthKind created a series of daily posts for the week on Sustainable Westchester’s Facebook pages on the incredible growth and opportunities of EVs: (scroll down to see the posts):  https://www.facebook.com/sustainablewestchester/

The first post of the week is the Fuel Station of the Future: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLs7YOjC2mE

An exciting glimpse into a renewable future harnessing the energy of electric cars to power homes and offices. Replacing fossil fuels that harm our environment and cause irreversible damage for generations to come, Nissan’s innovative proposal would leverage natural energy through cars to provide for our energy needs, and reclaim the green spaces on which power stations were built. English accent a bonus. (Enjoy how they say the name Nissan).

 

EarthKind Bridge solar project breaks ground

EarthKind Energy is proud to be the clean energy consultant to the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA), who broke ground on a 486KW solar system and had their 1,350 PV panels delivered this week.

EarthKind conducted the utility cost analysis, identified the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge site, provided the solar project sizing, prepared the bid documentation, recommended the installation award, negotiated the Power Purchase Agreement that locked in a price of 10 cents per kwh for 20 years,  coordinated the utility inter-connection application, and is overseeing the project installation and commissioning.

“The Bridge Authority’s commitment and actions to meet Governor Cuomo’s clean energy goals are unparalleled”, said Ron Kamen, CEO of EarthKind Energy.  “The combined lighting efficiency gains and solar energy generation makes the Bridge Authority the first New York State government entity to effectively meet the Governor’s target.  It’s this type of true leadership that will provide stable, affordable electricity prices; save taxpayers money; and create a healthier and more sustainable future for all of us.”

NEW YORK STATE BRIDGE AUTHORITY BREAKS GROUND ON SOLAR PANEL ARRAY AT KINGSTON-RHINECLIFF BRIDGE

 

World reaches 1 Terawatt of Solar & Wind

The world reached a milestone with more than 1,000 Gigawatts = 1 Terawatt of wind & solar capacity.

It’s now projected that it will be only 5 more years until we reach 2 TWs.

https://about.bnef.com/blog/world-reaches-1000gw-wind-solar-keeps-going/

World Reaches 1,000GW of Wind and Solar, Keeps Going

August 2, 2018

Bloomberg NEF data indicate that the world has attained the landmark figure of 1TW of wind and solar generation capacity installed. We estimate that the second terawatt of wind and solar will arrive by mid-2023 and cost 46% less than the first.

New output from the BNEF database shows that there were 1,013GW of wind and solar PV generating capacity installed worldwide as of June 30, 2018. The 1TW milestone would have been passed sometime just before this date. The total is finely balanced between wind (54%) and solar (46%).

Looking back on the first terawatt of wind and solar reveals just how far these two sectors have come. Total installed capacity has grown 65-fold since the year 2000, and more than quadrupled since 2010.

Even more striking is the growth of solar PV alone. As recently as 2007, there was just 8GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014. Wind still represents the majority of the installed base at 54%, but is likely to relinquish this lead soon.

Investment

We estimate that the first 1TW of wind and solar required approximately $2.3 trillion of capital expenditure to deploy. The second terawatt will cost significantly less than the first. Based on estimates from our New Energy Outlook 2018, capital expenditures on wind and solar generation will total about $1.23 trillion from 2018 to 2022 inclusive.

What about other renewables? 

We have singled out wind and solar in this piece because they are the fastest-growing sources of power generation and have just recently achieved the 1TW mark. If we were to include all other renewables, including hydropower, the total would already exceed 2TW, with the 1TW mark attained about a decade ago. Most of the growth in the intervening period can be attributed to wind and solar.

Did we forecast it right?

Reaching back into the BNEF archives allows us to examine our own forecasting track record, and see whether we were too optimistic or conservative on the growth of solar and wind. In our 2013 Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook (web | Terminal) – also known as GREMO – we estimated that global wind and solar installations would hit 865GW by the end of 2017, and get very close to 1,000GW by the end of 2018. In actual fact, the world had hit 945GW by end-2017, thus outperforming our expectations by 9%, and hit 1,000GW about six months earlier than we forecast. In other words, we were very close, but not quite aggressive enough.

We now estimate that wind and solar will hit 1.1TW by the end of this year – 11% more than we forecast five years ago. Given that the market has more than doubled in that time, we are happy to claim this as a ‘win’. As the figure below shows, our 2013 forecasts for onshore wind and small-scale PV ended up being very accurate. We were a little too bullish on offshore wind, while utility-scale PV has exceeded our expectations.

BNEF clients can see the full report, “World Reaches 1,000GW of Wind and Solar, Keeps Going”, with data by region and technology on the Terminal or on web.

 

3.2 Million US Clean Energy Jobs

I’m proud to be a New York State Chapter Director for E2, the Environmental Entrepreneurs, a non-partisan organization of business leaders who promote the sustainability policies are good for the economy, as well as the environment.

One of the (many) excellent programs E2 launched is documenting the number of Americans who work in the clean energy industry – 3.2 Million today, and growing everyday!

https://www.e2.org/cleanjobsamerica/

16,000 Electric Buses!?!

As we all strive to move toward zero emission communities, the Chinese city of Shenzhen is leading the world with 16,000 electric buses! (90% of the buses are by BYD – who is now manufacturing in the US and bringing their cost-saving, fossil-free heavy duty bus & truck technology to New York).

Shenzhen goes fully electric with over 16,000 electric buses

Electric buses are in service in many North American and European cities, notably London, which has committed to eliminating pure diesel (non-hybrid) buses, and Los Angeles, which plans to make its fleet emissions-free by 2030. 12 major cities have pledged to buy only all-electric buses starting in 2025.

However, these efforts pale in comparison to what’s going on in Shenzhen. The Chinese megacity of 12 million, which has been adding electric buses to its fleet for years, has now announced that it has completely electrified its fleet, with some 16,359 e-buses in operation.

The city has built 8,000 charge points at 510 bus charging stations, and can charge roughly half the fleet at any given time. The electric buses are saving an estimated 345,000 tons of fuel per year, and 1.35 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Shenzhen also has a plan in place to update its taxi fleet to EVs. A reported 63 percent of the city’s 12,000 taxis already run on electricity.

“We will gradually replace the existing fuel-powered cabs with electricity-powered ones and complete the target by 2020, or even ahead of schedule,” said Zheng Jingyu, head of Shenzhen’s public transport department.

BMW & Electric Vehicles

BMW sold 100,000 plug-in cars this year: more than GM, probably Nissan too (Tesla TBD)

BMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in MunichBMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in Munich

You have to hand it to BMW.

When the German automaker set out to eclipse last year’s sales of plug-in cars by delivering 100,000 electrified vehicles globally this year, it was an ambitious goal.

But as of the end of November, the automaker has achieved its goal—and in so doing has sold nearly as many electrified vehicles this year as it did between the time it launched the i brand in 2013 and the end of 2016.

That sales achievement puts it ahead of General Motors and very likely Nissan, two other companies known for sales of their electric and electrified vehicles.

However, BMW derives most of its electrified success from plug-in hybrids, not full battery-electric vehicles as Nissan does with its Leaf and e-NV200 small electric delivery van.

Tesla has also projected it will deliver more than 100,000 electric cars by the end of the year, though we won’t know if it met that goal until early January.

2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]

BMW celebrated its 100,000 milestone by painting its Munich headquarters with light, turning the four cylindrical buildings into pseudo batteries in the night.

“We deliver on our promises,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility.”

“Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us.”

Recently, BMW expanded its i brand with the addition of the BMW i8 Roadster in Los Angeles. Both the i8 coupe and Roadster gain larger battery packs and enhanced range.

The BMW i3 also received updates this year with the addition of a sportier i3s model.

In the near future, BMW will introduce an electrified version of the BMW X3—likely called iX3 when it goes on sale in 2020.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Its name follows the company’s recent trademarking iX1 through iX9, setting up a naming convention for future electrified crossovers and SUVs.

Even sooner, a fully electric Mini will join the ranks in 2019 to complement the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 currently on sale.

However, BMW’s i brand flagship, codenamed iNext and rumored to be called i9, won’t arrive until 2021.

In all, the German manufacturer plans to offer 25 electrified models, of which 12 will be fully electric, by 2025.

BMW accounts for 21 percent of electrified vehicle market share in Europe, which is 6 percent of all BMWs delivered on the continent.

The company also claimed in its release a 10-percent share of the global electrified vehicle market as of the end of November.

Electric Cars save $$$

No pump, no pain. Jorge Silva/Reuters

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/11/where-it-pays-to-drive-electric/546956/

A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that EV drivers save almost $800 a year, depending on where, when, and how they charge.

Buying an electric vehicle has long been pitched as being about saving something—the planet, your lungs, your children’s future, etc. But a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists emphasizes how EVs can drive consumer savings. They aren’t just more environmentally friendly than cars with internal combustion engines: They cost a lot less to drive.“Most people know how much gas costs—if you drive a car, you drive by gas stations, you see the costs—but a lot of people don’t think about how electricity is priced,” said David Reichmuth, the author of the report. Armed with data on the price of refueling EVs in the 50 largest U.S. cities, he found that EV users would save a median of almost $800 per year over a gas-powered car, depending on where, when, and how they charge their cars.

The savings aren’t evenly dispersed throughout the United States. In Houston, Texas, annual savings using the standard electric rate is $443; in Denver, $772; and in New York, $1,061. This is due to geographical variations in fuel prices (gas is much cheaper in Houston than in New York, thanks to Texas’ low gas taxes and close proximity to oil infrastructure) and electricity costs. Nationwide, however, electricity costs are much less volatile than gas prices: In 15 years, electricity has been priced between the equivalent of $.88 to $1.17 per gallon over 15 years, while gasoline has varied from $2.00 to $4.50 per gallon in the same time period.

Average Savings in Your City. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

Cities were compared based on the standard rate electricity providers bill for power, but customers who recharge in home garages are able to decide between a variety of rate plans from their electricity companies. To maximize savings, it matters which they choose.

Power company default settings are often flat-rate or tiered flat-rate plans, which keep the price of charging constant no matter the time of day. Other companies offer critical peak pricing (or CPP) plans, which charge surge prices on high-demand occasions. For EV owners, time-of-use (or TOU) plans that charge less for off-peak times like late nights are most cost effective, according to the report, since owners can plug in vehicles overnight, when the juice is going cheap. Off-peak TOU costs range from a low of $.25 per gallon in Minneapolis to $1.78 per gallon in parts of Los Angeles.It’s particularly important to be using the “right rate” in Californian cities, said Reichmuth. In San Francisco, for example, users on the TOU rate save almost $1,000 per year on fuel. For those using the standard rate of a given electricity provider, however, which is typically flat-rate or tiered flat-rate, the electricity costs exactly the same as gas: $3.34 per gallon.

For individuals, it’s easy to switch your billing plan. “Changing to time-of-use rates for a lot of people is just a matter of calling up the electric company, or going to the website of your provider,” said Reichmuth. Some states are drafting policy to mandate that switch. In 2015, California announced all public utility companies would change their default rates to TOU by 2019.

Right now, 80 percent of EV charging happens in-house. But public charging stations on highways and in parking garages are proliferating, especially in EV-friendly California cities, and using them changes the cost equation. Public chargers come in two flavors, slower 240-volt Level 2 chargers and quicker, more expensive DC Fast ones. Level 2 chargers are more ubiquitous, especially in states with high EV sales, while DC Fast Chargers are concentrated on the coasts and in urban areas.

Chargers can vary widely in pricing, depending on location and type. Some are free, some are priced based on length of use or energy used, and some charge a flat rate. Heavy users might invest in subscriptions in charging networks, that let you fill up at lower rates. Until last year, all cars manufactured by Tesla could top up their batteries for free at the company’s superchargers. The company halted the complementary service for cars manufactured after January 1, 2017, however—meaning that as their new Model 3s roll out this year, they won’t be eligible at all.
(Union of Concerned Scientists)

A case study of San Francisco showed that there, using the often necessary combination of home and public charging results in slightly lower cost savings. “If 20 percent of EV charging happens at Level 2 public chargers,” and the other 80 at home, “average fuel costs could increase from $0.78 per gallon equivalent to $1.05 per gallon,” reads the report. Time is money: Those costs go up further if using DC Fast chargers. Both methods are still cheaper than San Francisco’s average gasoline price in September 2017, however, which was $3.30 per gallon.

What about maintenance costs? EVs win again. Battery-powered cars don’t need regular oil changes, fresh fuel filters, new spark plugs, or other typical replacement items. Electric motors are comparatively maintenance-free, compared to internal combustion engines. Braking pads last longer in EVs, too, because they’re equipped with regenerative braking systems that lessen friction.

 On the other hand, EV drivers can burn through tires faster, since the rubber gets worked harder under the weight of battery packs. The UCS report doesn’t cover the most pricey potential repair item in EVs—their complex and costly battery packs, which lose capacity over time and use, especially in harsh conditions. Manufacturer warranties vary, but 100,000-mile coverage is the norm. “EV are still fairly new, but there is no evidence that battery replacement will be needed for most vehicles,” Reichmuth said in an email. “So we didn’t consider it (nor any issues that could crop up with a gasoline engine).”
Taking only scheduled maintenance into account, the report projects that an electric Chevy Bolt owner will spend over $1,500 less for the first 150,000 miles than for its gas-powered sibling, the Chevy Sonic.Of course, the higher-than-average purchase price of EVs has long been one of the main consumer turn-offs. But that gap is closing, and the cars themselves are getting cheaper—the base-level Bolt and Tesla Model 3 sell for around $27,000 after figuring in the (imperiled) federal tax credit. Both are about $35,000 before incentives. There are even cheaper models out there, pre-incentive: the $30,000 Nissan Leaf; the $27,000 Toyota Prius Prime Plus; and the $25,000 Chevy Spark.

Reichmuth himself drives a Bolt, which he calls “zippy around town” and “probably the quickest accelerating car” he’s ever owned. “Even if you ignore the cost and emissions savings”—which recent evidence proves you shouldn’t—“it’s still a great car from a driving perspective.”

Electric Semi Trucks

Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s latest: the All-Electric Semi cargo truck.

https://www.tesla.com/semi/

“500 miles per charge – good for 80% of all truck delivery routes.

Fill up while your loading, then at your destination while you’re unloading.

Faster, Safer, Cleaner. Cheaper to Own, Operate & Maintain.”

Now Tesla needs to deliver. Or, as Thomas Edison said:

“A dream is something you could do;

a vision is something you must do.

But a vision without execution is just an hallucination”.

We’re looking forward to seeing the vision become reality.

Meanwhile – the race is on, as Daimler, Bosch, BYD, and others are working on trucks & buses that will leave diesel in fossil dust.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-14/tesla-s-new-semi-already-has-some-rivals?utm_term=0_6ccfb2f247-c3b5a4cd16-58791645&mc_cid=c3b5a4cd16&mc_eid=4f40513742&utm_content=buffer629e1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Great editorial from the NY times – “The electric car has left the garage”!

 

There is simply no credible way to address climate change without changing the way we get from here to there, meaning cars, trucks, planes and any other gas-guzzling forms of transportation. That is why it is so heartening to see electric cars, considered curios for the rich or eccentric or both not that long ago, now entering the mainstream.

A slew of recent announcements by researchers, auto companies and world leaders offer real promise. First up, a forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that electric cars would become cheaper than conventional cars without government subsidies between 2025 and 2030. At the same time, auto companies like Tesla, General Motors and Volvo are planning a slate of new models that they say will be not only more affordable but also more practical than earlier versions. And officials in such countries as France, India and Norway have set aggressive targets for putting these vehicles to use and phasing out emission-spewing gasoline and diesel cars.

Skeptics may see these announcements as wishful thinking. After all, just 1.1 percent of all cars sold globally in 2016 were electrics or plug-in hybrids. And many popular models still cost much more than comparable fossil-fuel cars.

The skeptics, however, have consistently been overly pessimistic about this technology. Electric cars face challenges, yet they have caught on much faster than was thought likely just a few years ago. There were two million of them on the world’s roads last year, up 60 percent from 2015, according to the International Energy Agency. The cost of batteries, the single most expensive component of the cars, fell by more than half between 2012 and 2016, according to the Department of Energy. Tesla has indicated that it can produce batteries for about $125 per kilowatt-hour. Researchers say the cost of electric cars will be at parity with conventional vehicles when battery prices reach $100 per kilowatt-hour, which experts say is just a few years away. Electric cars are more efficient, of course, but they also require less maintenance, which should make them cheaper to own over time.

The potential environmental benefits of electric vehicles are huge. The transportation sector accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 27 percent of emissions in the United States. Moreover, countries have found it much more difficult to reduce planet-warming gases from transportation than from power plants. In America, for example, transportation emissions again regularly exceed those from the electricity sector for the first time since the late 1970s. The switch to electric cars is good for the climate because petroleum vehicles produce more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy than power plants fueled by natural gas, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Proponents say the growth of electric cars, when combined with the surge in renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, could lead to big reductions in emissions over time. These forces should also help reduce local air pollution in countries like China and India, which is why their leaders are getting behind these technologies in a big way. Government incentives have turned China into the biggest market for electric vehicles. And an Indian governmentminister says his country wants all cars sold there by 2030 to be electric. France says it wants to end sales of new diesel and gasoline cars by 2040, while Norway’s goal is 2025.

Government support could prove as crucial to the future of the technology as technical advances. If countries, states and localities encourage the spread of public charging stations, through tax breaks, other incentives or public spending, more people will take the plunge and convert. If the United States and other governments continue to spend money on research to help drive down battery costs, their economies and consumers will benefit.

Some parts of the fossil fuel industry will no doubt try to sabotage the electric car revolution. In the United States, the industry is lobbying statesto eliminate subsidies for the vehicles. And many analysts expect the industry to seek similar changes at the federal level from President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress, who have already made clear that they do not see climate change as a major threat. They should know, though, that the most they can do is slow down the process. The electric car has already left the garage.