How a battery shortage could threaten US national security

CNN Business | February 23, 2022

Bob Galyen has spent his career building electric car batteries. And he thinks the United States has a problem.

Galyen, who engineered the battery for the General Motors EV1, the first mass-produced electric vehicle, and also served as chief technology officer at a Chinese company that’s the top battery producer in the world, isn’t the only one. Elected officials, automakers and customers in the US are all excited about the possibility of electric cars, and those cars will be key to the US meeting its climate goals.

Most Americans want a gas car, despite EV surge — report

E&E News | February 11, 2022

Almost 70 percent of U.S. consumers would prefer a gasoline or diesel engine in their next car, despite recent growth in electric vehicles, according to a new study.

69% of Americans don’t want hybrid or electric for their next car

Axios | January 6, 2022

Most consumers, especially in the U.S., plan to stick with internal combustion tech for their next vehicles, a wide-ranging new survey shows.

Driving the news: Deloitte’s annual survey of consumer auto views breaks down preferences by country, showing regional differences but overall that traditional vehicles and to a lesser extent hybrids are the strong favorites.

Opinion: Imagine Virginia’s icy traffic catastrophe — but with only electric vehicles

Washington Post | January 4, 2022

Sometime after 3 a.m. Tuesday, as an epic 48-mile winter traffic jam on Interstate 95 in Virginia dragged on, a long-haul trucker from Canada heard a knock at the door of his cab. It was one of the hundreds of other motorists stuck in subfreezing temperatures with no food or water.

The supplicant was “driving a Tesla,” recounted the trucker, who told the story on Twitter under the handle My World Through A Windshield, “and he’s worried about running out of power in the cold. [It’s] 19°F or -7°C. He’s a nice guy who was worried about his kids. I gave him some water, a spare blanket and [a] thermal/mylar blanket.”

Can EV chargers act like gas stations? That won’t be easy

E&E News | December 22, 2021

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris visited an electric vehicle charging station in Maryland and laid out a vision for what the government’s $7.5 billion payout for charging infrastructure will create. “Absolutely make it accessible for everyone and easy,” she said, “just like filling up your car with gas.” That phrase — “just like filling up your car with gas” — is invoked by industry, government and advocates as a guiding light for the federal government’s record investment in EV charging that was included in the huge bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed last month. The problem is that an EV charger is in many ways nothing like a gas station. But the comparison, apt or not, is already starting to shape the political debate over the rollout of federal money over the next few years, not to mention the features of the electric fueling network that drivers will use for the foreseeable future.

Tesla’s Musk says Biden’s electric vehicle bill should not pass Congress

Reuters | December 7, 2021

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk said on Monday that the U.S. Congress should not approve the Biden administration’s bill to boost subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs), saying the proposal would worsen the country’s budget deficit. The billionaire entrepreneur is escalating criticism about the administration and Democrats for a proposal to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive. Tesla and foreign automakers do not have unions at their U.S. factories. “Honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn’t pass,” Musk said at the WSJ CEO Council Summit.

Ryan Costello: Zero-emissions mandate is bad idea for Pennsylvania

The Mercury | October 15, 2021

Climate change is a huge issue facing our country and our planet. Like most high-profile political issues, there is a wide range of options for confronting this crisis and curbing the emissions that are a key driver of global warming. Some deserve debate and are receiving bipartisan attention in Washington and at the state level. Some are outright bad ideas, like the zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate that Gov. Tom Wolf is considering, which would disproportionately impact lower income and rural Pennsylvanians, and harm national security. We must tackle climate change without killing consumer choice and raising costs for working families.

Owning an EV isn’t the same as driving it

AXIOS | September 23, 2021

New research via UC-Berkeley’s Energy Institute at Haas finds 90% of EV-owning households also have at least one fossil-fueled model as of 2017 — the last year with a nationally robust dataset. “66% of households with an EV also have an internal-combustion car that’s driven more, and it’s often an SUV, pickup or minivan,” writes UC Berkeley business professor Lucas Davis.

Electric-Car Shift Drains Fuel Taxes in Some Countries

WSJ | September 23, 2021

Governments around the world have long encouraged motorists to buy electric cars. Now they are starting to grapple with a consequence of the green drive: dwindling income from fuel taxes…Several countries have sought to phase out gasoline and diesel cars by offering tax and other incentives to drivers who buy new electric vehicles, part of broader efforts to cut carbon emissions. But in places where more EVs are hitting the road, income from fuel tax, which often accounts for a significant chunk of public revenue, is falling…In Norway, more than two thirds of new cars sold so far this year have been battery or plug-in electric vehicles, according to research group Rho Motion… But a 40% drop in Norway’s revenue from car-related taxes between 2013 and 2021 prompted lawmakers in March to suspend exemptions from the country’s annual motor-vehicle tax for electric-vehicle owners. The government has also started work on a new, technology-agnostic system of car taxation it wants in place by 2025—the year Oslo aims to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles…In the U.K., 14% of new vehicles bought so far this year have been battery or plug-in EVs, according to Rho Motion, and the government plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030…Anticipating a drop in fuel taxes, a parliamentary transport committee is currently running a consultation on how to make up the shortfall.

Eleven Gasoline Powered Light-Duty Vehicle Models Achieved 50 MPG or Higher in 2021

DOE Vehicle Technologies Office | August 30, 2021

According to the Department of Energy: “The number of gasoline-powered vehicles achieving a combined EPA rating of 50 MPG or higher has been increasing since 2016, reaching a new high of 11 for the 2021 model year. Manufacturers have been employing vehicle technologies to improve fuel economy without sacrificing vehicle performance or passenger volume. The vehicles that achieved 50 MPG or higher are all hybrid vehicles. It is noteworthy that 9 of the 11 vehicles in 2021 are categorized by the EPA as midsize or large cars.”

Electric Cars for Everyone? Not Unless They Get Cheaper

New York Times | August 9, 2021

“President Biden has made conversion to E.V.s a pillar of climate policy. But government incentives mostly help affluent buyers, not average families… A federal tax credit can lower the sticker price by as much as $7,500, but it no longer applies to Tesla and General Motors models. In addition, some Americans do not owe enough in income taxes to take advantage of the credit, and others can’t manage to pay thousands of dollars in anticipation of a refund the following year… As a result, many Americans cannot buy one E.V., let alone two like the Teglias, because they cannot make the large investment needed to reap savings that the cars can deliver on fuel and repairs… Mr. Biden said last week that he wanted half of new cars sold in the country to be battery-powered by the end of the decade. But that ambitious target could be hard to meet. Less than 4 percent of new cars sold in the United States in June were electric, a far lower rate than in China and Europe, which offer more generous incentives and have stricter auto regulations.”

Hybrid Pioneer Toyota Pushes Congress To Slow Down Transition To Electric Cars

FORBES | July 29, 2021

“While Toyota has invested heavily in the former three powertrains, it is working to delay the transition to EVs, still does not have a mass-produced EV, and is pushing Congress to slow down the shift to EVs… With it still expected to take at least a decade to create a sufficient EV charging infrastructure to support the large numbers of EV on the way in many countries, Toyota sees hybrids as a crucial stepping stone to societal acceptance and adoption of EVs.”

Battery-powered trains could be a climate game changer. Is everyone all aboard?

Los Angeles Times | July 5, 2021

“Estimating the cost of commercially available in production battery locomotives is, in my opinion, like forecasting the price of multiple fully landscaped four-bedroom, three-car garage homes with in-ground pools on Mars,” [Michael] Iden[, a consultant]said. “Someday such homes may exist on Mars but that’s a long way off.”

How Green Was My Tesla—and How Cheap?

The Wall Street Journal | June 18, 2021

Car makers are increasingly focusing on the environmental impact of making EVs. While necessary, such efforts could slow the technology’s adoption.

U.S. must work with allies to secure electric vehicle metals -White House

Reuters | June 8, 2021

Securing enough copper, lithium and other raw materials to make EV batteries is a major obstacle to Biden’s aggressive EV adoption plans, with domestic mines facing extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition. The White House acknowledged China’s role as the world’s largest processor of EV metals and said it would expand efforts to lessen that dependency… “To secure a reliable, sustainable supply of critical minerals and materials, the United States must work with allies and partners to diversify supply chains away from adversarial nations and sources with unacceptable environmental and labor standards,” it said in a statement… The White House also said the Department of the Interior and others agencies will work to identify gaps in mine permitting laws to ensure any new production “meets strong standards” in terms of both the environment and community input.

Toyota unveils hydrogen-burning engine plan to fight EV mania

Automotive News | May 30, 2021

Toyota debuted a new hydrogen-burning engine it says holds big potential for the company, the industry and for global carbon neutrality goals….”The ultimate goal is carbon neutrality,” Toyoda said after completing the Fuji Super Tec 24-hour endurance race, where he rotated behind the wheel with five other drivers. “It shouldn’t be about rejecting hybrids and gasoline cars and only selling fuel cells and battery-electric cars. We want to expand the choices available in the path to carbon neutrality. This is the first step.” …Toyota Motor Corp. is opening a new front in the war on greenhouse gas emissions. Toyota believes technological breakthroughs, such as this one, can give internal combustion a new lease on life — saving jobs as well as the environment. It is a debate over the best road to net-zero carbon, with a pushback against government mandates that reflexively phase out internal combustion in favor of EVs.

Senate Republicans Threaten to Cut Funding for Minnesota State Parks, Environmental Programs Over ‘Clean Cars’ Rule

Minneapolis Star Tribune | May 5, 2021

There has been stiff pushback on the proposal, including from the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association, which unsuccessfully sued over it. Dealers could take tremendous losses after being saddled with thousands of unpopular vehicles they can’t sell, said Scott Lambert, president of the association. “The MPCA has been dismissive of our concerns from the start,” Lambert said. “They will not meet with us.”

SoCalGas Announces Plans to Convert 200 New Field Service Trucks to Run on Renewable Natural Gas

SoCalGas | April 22, 2021

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will convert 200 new Ford F-250 service pickup trucks to run on renewable natural gas (RNG) – a renewable form of energy produced from a variety of waste streams. The service trucks will be outfitted with the newest Landi Renzo Eco Ready™ equipment, a California Air Resource Board certified ultra-low emissions vehicles system. Equipping these 200 service vehicles to run on RNG is expected to reduce over 2,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per year which is equivalent to removing 1,800 passenger vehicles from our roads for one year. With the addition of these 200 new net-zero emissions service trucks, nearly 40 percent of SoCalGas’ service vehicles will run on clean fuels.

Pedal to the Metals: Are There Limits to the Supply of EV Batteries?

ARC Energy Research Institute | March 16, 2021

Simon Moores, Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence identifies the challenges with Graphite: What is driving the increase in lithium, cobalt, and nickel prices today? Are there new mineral mines coming? Are auto manufactures considering the battery supply chain in their ambitious growth plans? What about the geopolitics of battery production and minerals?

Electric Vehicle Mandate Is Bad Economics. Here’s Why

NJ Daily Record | February 23, 2021

In yet another misguided attempt to make the Garden State “greener,” the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently proposed a regulatory rule that would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Constituents and consumers alike should be wary of this clumsy attempt by policymakers to plant New Jersey’s flag as the preeminent supporter of electric vehicles.

California Dreaming and Scheming: Why California’s Electric Vehicle Mandate Should Not be Adopted Elsewhere

RealClear Energy | February 22, 2021

There appears to be a race on for the title of who can do the most to combat climate change. Immediately since taking office, President Biden announced he would re-join the Paris Climate Accords among other policies. Among the most troublesome Executive Orders: direct government procurement to support “clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service.” Influencing this order was California’s policy on electric vehicles. Between government mandates and subsidies, however, there is a lot of money at stake.

Walz’s Strategy for EVs Could Leave Dealers Stranded with Models

RealClear Energy | February 22, 2021

There appears to be a race on for the title of who can do the most to combat climate change. Immediately since taking office, President Biden announced he would re-join the Paris Climate Accords among other policies. Among the most troublesome Executive Orders: direct government procurement to support “clean and zero-emission vehicles for Federal, State, local, and Tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the United States Postal Service.” Influencing this order was California’s policy on electric vehicles. Between government mandates and subsidies, however, there is a lot of money at stake.

Exclusive: Amazon orders hundreds of trucks that run on natural gas

Reuters | February 05, 2021

Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others,” the company said in a statement. Amazon has ordered more than 700 compressed natural gas class 6 and class 8 trucks so far, according to the company.

NJ’s Consumers Will Pay the Price for a Proposed Electric Vehicle Mandate

Asbury Park Press | January 8, 2021

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently proposed a regulation that would ban gas car sales in the state by 2035 in an effort to spur electric vehicle adoption. The DEP suggests that an increased electric vehicle fleet will allow the state to reach its goal of reducing 80% of all carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, but many residents in New Jersey would unfortunately pay a hefty price for this flawed proposal.

The Short-Sighted Rush to Forced EV Adoption

RealClear Energy | December 4, 2020

With a Biden Administration set to take office in just over two months, Americans can expect to see some aggressive climate proposals coming out of the White House. But several of these proposals – whose impact on consumers and the economy are unknown– are coming from politicians outside the Oval Office.

Ag Retailers: Zero-Emission Truck Plan Could ‘Devastate’ Agriculture

Freight Waves | November 17, 2020

An environmental policy promoted by Democratic lawmakers to effectively ban internal combustion engines (ICEs) for heavy-duty trucks by 2040 would be a major economic blow to agribusiness by causing dramatic decreases in ethanol, biodiesel and corn prices, according to a new report.

California’s Energy Dreamin’

RealClear Energy | October 23, 2020

Flanked by four expensive electric vehicles, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the signing of a new executive order. He promised this action would bring “an abundance of new choices and new technologies” and then proceeded to break some news.

On Tax Credits for EVs, Consumers Pay the Price, but Few Experience the Benefits

Morning Consult | February 11, 2020

While utilities, along with federal and state governments, are eager to usher in a new era of electrification, we cannot continue to sacrifice the rights of consumers to provide benefits that only a privileged few are able to enjoy.

Tesla’s Earnings Show Why Transportation Funding Should Go To Roads, Not EV Subsidies

Forbes | February 8, 2020

On several past occasions, I’ve written about the need for the federal government to raise the gas tax. This tax is basically a user fee that enables drivers to help pay their share of funding the building and maintenance of the nation’s systems of roads. Yet, it has remained at the same level for more than a quarter of a century now, even as our country’s backlog of desperately-needed infrastructure projects has skyrocketed.

Tesla’s Earnings Show Why Transportation Funding Should Go To Roads, Not EV Subsidies

E&E News | January 23, 2020

Hybrids largely beat out all-electrics in a new ranking of the most “environmentally friendly” cars, even as some automakers signal a turn away from hybrids for the future of their business. The scorecard, published yesterday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), found that of the 12 cars that produced the least greenhouse gas emissions, nine of them were hybrids, compared to three all-electric models. Hybrids also constituted four of the top five vehicles on the list.