just frank wrote:OK. A LOT of mowers, blowers, trimmers and hand tools in my local hardware store are now Lithium powered. They seem to sell well. In areas with tougher air pollution regs, I expect even more so.
A number of highly polluted cities are switching to 100% BEV buses and taxis. My coworkers report that throughout east asia, many of the taxis they take are already BEVs. China hopes to sell 800k BEV+PHEV units domestically this year, after selling 500k in 2016. Not a small number 7 years before 2025. That is one niche answer...but funded by municipal govt.
The Tesla fans will say that in the Model S 'segment' of luxury cars, the other (ICE) makers have seen their sales fall by double digits yoy during an economic expansion, and that is due to Tesla. Response: all those makers are now designing 'Tesla killers' that will be long range BEVs or PHEVs that will go head to head with Tesla in the next couple years. What if they ALL sell well? That is another niche, high priced luxury cars.
Then there is Norway. A small country, indeed, but in Jan 2017 BEV+PHEV reached 37% of new car sales in the country. Combined with hybrids, the number was over 50%. The Netherlands is talking about banning ICE cars at some point in the 2020s. That is another niche: countries with expensive gasoline, cheap electricity and progressive politics.
Great examples. Putting it in perspective, Norway population 5M, Netherlands 17M, New York Metro 20M. Norway is a big country so I assume there's more cars per capita than Netherlands, which might have a larger public transportation network. Banning ICE cars on Manhattan in the 2020s would be one way to reduce traffic! (at least for a short while)
Actually probably not. Netherlands probably more cars per capita than Norway. From the Netherlands you can drive to anywhere in Continental Europe, probably within 24 hours (of straight driving). And Norway has very high gasoline taxation and car taxes. I would have to check the numbers (which I am too lazy to do right this minute
Re EVs. The are not a solution for urban congestion. Any more than self driving cars are. London is the perfect case in point (congestion charge of c $20 per day 7am to 7pm). Central London road traffic speed is about 8 mph, about the same as it was in 1910 when horse drawn vehicles were still a significant proportion of traffic (the majority, then).
In other words, traffic expands until the time cost of using a car is large enough that it is unattractive to the user
. There's a point where that occurs (probably around 8mph in a dense city like London or NYC). Any measure that "relieves" traffic but does not permanently discourage it, will simply in time find traffic grows back to increase travel times/ reduce travel speeds back to equilibrium.
You can close off streets to traffic, or you can go whole hog like the Danes or the Dutch and make bicycle travel faster than car travel (and perhaps just as safe)* but you cannot, by playing with automotive traffic (or building public transport) make roads go faster. Build better public transport, road speeds increase, more people drive. Back to where you started
Self driving cars make the whole thing worse. Because then the time cost of driving is significantly reduced or even abolished- -that's going to make the San Jose- San Francisco area really interesting
Also you don't need the parking, so the parking limitation on urban traffic is sharply reduced.
There's a word for this in the technical literature but I cannot think what it is.
These are great canaries or bellwethers to keep an eye on to see how quickly adoption might come to the masses. There will be a gold rush or bubble in the next decades relating to shift. Tesla stock is overvalued or undervalued depending on your view.
There will be both bubbles and busts, like with any rapidly changing industry. Tesla is overvalued by any possible metric (so is Amazon) *but* Musk might yet pull a rabbit out of the hat. I don't see how, but he's done it before (shrug).
Rest assured though that this thing has legs, and more legs, perhaps, than you will find posts from me 6 months or a year ago, arguing.
There's a paper in Science this week and because we quickly get into forbidden areas on the Forum I am simply going to give you the reference and not the title
Science 24 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6331, pp. 1269-1271
if you look at just the diagrams (click the tab) then you'll see the scale of what has to be accomplished. What's more, I think the human race has a survival instinct, so I think it *will* be accomplished (albeit with quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears on the way, and not in any sense a smooth pathway). "[the world] can always be relied upon to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else"-- misquoting Winston Spencer Churchil.
* it might (well) be pointed out that a New York winter is not the best place to be bicycling. I grew up in a NE North American city, and one of my colleagues as a student rode his bicycle too and from school (about 5-6 miles, and on a hill) every day of the year-- but one blizzard at least, his mother made him take the subway