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Pike's 10 Electric-Car Predictions For 2013: Right Or Wrong? Page 2

 
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Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

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Fast charging

Tesla's Supercharger fast-charging network is already going down well with owners, and fast-charging is undoubtedly a good way to cover large distances little differently than you would in a regular vehicle.

However, Pike predicts that most owners will still use slow, basic, "Level 1" charging. In other words, plugging their cars into a regular outlet and letting it charge overnight. It isn't fast, but it's convenient and provided you sleep for long enough, should still result in a full battery by the morning.

Will it be most popular though? We'd be hard-pressed to say so, expecting many owners to budget a little extra to charge a little faster, at 240V. This is where our readers come in, though--how will you be charging in 2013?

E-bikes, gas trucks

The biggest and smallest vehicles may see change in 2013. The e-bike market is expected to grow by 10 percent worldwide in 2013, to more than 33.6 million units. That isn't much of a surprise, but whether the U.S. market will match that growth is a different matter. If they're all as expensive as Smart's talented eBike, it's unlikely--but if the price comes down, then it may catch on.

And will compressed natural gas (CNG) be the next big thing in the truck market? Well GM has already started selling bi-fuel CNG versions of its full-size trucks, each of which costs around $10,000 more than the regular model. But plug-in vehicles, like the Bob Lutz-backed Via Motors range, are even more expensive.

The benefits are there with each, proportional to the cost. Both markets could grow, but cheaper CNG trucks may prove more popular in the short term.

What do you think of Pike's predictions for 2013? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments (23)
  1. Being an apartment dweller, it's likely that if I buy a plug-in in 2013, it will almost exclusively be charged via slow overnight charging. It will also be a plug in hybrid, because of said apartment.
     
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  2. Some Apartment dwellers can "Biz-Plug" and do their Plugin cycles at work instead of at home. Mainly for EREV drivers like Volt, PiP, that kind of thing. Some Leaf owners can still do this if their workplace is generous to allow plugging in and the commute isn't long.
     
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  3. It's never wise to put too much stock in crystal ball gazers least of all Pike Research, though I agree with some predictions like the failure of the batteryswitching concept (which is not a prediction but already happening).

    But Germany leading in plug-ins in Europe? Which models of the traditionally anti plug-in German car industry will trump Renault's EV line up?

    ICE improvement? The only reason start-stop systems are installed in Europe is because there is three minutes of idling in the European testcycle. All consumers have to look forward to is extra cost and a compromised driving experience for real world MPG numbers that increasingly fall short of official numbers. I would hardly call that regular ICE's catching up with hybrids.
     
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  4. Tesla's Supercharger fast-charging network is already going down well with owners, and fast-charging is undoubtedly a good way to cover large distances little differently than you would in a regular vehicle.
     
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  5. Maybe Model S is pretty much the only EV offering for which fast-charging really makes sense since most current offerings are either plug-in hybrids or low range city cars that have little need for fast-charging even if they have that capability which most don't.

    "Predicting" that most drivers will still use slower charging in 2013 was just Pike Research stating the obvious.
     
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  6. Chris, I disagree with half your statement.

    Fast charging makes even MORE sense on vehicles such as the Leaf or i-MiEV, precisely because of their lower range (therefore price) in the first place.

    "This vehicle cannot get me there" turns into "I need to stop 10/20/30 minutes to charge". Dramatic difference.

    To further illustrate, someone who traveled across Denmark first in a ThinkCity (slow charge), then a Leaf (fast charge):
    http://www.chademo.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/denmarkopenforevtravel.pdf

    Now while quick-charging is great for occasional range boosts, there is indeed no question that most charges will continue to be done at slower rates, also because it's the only economical option for residential installations anyway.
     
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  7. Actually, I do think fastcharging could make sense for small battery BEVs if owners of such vehicles could rely on a very dense matrix of fastchargers so they would never be more than ~10 miles away from their next charging opportunity. Only such a dense matrix will afford people the convenience and flexibility that makes longer trips practical. Without such a charging matrix I think people buying these vehicles will do so with homecharging in mind and will make very little use of the fastchargers that do exist out there that are few and far between.

    The bigger the battery the less dense the matrix can be, hence my idea that in the short term fastcharging mostly makes sense for Model S, for which a supercharge network is being rolled out
     
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  8. You know the ironic thing is that the petrol station network is far more dense that a mere 10 miles between pumps.

    If they started rolling out quick chargers, even to only some of their stations, electric vehicles would quickly take off.

    Quick charging really does make the difference, even if it isn't used very often (because it is an enabler). However that's why petrol stations won't roll it out (it isn't used often - so little opportunity to make money).

    It would be turkeys voting for Christmas!

    Needs legislation if you ask me...
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  9. @Chris, just one quick-charger greatly enhance the usefulness of any EV within range. And it doesn't even have to be used: just knowing it's there, drivers don't have to keep those XX miles in reserve just in case of unexpected errands anymore, for example.

    While I certainly would like to see them everywhere, really, no need for a matrix of any density before QCs become helpful -- again, especially for lower-range EVs.

    Companies like Blink/Ecotality, evGo, AeroVironment etc seem to recognize this btw; in the US, CHAdeMO QCs outnumber Tesla's >15 to 1 so far.

    [Source:
    http://www.recargo.com/search?search=97201&filters[]=cha
    http://www.recargo.com/search?search=97201&filters[]=tsc ]
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  10. The list of predictions sounds like they were throwing darts at a predictions bulletin board. As for the charging question I'm going with a 240V home charger, though I am going to wait and see about the BMW-i branded home charger for my i3.
     
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  11. Pardon my ignorance, but what are the advantages to a 48 volt battery? Faster charge times? More range? I assume the disadvantages are cost.
     
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  12. I think that is for typical ICE cars.

    It makes the wiring smaller/thinner b/c it doesn't have to carry as much current. Also, with more and more electrical demand of the cars these days, the higher voltage allow more devices to run with lower current demand from the alternator (until they require liquid cooling).

    But the 48V will increase a lot of cost for parts that were designed for 12V.
     
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  13. Thanks, Xiaolong.
     
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  14. X Li, I didn't see your post until after I posted. Looks like I read correctly.
     
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  15. This (I believe) is also the Voltage of the eAssist batteries which allow for regen braking and restat of the engine "a lot". So, a Lithium-based 48V battery can do double duty as the eAssist traction battery and to run some of the electronics. Isn't the Prius traction battery 48V?
     
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  16. Charles, I read that the advantages are mostly having to do with wiring. With cars going more towards electric motors for previously belt driven items, the current draw on the electrical system is getting much higher. A higher voltage allows for the wiring in the car to stay the same or decrease in size.
     
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  17. both L2 and fast charging will become more popular and not as a way to get across the state but simply as a way to go that extra mile without having to plan large blocks of time for a 90 minute charge on L2 especially whan fast charging gives you twice that in 15 minutes.

    Sure I have an 80 mile range LEAF but have exceeded that range more than a dozen times this year and did it primarily with quick charging. it has taken my car from "city car" to "regional car" and with minimal amounts of extra time. Also, if Germany is going to have the fastest plug in growth, they have to "out legislate" Norway because Norway is kicking butt!
     
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  18. We need to see Level 1 grow at the workplace and hotels, airports and other "long stay" locations. That will be what entices people to buy more EVs.
     
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  19. I totally agree.

    Work places, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, airports, restaurants, movie theaters would be great places to offer charging location. It will help the range problem a lot...

    I believe most of the daily miles for passenger cars are driven between work and home. Offering charging location at work would do a lot to help with the popularity of the EVs.
     
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  20. I fully agree with the demise of Better Place swapping stations. It is prohibitively costly, carries only 8 or 10 battery packs and takes a few minutes on each switching operation. The ConceptThree of project www.ev-motion.com takes a mere couple of seconds to switch the battery pack, can recharge more than 800# at the same time, and serve as a main grid backup station with its >20 MWh. energy storage capability. Incidentally Mr. Shai Agassi stepped down from B.P. at the same time we were getting our first US 8256553 patent.
     
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  21. Before you can criticize BetterPlace and promote your own scheme, you should build something that actually works.
    Where are your battery swap stations? Any video?
    What exactly have you accomplished in your "twenty years of R&D"?
    Are you aware that in the space of perhaps 3 yrs, Shai Agassi went from writing a paper on how to get off oil to a full-fledged company with actual demo swap stations / taxis in several places?
     
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  22. My project was submitted to many engineers and university professors who affirmed that the idea works on theoretical level, of course. Just lend me a fraction of the $700M., the amount invested in Shai Agassi's idea and I could install pat. pending ARIES (Automated Recharging Instant-switching Electric Stations) installed inside a few gas stations placed on strategic locations in a pilot city. The funds would be enough to also convert a small fleet of ICE into electric vehicles to prove that the concept works. The "scheme" would be loved by oil products and energy providers, taxi fleet and general public. In fact, we could use inexpensive advanced lead-acid batteries and produce vehicles for about $10,000 with batteries included.
     
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  23. "Germany will lead Europe's plug-in growth" No way! Ok, you are right, charging stations, even with quick-charging, are everywhere here. But the EVs to use them are not existing! Maybe later, when Volkswagen will build its first EVs, things could begin moving.
     
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