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Eight years to an electric transport world

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 31st, 2017 - 66 comments
Categories: Economy, energy, public transport, science, tech industry, transport - Tags:

Auckland Council is considering its budget again. Government has just done theirs. Yawn.

Neither attempt to alter our society for good. And here I am again on a Monday morning, stuck in traffic trying to get to work.

But Stanford University economist Tony Seba predicts fast change, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transport in history.” What he is seeing is transport evolving to becoming a service (that’s Transport as a Service, or TaaS). No more need for car ownership. Here’s his report that’s been doing the rounds.

Lots of experts have been predicting a gradual move toward electric vehicles. But what we are seeing before our eyes is the quick eradication of the ordinary taxi. Uber and Lyft are leaving them behind, and it’s hard to have sympathy.

What the authors see is a better accounting for a convergence of different kinds of technological change in a short space of time. Uber and Lyft, and Amazon by drone. The electric battery price plummeting. The really smart car. The decline of new car sales. Really cheap batteries, battery-powered cars, and electric powered trucks. Cheap oil long term at US$25 no longer making any good difference in demand or productivity. Young peoples’ car licensing plummeting. James Arib, technology investor, philanthropist and co-author of the report says “This results in far greater cost differential between individual ownership and Transportation as a Service, leading to far faster and more extensive adoption as people choose cheaper, better transportation provided as a service.”

On the left we are used to defaulting to the public sector to cure this great Gordian knot of urban living with public transport. But in reality it’s taking too long. Far too long for my good partner and I on a Monday freaking morning. Far too long for climate change that’s for sure. The only exception to that I can think of is China, and you can see all their urban rail increases since 1990 in this cute little graphic here.

Policymakers in New Zealand are already facing critical junctures about whether to help or impede the transition to TaaS. Once they have dealt with Uber and taxi regulations, the next on the list is removing the barriers to autonomous vehicles. In the US, bipartisan legislation has been introduced on this. California has approved 30 companies to test self-driving cars.

As demand for new vehicles plummets, 70% fewer passenger cars and trucks will be manufactured each year. This could result in total disruption of the value chain. Car manufacturers will have options to adapt either as low margin and high volume assemblers. Or by becoming transport service providers themselves. Car buyers will see the second hand market plummet, and only the top 5% of of nostalgic owner-buyers buy anything flash, if that.

For the oil industry it’s nearly as bleak. Global oil demand seems ready to peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020. Who know maybe it will even lower, despite a rising global population. Who knows. But it ain’t pretty for the big oil giants, or the big oil giant petro-states. And no windfall for Scotland.

Now, I love my new Peugeot 508 diesel. I would have preferred the diesel hybrid but they stopped making them. Shoot me I wanted a nice car this year and got one. But this one should see me out the door of petroleum …

… to a world in only eight years’ time where no more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices, and the demise of the car industry as we know it …

… to a world where in the suburban morning we share a car, or share Uber, clear the emails on the electric train, and maybe start to seeing those massive concrete motorway assets and massive oceanic oil rigs stranded like monuments to a kind of dead modernism.

66 comments on “Eight years to an electric transport world”

  1. Gristle 1

    The route to market for a fleet of autonomous vehicles is not defined, nor is it likely to be only one model. What I have looked are:
    1. Central government establishing a fleet – largely as a method for seeding the market and making a GCC investment
    2. Local government – as the provider of roading and parking and smetimes an owner of electricity distribution networks then they can do a vertical integration.
    3. Cooperative models where individuals can fund into it.
    4. Pure commercial models

    Tony is very much pushing a commercial model with Uber et al providing vehicles and the hailing/payment model. That need not be the case.

    In areas where population numbers decrease there is a corresponding increase in the average number of vehicle required per person. This type of asset management technique is well understood from industries like electricity distribution. NZ is likely to be okay with only 15% of the population outside of areas with less than 20,000 people. In that 15% the Commercial option is likely to less successful.

    One issue still to be addressed is charging stations. How does an autonomous vehicle get charged if it is not by a fleet of robotic charging stations. Many of the e vehicle manufacturers have connection systems based on human intervention and home based charging.

    Which reminds me to:
    1. Buy a new battery for my laptop; and,
    2. Plug the Leaf in as I need to go visiting this afternoon.

    • Ad 1.1

      So just to inquire about the scaleability of the commercial autonomous vehicle model, would a city with a well defined edge and a clear street network such as Christchurch be a good place for a large scale autonomous vehicle fleet?

      Or would Auckland’s massive motorways and slower daytime speeds make for an easier autonomous vehicle network?

      • Gristle 1.1.1

        Hi,

        Lots of things to consider.

        Modelling and closed environment testing has shown that even a 5% penetration of autonomous vehicles into a normal traffic flow has beneficial effects of improving smooth flow, increasing average speed, reducing pulsing of traffic (pulsing traffic leads to increased accident rates, as well as operating and maintenance costs.)

        This means that as there is a swap out, the network performance improves way before autonomous vehicles make a sizeable minority of the fleet. So motorways may indeed operate a lot better with the same number of vehicles on them. This effect is independent of ownership models.

        Renting cars works best, in a theoretical model, when the demand is staggered and evenly spread. This means that firstly the utilisation factor is high (less down time), secondly that the fleet size does not overly large, and thirdly that wait times by users is not excessively long. Of course we live in a world where demand is focussed into smaller time slots and a lot of this is driven by behavioural factors.

        Will you accept the Sharing of an autonomous vehicle so that it picks up a full load of kids to drop off at school, or do you have a one child policy? What about going to and from work?

        If the behavioural changes of shared vehicles are addressed prior to the introduction of autonomous vehicles then the replacement of people controlled vehicles need not be on a 1:1 basis.

        Since I sold the farm, I have sold my ute and bought an e car. I use my car for local driving and rent a car for long distance drives (which are mainly for work).

        Clear streets are easier for autonomous cars to run on. Things like cats eyes have been shown to confuse some current systems.

        From work I have read I understand that in the USA cities down to 50,000 are being considered for commercial fleets.

        • BM 1.1.1.1

          Will you accept the Sharing of an autonomous vehicle so that it picks up a full load of kids to drop off at school, or do you have a one child policy? What about going to and from work?

          How about if the car is compartmentalised with multiple doors, you get your own pod so it doesn’t matter who you’re sharing the ride with, you’re separated from everyone else?

          • Gristle 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not sure about isolating everybody in pods of a group vehicle. Fragmentation behaviour is unlikely to integrate with group behaviour. For example, think of those people who refuse to use communal toilets and insist on returning to home base.

            One of the jokes in autonomous vehicle circles is that they are likely to have more people born as a result of trips in them than human driven vehicles have killed and injured.

            • BM 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Each pod could have a screen with wifi, that way you can talk to your mates if you want, or use the quiet time to get your homework or work done.

              Less chance of getting robbed, raped or murdered as well.

              • McFlock

                That’s what cameras and monitored panic buttons are for. But what about the group of 4 who want to travel together?

                The easy response to the car pooling problem is simply to ignore it, though. Most cabbies encounter requests of “go to A to pick up another person, then B”, or “Go to A, hang about for a minute While I get maccas, then go to B”. These requests would have to be part of a basic autonomous cab system. And then individuals can have their own preference of whether they share (and the fare is automatically split, which is the incentive).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Fear. Make sure you are afraid at all times. When you leave your safe space, have a weapon to hand. When you leave your home, make sure you are visibly armed. When you step outside of your gated community, make sure you wear body armour and are armed to the teeth.

                But first though, post a video on Youtube with your tiny little manifesto, and assume the position. You just breached your parole again.

      • katipo 1.1.2

        Something like a version of Heathrow Airports Ultra PRT system would be a good start.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_rapid_transit

        Pity the Christchurch earthquakes happened during a time of visionless leadership as it would have the perfect test City,
        It could have been financed by the resulting reduction in car parks, buses & carbon taxes, starting out small between say, between the Hospital-bus exchange-car park buildings and larger anchor projects then scaled it up from there.
        A grade separated centrally controlled PRT system has a number of advantages over privately owned autonomous cars
        1. The technology is here now and is way less complicated & more efficient.
        2. The vehicles are much lighter & cheaper produce and upgrade
        3. The entire system is controlled as a whole to minimizing the average travel
        times of everyone.
        4. Pods can stop inside buidings.
        It also has number of advantages over other public transport or taxis
        5. Runs 24/7 no licence required
        6. Only you and friends travel in the pod (or a convoy of pods depending on how many people there are.)
        7. Doesn’t have to stop en route
        8. Don’t have to wait for a scheduled service
        9. Can eliminates the need for traffic lights

  2. RedLogix 2

    Another interesting read on electric cars.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/06/09/whats-actually-new-electric-car-world/

    The big transition is definitely within the 5 – 10 year planning horizon, but the ICE has a bit to run yet.

    Personally I’m not expecting to buy another new ICE car; my six year old diesel Golf will do until electrics become realistic. And then the ownership model may well be completely different as you say.

    Incidentally a few years back a Peugeot 308 HDI achieved this extraordinary run:

    Peugeot has set an unofficial Guiness World Record for fuel economy, driving its newly released 308 HDi to victory in a 14,580km trek around Australia.

    Narrowly surpassing the Hyundai i30 CRDi which previously achieved an average of 3.2-litres per 100km, John and Helen Taylor driving the Peugeot 308 HDi managed a slightly more efficient 3.13-litres per 100km across a 25 Day Round Australia Trip.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/10684/peugeot-308-hdi-fuel-efficiency-record/

    • Ad 2.1

      I tested a couple of the Hyndai including the hybrid options before going for the Peugeot. Currently we are using about a tank of diesel a month.

      I am planning to do the Alps to Ocean cycle tour later this year.
      I calculated that it was cheaper to drive down from Auckland to Mt Cook in the Peugeot than fly and get a rental to get there. Air New Zealand recommended that I offset my jetfuel with tree planting. I’m going with the scenic drive.

  3. Keith 3

    I find it hard to reconcile that at this very point in history, Wellington City is getting rid of their emmission free electric buses.

    Stupid!

    • Cricklewood 3.1

      The emmisions needed to keep them running probably outweigh the savings…

  4. Wayne 4

    Not in 8 years, more like 20 to 30 years before electric autonomous vehicles are everywhere.

    People will still own their own vehicles for decades to come. They are there when you want them, you can get one that suits your needs, you can take it anywhere you want. No rental fleet can ever replace that convenience. New Zealand is not Manhattan.

    I get the impression that left greens love the idea that the private vehicles will go, primarily because it represents private choice. But that private choice, people owning a car or a horse, as their own personal transport goes back thousands of years.

    After all it was not so long ago that in the wild west you would be hung for stealing someones horse. Personal ownership clearly mattered!

    In the real world, new roads will still be built (the current programme goes out at least for another 10 years) and cars (petrol, hybrid and electric) will still be bought and sold in their hundreds of thousands.

    • left_forward 4.1

      I get the impression that you didn’t have a look at Seba’s presentation – before offering your ‘expert’ prediction.

      I also get the impression that you are guessing why a Lefty / Green like me would be interested and you have it entirely wrong. I for one am primarily interested in the collective and environmental benefits that new ‘greener’ technologies have the potential to deliver.

      • infused 4.1.1

        I have, and it’s not going to happen. It’s 10-15 years away.

        Still a long way to go for this to get cheap enough, and with enough range.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      I’d agree to a point Wayne; I do think the transition will be fastest in the big cities, but it could be quite patchy geographically.

      But what dudes of our generation can easily miss is just how little car ownership means to so many younger people these days. Just. Not. Interested.

      • garibaldi 4.2.1

        I can see the conversion happening rapidly in crowded cites but I can’t see it taking over in this country in places where the population density can’t support good public transport. The private motor car will still be around for a long time yet.

      • Gristle 4.2.2

        There are 3 distinct aspects being discussed. Motive power, ownership models and autonomous vehicles. These are intertwined but can be treated separately to some extent.

        Autonomous vehicle will be first deployed in expensive, high use vehicle. Otherwise known as trucks. There are mines that already use this on haulage vehicles.

        When a road truck costs $500k and needs to operate 14 plus hours per day, there is budget and demand. Many new trucks already have a brake assist function.

        Sweden is considering banning the sale and registration of new ICE cars after 2025.

        As far as ownership models are concerned, there are only a few examples where ownership/use went from single to common use. Education norm went from rich man employing a tutor for a child to public schooling of groups. Can you think of others?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      People will still own their own vehicles for decades to come.

      Only in National’s ideological world of everyone doing everything for themselves which, quite simply, we cannot afford.

      I get the impression that left greens love the idea that the private vehicles will go, primarily because it represents private choice.

      I get the impression that you’re an idiot.

      Having choice is far more expensive and a good rental fleet still provides the same choice between types of vehicles anyway.

      But that private choice, people owning a car or a horse, as their own personal transport goes back thousands of years.

      No it doesn’t. The only reason why the aristocrats had horses was because they had the land to feed and house them. Almost nobody else had horses because they couldn’t afford the choice.

      After all it was not so long ago that in the wild west you would be hung for stealing someones horse. Personal ownership clearly mattered!

      Non sequitur. The latter does not follow from the first. It may have mattered to someone but not to everyone.

      In the real world, new roads will still be built (the current programme goes out at least for another 10 years) and cars (petrol, hybrid and electric) will still be bought and sold in their hundreds of thousands.

      That’s only true on Planet Key.

    • Bill 4.4

      Disagree completely with your political philosophy, but not with your dismissal of the infantile notion of an electric heaven in 8.

      Petrol vehicles will be driven into the ground for as long as petrol is available.

      • Pat 4.4.1

        depends on the economics

        • McFlock 4.4.1.1

          Well, yes, but the point was that eight years is a bloody big call.

          In NZ, the average age of light passenger vehicles is about 14 years, and growing. If every new car tomorrow onwards was electric, in 8 years only about a third of the current vehicle stock would be off the road (if I interpret figure 2 correctly, which might be a bit of a stretch).

          But the 8 year call basically requires most people to junk a perfectly servicable vehicle in favour of autonomous cabs. That’s a heck of a transition in something so basic.

          • Pat 4.4.1.1.1

            reasons to junk serviceable vehicles can be manufactured just as fuel /vehicle prices /taxes can be adjusted to create a desired outcome…..there is no such thing as an unfettered market…..what would most do if the cost of owning/running a vehicle was 100 times the cost of sharing a self drive?…..8 years is not beyond the realms of possibility…and depending on climate impacts evident(and electorate pressures) it could potentially be sooner

          • AB 4.4.1.1.2

            Quite – 2 cars in our household, both essential in the dysfunctional chaos that is Auckland and with our family commitments. One is 8 years old the other 11 years old and they are still better than average.
            People are forgetting just how poor most NZers are.
            Have been looking at Nissan Leafs as a possible replacement for one of them at some point soon – still way too expensive even for high-mileage ones that must have a question mark about their remaining battery life.

            • Pat 4.4.1.1.2.1

              and how much use would those vehicles get if subject to high congestion levies and additional fuel taxes WHILE a substantially cheaper alternative was available?….indeed athwart point would you determine they were more trouble and expense than they were worth?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.1.2.2

              People are forgetting just how poor most NZers are.

              That would be a large part of the drive to public transport as PT is far cheaper than owning your own car.

  5. McFlock 5

    But what we are seeing before our eyes is the quick eradication of the ordinary taxi. Uber and Lyft are leaving them behind, and it’s hard to have sympathy.

    I agree with you on the revolutionary aspects of autonomous and electric transport, but have to quibble over uber etc.

    They’re basically a step backwards in deregulation and job precariousness disguised as “efficiency”. They still need a car and a driver, the change is in how qualified and monitored the drivers are supposedto be, and how much work they get. It’s a bit like having workers “on call” via cellphone instead of having them line up at the yard gates, and then bypassing some of those cumbersome workplace safety regulations to be more “efficient”.

    Fortunately, I think that uber is a liminal enterprise existing in the gap between two technological levels, rather than anything that will be around in fifty years. A bit like the penny farthing.

    • Ad 5.1

      Agree with that.

      Uber are Precariat Slavemasters.

      Uber solely with autonomous vehicles is a better reality.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Uber without the drivers is just an app to order stuff.

        If autonomous cabs supplement a council bus fleet as a more expensive option, they could also operate on the bus routes outside of bus hours or if the busses are full. Even use the same concession card system as the bus, just different rates as to whether the vehicle is operating as a cab or as an additional bus.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Uber without the drivers is just an app to order stuff.

          Yup. With an even higher cut of the profits flowing to the developer of the app.

  6. Craig H 6

    http://beta.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11859781

    To summarise, a investment bank pulled apart some electric vehicles and did some analysis of the parts. Electric cars will become cheaper than petrol cars to manufacture next year, starting in Europe, and that there’s a lot of room to lower prices as efficiencies are found and volumes increase.

    They also say that EVs are much cheaper to run and maintain than petrol vehicles, so the reduction of sales of new petrol vehicles should be quick.

    • Paul Campbell 6.1

      this mostly true, an electric motor has maybe 10 moving parts, a petrol powered motor closer to 1000, transmissions are simpler because electric motors give full power over a wider rev range, plus nothing is running at ICE temperatures means cheaper materials.

      Batteries are still the big expense and with the massive increase in manufacturing they’re predicted to come down in price by ~75%, and fast – that’s going to knock ~40% off the current price of an EV.

      With less wear and tear cars are going to last much longer, but you should plan on replacing the battery at some point – 10-15 years in, they’ll be even cheaper then. When I bought my Prius people warned me I’d have to replace the battery “… after 5 years” of course that was crap, I just did replace it, 13 years later, 2 bad cells out of 200, they replace so few they don’t have replacements on the shelf, you have to send away overseas to have one made specially. We’re going to pull the old battery apart and give the good cells to people doing electric bike conversions ….

    • mikesh 6.2

      They may be cheaper because the don’t pay road user charges.

      • Craig H 6.2.1

        That would have to be accounted for somewhere, but the general maintenance is orders of magnitude cheaper.

  7. mauī 7

    Wishful thinking stuff, the way we have constructed society is completely dependant on oil. From our suburbs which have been built kilometres away from city centres meaning car dependence, to our food supply chain that is reliant on diesel trucks to deliver food to warehouses and supermarkets constantly.

    As Dmitry Orlov points out every barrel of oil is 50% petrol and the industry has to find a way to sell that product. That means millions of combustion engines in use burning petrol in lawnmowers, cars, etc. In other words there is an enormous incentive by industry to keep that model going. If you can’t sell that 50% of petrol of the oil barrel can you afford to pull oil out of the ground for road tar resurfacing?

    Then there’s the lithium supply issue for batteries, how much of that have we got left in the world?…
    Then there’s issue of electric vehicles being completely dependant on the oil industry as when you look down the chain far enough it all comes back to oil.

    Edit – Chris Martenson says to replace just 3% of total US car sales each year with electric cars will require all of the world’s current lithium production.

    • Bill 7.1

      I think the wee guys who wrote the report were watching ‘The Jetsons’ as wee kids while their parents got far too stoned on the couch, and that some second hand smoke helped create a subliminal ‘imprint’ of the Jetsons world on their developing brains. It’s has now resurfaced. Which would be fine. Except they’re presenting it in expensive reports as a (fuck me dead!) serious possibility that otherwise intelligent people are brainlessly clutching at.

      The above scenario is absolutely not any less skewiff than the idiocy that I read in that report. Quite an industry building around similarly infantile reports seeking to pass themselves off as thoughtful and/or meaningful. Funnily enough, they all seem to base themselves on the premise of a capitalism for the future.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    No more need for car ownership.

    Technically, there’s never been a need for car ownership.

    Uber and Lyft are leaving them behind, and it’s hard to have sympathy.

    They’re a great idea unfortunately they’re producing even greater bludgers while pushing taxi drivers even further into poverty. This is simply the nature of capitalism.

  9. SpaceMonkey 9

    Sounds good but what if there aren’t the resources or infrastructure to manufacture the cars and their components? Some of those components use rare earth metals (e.g. lithium, neodymium, dysprosium – all of which are cited as critical metals).

    • lprent 9.1

      Lithium isn’t rare. More like ubiquitous. It isn’t like helium which is common, but gaseous and doesn’t like combining so tends to gloat out of the atmosphere.

      Lithium likes to bind in with just about everything just like hydrogen does. And that is where you find it. 0.17mg/L in seawater and a lot higher in geothermal waters.

      All of the concentrated deposits of lithium currently derive from one of those two sources. Usually evaporated seawater of inland seas.

      It is just an engineering issue to drop the extraction costs from approx 5x current market prices for extracting virtually unlimited amounts from seawater.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        And that is where you find it. 0.17mg/L in seawater and a lot higher in geothermal waters.

        Yep. About 500 tonnes of the stuff flows down the Waikato every year from just one geothermal station. Just need to find someway to extract it. Now, if we had a good government they’d be spending a few million every year looking for that way.

      • SpaceMonkey 9.1.2

        I understand the term “rare earth metals” to refer mainly to the extraction processes required to get to them. So, as you say, lithium isn’t rare but to get to it you need to expend a lot of energy.

        • SpaceMonkey 9.1.2.1

          Further to my post…

          Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies
          http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/march/store-electric-grid-030513.html

          “In general, we found that the material constraints aren’t as limiting as the energetic constraints,” Barnhart said. “It appears that there are plenty of materials in the Earth to build energy storage. There are exceptions, such as cobalt, which is used in some lithium-ion technologies, and vanadium, the key component of vanadium-redox flow batteries.”

          I realise this study is looking at the feasibility of grid storage, to replace carbon produced electricity but the underlying point for me is that often a technology that appears “green” isn’t so when you factor in the supporting infrastructure. We can’t start claiming the EV is environmentally friendly if the power grid fueling it and the infrastructure required to make it isn’t.

          In NZ we are much better placed than some countries to make that claim as some 85% of our power is generated by renewable, predominantly hydro. Interestingly hydro came out of the above study as the most energy efficient means of producing electricity.

          “When Barnhart crunched the numbers, the results were clear. “We determined that a pumped hydro facility has an ESOI value of 210,” he said. “That means it can store 210 times more energy over its lifetime than the amount of energy that was required to build it.””

          • Paul Campbell 9.1.2.1.1

            We can do even better – Central Otago has lots of opportunities for wind power, and already lots of hydro …. have a look at the Clyde dam it has a couple of penstocks that aren’t connected to a generator …. hook up a couple more generators and you up the peak generation rate by 50% … then when the wind blows you can let the lake fill a bit, and share the transmission lines, when the wind stops empty the lake a little …. etc

            The big problems are political …. the govt sold off the power generators, the wind guys are competing with the water guys, they make their money on the peak rates when there’s a shortage, there’s no incentives to work together, to create efficiencies

            • Ad 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Central Otago wind power?
              No one’s going to go there again after the locals killed the last big one.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1.2

            We can’t start claiming the EV is environmentally friendly if the power grid fueling it and the infrastructure required to make it isn’t.

            Actually, that’s a load of bollocks.

            We don’t need carbon energy to make sustainable energy – it’s just what we have. So we use it to make the sustainable energy infrastructure and retire at the same time. This allows the change over to happen more quickly reducing GHG emissions.

            • Bill 9.1.2.1.2.1

              What are the logistics involved in expanding a grid by 3 or 4 times it’s current capacity to deal with all this wonderful electric? And what is the carbon embedded in both that expansion and these electric “OMG we can have it all!” products that everyone is going to rationally opt for in a, according to the linked report, hyper competitive capitalist market system?

              • Draco T Bastard

                http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/solar-panels-now-make-more-electricity-they-use

                Wind is better.

                What that means is that as soon as you have one built you can use the power generated by that one to produce more than one which means that sustainable energy can actually be expanded exponentially while still reducing power produced from unsustainable, GHG producing, power generation.

                The limitations will political and labour availability.

                And a large part of those political limitations are the hyper-capitalistic market system. The people getting rich from GHG emissions systems will lose and so the politicians protect them at our cost.

  10. Ad 10

    Here’s the latest oil use projections, once the electric vehicles and energy-switching is taken into account:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-oil-projections/

    • Bill 10.1

      Once the fantasy of electric vehicle uptake and the fantasy of ‘energy switching’ is taken into an account – an account that happily throws all accompanying logistics out of the window 🙄

  11. Bill 11

    The notion of disruptive technology really is a howling piece of shite.

    What passes as examples of disruptive technology are usually always just the (in retrospect) obvious enough advances in (usually) computer centred tech.

    Uber changes the business model of taxi’s. That’s all it does. So now a cut goes to the proprietor of an app as opposed to the holder of a licence. In what way is uber heralding a huge uptake of electric vehicles? It’s not.

    What is the average time span for a fleet to turn over in a western nation? More than seven years? A-hem. Yes.

    Capitalism (and on steroids no less according to that report) will. not. save. your. arse.

    You want to get serious about AGW? Then get serious about AGW. And quit the fantasy group wank over rationally optimised choices, alongside dumping the pretense that the likes of PV replaces current energy sources (it’s getting stacked on top of existing and increasing fossil use).

  12. timeforacupoftea 12

    “As demand for new vehicles plummets, 70% fewer passenger cars and trucks will be manufactured each year.”

    I wrote a note to myself the other day way before reading Seba’s thoughts above.

    I can’t see electric cars taking off here, well not here until we convert many hectares of dairy farms to charging stations ‘tongue in cheek a bit’ but these charging yards will have to be humungous with areas made for sleeping while charging takes place.
    I can imagine Japanese style workers sleeping pods being ideal here.
    What a slow trip to Picton from Invercargill that will be using electricity, where now we can get to Picton 10 or so hours on one fill of beautiful petrol at Ashburton and next at Blenheim ( could until the Kiakoura earthquakes took place ).
    Mmmmmmm …… it will be difficult to establish charging stations in central South Island I would think or find a smelly Mr Ubar electric car to exchange.

    I for one can’t stand people, why I guess I live down south, I have never taken public transport other than a plane which feels like a trip in a sheep crate with a load of smelly lambs heading to the works.
    I freek out if I ever have to get in a lift, 99% of the time I take the stairs.
    I like my own space.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      I can’t see electric cars taking off here, well not here until we convert many hectares of dairy farms to charging stations ‘tongue in cheek a bit’ but these charging yards will have to be humungous with areas made for sleeping while charging takes place.

      • infused 12.1.1

        that shits never going to happen

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1

          Not under capitalism, no.

          Time to get rid of capitalism so that we can actually make decisions that benefit the people rather than just the greedy few.

  13. Redlion Seratus 13

    Thanks for the great post Ad & discussion. I personally think timing will depend largely on when China can bring a flood of EVs or Pods to market,that is successfully replicate Teslas model.Strangely there hasnt been any discussion on the initial uptake of private transport which was the bicycle, when the safety diamond chain driven bike could be produced cheaply & as someone mentioned ‘feeding a mouth’ was taken out of the equation

    • Ad 13.1

      Cheers.
      I’m in a mood to look for good changes in the world that don’t require too much work from the political orders. It’s better for the hope-levels.

      • fender 13.1.1

        Yeah good on ya Ad, nothing wrong with having the discussion despite someone above at 11.0 seemingly telling you to “quit the fantasy group wank…”

  14. infused 14

    Welcome to about 7yrs ago. This was touted. But no, Greens don’t think we need anymore roads.

  15. Craig H 15

    Looking at price points for a trip/ride to make self-driving EVs break even as public transport… First, some assumptions:

    – Likely distance travelled per vehicle – 50,000km p.a.
    – Hold for 5 years
    – New or near new 4 door, 4 seater EV – $30,000 or $50,000 brand new (+ GST which can be claimed back, presumably some fleet discount)
    – Travel is door to door

    Costs:

    Electricity – $4 per 100km
    Road User Charges – $62 per 1000km
    Maintenance – 5c per km (Google search suggests that as a reasonable figure, includes replacing the battery after 6-8 years, which we won’t be doing as we won’t be holding the car that long)

    Total running costs – 15c/km.

    Buy new or near new for $30,000, sell for $5,000 and depreciation is 10c/km. (this assumes no GST as that will be claimed back). Buy for $50,000 and sell for $10,000 and depreciation is 16c/km.

    Commercial insurance – $4,800 p.a. (that will drop significantly once self-driving cars become the norm as accidents will become much less common)
    Registration and COF – $200 p.a.

    Total fixed costs – 10c/km.

    Total costs to break even – 35c/km (41c/km for a $50,000 car). By comparison, the current IRD-approved mileage rate is 72c/km.

    Average Kiwi driver travels approx 35km/day (source: AA) so covering that would be approx $12.50/day ($14.50 if the vehicles cost $50,000). Any ride sharing as would be expected by public transport and that drops rapidly.

    Make it a 10 seater van, buy for $100,000 and sell for $30,000 and depreciation is now 28c/km, taking total cost to break even up to 53c/km. Share that over an average of 5 people, and people are paying around 11c per km or $3.80/day for door to door travel. Councils could offer a range of basic options, and private taxi or equivalent companies could operate by providing luxury and long distance options. The impact on low income people would be huge, especially beneficiaries looking to move into work because they now have reliable transport regardless of license or car ownership.

    Councils would need to fund charging facilities, but they could repurpose parking buildings which save some of the cost, and could have solar panels added. The savings on bus stops and route design would help fund that.

    Related jobs/industries which will disappear or diminish over time:

    – car manufacturing and sales (incl parts and raw materials)
    – oil/petrol (extraction, refining, transport, sales)
    – drivers and driver training/instructors (and transport jobs in general)
    – parking (wardens, parking attendants e.g. Wilson’s, construction)
    – mechanics and panelbeaters (still need some, especially auto electricians, but not nearly as many)
    – roads (fewer vehicles on the road and driven better = less maintenance and replacement required)
    – vehicle insurance, ACC, courts (substantially fewer accidents = lower premiums/levies, court cases, and fewer jobs required in general)
    – surgery/physiotherapy (and any other related impacts on the health system)
    – Police (dealing with fewer accidents, reduced enforcement required)

    No doubt I’ve missed plenty of others, but it’s a paradigm shift.

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