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Tesla, GM, & Toyota Battle for Customers

October 11, 2016

The electric vehicle battleground at the end of September saw a major increase in the number of PHEVs and BEVs being sold during the 3rd quarter, and a continuing shift away from Hybrids, such as the original Prius.

 

US Sales of Electric Vehicles, Including HEVs 2016

Month

Hybrid (HEVs)

PHEVs & Extended Range Vehicles

Battery (BEVs)

Totals

Total PHEV & EV

January

20,967

3,137

3,576

27,680

6,713

February

24,371

3,909

4,424

32,704

8,333

March


28,756


5,290


7,815


41,861


13,105


Total 1Q

74,094

12,336

15,815

102,245

28,151

April

28,988

5,842

6,266

41,096

12,108

May

30,573

5,619

6,526

42,718

12,145

June


27,679


6,094


7,678


41,451


13,772


Total 2Q 2016

87,240

17,555

20,470

125,265

38,025

July

32,633

6,525

7,762

46,920

14,287

August

32,206

6,372

8,601

47,179

14,973

September


31,286


6,037


10,032


47,355


16,069


Total 3Q 2016

96,125

18,934

26,395

141,454

45,329







YTD Year 2016

257,459

48,825

62,680

368,964

111,505

YTD Year 2015

296,375

29,169

51,267

376,811

80,436

% change


-13.1%


67.4%


22.3%


-2.1%


38.6%


Total sales of light vehicles YTD

13,044,080

BEV % of total sales

0.48%

Data from Electric Drive Transportation Association







 

Overview of different types of electrified vehicles:

  • BEVs are vehicles powered entirely by battery power.
  • PHEVs use the battery to travel the first 35 miles, then switch to an internal combustion engine to extend its range.
  • HEVs are essentially battery-assisted vehicles that use the internal combustion engine to power the car. Batteries don’t provide the motive power for the vehicle.

Observations:

  • Tesla also sold cars in Europe and elsewhere. Total Tesla BEV sales for the 3rd quarter were 24,500 vs the 15,425 sold in the US.
  • There appears to be a shift away from HEVs to PHEVs. Toyota has indicated it may ditch the HEV Prius for the PHEV version.
  • Year to date, PHEVs have had the largest percentage increase in sales, three times that of BEVs, but BEV sales were 22% greater than PHEVs.
  • BEV sales are still less than 1/2 of one percent of total light vehicle sales, which is the same as last year.
  • Since 2010, a total of 268,785 BEVs and 242,203 PHEVs have been sold.
  • Since 2010, federal and state governments have used tax payer money to subsidize plug-in vehicles to the tune of $3,500,000,000.
  • Tesla has received $390,000,000 from its sale of California Zero Emission credits.
Tesla

Tesla

Until now, PHEVs and BEVs have been a niche market, comprised of the rich and famous, environmentalists and technology early adopters.

The introduction of the Bolt by GM, and Tesla’s Model 3, priced at $35,000, and still eligible for the $7,500 tax credit, could determine whether battery powered vehicles will go mainstream.

Government policies are supporting battery-powered vehicles. These policies include the subsidies mentioned above, Zero Emission Vehicle requirements, as well as mandates for increasing fleet mileage requirements from today’s 26 mpg to 54 mpg in 2025. See, EPA Mileage Gap & Paris Climate Accord.

EVs have three important impediments.

  • Insufficient range, compared with ICE vehicles
  • The high cost of batteries, which results in the high cots of EVs
  • Time required to charge batteries

PHEVs eliminate range anxiety, and partially reduce the cost penalty for the battery.This could be why they are growing in popularity.

The real issue is whether EVs and PHEVs can become a replacement for internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles, without subsidies and mandates.

If not, they are a detriment to the economy, and have imperceptible environmental benefits.

* * * * * *

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2016 10:45 am

    When considering any kind of electric vehicle you have to consider battery price (and what production does to the environment ), what production of the electricity to charge the batteries does , and what the increased demand does to an already stressed distribution system .

    • October 11, 2016 10:52 am

      Excellent comments.
      Taken to the extreme, power generation capacity would have to be increased to provide the electricity for recharging batteries. Recharging batteries at home would place an extra burden on transformers in the distribution system. These are some of the additional costs that no one mentions.

  2. October 12, 2016 4:47 am

    The procedures for admitting any production in the markets seems to be the same, it is about standards. Fuels, food, drugs, vehicles…etc. Didn’t such industrial materials to this large extent of sale pass the required standards?

    • October 12, 2016 9:02 am

      Not sure what you intended.
      It’s about market forces being distorted by subsidies. Can EVs and PHEVs go mainstream without large subsidies?

      • October 12, 2016 10:02 am

        My note was about some environmental issues mentioned in Steven Guess comment.
        You have a perfect abbreviations here that I saved them all because frankly speaking I may forget them after some time.
        Basically these cars, like any other materials, cannot be marketed without meeting required standards. This was my point. As you know industrial products are not necessarily clean.
        The scale of current use, it seems there are many reasons that can lead to success or even failure of these products. We have to wait and see what happens.
        In the case of subsidies, what I know is that the current dominant technologies were not able to grow without subsidies.
        Your records here are useful as a reference. Thanks for the post.

  3. October 12, 2016 11:44 am

    SmippLtd
    As far as basic material standards being met I have yet to see anything the environmental greenies like being subjected to the the same standards as just about anything else .
    As for subsidies may I ask what subsides that Daimler had developing his engine or for that matter Henry ford.

    • October 12, 2016 1:35 pm

      Thanks for your comments.

    • October 12, 2016 4:08 pm

      As for the U.S. subsidize the automotive industry, it is clear that direct subsidies are limited to environmental issues (paying tax rebates for EVs). Indirect subsidies are varied in number and application.
      Oil, which powers most automobiles, is subsidized by billions per year. So without the oil subsidies, the car market would crash.
      A number of protective measures are in place to help US manufacturers over foreign makers, but those protections aren’t subsidies, and they are ineffective when the foreign makers have local factories.
      As the US has bailed out the US makers with direct subsidies before, the implied “too big to fail” gives a direct benefit to the makers, as they are a lower credit risk if the US government steps in to cover shortfalls, as they have before and can easily do again.
      So though not a direct subsidy, the implied backing of the US government keeps their operating costs lower than they would otherwise be.

      • October 12, 2016 4:32 pm

        The oil industry doesn’t receive as many subsidies as you infer.

        In fact, the charge that oil industry receives billions in subsidies is bogus.

        The largest energy subsidy as reported by the IEA were for discounts given to consumers for the purchase of gasoline in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

        Depletion allowances are a major tax benefit, that people frequently call a subsidy. Depletion is similar to depreciation, where, when a reserve has been exhausted a new reserve must be found. Depreciation is important to provide the funds for replacing worn out equipment.. Depletion is to provide the funds to find a new reserve to replace the worn out reserve.

        In 2013, U.S. energy tax related subsidies went 20% for fossil fuels, 45% for renewable energy and 29% for energy efficiency. These percentages have remained about the same since 2000.

  4. October 12, 2016 5:51 pm

    “In 2013, U.S. energy tax related subsidies went 20% for fossil fuels, 45% for renewable energy and 29% for energy efficiency. These percentages have remained about the same since 2000”
    Renewables, by weight of quantity in use are nothing against the dominant energy sources. Much of 29% for energy efficiency, properly and fairly, belongs to fossil fuels due to the scope of their performance.
    Unlike some people, I believe that the 29% for energy efficiency should go to higher number because fossil fuels still have more potentials to greater efficiencies so are entitled to generous support.

  5. October 12, 2016 8:56 pm

    Just curious , what are the subsides on ev/hybrid ? How about on “green ” power ?

  6. October 13, 2016 5:15 am

    Steven Guess,

    The title of this post would not let us go far more than what I tried to write here in regards to your question marks:

    1. Paying tax rebates for EVs.

    2. Keeping in mind the above referred 45% subsidies for Renewables.
    Let’s see what is going on in California the Renewables vanguard in U.S. power generation.
    Despite all the legislation that California has passed in an attempt to stimulate the growth of Renewables the state has not progressed at all. The percentage of Renewables in California’s energy mix is still about the same as it was in 2010 and the percentage of low-carbon generation in the mix has decreased slightly (fuel efficiency). The California “Duck Curve” also remains a matter of concern. Renewables and imports did not contribute significantly.
    Renewables show a small positive correlation with total generation because the pre-noon increase in solar generation happens to coincide with the morning increase in demand, although the post-noon solar generation decrease does not. Base load nuclear is of course uncorrelated with total generation.
    About correlating individual generation sources with total generation we have:

    Thermal 0.83
    Hydro 0.74
    Renewables 0.19
    Imports 0.03

    Renewables are expensive and the amount of subsidies will never be able to cover the required capital and running costs. We tried to establish a 10 MW solar, just could forget It. It was not cost-effective.
    For your personal issues, yes.

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