Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Progress Review 2010

Published - Jan 2011| Analyst - Anna Welch Crull| Code - FCB005L
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Report Highlights

  • The global electric vehicle market in 2009 was worth more than $26 billion, including more than $4.6 billion worth of associated power sources.  This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% between 2010 and 2015 under a consensus scenario.  This will result in a $78 billion global market in 2015, along with a $7.6 billion power source market.  
  • The hybrid electric vehicles market is worth an estimated $19.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $46.2 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% under a consensus scenario.
  • The HEV and PHEV battery market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% over the next 5 years, from $1.3 billion in 2009 to reach more than $2.6 billion in 2014. 

INTRODUCTION 

Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress Review covers technical developments in electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles as well as industry and financial news related to the development of this market sector. No hybrid vehicle (HV), no hybrid plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV), no fuel cell (FC) vehicle, or the so-called pure electric vehicle (EV) and no traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is going to operate without a battery of some type. The place to look at the developments in practically zero emission vehicles is battery improvements and chemistries. Under consideration are the so-called secondary or rechargeable batteries.
 
Even if consumers have bought only an advanced lead-acid (Pb-acid) battery for their vehicles, they already know that batteries cost a sizeable amount of money. This standard type of battery was invented about 1859 and has been undergoing improvements every since. This chemistry remains the choice for automobiles for starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) applications. Compared to any other vehicle battery chemistry the lead acid battery is low in cost and tolerant to overcharging, and can be left on trickle charge for prolonged periods of time. Suppliers are available worldwide and it is the world’s most recycled product. There are also a list of downsides to this chemistry including being heavy and bulky, and requiring storage in a charged state to avoid deterioration of the chemicals.
 
A sealed lead-acid battery for an ICE might cost as little as $20 or over $200. A couple of these lead acid batteries in the mid-price range will run a golf cart just fine. If you rent a cart, at the end of your round an attendant will plug in the cart to recharge. If you own a cart you take it home and plug it into a suitable socket at your home. The golf cart and the “neighborhood” (NEV) “scooter” car are available and have been for some time. Thus we already have electric vehicles that are operational. The downside them is that they are mostly not certified for highway or street driving. There are still plenty of gasoline powered golf carts along with used golf carts and what are called a “rough terrarian carts” on the courses and in neighborhoods. The down side might be that the tax credit has expired. Prices vary widely but may start at around $1,000. A street legal version might be in the $8,000 range, running up to $14,000 or more for a street certified electric utility truck or an enclosed fancy version of a golf cart. For the super eco-friendly consumer, a solar panel roof kit for a golf cart costs about $2,000.
 
Electric vehicles have to compete by price and performance, although style and durability are still part of the equation. For the basic hybrid with almost zero emissions there is the fully functional and reliable Prius getting about 50 mpg in the 2010 priced from $22,800 to fully loaded with all the options at $28,000. Space-wise the Prius is smaller than a Lexus SUV hybrid but has all the other features except for heated seats and electric seat adjustments. 
 
In the interest of full disclosure, I have driven or owned every model of Prius since 2004. The new hybrid plug-in Prius gets about 60 mpg and only the clever can calculate the cost of the electricity to charge a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in their own particular area and if desired convert that into costs related to miles per gallon. Electrical rates vary all over the country. Go to the Energy Information Administration (www.eia.doe.gov) to get rates in your own state or area. In Texas, electrical rates vary widely over different parts of the state. The price of the 2011 Lexus RX hybrid starts at over $44,000 and gets 28 mpg on the highway and about 32 mpg in the city. Lexus does not (yet) offer a luxury plug-in model. Usually, hybrid vehicles get better mileage in city stop and go traffic situations than on the highway. 
 
This is a sample of the competition over which newer technologies must show improvements, and surpass in cost and efficiency. The economics must make sense to the buyer as 2010 is a recession economy. Tax incentives may or may not lure “middle America” into buying an electric vehicle (EV), a hybrid or fuel cell or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Middle America will buy these new generation modes of transportation when they look like and feel like the “other vehicles” with which they are familiar, and the economics must make sense. Such vehicles should not rely on government incentives or subsidies. The first hurdle for mainstream America to accept these alternative energy concepts for transportation is the high battery cost for EVs. This Review begins with reporting on batteries. Progress has been made throughout 2010.
 
NEXT GENERATION BATTERIES
 
Some fuel cell powered large vehicles such as buses have had great success. The hydrogen tanks fit neatly on the roof and are covered with a neat plastic dome that may start to look like a NASCAR vehicle with all the sponsors buying a logo. The exact route of a bus is known. Thus fuel/hydrogen consumption can be precisely measured. Full tanks of hydrogen can be easily replaced and there is no need for off-site refueling stations.  
 
Around the world automobile makers are looking to reduce the high cost of the giant battery packs an electric car will haveMicro hybrid stop-start systems reduce fuel consumption and emissions by shutting off a car’s internal combustion engine as the vehicle slows and then seamlessly restarting the engine when the driver engages the clutch or touches the accelerator. The large battery packs that EVs need may account for more than half the cost of the vehicle. Government proponents of the EV along with industry gurus believe that once the EV “catches on” there will be a rapid decrease in battery prices. That might not happen as battery packs needed to run an EV may not enjoy the traditional economics of scale price reductions that are expected.
 
The electronic components of the EV battery might not decline appreciably and the metals used in producing the battery may or may not remain steady. DOE wants EV car batteries to come down in costs by 70% by 2014. That is a worthy goal and one worth pursuing, if feasible for the battery manufacturer. Several reports place the Nissan’s Leaf EV battery as costing $15,600. Leaf vehicle pricing is expected to be at least $33,000. Advanced battery advocates believe that through mass-production the battery units will be less. A big “if” remains as to the cost of the necessary metals, nickel, manganese and cobalt. Lithium supplies seem to be available at the moment and not as much lithium is required for a lithium-ion battery. The battery pack enclosure cost remains high but developments may find a way around that. The electronic controls and sensors for the battery pack may have already reached their basement level with little more in price reduction to be expected.
 
The nickel metal hydride battery back that operated the first Prius and the Insight saw a 50% price reduction with large-scale production. Car manufacturers may approach some of these pricing issues by offering generous warranty coverage on the advanced battery pack.
 
There remains a global component to the EV and parts market. There are some high margin niches still open, and component suppliers are helping to create new forms of hybrid and pure EV components. Still open to optimal development are energy harvesting options, from solar cells on vehicles, to thermoelectric harvesting from engine and exhaust in hybrids. Japan is the leader in the global picture for hybrid and electric vehicles, but India and Korea are stepping into the market. China has the largest potential market for EVs, and joint ventures and other types of partnerships are becoming popular. There are new and interesting routes into fund raising. How to overcome commercial, political and technical barriers remain topics of interest.
 
INFRASTRUCTURE
 
Lack of infrastructure is often cited as a barrier to more rapid EV adaption. Progress is being made. California is no longer the only state where public car charging stations have come from $130 million in DOE grants. Electricity producer NRG Energy, Inc. (www.nrgenergy.com/) in Baytown, Texas is planning to build the first privately funded comprehensive EV charging system to give drivers of electric vehicles the range and freedom they desire. This won’t start until 2011, but it is a follow on to the many infrastructure and component developments of 2010.
Houston will be the first city to get the comprehensive network of public charging stations. The hope is to expand to the 13 states that have deregulated their retail electricity markets. Such building will be accomplished through GreenMountain Energy Co. which NRG Energy purchased in 2010-11-15 for $350 milion in cash. NRG wants to define the space of charging stations. To do this there are several plans in play. There are three subscription plans to be offered by NRG and each is for 3 years. For $49 a month customers get a home charger and will pay for their own electricity. Customers will have access to the public charging stations but will pay a price for using them. For $79/month customers get a home charger and pay will their own electricity bill, but will have unlimited free access to the public charging units. For $89/month customers get a home charger, access to all public charging stations, and NRG pays for all the electricity that is consumed.
 
That is the plan and no stations will be installed until 2011. Nissan dealers will offer these plans to early buyers of its EV Leaf. NRG is negotiating with other auto makers. Still under discussion are the installations of standard 240 volt Level 2 chargers and the super fast 480 volt Level 3 chargers that manufacturers claim will charge a car battery in half an hour.   Good points for charging include Best Buy, Walgreens and several regional grocery chains such as HEB. The section on infrastructure and components of this Review has more of what happened during 2010.
 
Achieving compliance with legislative requirements for transportation alternative fuels can be difficult. Turning alternative fuels and alternative vehicles into affordable transportation will require a lot of attention to providing a steady stream of supplies and components. Different fueling and charging locations will require electricity, alcohols, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, natural gas) or hydrogen.
 
SAMPLE OF THE ALTERNATIVE VEHICLES
 
LEAF
 
A quick look at the EVs that have been discussed during 2010 shows the Nissan Leaf. Years ago Nissan had a great EV design but the only place it could be charged was at home with its purpose-built Nissan charger.   Times change and there is a glimmer of hope for public charging stations for use while drivers work or shop. Leaf boasts a range of 100 miles on a single charge of its lithium ion batteries. Negotiations are in progress by Nissan to partner with companies for charging stations. The price is expected to be somewhere in the $23,000+ range.
 
VOLT
 
General Motors originally tried to push the Chevrolet Volt a “pure” electric vehicle. It does have a lithium ion battery pack that runs for about 40 miles and then a gasoline engine kicks in that is claimed to take you another 400 miles. In essence, this is a version of the “serial” hybrid.
 
Exact cost is unknown as the federal tax incentives are in doubt. Price range is between $30,000 and $40,000.
 
FOCUS
 
Ford has at one time or another leased some technology from Toyota and continued its own R&D. The 2011 Focus if expected to be an EV with a battery that will take it 100 miles. By 2012 Ford wants to have a plug in hybrid on the road.
 
CONNECT VAN
 
Ford wants to have its EV version of the Transit Connect van on the road for 2011. The detail released is that it expects 100 miles on a lithium ion battery.
 
KARMA
 
The Fisker Karma I is a plug-in hybrid. It’s sort of like a Prius with a big battery pack and can be recharged from a wall outlet.   There is the backup gas engine for longer trips. Beautifully designed, this gets you into the $87,000 and up price range. Fisker got a $529 million DOE loan to build its line of HPEVs.
 
THINK CITY CAR
 
Imagine a vehicle that looks like the Smart car from Daimler. Its history traces back through Ford to Norway and a hook up with Ener1 as the battery supplier. Pricing is reported as a little less than $20,000 without batteries and using the expected federal tax credit. Some assembly is required as it needs batteries.

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Published - Apr-2010| Analyst - Anna Welch Crull| Code - FCB005K

Report Highlights

  • Provides a comprehensive review of all major news and other events that affect the global market for products, systems and services used in the global market for hybrid and electric vehicles in 2009
  • Covers technological advances in hybrid and electric vehicles and battery technology 
  • Highlights business developments such as significant contracts, mergers, acquisitions, alliances, joint ventures and partnerships
  • Looks at efforts by federal, state, and local governments to promote use of hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Investigates and reviews major research and development efforts
  • Reviews current and pending legislation that may affect industry growth.

     

Published - Mar-2009| Analyst - Donald Saxman| Code - FCB005J

Report Highlights

  • The global market for large and advanced batteries increased from $8.4 billion in 2006 to $8.9 billion in 2007. It should reach $11.4 billion by 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1%. 
  • The global market for new components used in hybrid electric vehicles was worth $1.6 billion in 2005 and is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 24% through 2010.
  • Hybrid car owners are the most loyal buyers, with 47% purchasing another vehicle of the same make. The average consumer loyalty for all vehicle classes is 35%.
Published - Mar-2008| Analyst - Donald Saxman| Code - FCB005H

Report Highlights

INTRODUCTION

The 2007 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Progress Review provides a comprehensive summary of all major news and other events that affect the global market for electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles in 2007. Included is coverage of:

 

  • Technology advances
  • Business developments such as mergers, acquisitions, alliances, joint ventures, and partnerships
  • Major initiatives by automakers to promote use of alternative vehicles
  • Efforts by federal, state, and local governments to promote use of alternative vehicles
  • Research and development
  • New alternative vehicles designs
  • Battery developments
  • Current and pending legislation that may affect industry growth
  • Key industry events.

 

The goal of BCC Research in compiling and publishing the 2007 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Progress Review is to provide key players with all important 2007 news and an analysis of how the industry will be affected in one publication.

We hope you will find this Review valuable, and we look forward to another year of serving our customers' technology market research needs.
Kevin R. Fitzgerald
Editorial Director
BCC Research
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