Category: Uncategorized

GM & Tesla Electric Vehicle Tax Credits being phased out in 2019

Both GM and Tesla have sold a total of more than 200,000 Electric Vehicles – triggering the tax-credit phaseout.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/gm-hit-200000-us-electric-vehicles-sold-in-2018.html

General Motors reached 200,000 cumulative U.S. electric vehicles sold late last year, triggering a phase-out of a $7,500 federal tax credit over the next 15 months, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

The largest U.S. automaker hit the figure in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means the credit will fall to $3,750 in April, and then drop to $1,875 in October for six months.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is introduced as the Car of the Year during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 9, 2017.

The tax credit is aimed at defraying the cost of electric vehicles that are more expensive than similarly sized internal combustion engine vehicles. In 2009, Congress set the phase-out threshold at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

GM, which said previously it expected to reach the 200,000 sales figure before the end of 2018, declined to comment ahead of the release of its quarterly sales results on Thursday.

GM and Tesla, which hit the 200,000 figure in July 2018, have both lobbied Congress to lift the cap or extend the existing tax credit. Tesla’s EV tax credit fell to $3,750 on Tuesday and Tesla said it was cutting prices on its EVs by $2,000 to partially offset the lower tax credit.

In March, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra called on Congress to expand the consumer tax credit for electric vehicles as the company boosted production of the EV Bolt in response to consumer demand. She repeated the request last month during a visit to Capitol Hill.

GM said in November it was doubling resources allocated to developing electric and self-driving vehicles as part of a significant restructuring that includes ending production at five North American plants. GM also announced it would halt production of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by March.

In November, a congressional report said 57,066 taxpayers claimed $375 million in EV tax credits in 2016. Congress estimates the cost of the EV tax credit at $7.5 billion between the 2018 and 2022 fiscal years. now the $7,500 federal tax credit will be phased out on of their future sales.

Why GM is dumping the Chevy Volt

It was a bit of a surprise to hear that GM is no longer going to be producing the Chevy Volt. With an electric motor that will take you the first 50 miles, the Volt has been a popular plug-in hybrid for people who realize that 90% of their trips are less than 30 miles. But, the Volts also has a gas engine that provides a range of 400 miles, so it overcame many people’s “range anxiety” with a “backup generator under the hood”. What GM found is that most Volt owners are not using the gas engines, and that – with the exponential growth of public and workplace charging stations – customers prefer all-electric drives like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla 3, etc… Another step in our evolution to a fully-electric clean transportation system!

Why General Motors Is Ditching the Chevy Volt https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/why-general-motors-is-ditching-the-chevy-volt?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Storage&utm_campaign=GTMStorage#gs.Jtj_0YY

Out with the plug-in hybrid, in with the all-electric vehicle.

“The need to carry around a backup generator under the hood is just going away.

When General Motors launched the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid in 2010, it was heralded as a breakthrough “car of the future.” Turns out it came with an expiry date.

Come March, GM will no longer produce the Volt, as part of the automaker’s restructuring plan announced last month. GM said it will focus on growing its truck and SUV business, while prioritizing future investments in next-generation of battery-electric vehicle architectures.

The Volt isn’t part of that plan, news that EV fans took hard.

A primary selling point for the Volt was that owners could go (mostly) electric without having to compromise on range. The Volt’s roughly 50-mile electric range covers most daily commutes in America. For longer journeys, the car seamlessly switches over to using its small gasoline engine to power an on-board generator, for a total hybrid range of more than 400 miles.

But GM’s customer data shows that Volt owners simply aren’t turning on their gasoline engines all that much anymore.

“What we’re finding is that consumers are…carrying around this engine and driving on full electricity,” said Shad Balch, Chevrolet spokesperson, in a recent interview at the L.A. Auto Show.

Drivers are also getting over range anxiety, he said. When GM launched the first-generation Volt, there was virtually no public charging infrastructure. Now there are upward of 23,000 public charging stations in the U.S. and Canada.

“The need to carry around a backup generator under the hood is just going away,” Balch said. “We’re seeing that as…our customers are leaving the Volt to get into the Bolt EV.”

That trend is apparent across the EV market. In California, the nation’s largest EV market by far, pure electric-vehicle sales surpassed plug-in hybrids in 2015 and have since expanded their share of the market.

The Volt is retiring with the title of the bestselling electric car in America. GM’s cumulative Volt sales are still greater than Tesla’s, as of today. But now that the market is primed and GM has successfully commercialized long-range EV technology (the Bolt boasts a 238-mile electric range), it’s time to commit to a bigger transition both from a production standpoint and a vehicle standpoint, said Balch.

The Volt has also been a money-loser for GM. The additional equipment needed to make a plug-in hybrid is expensive, while GM committed to making the Volt price-competitive at around $35,000.

GM CEO Mary Barra has stated repeatedly that her company is committed to an “all-electric future.” In a speech earlier this year, Barra said that commitment “is unwavering, regardless of any modifications to future fuel economy standards,” referring to an ongoing policy battle over vehicle emissions rules in the U.S.

Last year, GM announced that the Chevy Bolt is just the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles (which includes fuel-cell electric vehicles) that the company will launch by 2023.

GM isn’t the only automaker taking this approach. Nissan, for instance, is (finally) doubling down on its battery electric vehicle lineup.

The Japanese automaker spearheaded the modern battery electric vehicle market in 2010 with the launch of the all-electric Leaf. Last year, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance held the record for most EVs sold anywhere in the world and may hang on to that title in 2018 as competitors continue to scale up production. The Alliance is currently leading the EV market in Europe, by a healthy margin.

Going forward, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi plans to develop eight new pure-electric vehicles by 2022. At the same time, Nissan is revamping its flagship Leaf.

Current Leaf vehicles come with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery and roughly 150-mile range, which is quickly becoming one of the shortest all-electric car ranges out there. The 2019 Leaf E-Plus is expected to have a 60-kilowatt-hour battery, which would bring the electric range above 220 miles.

Those details have yet to be released. The Leaf E-Plus was scheduled to launch in November, but Nissan chose to delay in light of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest for financial crimes.

Kia Motors is also responding to growing consumer demand for all-electric vehicles. The Korean automaker unveiled two battery electric SUVs at the L.A. Auto Show last month with over 200 miles of range: the Niro and the Soul. Stephen Kosowski, manager of long-range strategy and planning at Kia, said that once a car surpasses 200 miles of range, customers talk a lot less about range anxiety.

“Consumers are starting to ask us: ‘Why you would you have a plug-in hybrid? Why bother? We like driving past the gas station,’” he said at an L.A. Auto Show side event.

It’s notable that Kia introduced two electric SUVs. If battery electric vehicle sales are on the rise, gasoline-powered SUV sales are skyrocketing — in the U.S. and, increasingly, abroad.

GM responded to this trend by announcing that it plans to shift away from sedans (ending production of six sedans in total, including the Volt) and shifting resources to its larger-format vehicles. It’s a strategy that seems inconsistent, at least on the face of it.

GM has yet to come out with an electric SUV, which means the company will be investing in passenger vehicles on opposite ends of the environmental spectrum: gas guzzlers and zero-emissions vehicles. But the American automaker argues that there’s a reason for this.

“The overall trend right now of consumers is they’re moving from sedans and cars into crossovers and trucks. That is the trend from a business perspective that is driving all of these forward-looking moves that we’re making right now,” said Balch. “The money that we will be able to save because of these transitions is going to be invested in autonomous and electric-vehicle propulsion. So, it’s like we’re using the core business right now to fund the future technology for vehicles of the future.”

GM’s core business — its gas-powered trucks, crossovers and SUVs — dominated the automaker’s display at the L.A. Auto Show this year, with the Bolt EV tucked in the very back.

“It’s very hard to connect the dots because they are such different vehicles,” Balch acknowledged, referring to today’s SUVs and battery electrics. But that’s changing.

Crossovers and SUVs are becoming increasingly efficient thanks to advancements in using lighter materials, which will be applied to future vehicles, including electric ones, said Balch. Also, while the Volt is going away, the battery technology developed for that vehicle, including the active thermal management system to keep the battery at its optimal temperature, has already been carried over into the Bolt.

The challenge for automakers now is to create compelling SUVs, trucks and crossovers that also happen to be electric.

Audi took a meaningful step in this direction with the Audi e-tron, the first next-generation all-electric vehicle to launch from the Volkswagen Group. It’s also the first all-electric passenger vehicle to hit the U.S. market with a charging rate of up to 150 kilowatts, which dramatically cuts down on charging time.

Recent trends show, as many expected, that as battery range increases and charging times decline, consumers will become more comfortable with all-electric drive. As more pure EVs come to market, it’s likely to accelerate the shift away from plug-in hybrids, and could, eventually, eliminate the need for gasoline entirely.

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).

 

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.

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

$10,000 Discount on Nissan All-Electric Leaf

EarthKind Energy, in partnership with Sustainable Westchester, has secured a special offer for a $10,000 discount on the 2017 all-electric Nissan Leaf.

This program is available to all who live, work, or do business in Sustainable Westchester communities, including students or employees of Westchester colleges who live outside the county.

The Sustainable Westchester Board also voted to extend their Fleet Discount to ALL New York State college students and employees, and all employees of New York municipal governments.

Combined with state and Federal tax credits, the total discount comes to over $19,000.

$10,000 off MSRP* (Sustainable Westchester discount)
+$1,700 New York State rebate
+$7,500 Federal Tax Credit
= $19,200 Total discount on a NEW 2017 Nissan Leaf
How to participate:

1)  Go to www.sustainablewestchester.org.

2)  Click on “Electric Vehicles”

3)   Fill out the contact form

4.   Download the discount flyer

5)   Bring the discount flyer to one of the participating dealers.

It’s easiest if you live in Westchester, as you can just bring the flyer and your utility bill to Nissan New Rochelle.

College students & employees, and employees of NYS municipalities outside of Westchester must show their college or municipal ID to one of the 3 participating dealers (New Rochelle, Kingston, Rochester). Your Leaf can be delivered to your home or workplace.

***
The program ends when the remaining ~400 Leafs in New York State are sold

The 2017 Leaf gets 107 miles per charge, which is “only” good for 90% of most commuter & local travel.

The All Electric Vehicle saves you 50% to 70% on “fuel” compared to a gas vehicle. You plug it in at night, and every morning you have a full charge.

Or, for the first 2 years, use the manufacturer’s card for 2 years of free charging.

If you’re in ConEd utility territory, you can earn up to $400 per year by charging at night.

The all-electric Leaf lets you skip gas stations and periodic oil or transmission fluid changes. It comes with an 8 year, 100,000 mile battery warranty, and of course you will have the satisfaction of driving a clean, zero emissions vehicle.

If you have any questions, contact Ron Kamen @ 845-266-3723. Ron@EarthKindEnergy.com.

Or call Sustainable Westchester at (914) 242-4725.

More about electric vehicles:

How much money can you save with an Electric Vehicle? Click on this link:
https://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/savings-calculator

To see how “The Future is Electric” – watch “The Fuel Station of the
Future”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLs7YOjC2mE