2017: US Electric vehicle sales fall further behind Ford F-Series pickup truck sales.

Guest satire by David Middleton

2017 was the best year ever for electric vehicle sales in the US

Electric vehicle sales were up more than 25 percent compared to 2016.


The good people over at Inside EVs have done their tabulating, and the numbers are in: in 2017, very nearly 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the US. The actual number they calculate—199,826—is a significant increase on 2016, itself a banner year for EVs when 158,614 found homes. What’s even more impressive is that overall new car sales were actually down year-on-year for the first time since 2009. Still, to keep things in context, more than 17 million new cars were sold in 2017. So electrics have a long way to go.

Tesla on top

As expected, Tesla remains at the head of the pack. The Model S, now in its fifth year of sales, remains the nation’s best-selling EV with 27,060 sold, no mean feat for a vehicle that starts at $74,500. And the Model X SUV had a good year, too, finding more than 21,000 buyers to become the third-best-selling EV.

Despite this, Tesla garnered plenty of lukewarm press on Wednesday as it revealed that Model 3 production will remain far lower than Elon Musk had been promising for at least the next quarter. Musk had set a target of 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of 2017, a figure he now says won’t happen until Q2 2018 at the earliest.

Chevrolet’s Bolt EV was a strong second. The Bolt notched up just over 23,000 sales in 2017, a strong performance considering it only went on sale in all 50 states halfway through the year. It’s the only non-Tesla BEV to break the 200-mile range barrier, doing so at a much more affordable price than the Model S or Model X (or even the heavily specced Model 3s that are starting to roll out of Tesla’s factory).


ARS Technica

200,000 EV’s!


The top selling vehicle in the US is the Ford-F-Series pickup truck.

To note, Ford F-Series sales figures are comprised of the following vehicles:

  • F-150 family, including the F-150 Raptor
  • F-Series Super Duty family, including the F-250, F-350 and F-450

The figures do not include Ford Heavy trucks sales results such as the F-650 or F-750.

Read more: http://fordauthority.com/fmc/ford-motor-company-sales-numbers/ford-sales-numbers/ford-f-series-sales-numbers/#ixzz53c9XS8lT

The growth in US electric vehicle (EV) sales has actually been slower than the growth of Ford F-Series pickup truck sales since 2012.

 United States Vehicle Sales
 Ford F-Series  All EV’s  Ford F-Series minus EV’s
2012                645,316                                             52,607                                          592,709
2013                763,402                                             97,507                                          665,895
2014                753,851                                          122,438                                          631,413
2015                780,354                                          116,099                                          664,255
2016                820,799                                          156,614                                          664,185
2017                896,764                                          199,826                                          696,938

Annual U.S. Sales Figures (2012-2017). Ford F-Series pickup trucks and all makes & models of EV’s. Data from Ford, Wikipedia and Inside EV’s.

Stark Industries Tesla did manage to cobble together 1,060 Model 3’s in December.

“There are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 or the supply chain,” the company said in its statement. “We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

But the company did not give any new production targets to replace the earlier prediction that it would be making 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of the year.

CNN, October 2, 2018

  • Q3 2017 Production Guidance: 1,500
  • Q3 2017 Production: 260
  • December 2017 Production Guidance: 5,000 per week (>20,000 per month).
  • December 2018 Production: 1,060 per month.

Stark Industries Tesla missed the Q3 2017 guidance by 83% and then outdid themselves in December, missing guidance by 95%.  At this rate, the next Quaternary glacial stage will save us from Gorebal Warming before EV’s do.

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Michael Jankowski
January 8, 2018 10:10 am

Good timing. Saw this earlier today…F-150 diesel with 30 mpg later this year

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 8, 2018 10:20 am

I don’t see the point : sales of electric vehicles were up 25% last year, in an overall declining market, so what is there to laugh about?

Reply to  françois
January 8, 2018 9:37 pm

I remember when Pioneer stereogram sales went through the roof.
I wonder what happened to them?

Reply to  françois
January 10, 2018 1:13 pm

” sales of electric vehicles were up 25% last year,”

25% of sweet FA amounts to pretty much sweet FA, of course.

January 8, 2018 10:16 am

Electric vehicles, with restricted scope, have limited, situational value, and will for the foreseeable future barring a revolution in storage and conversion technology. The more likely scenario are hybrid vehicles that dynamically adapt to their environment and purpose.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  nn
January 8, 2018 10:36 am

Heard a recent estimate that a Tesla S would have about 120 mile range with the weather we’ve had recently assuming it was 100% warm before it left the garage (average daytime high of 11). Problem is that if you shut it down and it sits in a parking lot for 90 minutes you will suck up a lot of extra battery life just to get the heat and defroster back up to safe operating levels, so maybe that range goes down to 100 miles.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:48 am

And if you don’t have a garage for this precious piece of plastic, what then? /sarc

Oh, gee whiz! Get a bicycle, right?

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:52 am

too expensive to leave parked outside in the weather…..and who’s stupid enough to put a self-igniting car in the house?

Brian McCain
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 11:14 am

I saw a You Tube video of a family returning from Christmas in Canada in their Model X I guess. They kept on commenting on how it was -25C out and how that the electric seat heaters were keeping them so warm (I guess Telsa invented those too). Anyway they went from 95% charge to 48% charge after <100 km and they kept commenting that they would have plenty of charge left to get home. I guess their Leaf sat for 4 days at their house and used 70%+ charge to keep its batteries warm. Also they had the car plugged in the entire time they were warming the car up before taking off.

My thought watching the video was "What happens if you slide off the road? That battery ain't keeping you alive for very long."

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 11:45 am

If you don’t have a garage, chances are you don’t have a place to charge it in the first place.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 1:08 pm

Hi Mark of the Midwest…agreed, and it will go nowhere when Lithium batteries become more expensive than the car itself. Which will be about when you are ready to replace existing ones if what I hear is right. And if wind farms etc start using batteries as the dopy Australian Govs are doing then there will be no replacement batteries.
These strange people who live in the world of make believe have been telling us since I was a kid in the 60s that there is only oil enough to last 20 years max. Which was obviously a lie…no surprise there, my historian father pointed me in the right direction re these people when I was about 8, he was perfectly right. But the big joke is that they cant see that Lithium is not going to last and especially not if we start using this precious commodity for idiotic unnecessary crap that can be done far better with plain old COAL.
Beautiful, life giving coal. At 400PPM CO2 in the atmosphere we had better burn it, because at even slightly lower concentrations we will be in trouble and if it goes much further than that as it most likely will when the ice returns…then all life on Earth may well perish.
Buy a Ford, use your air-con, cook on the BBQ and release the stored life known as CO2, from coal.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 2:43 pm


Thank you, from me and some 40% + of the British community.

One would imagine the electric car manufacturers would do their sums and figure that they are reducing their sales by almost 50% by promoting electric.

Say what?!

You mean they have thought of that before me?

Nàaaaaaaaaa……..,…Not possible.

Reply to  nn
January 8, 2018 2:47 pm

I just made a small calculation. If you want to quickcharge 1000 Teslas S in a city or a region, you have to fire up a complete Coal power plant of 500 MW. Wind turbines will not turn quicker, if connected to a charger.

January 8, 2018 10:19 am

Or everyone gets stuffed into a high-density population center, where vehicles are shared or luxuries of the affluent.

Retired Kit P
January 8, 2018 10:23 am

To give you an indication of concern for saving fuel, motorhomes that can tow an F150 outsold EVs.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 11:30 am

Even more of a hoot is the toad truck loaded with multiple ATV, dirt bikes, or golf carts.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 1:09 pm

I’ve heard of Ram trucks, but Toad trucks are a new one.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 2:44 pm



Retired Kit P
Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 11:55 am

Keep in mind RVs include trailers and firth wheels. Of course these are towed by a F150 for smaller rigs.

There are lots of 20 year old RVs on the road. There will never be 20 EVs on the road.

When we retired after coming back from China we needed to buy a place to live and something to drive around in. Our decision to buy motorhome was based on a nice used low mileage motor home being cheaper than a truck and it is a p;ace we could live.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 2:47 pm

David Middleton

No, publish a new graph. Making one suggests you are concocting one.

Mind you, the greens might love you, they concoct lots.

Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:30 am

Kind of off topic, and I’m a big fan of pickups, I have an F350 diesel, but they need to start making them smaller, not bigger. Most drivers, with little or no experience in a vehicle this size, are dangerous. They routinely hog the center-line on rural roads, tailgate because they lose perspective by sitting up high, and drive way too fast for the stopping and handling capabilities of the vehicle. In the week between Christmas and New Years I pulled 2 F150s out of a ditch, they were both crew-cab 4 wheel drives, being driven by people who didn’t understand what happened, (i.e., didn’t know that trucks handle like trucks).

FYI, over that same week we got 37 inches of snow, now up to 68 for the year … yes the children just won’t know what snow is.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:49 am

Been driving a 1993 F250HD crewcab with full bed at the farm. Quite a truck.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:50 am

Hey, some of us short people need something that makes us feel like tall people! We have to be where we can see the road!

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 10:51 am

When my 1999 F150 with 307,000 miles on it rusted out, I replaced with a 2015 aluminum truck. I was the first one on my block to get one, and now everyone has one. I’m sure you are right. Some drivers will have to learn that trucks really do handle like trucks.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 12:31 pm

I tell people this all the time and they just give me a strange look. The 1/4 ton trucks are now the size of the old 1/2 tons, the 1/2 tons are the size of the old 3/4 tons, and the 1 tons are now the size of public transportation. Not only is it extremely annoying trying to fit into parking spaces, but the blind spots around the trucks have increased due to their unnecessarily large boxy bodies.

Reply to  RWturner
January 8, 2018 2:53 pm

Hmm. My 1996 VW T4 can load one ton and runs with 7 liters per 100 km (33 mpg)

Reply to  RWturner
January 8, 2018 9:56 pm

And that is why front and rear cameras are handy when in town. On the farm, not so much except when hooking up a trailer. Love my dually!

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 2:55 pm

Take secondary driver training folks (advanced driver training, but I hate that term) and size isn’t a problem (ahem….)

And yes, ristvan, I have no doubt you have taken a course, if not, I’m happy for you to fly me over to furnish you with some.

sy computing
Reply to  HotScot
January 8, 2018 7:49 pm

Not if he’ll let me buy that F350 first…

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 8, 2018 3:28 pm

Four wheel drive vehicles are good for going in snow; but 2 wheel drive cars and pickups are 4 wheel stop too!

Reply to  Leonard Lane
January 8, 2018 6:33 pm

A 4wheel drive, in the hands of a skilled driver, will stop much faster than a 2wheel drive. All four wheels can be subjected to engine braking and torque transfer from the engine through the transmission and transfer case, with a 4wheel drive. 2wheel drive can only apply those physics through the two driven wheels.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Leonard Lane
January 10, 2018 11:58 pm


All cars are 4 wheel BRAKED…

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
January 9, 2018 10:51 am

Mark, You have a point about about smaller trucks. Although I drove a semi for North American Van Lines during my last two summer breaks in college, and doubled with my dad on countless cross-country trips, I still feel the need to be very careful in a large pickup.
On the other hand, My GMC Canyon with a 2.8L Diesel is a blast. Nimble, with plenty of power, 4WD, it still gives me 23.5 MPG overall. I live in the mountains, with 7 miles of dirt road before I get to pavement.
And I love power. Had to trade my 6.1 V8 Chrysler 300 SRT in for it. My sweet SRT just couldn’t handle the rigors of the dirt roads. That last to say that I’m amazed I can live with 2.8L. And have a blast!

January 8, 2018 10:37 am

The Model S, I wonder how many were second or even third cars , with an SUV or MPV in the mixture? So not replacing any.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  knr
January 8, 2018 3:14 pm

Where it snows in the Winter, most of the model S’s are Summer-only fun cars. They go into storage around November 1st, just like the motorcycles.

Reply to  knr
January 8, 2018 4:47 pm

Fourth would not be at all unusual.

Reply to  knr
January 9, 2018 11:00 am

For one of my friends, his Model 3 sits in his garage between his Aston Martin DB9 and his Porsche Cayenne.
The rest of his cars are normally in the hanger when not being used.
The Porsche is his primary car. The others in the garage count as second cars. The ones in the hanger are third cars.
But he loves his Model 3. Drives it to work.

January 8, 2018 10:52 am

Is it time to write up that poem about ‘mighty EVs have struck out’ just yet?

January 8, 2018 10:54 am

You could get stranded on the side of the road with both benchmarks, equally.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 8, 2018 11:04 am

On the bright side, you won’t have as far to walk from a EV.

January 8, 2018 11:02 am

‘So electrics have a long way to go.’

Can’t believe he said that. Range anxiety, anyone?

There is a lot more to Tesla vehicles than just an electric drive train. Including them in EV sales data is correct as data, but not as information.

Reply to  Gamecock
January 8, 2018 3:05 pm


“Range anxiety, anyone?”

No problem, assuming one can afford to spend £60K on a car that will get one two thirds of the way from the South East of England to the west coast of Scotland, 500 miles or so.

OK, so it remains an unbelievably expensive commuter car. Assuming one is wealthy enough to live in a house with a drive, which 40% of the UK isn’t.

So I guess the concept of all electric in the UK as announced recently by our PM actually means, 60%, assuming one can afford 60K outlay in the first place, which 90% can’t.

Great idea Theresa.

Talk about critical thinking!

Reply to  Gamecock
January 8, 2018 8:34 pm

Do tell. I see nothing unique about Telsa vehicles , apart from the Muskiness.

Reply to  yarpos
January 9, 2018 3:03 pm

Doesn’t matter what you see. Many others do.

January 8, 2018 11:07 am

I had a 2005 Ford Freestar mini until last year when I gave it to my son who now uses it for his business, hauling ladders and materials etc. Ford sure makes some wonderful internal combustion engines. This puppy is still purring like a kitten after 13 years of service. The only things I ever changed on it (apart from routine stuff like brakepads) were the 2 tailgate pistons ($100).

Reply to  Trebla
January 8, 2018 11:50 am

And people still claim that EVs cost so much less to own.

Reply to  MarkW
January 8, 2018 8:36 pm

Time will tell if and when they move from rich boys toys to real world workhorses.

January 8, 2018 11:22 am

The claim o the “$75,400” Model S is wrong -that refers to the 75kWhr dual motor, while any Model S vehicles sold during the year were sticker priced at around $60,000, BUTT…. Tesla reduced prices on many Model S and sold demo vehicles etc, so the average price paid was NOWHERE near $74,000. One month they sold more Chevy Bolts than all Tesla vehicles put together.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  David Middleton
January 8, 2018 1:05 pm

I think it’s like a jewelry store. Only fools pay the official price.

LOL in Oregon
January 8, 2018 11:52 am

…”199,826..” cars
So, were they all sold in Calif?
…or were some sold in NYC and DC?
After all, Gov. Brown will “save the world”.
…just like his mommy told him when he was 4
just like Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, etc who were young tykes during WW II

January 8, 2018 11:53 am

You are right on.
Subsidies for (mostly) rich people to do ‘virtue signaling’ on the taxpayer’s dime.
EV sales dropped ~90% in Georgia when they stopped the $5k subsidy (2015) showing how artificial the market for these cars truly is.
Why should any government subsidize the rich to buy indulgences? Doesn’t the government have better uses for tax dollars?

January 8, 2018 12:00 pm

Would be interesting to see the equivalent data for hybrids as well. I think it’s about half a million per year.

January 8, 2018 12:15 pm

When gas prices come back up, and they will in the next year or so due to lack of drilling and increasing global demand, EV’s and hybrids will make somewhat of a comeback. My guess more hybrids than pure EV’s.

I’ll probably be changing cars in November as my SUV will be approaching 5 yrs and that’s when I sell them and will be looking at what is available at that time. I will say the ICE cars have come a very long way in efficiencies so comparing a pure ICE to a hybrid means there isn’t that much difference anymore. I live in a city, but most of my miles are Interstate so hybrids would give me even less of an advantage on mileage. Throw in the premium cost for an EV/Hybrid and it’s a no brainer. The only reason I would get an EV would be in case of a gas shortage for any reason and then it would be a used one and as a second car.

Looking at my neighborhood, I can count 6 Tesla S’s and one X in just a few blocks. To offset that however, there are plenty of full size SUV’s. And really I think the Tesla’s were bought more for their novelty and status.

Reply to  rbabcock
January 8, 2018 1:19 pm

If you are looking for efficiencies it may pay to wait for the petrol combustion ignition engine being developed by Nissan and [I think] Mazda. Coupled with continuously variable electronic valves coming out of Europe, the ICE is not dead yet.

Reply to  Hanrahan
January 8, 2018 1:27 pm

“Combustion ignition”???? Try “compression ignition”. [It’s early morning here and I haven’t had my coffee]

John F. Hultquist
January 8, 2018 12:34 pm

Up top is a CNN link to Oct 2018;
just south of that is December 2018 Production

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tesla thinks they can do 5,000 Model 3s per week.
Let’s say they begin doing that, and manage 44 weeks per year . . .
5,000 x 44 = 220,000

Sold in 2017 – – : 199,826

I’m I the only one that sees a problem?

Dave in Canmore
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 8, 2018 2:23 pm

If you are wondering if they can double sales…they have 450,000 pre-ordered model 3s already IIR. So it’s more a mater of figuring out how to make them all before people get tired of waiting and cancel. I suspect Tesla will collapse before they can make them all. They have some big debt obligations coming due this quarter and beyond, they will need a few more billion in cash borrowed from somewhere and fewer and fewer people willing to lend them money when they continue to post billion dollar losses each year.

Reply to  Dave in Canmore
January 8, 2018 2:52 pm

They are starting to get squeezed.

Reply to  Dave in Canmore
January 8, 2018 3:10 pm


Tesla are being throttled.

Throttled……….get it?

Oh the irony!

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Dave in Canmore
January 8, 2018 6:57 pm

Yeah Tesla the only company whose losses rise faster than it’s income. Only lives by government handout. $75,000 and the wheels might fall off in less that 100 miles. Not for me

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 8, 2018 3:37 pm

“Up top is a CNN link to Oct 2018;
just south of that is December 2018 Production”

Not likely.

January 8, 2018 12:35 pm

Just getting ready to pick up my friend’s family at Toronto Pearson on a snowy day Four of them will have a spacious, 4wd F150 to come home in. Terrific space and very comfortable and looking forward to diesel 150.

Spend much of the -25C weekend reading about Tesla and it’s poor financial status that many believe will make raising future capitol difficult. Lots of talk regarding how they report and many say that there backlog of $35k Model S’s won’t be built since they will lose money on every one.


Also, still waiting for some government to make a statement as to when these electric vehicles will have to pay a road tax which is included in our gas prices; not to mention how will Tesla charge for supercharger energy when they discontinue to include it for free?

Caligula Jones
January 8, 2018 12:37 pm

“Tesla missed the Q3 2017 guidance by 83% and then outdid themselves in December, missing guidance by 95%. At this rate, the next Quaternary glacial stage will save us from Gorebal Warming before EV’s do”

I come for the insightful climate analysis, and stay for the humour…funny stuff.

And this is close enough for government work!

Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 8, 2018 3:13 pm

Caligula Jones

You are just too mean for words.

Keep it up. 🤣

Richard Ilfeld
January 8, 2018 12:40 pm

There are plenty of practical electric vehicles around. They have two seats, and two brackets for golf bags. Seriously, though, they can be a most practical second vehicle in a community designed for them. Sun City Center, FL, with dedicated cart paths, laws permitting and regulating them on the streets, and “cartways” to services outiside the city limits that serve many residents, has thousands of the things. Practical, cost effective, and they keep a number of people mobile who aren’t necessarily comfortable driving a car in traffic.

Reply to  Richard Ilfeld
January 8, 2018 2:51 pm

Agreed. Major problem with getting good efficiency is safety. With paths and roads that restrict to tiny vehicles much lighter vehicles will yield huge efficiency.

January 8, 2018 12:46 pm

I have serious doubts about the ecological benefits of long-range electric cars, which are for private use. See: https://amosbbatto.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/emissions-from-gigafactory/

However, the author of this article is deluding himself if he thinks that electric vehicles won’t take over the auto industry. Their fuel costs are a third of gasoline. They have lower maintenance costs due to fewer moving parts and liquids and their motors will last 300 – 500 thousand miles. The capacity loss in batteries which was a major problem with the Leaf is being improved rapidly. Batteries are getting about 7% more energy dense per kg per year and their costs have fallen from $1000 / kWh in 2010 to roughly $150 / kWh today.

Electric cars production will follow an S-curve. Sales are very slow at first and costs are very high, but the costs are falling very quickly. Eventually you hit a sweet spot and demand jumps from 1% to 90% of the market in just a couple years time. Think about how cell phones took off. In 1983 when cell phones were first introduced they were the size of a brick and nobody was willing to pay $4000 for one. By 1990, they were getting cheap enough for the very wealthy and by 2000 most people in the developed world could afford one. Today, they make 2 billion of them a year and almost everyone owns a cell phone.

Right now electric cars are like cell phones in 1990. Their demand is about to jump dramatically as they get cheaper and longer range. When 500,000 people preordered the Tesla Model 3, every auto company saw the writing on the wall and started announcing plans for plugin hybrid and electric models. Volvo says that all its new models in 2019 and later will be electrified (hybrid, plugin hybrid or electric) and I bet every auto company will be the same by 2025. So laugh at the low sales of EVs today, but the auto industry is about to be hit by a tidal wave of change.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  amosbatto
January 8, 2018 3:21 pm

For current EV’s, range is an insurmountable obstacle with current energy storage technologies. They cannot become the default go-to vehicle type until this is solved at an unsubsidized competitive price point.

January 8, 2018 12:51 pm

This is a valid comparison because many people walk into their local Chevy dealer not sure whether they need a Silverado or a Bolt.

Retired Kit P
January 8, 2018 1:08 pm

Mark writes

“Most drivers, with little or no experience in a vehicle this size, are dangerous.”

Driving is dangerous period. The problem is aging, speed and tires. I was watching youtube demonstrating driving techniques for blowouts on truck tires. Before the dust settled you could hear the driver saying, ‘I’m ok’!

Tires are a lot better than when I first started towing camping trailers and boats. I never drove over 55 mph when rowing. The tires being the limiting factor.

When driving the motorhome I try to keep it under 65 mph.

I just bought 6 new truck tires for the motorhome. They are designed to carry heavy loads not speed. The speed rating for truck tires is 75 mph.

Minimize the time you spend driving next large tires that carry heavy loads. When they come apart they damage everything they hit. If it happens to take out a propane line, you have two minutes to get stopped and run away.

Often large truck tires get old before the tread wears down. Five years is a good rule of thumb unless you know the tire history. Driving 80 mph across the desert in the summer will shorten tire life.

When I get passed by a semi or RV going too fast, I do a mental checklist. Where is my first aid kit and fire extinguisher although it is a good bet that my wife’s bible will be more useful for the recently departed.

Walter Sobchak
January 8, 2018 1:36 pm

“2017 was the best year ever for electric vehicle sales in the US”

Does the research go back to the WWI era when BEVs were 1/3rd of all car sales? Does this include golf carts and warehouse vehicles?

John Hardy
January 8, 2018 2:35 pm

America is just way off the pace with EVs compared with the market leaders

Reply to  John Hardy
January 8, 2018 8:53 pm

and who is on pace? and why is it rational to compare them with the US?

January 8, 2018 2:47 pm

Very hard to get deal on F150. The dealers know they are in demand so you are pretty much out of luck.

John in Oz
January 8, 2018 3:21 pm

I live in Adelaide South Australia where Elon has schmoozed himself into the hearts and minds of our State Government with the ‘WORLD’s BIGGEST BATTERY’ – please excuse the capitals but this term is always presented as a wondrous achievement requiring big letters.

I recently had a ride in a 7 seat Tesla X hire car with 4 other adults and a 16 year-old male.
– it is advertised in Australia as “seating for seven adults”. The rear 2 seats have minimal leg room and even my wife at 5′ 6″ had to sit sideways to not be pressing on the middle seats. 2 adults (6′ 2″ and 5′ 9″ both around 200lb) and the teenager (5′ 9″ and 140lb) in the middle seats were close to but not touching the front seats. Anyone taller would have a real issue with space
– the driver’s experience was around 4ooKm (250 mile) range on full charge
– a trailer was attached to hold our luggage and the driver stated that he loses 20% distance with it on
– Tesla are covering the cost of recharging and all maintenance for 5 years – good marketing strategy to attempt to get them onto the roads. The trailer needs a special electrical adaptor as the Tesla uses regenerative braking so there is no brake switch being used to turn on the trailer’s brake lights
– free charging points have been installed in Adelaide and tourist spots such as the Barossa Valley – a major wine/tourist region.
– Our driver had to finagle a half-hour charge recently in a tourist area as he was low on charge and all of the chargers were in use. Only slow-charge systems were available and these give him around 40Km (2 miles) range for a one hour charge. The fast-charge systems give full charge in one hour
– for home charging, there is (apparently) a system here whereby a charging system can be installed and the maximum cost to charge is $1/day. I haven’t validated this nor how long this low fee lasts.
– the power of the Telsa was impressive, even up the long gradient from Adelaide city into the Adelaide Hills. It was also very quiet, as expected.
– not much rear boot (trunk) space and I did not see the front boot
– lots of roof glass which could be an issue in an Australian summer as there did not appear to be any shades to cover the glass
– the falcon-wing rear door gave lots of headroom but it was difficult to exit from both the middle and rear seats as there are no grab handles
– on entering a short tunnel the wipers activated – apparently there is/has been an issue with the rain detection software. There may still be an issue
– this vehicle cost $150,000 in Oz

Reply to  John in Oz
January 8, 2018 7:16 pm

This vehicle cost 150,000 in OZ. That means about 110,000 to 120 Large in USA money. The highest selling car in OZ is The Toyota Hilux….
‘Early iterations of Toyota’s most popular ute were an absolute staple of worksites across the country – so much so that it was at varying times named Australia’s best-selling car. Its popularity is helped by the fact it’s available with a choice of single or double cab layouts, in pick-up or cab chassis body styles, and with a choice of petrol or diesel engines. As a result, the HiLux can be configured to be as agricultural or as urban as its owners want, and is also available with rear- or all-wheel drive.
The HiLux Workmate starts off at $20,990, while the range-topping, HiLux SR5+ (4×4) is priced at $58,440. (Aussie Dollars)’. From CarsGuide.
219 of these Vanity Vroom Vrooms (Apologies Willard but I use the term to rile our Green Bandits Down Under ) were sold. About 1,180,000 new cars are bought each year. The cheaper Tesla3 will sell around $45,000/50000 in Australia. That is considered pricey as you can get a top notch family car at $30,000 or so.
EVs have a luxury car tax exemption over $75000 which saves 3000, while the Federal Government has subbed 100 million of Tax money for a cheap electric car loan scheme.
Without a direct subsidy of about 5000 to 10,000 of taxpayer dollars these Electric Cars will never sell in a big way Down Here.
Enjoy your driving Willard.

January 8, 2018 4:45 pm

BERLIN – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop plans to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, sources familiar with negotiations said on Monday — a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Due to strong economic growth and higher-than-expected immigration, Germany is likely to miss its national emissions target for 2020 without any additional measures.

Negotiators for Merkel’s conservative bloc and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.

Instead, they would aim to hit the 40 percent target in the early 2020s, the sources said, adding that both parties are still sticking to their goal of achieving a 55 percent cut in emissions by 2030.


Reply to  Robertvd
January 9, 2018 4:47 am

Yes, looks like they will only have reduced CO2 30% to 35% by 2020, with the major miss being in transport (went up slightly due to increased transport use and economic growth) and heating (not reduced as expected).

electricity is doing much better on its target…

Only 30% reduction is still a hefty reduction…

Reply to  Griff
January 10, 2018 8:07 am

The base year for this reduction show is 1990. After 1990 most of the the dirty East German brown (lignite) coal power stations have been shut down and that was the biggest part of all the reduction. Big deal!

Sven Olof Andersson
January 8, 2018 6:32 pm

It seems to me that most people have missed the biggest problem with EVs: Charging. The bigger the battery and the faster you want it charged, the higher the charging current will be. This is based on fundamental physics and not even Elon can invent that away. You do the math, P=U*I! If I were to charge a TeslaS at home and over night, I would need a charging current of maybe 50 A at 230V. Even if I used 3-phase it would be stretch and I would have to refrain from other electrical activities during charging… As a comparison, I can typically ”charge” my gas fuelled car with about 50 litres in about 60-80 seconds. This corresponds to an ”energy transfer” of 30 MW which is 1000 times more than a 30kW ”rapid” charger for EVs. This is the biggest drawback associated with EVs.

Reply to  Sven Olof Andersson
January 9, 2018 6:51 pm

50A @ 230V is only 11kW. That’s nothing for a modern USA house–my house has two electrical panels for 400-amp service, fed from a 37.5kVA transformer that only feeds my house (I live out in the country, my house has all electric appliances except for a propane cooktop and a propane fireplace. Heating is from a heat pump, with 20kW of backup resistance heat. I turned off half of that so it’s only 10kW and then only when the outdoor unit is in defrost. Even with the record low temperatures recently, I haven’t needed to enable the aux heat for normal operation)

Typical US houses have been getting 200-amp service as a minimum for at least the last 30 years. This is all split-phase, very rare in the USA to have a 3-phase service feeding a residence.

Sven Olof Andersson
Reply to  BrianCL
January 10, 2018 2:44 am

Wow, that is interesting! Over here in Europe (Sweden) where I live, a typical one-family house is fed with 3-phases 400V with a maximum of 20A or so. What is the voltage going into your house?

Reply to  BrianCL
January 10, 2018 9:05 am

It’s split-phase 240V (most common for residential in the USA) so you have coming into the house three wires:

L1: 120V
N(neutral): 0V
L2: 120V

Between L1 and L2 you get 240V. Between L1 and N or between L2 and N you get 120V.

So with a 200-amp service you could theoretically draw up to 200 amps from both L1 and L2, giving you 200 amps @ 240V. Most houses do not have enough electrical appliances to even come close to pulling that much, but 200 amp service is installed regardless.

The highest I’ve ever seen in my own house is around 20kW because the following was running:

10kW strip heat (heat pump was in defrost mode, which lasts 10 minutes at most)
5kW water heater (had just finished taking a shower–probably runs about 10-15 minutes)
2kW heat pump condensing unit
3kW Chevy volt charger (warming car up in garage prior to driving to work).

My house would be fine with 200-amp service but the builder put in a 400-amp service. I’m glad they did because if they had installed a 200-amp service, the breaker panel would be close to full and I would not be able to easily add additional breakers. Since they installed a 400-amp service, it has two breaker panels each rated for 200-amp, giving plenty of empty spaces for additional circuits in the future. (Maybe I want to build a workshop with plenty of outlets and a place to plug in a welder?)

[The mods recommend you plan on a 240 volt welder with optional gas purge. And a second 240 volt line for your 3-way lathe-drill press-milling machine. .mod]

January 9, 2018 1:00 am

In light of the cold weather the US is experiencing at the moment, a question occurred to me.
How are electric vehicles heated? I’m aware that heating anything takes a fair bit of power. Is the range drastically reduced when the heating used ?

Reply to  Gareth
January 9, 2018 7:19 pm

The 2013 Chevy Volt I paid a whopping $8500 for last summer (they have terrible resale value but are a far more interesting vehicle than the Toyota Corolla of the same year/mileage you could get for that price) can use either the gasoline engine or electric resistance heating to provide heat. The electric resistance heating really does drastically reduce the range. I rarely use it, however (except when it is plugged in and I am pre-heating it before driving to work).

The options for using the gas engine to provide heat are as follows:

1)Selectable setting to cause the gas engine to run automatically to provide heat below an outdoor temperature of either 35F or 17F. In this mode the engine is cycled on until the coolant temp reaches 150F, then is turned off until the coolant temperature drops to 120F, then cycled on again, etc. In this mode the engine seems to produce about 3-4kW of power when it is running, which is either used to charge the battery or offset what is used from the battery (either through one of the motor/generators or directly driving the wheels if above 40MPH).

2)Select hold mode which makes the engine run to conserve battery power, as it would if the battery were depleted. This mode gets the engine up to the full usual 190F operating temperature. The engine will still cycle in this mode, but it will only cycle off when the power demands are low or the engine has built up a charge in the battery (basically it operates like a hybrid in this mode).

Occasionally, owing to concerns that I have about the first mode of operation not running the engine long and hot enough to get all of the moisture out of the oil, I will select hold mode to get the engine up to it’s full 190F, then switch back to normal mode after a few miles. Maybe it’s no big deal but I really don’t like seeing “mayonnaise” on the oil cap.

EVs without a gasoline engine could use electric resistance heat or use a heat pump. Heat pump typically is 2 to 3 times more efficient than electric resistance heat, and would drop the range about as much as using the air conditioning.

Robert in Busan
Reply to  brianl703@comcast.net
January 10, 2018 3:02 am

Don’t think any commercilly available heat pumps have much ‘efficiency’ below freezing and certsinly not at -20 C. Small units for an EV would be even worse. (That’s why heat pump installations include spending big bucks to drill vertical wells (~150 m) with water circulating pipes to get higher heat sink temperatures).

EVs don’t cut it in cold climates and never will.

Reply to  brianl703@comcast.net
January 10, 2018 8:37 am

Have you looked at the performance data for any modern air-source heatpump? The Trane XR15 (which is a single-stage builder-grade model) has a COP of 2.0 at -15C. That’s not bad at all. These units also have demand defrost, so they won’t go into defrost unless it’s really needed, unlike the older units that would do so every 90 minutes. At -15C defrost cycles are rarely required, but with a older unit, the defrost cycles make the unit probably more expensive to run than electric strip heat.

I heard that GM considered using a heat pump in the Volt but decided against it. Defrosting a heatpump in an EV might be problematic–stationary units cycle the condensing unit fan off during defrost. There is also limitation on condenser size too.

Retired Kit P
January 9, 2018 9:58 am

“You can’t fix stupid”, Ron White

For example, “However, the author of this article is deluding himself if he thinks that electric vehicles won’t take over the auto industry. ”

amosbatto, January 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

From the link,
“…the Gigafactory will consume between 3,229 and 4,688 GWh per year, which is between 8.3% and 12.0% of the total electrical generation in Nevada in 2016.”

Wow! That is a lot of power just to make batteries.

It is really stupid to make prediction based on assumptions without checking out actual performance. If EV fail as big as wind and solar, they are doomed.
As an engineer in the nuclear industry I would really love to grab market share from Dave M by building 1 nuke plant for every million EV. Maybe in France or South Korea.
Not in Nevada for the 400 years thanks to coal. Then David and his cronies keep producing too much cheap natural gas while producing oil.
Storing energy for transportation in batteries is a very bad engineering idea. It only works when we run out of oil.

Robert in Busan
January 10, 2018 2:54 am

Ronald Reagan as POTUS told us if you look for it, you will find it (oil and gas, that is). He was poo-pooed by the ‘experts” who said the jig was up in just twenty years (or twelve years in the case for gas). R R was such a simpleton. Guess who was correct.

Fast forward thirty years and we get polically correct dunderheads like Rex Tillerson at Exxon-Mobil and the big (green) wigs at BP voicing concerns about CAGW rather than noticing things like the seismic shift that was/is horizontal drilling / fracking or bothering to check and test the batteries on the blowout preventers on the Deepwater Horizon.

How is it with many smart guys in the oil and gas industry (such as David Middleton) we end up with idiots at the top?

And let’s not leave out the rolling financial disaster at Chevron that is the Gorgon money pit.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Robert in Busan
January 10, 2018 8:44 am

“How is it with many smart guys in the oil and gas industry (such as David Middleton) we end up with idiots at the top?”

Not all that smart. David is well informed about a narrow subject that few are familiar with but when he strays to topics like producing power. David writes,

“I’ve known a lot of smart people in this business… but I’ve never met anyone who was smart enough to forecast product prices very far into the future.”

Yet David likes to predict the economics over the life of a power plant.

“You can’t fix stupid”, Ron White

So how do you describe a geologist who writes about making power?

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Retired Kit P
January 10, 2018 9:53 am

“bothering to check and test the batteries on the blowout preventers on the Deepwater Horizon.”
I surprised that David is still alive. Do not forget Piper Alpha. The nuclear industry uses oil industry failures for lessons learned.
One of the key to safety is managers listening to the people who work for them.
On my first day at a nuke plant two years before going commercial, I met the plant manager. Tow thing I remember. He was wearing a golf shirt and said is door was always open if I had a problem. If there is something power plants have during construction have it is problems. That is why we test thing to make sure they work.
The interesting thing was that whenever I asked, ‘Is this a problem?’ heads snapped around and we got the problem fixed. I never had to use the plant managers open door.
The second trait of a good manager is publicly admitting a mistake. People make mistakes and lessons can only be learned by others if the mistake is shared.
The first task after getting an operating license for the NRC is to load 7 neutron sources in the reactor vessel. This was performed by another GE engineer and myself. There was an audience on the refueling floor including the plant manager who observed GE does not need experience our operators need experience. A few minutes later, I could be heard saying from the refueling floor, ‘I think they dropped the source’. My actual words were more colorful.
The next all plant workers received a mea cuppa from the plant manager discussing his mistake and the two week we would stop work to learn the lessons to prevent such mistakes from reoccuring. Basically we plant the work, work the plan and tell managers who interfere to go to hell. Considering that delays were costing $1 million a day in interest, this was significant.
We also needed a new plant, no one had experience recovering a dropped source under 40 feet of water.
Another good trait of the manger is getting out of the office and observing operations. I was days shift supervisor for testing. The turnover from night shift was a pipe plug had to be installed where hydraulic test equipment. The shop should have been standing by with a torque wrench for this critical path evolution. I left the control room to see why it was taking so long.
When the plant manager walked by at the two hour point, I could be observed climbing on equipment installing the pipe plug by hand while the operator watched. The plant manager kept on going. I wrote a non conformance report that was closed when the shop finished torquing.

Retired Kit P
January 11, 2018 10:05 am

“Actually Kit… I cite the EIA’s forecasts ….”
That is exactly my point. What does Dave, EIA, and T-boone Pickens have in common, they do not build power plants and make electricity.
“These are based on simple inflation-pegged escalations of current strip or consensus prices. ”
Do geologist check check their assumptions?
Nothing simple about inflation. I have been around a long time. Increases in oil and gas are a major cause of inflation.
David try this. Find a large coal plant, count the number of rail cars of coal needed each day. Figure out the same for natural gas. A very large percentage of electric power cost generated by fossil fuel is the delivered cost of fossil fuel.
Nuclear power reduces the demand for fossil fuel and lowers the cost. So what is the fight mix? It depends on where you are.
Making blanket statement about choice of power is childish. When an adult geologist from Texas does it is stupid unless you’re dishonest.
The correct response is yes Sir you are right.

Retired Kit P
January 11, 2018 10:52 am

“I don’t see the point : sales of electric vehicles were up 25% last year,”

The point is that 24% of insignificant is insignificant. For those engineers who started using a slide rule we only use three significant figures. We have to explain to young engineers to only write down what can be measured.

Engineers might also write a second order differential equation for predicting energy use. There would be a factor for adding demand and a factor for subtracting demand. For example, if the same number of EV and RV are added but EV only last 5 years on the road and RV 20 years.

So the steady state value of EV could be a a million and RV ten million.

Use has also be considered. I drove my 25 year old PU to work and bought fuel once a month. My short commute would be perfect for an EV. When I can find a EV for $1200 that will last another 15 years, I would consider it.

We drive the RV about 15k miles a year getting 1/3rd mileage if we driving our Corolla but is also where we sleep 95% of the time.

The assumptions about the future demand what people can afford to do and what they enjoy doing.

Before spending money on an EV, I will have a second sail boat where it is warm in the winter.

Glenn in CT
January 12, 2018 9:41 am

I just cancelled my preorder for a Tesla Model 3: Can’t see paying $50K for a car (base $35,000 model is grossly under-equipped and not likely to be purchased by anyone) with cold weather range cut in half, that requires a 30-min battery pre-heat in winter, and slow recharging capability (4 miles/hour charge or 25 mi/30 min supercharge). I don’t think I’m alone—500,000 in sales is looking to be a Musk mirage,

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