Electric Vehicle Society

Webinar - The Economics of Electrification

  • 2020-05-26 8:09 PM
    Message # 8994376
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Want to keep the discussion going after attending the webinar with Peter Hatges from KPMG on May 26? Post your thoughts or questions here!

    Last modified: 2020-05-26 8:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 2020-05-30 7:43 PM
    Reply # 9003882 on 8994376

    IMHO, Peter did a good job of describing the transition to EVs from an OEM's point of view.  For my part (and I suspect many others) it would have been interesting to talk a little about the disruptive side of EV adoption.  If governments and consumers are applying pressure for more EVs and legacy companies aren't able / willing to move quickly enough, then other manufacturers will step up and fill the void. 

  • 2020-05-31 3:04 AM
    Reply # 9004205 on 9003882
    Anonymous wrote:

    For my part (and I suspect many others) it would have been interesting to talk a little about the disruptive side of EV adoption.  If governments and consumers are applying pressure for more EVs and legacy companies aren't able / willing to move quickly enough, then other manufacturers will step up and fill the void. 

    I see two big disruptions from EVs: lifestyle and industry.  

    On the lifestyle side, EV adopters may find they drive more, and possibly a lot more.  We all know that driving an EV is more fun, more comfortable, better for music or podcast listening, much safer, and also a LOT cheaper, especially the cost per km driven (variable cost).  Once the car is bought, possibly a bit pricier than a "comparable" ICE car, the cost per kilometre driven, including maintenance, is on average about 1/5 that of an ICE car at about 2-4 cents per kilometre.  Possibly more important for some, travel by EV is also much better for the earth, if walking, cycling, an e-bike, or transit aren't an option.  In fact, driving an EV may be greener than transit in some circumstances.  I also find I even prefer driving an EV to flying (if not crossing an ocean).  To me, a 2,000 km drive beats all the careful packing, getting to the airport 2+ hours early, the hassle of inspection, the discomfort of airplane seats, bad food (or none), lost luggage, renting an ICE car on the other end, and of course now COVID-19.  Arriving by EV is a LOT cheaper and greener, even including a nice hotel stay on the way.  

    So, we WILL be driving more.  In congested areas, that means even more traffic.  EV drivers will also lose HOV privileges soon.  I am a big fan of walkable, car-free communities, and so this worries me.  Meanwhile, I am enjoying the MUCH cleaner air and quieter streets when I walk or bike around my neighbourhood.

    On the industry side, as noted in the comment quoted above, we all know the car industry as a whole is not embracing EV technology.  There are even ICE makers that still don't have plans to make an EV!  Fossils!  Most of Tesla's intellectual property is free to use (with a few conditions).  VW was shamed into conversion (Dieselgate), but now they are finding they don't know how to write software for their "fleet" of new EVs.  How is it that GM, which spends more money in advertising than new product development, can't find a dime to run ads for their 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year?  So that's in large part why Bolt sales are so low...and likely also because very few dealers want to sell them because they need no maintenance, the real source of dealership profits.

    It seems clear that Tesla, Rivian, Polestar (aka Volvo's early foray into the EV world), BYD, and maybe some of the 300+ new Chinese EV companies in the past 2 years will dominate the automobile industry of the future.  I will reserve space for BMW, VW, and maybe Renault to maintain their niches, but they have a ways to go.  I'd say GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Mercedes, among many others, are toast.  There will be a massive turnover in the companies leading the global auto industry.  On the employee side, there will be many losers during this transition.

    Back on the positive side, did you know that EV adoption can make you instantly Paris Treaty-compliant?  An ICE driver switching to an EV in Canada will on average cut their total carbon emissions by 30%.  It is of course higher in Quebec and BC with their greener grids, but in aggregate broad EV adoption in Canada would cut personal emissions by enough to comply with the 2030 targets of the 2015 Paris climate accord.  We can and should do this NOW, because we have still much more to cut, if we hope to maintain a livable earth.  The earlier the reductions come, the better for the earth.

  • 2020-05-31 6:15 PM
    Reply # 9005589 on 8994376

    Listening to Peter's presentation caused me to change my thinking about legacy ICE producers.  I used to believe they were dragging their heels when it came to transitioning to EVs.  Now I think they are flat out unable to do it.  Peter clarified the staggering cost and market disruption that existing companies are facing.  It's not that they are fighting the change, it's that they have no viable pathway forward.  It has been said that true disruption never happens within an existing industry.  Someone outside always causes it.  

  • 2020-06-01 2:54 PM
    Reply # 9007556 on 9005589
    Anonymous wrote:

    It has been said that true disruption never happens within an existing industry.  Someone outside always causes it.  

    I could not agree more.  The automobile industry was and is ripe for revolution, and EV technology and full driver interface computerization combined (through Tesla) to effect that revolution.  

    GM tried a baby step once to change "Detroit."  Saturn was set up in the south and had many things going for it, but GM ultimately pulled the plug.  They might as well pull the plug on the Bolt as well, even though their engineers hit a home run with this car...as they did on my now cancelled Spark. 

    If I were a MechE or software engineer graduating today, I'd go work for Rivian, or some other small, well-funded EV start-up.  This is our future.

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