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electric vehicles

We are at the very beginning of the era of electric vehicles (EVs). Today, there are five million EVs on the world’s roads, which is up two million from 2018. China is in the leading position, in terms of the largest EV market, followed by Europe and the US. However, large-scale commercial production of EVs by the big car makers is unlikely to take off until 2025, according to GlobalData.

Technological advancements are leading to substantial cuts in EV battery prices, with major enablers being research and development (R&D) in battery chemistry and scaling up of battery production for EVs in manufacturing plants. The fall in battery prices is essentially due to the increased economies of scale created by a booming EV market.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Thematic Research: Electric Vehicles in Utilities’, highlights that the fall in battery prices is essentially due to the increased attention from the EV market. Battery factories across the world have scaled up for the production of batteries for EVs. This fall in prices has proved useful to the battery energy storage market and hastened the deployment of energy storage projects globally. Power utilities use energy storage technologies in a range of applications such as time-shifts and supply capacity in order to meet the demand–supply gap efficiently.

Power companies are showing increased interest in EV programs. Utility programs are offering discounts and rebates on the purchase of EVs or charging equipment, free smart charge installation, along with EV time-of-use plans (on-peak and off-peak rate plans) for EV owners. Power utilities are collaborating with EV manufacturers for boosting their offerings in areas such as EV charging, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, energy storage and renewable energy sources.

V2G systems enable plug-in EVs, particularly their batteries, to play a major role in balancing energy demand and supply and leads to two-way power flow between an EV and the electricity grid. Through this V2G concept, plug-in EVs could be utilized together with electricity storage during emergency conditions or extreme events such as supply shortages, for supplying power back to the electricity grid. Power utilities such as EDF, E.ON and Enel, are involved in V2G pilot or demonstration projects, either by itself or through partnerships.

Recently, French utility giant EDF introduced DREEV, its new subsidiary which is a joint venture (JV) between EDF Pulse Croissance and Nuvve, a San Diego based global leader in V2G solutions, for the development of V2G technology. DREEV works across various areas such as launching energy flexibility services, enabling a supply-demand balance; smart management of EV charging and discharging; customer experience that aid users assure their requirements in terms of mobility, providing them with best possible remuneration in exchange for providing electricity from their vehicles to the electricity grid when not in use. With its Electric Mobility Plan, the EDF Group aims to a smart charging leader in the European region, planning to operate around 4,000 smart electric charging points by 2020.

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are also supporting the rising deployment of EVs worldwide. Recently, Engie SA, a major French utility company, was involved in the acquisition of ChargePoint Services, a provider of integrated EV charging solutions, from Gresham House. The acquisition will boost Engie’s existing EV capabilities and will set up Engie as an EV infrastructure company in the UK.

Another announcement came from a major energy provider Shell, with its acquisition of Greenlots, a leader in providing EV charging and energy management software and solutions in the US. With Shell, Greenlots will strengthen its growth efforts and enable global expansion of its mobility services across utilities, cities, automakers, fleets and drivers. Through this M&A deal, Greenlots’ EV charging and energy management software and solutions along with its team will become Shell’s base for continued expansion of their electric mobility strategy for the North American region.

Governments across the world are keen to boost EV uptake and are offering incentives and subsidies for EVs, with the ultimate aim of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and to enhance energy efficiency.

In addition, stringent fuel-economy standards and regulations on carbon emissions, low – and zero-emission vehicle mandates, and other measures such as limitation on the circulation of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles depending on their emission performance have led to an increase in EV deployment.

Source: GlobalData

Sales of alternatively-powered vehicles are following a highly uneven pattern across EU member states, according to new findings from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). Indeed, the consumer uptake of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric passenger cars, as well as those fuelled by natural gas or hydrogen, differs strongly from country to country as a recent report points out.

For instance, the number of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids (electrically-chargeable vehicles, or ECVs) sold last year ranged from just 93 cars in Latvia (0.6% market share) to 67,504 in Germany (2% market share), ACEA’s data shows.

This picture is very representative, as the consumer uptake of electrically-chargeable cars is particularly low in Central and Eastern Europe, with Poland for instance selling hardly any (0.2% of total passenger car sales). An ECV market share of more than 1.5% is something that is exclusive to Western European countries.

When it comes to electrically-chargeable vehicles, the ACEA report highlights not only an east-west divide, but also a marked north-south distinction. Indeed, electric cars represent less than 1% of total sales in Italy and Spain – the third and fourth largest EU economies respectively.

Clearly, the uptake of electrically-chargeable cars is correlated to a country’s standard of living, with half of all EU member states having a market share lower than 1%. In only four EU countries electrically-chargeable vehicles make up more than 2.5% of the car market.

ACEA’s report also shows that sales of cars running on natural gas are mainly concentrated in Italy and Germany (74% of the EU total), and that fuel-cell cars account for a negligible share of total EU passenger car sales for the time being.

If the extremely ambitious 2025 and 2030 CO2 targets set by the EU are to be achieved, sales of all types of alternatively-powered vehicles will have to pick up rapidly in all member states.

Source: ACEA

Renault extends the use of its electric light commercial vehicles with hydrogen. Tested since 2014, Groupe Renault’s hydrogen technology was developed in partnership with Symbio, a Groupe Michelin subsidiary. The vehicles are equipped with a range extender fuel cell providing electric and thermal power of 10 kW, increasing the range of Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen and Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen to over 350 km. Another advantage of hydrogen is that charging takes just five to ten minutes. Hydrogen responds to the requirements of professionals not yet to be fulfilled by electric vehicles, notably for their long-distance travel needs.

Expected in first-half 2020, Renault MASTER Z.E. Hydrogen will triple the range from 120 km to 350* km and will be available in van (two versions) and chassis cab (two versions). Equipped with two hydrogen tanks located under the car body, the vehicle will gain in versatility with no compromises on the load volume from 10,8 m3 to 20 m3 with a reasonable additional weight of 200 kg.

From the end of 2019, Renault KANGOO Z.E. Hydrogen will boast the best real-life range of any electric van on the market at 370* km (vs 230 km WLTP with Kangoo Z.E.), with a load volume of 3.9 m3, despite a reasonable additional weight of 110 kg.

These hydrogen electric vehicles operate with a fuel cell, which combines hydrogen from its tanks with oxygen from the air to produce electricity (to power the electric motor). The first advantage: these vehicles meet the new environmental challenges of urban mobility. In addition, they offer increased autonomy, fast hydrogen recharging (from 5 to 10 minutes) and easy maintenance. These advantages make hydrogen electric light commercial vehicles particularly suitable for the intensive needs and uses of professionals in large urban areas up to the periphery of cities: transport and logistics, urban deliveries and multi-technical services, municipal and local authority services, express and special mail.

* WLTP certification under way

ABB is to acquire a majority stake of 67 percent in Shanghai Chargedot New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (“Chargedot”), a leading Chinese e-mobility solution provider. The transaction is expected to be completed in the coming months and ABB has the possibility to increase its stake further in the next three years.

Since its establishment in 2009, Shanghai-based Chargedot has made a significant contribution to the uptake of electric vehicles in China. The company supplies AC and DC charging stations, as well as the necessary software platform to a range of customers that includes EV manufacturers, EV charging network operators and real estate developers. It has approximately 185 employees and its other shareholders among others include Shanghai SAIC Anyo Charging Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SAIC.

Chargedot is a natural fit for ABB, which as a global leader in sustainable transportation infrastructure, already offers solutions from grid distribution to charging points for cars and trucks, as well as for the electrfication of ships, railways, trams, buses and cable cars. The acquisition will strengthen ABB’s relationship with leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers and broaden the company’s e-mobility portfolio with hardware and software developed specifically for local requirements. ABB Robotics is the leading supplier of robot units and software to the assembly lines of Chinese EV manufacturers.

The outlook for the global e-mobility infrastructure market is growing. Grand View Research, Inc. forecasts the Asia Pacific region is expected to show the highest growth in this market. China already boasts the largest fleet of electric vehicles worldwide at 2 million, with consumers supported by a government-backed incentive scheme.

ABB has unrivalled expertise in delivering solutions for safe, smart and sustainable electrification. Its partnership with the ABB FIA Formula E Championship serves as a global platform to test and develop e-mobility-relevant electrification and digitalization technologies, pushing the boundaries of e-mobility for a noise and emission free future.

Key to achieving this vision, ABB’s comprehensive e-mobility portfolio spans EV charging technology and supporting energy distribution solutions. ABB has sold more than 11,000 DC fast-charging points across 76 countries worldwide.

Within China, ABB has been working with BYD and Daimler since 2016, supplying its DC Wallbox units for charging Denza electric vehicles. The company is also a supplier of DC fast charging solutions to electric vehicle manufacturers including NIO and to operators such as BP/ifuel 66.

Source: ABB

ABB has won a contract from ST Engineering Land Systems Ltd. to deliver and com-mission integrated smart charging points for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) in the new Tuas port of Singapore. Deliveries of the vehicles, which will be deployed to transport heavy shipping containers at the port terminal, are scheduled to begin from September 2020 through to August 2022, with the ABB chargers and supporting infra-structure set to be installed towards the end of 2020.

The contract includes 450 kW High Power Chargers, design and supply of charge point prefabricated skid and container solutions with integrated chargers, medium- and low- voltage switchgear, transformers and associated control and monitoring equipment. This integrated solution enables fast installation on site, ensures the highest levels of operability and mitigates risk.

The future port is a major milestone in Singapore’s next generation container terminal development with an annual capacity of 65 M containers (TEU) and is slated to be the largest port in the world by the time it is complete in 2040. The first berth will be op-erational in 2021.

The breakthrough project marks the first time ABB’s chargers will be used to power a fleet of autonomous vehicles for commercial operation. A specially designed and cus-tomized connection to the chargers will be enabled for end-to-end integration with the fully-electric AGVs.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Eurelectric and Transport & Environment (T&E) are calling on the European institutions to facilitate a rapid roll-out of smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This is a unique collaboration as it marks the first time that the EU auto industry, electricity sector and the green group have joined forces to push for a common goal.

E-mobility has a crucial role to play in decarbonising road transport and meeting Europe’s climate objective. As Brussels gears up for a new political term, the three associations are therefore urging policy makers to guarantee the ‘right to plug’ to all those who use an electric vehicle, so that everyone across Europe can get access to charging which should be as simple as refuelling today.

This will require a massive deployment of strategically located ‘smart charging’ infrastructure right across the EU. Smart infrastructure will enable drivers to charge without severely affecting, or overloading, Europe’s electricity grids. It provides clear benefits to customers, the power system, the automobile industry and society at large, the associations believe.

ACEA, Eurelectric and T&E signed this joint call to action today at ACEA’s ‘Leading the mobility transformation’ Summit in Brussels. On this occasion, the auto and electricity industries confirmed their commitment to making more focused investments in both vehicle technology and smart charging solutions.

Whether it is urban or motorway public charging, all barriers to infrastructure deployment and e-mobility growth must be removed. In order to make charging at home, work and on motorways easy and accessible for all drivers, policy makers should reform and strengthen key legislation, such as the soon to be revised EU alternative fuels law (AFID) and the EU buildings directive (EPBD). Existing EU funding instruments must also be better leveraged to speed up the roll-out of infrastructure, and other financial instruments should be targeted to unlock new solutions to improve coverage across all member states.

“The EU auto industry wants to work with all stakeholders to make zero-emission mobility a reality,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “To convince more customers to make the switch to electric vehicles, we have to remove the stress associated with recharging. This means that everyone must have the option to recharge their vehicle easily, no matter where they live or where they want to travel to.”

“The race to the future is on. We must remove all barriers and make the shift to electric mobility as easy and convenient as possible. Every consumer should have a ‘right-to-plug’ – and the roll-out of public charging points must accelerate. By 2025, we need 1.2 million public charging points in Europe,” said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

Julia Poliscanova, Clean Vehicles Director at T&E said: “A rapid shift to electric cars powered by clean electricity is essential if we want to halt dangerous global warming. Now that carmakers are preparing a wave of new and affordable electric models, we need to ensure the fast and easy deployment of charging points at home, at work and on the road so that charging an electric car becomes a completely hassle free experience for citizens across the EU.”

Source: ACEA

Iberdrola is making strides in its strategy to promote innovative sustainable mobility to fight climate change by acquiring a stake in Wallbox.

This company, Europe’s leading electric vehicle charging solutions company, has completed a 15 M€ round of capital injections – led by Iberdrola, with other co-investors and some of Wallbox’s current partners – which will allow it to reinforce its leadership and undertake global expansion.

The operation strengthens the business partnership between both companies and, fits into Iberdrola’s Sustainable Mobility Plan, which includes rolling out 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout Spain by 2021 and in the company’s other global markets.

The sustainable mobility leader

Iberdrola intends to drive and lead the transition to sustainable mobility and the electrification of transport as an effective way to combat climate change.

The company has a Sustainable Mobility Plan that entails deploying 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Spanish homes, companies, urban and suburban areas with public access by 2021.The plan includes installing fast, super-fast and ultra-fast charging stations at least every 100 km on the country’s main motorways and highways during 2019, making it possible to drive all the way across Spain in an electric vehicle.

Perseo, collaboration with start-ups to design the energy of the future

Innovation is a strategic variable for Iberdrola and the main tool for guaranteeing the company’s sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness.

Iberdrola has been collaborating with start-ups for over ten years through its 70 M€ Perseo Programme. Perseo helps the company to gain access to the technologies of the future and fosters the development of a dynamic, global ecosystem of technology companies and entrepreneurs that will improve the sustainability of the energy model.

Through Perseo, Iberdrola has brought more than 2,000 emerging companies into its ecosystem, developed pilot projects, over 30 of them in the last two years, and invested in 15 start-ups in areas such as energy storage, drones, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Wallbox, working towards a change in the mobility paradigm

Wallbox plans to become a global electric vehicle charging solutions supplier (smart chargers and the myWallbox platform) and is still at the forefront of the sector with the launch of a home DC charger in the second half of the year.

The initiative will be top of its class due to its features and bidirectional technology. It has already been assessed by the market and agreements have already been signed with major car manufacturers. This new technology will bring a disruptive change to electric vehicle charging systems worldwide.

 

Source: Iberdrola

Rockwell Automation has opened a new 8,000 square-foot Electric Vehicle (EV) Innovation Center in San Jose, California, within its Information Solutions development facility. The center will provide live manufacturing demonstrations, hands-on trials utilizing new technology and events showcasing collaboration with industry experts and Rockwell Automation partners.

Utilizing augmented and virtual reality modeling, the EV Innovation Center provides automotive start-ups and established manufacturers an environment to learn new technologies and standards, enabling them to deliver electric vehicles to market faster, with less risk and at lower cost.

The combination of Rockwell Automation technology with partner technology is what makes the center unique. Specifically, Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, is an unmatched integrated solution that combines software from PTC and Rockwell Automation. Similarly, Eagle Technologies provides the battery pack assembly machine, and FANUC furnishes robot technologies, both integrated with Rockwell Automation technology.

Hirata, a turnkey assembly line builder, provides an assembly cell that demonstrates electric drive unit assembly and testing. Emulate 3D, Rockwell Automation’s simulation software, helps to prototype and test machines before they’re built. teamtechnik performs functional testing to confirm performance before building the drive into the electric vehicle.

By 2040, it’s expected that 54% of new vehicle sales will be electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Batteries currently represent a third of the cost of an EV. As battery costs continue to fall, demand for EVs will rise, with up to 40 million new EV batteries needed annually to power new vehicles.

Source: Rockwell Automation

Efacec has just given a new step in the e-mobility field with the development of a new fast charger for electric vehicles, called QC45 Generation 2. This charging station is the 2nd generation of the company’s fast charger bestseller, with significant improvements in software and hardware domains.

With close to 4.000 fast charging equipment spread across five continents, mostly on the European and American continents, Efacec invests in the continuous evolution of its products to meet the current and future needs of the user of EV.

QC45 Generation 2 charger is characterized by usability, with better HMI design and improvement in the identification of the connectors; easy to maintain, with easier front access and to the components; new design, more urban, futuristic and high-tech and a layout that benefits the optimization of space, allowing the chargers to be placed side by side due the ventilation is no longer on the side as was the previous version of the QC45 charger.

The innovation and differentiating features visible in QC45 Generation 2 charger represent a new approach of Efacec in the fast charging field and will be present in all products of this line.

Source: Efacec

Electric vehicles are on track to dominate global sales of passenger cars and buses by 2040, and to encroach significantly on the market for vans and short-distance trucking, according to the latest forecast from research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF). Based on analysis of the evolving economics in different vehicle segments and geographical markets, BNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019 shows electrics taking up 57% of the global passenger car sales by 2040, slightly higher than it forecast a year ago. Electric buses are set to hold 81% of municipal bus sales by the same date.

For the first time, BNEF has incorporated in its forecast detailed work on the commercial vehicle market. These projections show electric models taking 56% of light commercial vehicle sales in Europe, the U.S. and China within the next two decades, plus 31% of the medium commercial market.

Cuota de ventas anuales de vehículos eléctricos por segmento
EV share of annual vehicle sales by segment

Heavy trucks will prove the hardest segment for electrics to crack, with the latter’s sales limited to 19% in 2040. Their use case will mostly be in shorter-distance applications. However, conventional heavy trucks on long-haul routes will also face other, non-electric competition – from alternatives using natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells.

BNEF’s conclusions are stark for fossil fuel use in road transport. Electrification will still take time because the global fleet changes over slowly but, once it gets rolling in the 2020s, it starts to spread to many other areas of road transport.

The role of shared mobility services such as ride-hailing and car-sharing will be important in this evolving picture. These services account for less than 5% of all passenger miles travelled globally at the moment, but this is set to rise to 19% by 2040. The BNEF team does not expect autonomous driving to have an impact on global transport and energy patterns until the 2030s.

The main driver for the electrification trend over the next 20 years will be further sharp reductions in EV battery costs, making electric cars cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) alternatives by the mid-to-late 2020s in almost every market, on the basis of both lifetime costs and upfront costs. Since 2010, the average cost of lithium-ion batteries per kilowatt-hour has fallen by 85% on a mixture of manufacturing economies of scale and technology improvements.

The BNEF report sees China continuing to lead in electric cars, accounting for 48% of all passenger EVs sold in 2025 and 26% in 2040 when other markets are catching up. Europe pulls ahead of the U.S. as the number two EV market globally during the 2020s. Electrification in emerging markets will be much slower, leading to a fragmented global auto market.

The aggregate increase, however, will be impressive. BNEF expects passenger EV sales to rise from 2 million worldwide in 2018 to 28 million in 2030 and 56 million by 2040. Meanwhile conventional passenger vehicle sales fall to 42 million by 2040, from around 85 million in 2018. Policy support such as fuel economy regulations and China’s new energy vehicle mandate are expected to drive the EV market in the next 5-7 years before economics takes over the latter half of the 2020s.

Cuota de flota de vehículos eléctricos por segmento
EV share of vehicle fleet by segment

The oil, electricity and battery industries will all be impacted by the rise of EVs. A year ago, BNEF estimated their impact on road fuel demand at 7.3 million barrels per day by 2040. However, it has now nearly doubled this to 13.7 million barrels per day, partly because of new forecasts for electrification of the commercial vehicle sector and partly, paradoxically, because ICE fuel efficiency is expected to proceed more slowly than previously thought. That means that every EV displaces a conventional car that would have used a greater quantity of road fuel.

BNEF now estimates that EVs will add 6.8% to global electricity consumption in 2040, and that they will drive a surge in EV lithium-ion battery demand from 151 gigawatt-hours in 2019 to 1,748GWh in 2030. New mining capacity for all battery materials will need to come online to avoid this causing a supply crunch.

McKerracher said: “Transport is moving into a period of disruptive change, with many different factors coming into play. We have incorporated several new elements into our analysis, including an updated EV cost model that includes the cost of a home EV charger to reflect more accurately the costs individuals face to go electric; and a battery chemistry forecast for each of the new segments covered in this year’s report.”

Despite the radical changes afoot, the outlook for road transport emissions remains far from rosy. The BNEF team sees the size of the global on-the-road conventional passenger car fleet continuing to grow until 2030. This means that road vehicle emissions will continue to rise for the next decade, followed then by a sharp fall in the years before 2040, which will only return them to levels similar to 2018.

Source: BNEF

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