Category Archives: Economy

Canada’s oil industry ponders its fate as the threat of electric cars looms in the rearview mirror

CALGARY – Canada’s energy industry gathered at a petroleum museum Monday to consider how electric cars threaten oil, the country’s biggest export, especially if battery-powered cars make up 50 per cent of vehicles on the road by 2050 as projected.

Peter Tertzakian, executive director of ARC Energy Research Institute — which organized the event — said even a slow or modest adoption rate for electric vehicles over petroleum-burning vehicles could cause pain for oil producers because

“when demand moves, the price of oil moves,”

which could result in large losses for higher cost oil producers.

An impediment to electric vehicle adoption is car dealerships.

Oil and gas companies have attempted to forecast the rise of electric vehicles in recent years to determine the threat to their market. ExxonMobil Corp, for example, issued one of the more conservative estimates that 10 per cent of cars on the road in 2040 will be electric, but analysts at the conference say the transition may be quicker.

Keynote speaker Steve Koonin, former under secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy and New York University professor, predicts that 50 per cent of the vehicles on the road in 2050 would be electric, meaning the threat to the conventional oil and gas business is large but not immediately imminent.

The adoption rate for electric vehicles is relatively slow, but is projected to ramp up over time and with regulations.

“It takes a long time to penetrate the fleet,”

Koonin said, adding that the pace of adoption of electric vehicles will depend on battery technology.

A Tesla Motor Inc. Model 3 vehicle is displayed outside the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, U.S.

Larry Burns, a former General Motors executive who has consulted for energy producer Hess Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car subsidiary Waymo, said the threat to the oil and gas industry is more near-term.

“If you’re not prepared for this inevitability, I think you’re in trouble,”

he told conference attendees.

Burns said fuel efficiency regulations in the U.S. could hamper the demand for petroleum in North America by between 30 and 45 per cent by 2025.

Read more: Vancouver Sun

Renault Zoe vs rivals – cost analysis

We’re all pretty clued-up about the benefits to zero-emission driving these days. Not only do electric cars help to improve air quality, lower your SMR costs and bring a reduction in BIK tax bills, they also deliver huge savings by not relying on fuel.

According to many experts, we are now getting very close to mass adoption of electric cars here in the UK. But they’re still a niche choice for many fleets because higher P11D prices and anxieties over range remain key stumbling blocks.

A whole-life cost approach is essential and, as discussed in the previous pages, they have to be fit for purpose to provide enough savings to outweigh the initial cost. But technology is improving at a considerable rate and battery ranges are increasing with every update.

The Renault Zoe

Refreshed in 2016, now offers an official 250-mile range – the best the sector has to offer, Tesla aside.

According to the French carmaker, if you use the most efficient means possible, like charging at night, running a Zoe could cost as little as 2p per mile in warmer weather, rising to 3ppm when the nights draw in. As well as offering the best range of our four cars here, the Zoe is also the cheapest to buy with P11D prices starting as low as £18,440. Despite some disappointing residual values, which are a common theme for most electric cars currently, the Zoe is the cheapest per mile too, costing 52.9p.

Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav 41kWh R90 – 52.2p CPM
P11D: £27,890
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £33/£65
Official range: 250 miles
National Insurance: £1,116
Boot space: 338 litres
Battery size/power: 41kW/92hp
0-62mph: 13.5 seconds
Residual value: 18.7%/£5,225
Fuel costs: £600
SMR: £890

Nissan Leaf

The biggest-selling electric car here in the UK by some margin, the Nissan Leaf also had a battery upgrade in 2016, which saw its range increase up to 155 miles.

Not only is the Leaf the most popular of our models here, it’s also the most practical, offering a 355-litre boot and the most interior space. The Nissan is also easy to drive and comfortable over longer distances.

Nissan Leaf Acenta 30kWh
P11D: £30,235
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £35/£71
Official range: 153 miles
National Insurance: £1,210
Boot space: 355 litres
Battery size/power: 30kW/111hp
0-62mph: 11.5 seconds
Residual value: 16.9%/£5,100
Fuel costs: £980
SMR: £1,029

BMW i3

First launched in 2013, the i3 not only marked the start of BMW’s EV model range, it also moved the game forwards considerably for electric car technology as a whole. It was a game-changer in every sense, and although it’s struggled to gain momentum in sales against its rivals, the i3 has remained one of the most desirable and technologically advanced electric cars on the market.

A battery update in 2016 doubled the car’s range to 195 miles officially on one charge, although the carmaker believes 125 miles is more realistic in real-world conditions, plus the i3 is also fitted with a new charging system that is 50% faster.

BMW i3 94ah eDrive
P11D: £32,485
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £38/£76
Official range: 195 miles
National Insurance: £1,300
Boot space: 260 litres
Battery size/power: 33kW/170hp
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Residual value: 30.2%/£9,825
Fuel costs: £1,200
SMR: £1,216

Hyundai IONIQ

The first car to be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric forms, the Ioniq moved Hyundai into new territory when the car was launched last year. It’s all part of the firm’s plans to have as many as 28 eco-friendly models on sale by 2020.

Arguably the most eye-catching of the four cars, the Ioniq also has one of the biggest boots, and its official 174-mile range is one of the best on offer here too. RVs, as we explained earlier, leave a lot to be desired for EVs in general; however, the Ioniq still manages to better both the Zoe and Leaf at 20.3%, and only the Renault is cheaper per mile for whole-life costs.

Hyundai Ioniq Premium
P11D: £28,940
CO2 (tax): 0g/km (7%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £34/£68
Official range: 174 miles
National Insurance: £1,158
Boot space: 350 litres
Battery size/power: 28kW/120hp
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Residual value: 20.3%/£5,875
Fuel costs: £862
SMR: £1,222

Read more: Business Car

85% of drivers ‘more seriously’ considering EV thanks to Government investment

The majority (85%) of respondents to a survey by Venson Automotive Solutions say they are now ‘more seriously’ considering buying an electric vehicle (EV) or choosing one as a company car in light of investment from the motor industry, Government and major oil companies.

The Government recently announced that it is putting in place new measures to improve provision of EV charge points as part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill, and oil supermajors Total and Shell have said that they will be making charging points a standard feature at fuel stations.

Although the commitment by industry and Government to remove purchasing barriers is having a positive influence, the survey also highlights that a focus on educating motorists on the ownership benefits – over and above the environmental benefits – is still needed.

Around two-fifths (41%) of the 100 drivers that responded to the survey said their general lack of knowledge about the total cost or convenience of owning such a vehicle impacted their decision making so Venson is urging fleet managers to arm employees with the tools needed to make an informed company car ownership choice.

Venson’s survey findings reported that the lack of charge points across the UK has been the biggest deterrents for motorists (69%), when it comes to buying or choosing an electric vehicle. Limited mileage range came second (61%), with the cost of charging the vehicle (42%) in third place.

Women (31%) were more reluctant than men (15%) to consider buying or leasing an EV because of the lack of opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.  The cost of insuring an EV is one of the lowest concerns, with only 19% of motorists seeing this as a deterrent and battery safety fears the least of motorists’ EV worries.

Alison Bell, marketing director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said:

“It’s really encouraging to see that public attitudes to electric vehicles are significantly shifting, as the industry invests in the necessary infrastructure. Clearly, Total and Shell’s move to install more charging points is critical in giving motorists the confidence when it comes to choosing EV or hybrid.”

Source: FleetLeasing

 

How I’m saving a small fortune on my commute with an Electric Car

Receiving my monthly bill from Chargemaster makes me happy. Let me explain….

Chargemaster Plc is the company that provides the majority of Milton Keynes electric car charging points and since I only charge publicly I am billed by them for all of my ‘fuel’ consumption.

Working in Central Milton Keynes, I am lucky to have a vast network of charging points available to me, I charge mostly during my working day, as and when I need to. I also benefit from free parking under the Green Permit Scheme which covers all standard bays (purple) and some premium bays (red), both can be found across the city centre area.

Last month’s bill really did highlight to me the huge cost savings owning an Electric Car has given me, and why every commuter in Central Milton Keynes should consider getting one.

Check this out…

Petrol Car

Electric Car

Fuel cost per day

£3 (approx.)*

£0.71**

Parking

£18 (£2 per hr x9)

£0

Total cost per day for parking & fuel

£21

£0.71

Total for the period

(11 working days)

 

 

£231

Estimated

£17.20

Actual cost billed by Chargemaster PLC

(inclusive of Polar subscription fee)

Averaged over a working year (261 days)

£5,481

£408.11

*Based on my 15 mile round trip commute @ 20p per mile.

** Averaged daily cost from bill, includes ALL mileage not just commutable distance.

 

Clean disruption of energy & transportation

The industrial age of energy and transportation will be over by 2030. Maybe before.

Exponentially improving technologies such as solar, electric vehicles, and autonomous (self-driving) cars will disrupt and sweep away the energy and transportation industries as we know it. The same Silicon Valley ecosystem that created bit-based technologies that have disrupted atom-based industries is now creating bit- and electron-based technologies that will disrupt atom-based energy industries.

Clean Disruption projections (based on technology cost curves, business model innovation as well as product innovation) show that by 2030:

– All new energy will be provided by solar or wind.
– All new mass-market vehicles will be electric.
– All of these vehicles will be autonomous (self-driving) or semi-autonomous.
– The car market will shrink by 80%.
– Gasoline will be obsolete. Nuclear is already obsolete. Natural Gas and Coal will be obsolete.
– Up to 80% of highways will not be needed.
– Up to 80% of parking spaces will not be needed.
– The concept of individual car ownership will be obsolete.
– The Car Insurance industry will be disrupted. The taxi industry will be obsolete.

Read more: Tony Seba

 

 

Low carbon drive ‘cuts household bills’

Britain’s low carbon energy revolution is actually saving money for households, a report says.

Households make a net saving of £11 a month, according to analysis from the Committee on Climate Change.

It calculates that subsidies to wind and solar are adding £9 a month to the average bill, but that rules promoting energy efficiency save £20 a month.

Savings

The trend is being driven by government and EU standards for gas boilers and household appliances like fridges and light bulbs. These bring down carbon emissions and bills at the same time.

It means households don’t need to try specially hard to reduce energy usage – it just happens when they replace their old freezer.

Getty Images

The report says bills are about £115 lower in real terms since the Climate Change Act in 2008, having risen around £370 from 2004 to 2008 as international gas prices rose.

Gas and electricity use have been cut by 23% and 17% respectively, saving the average household £290 a year.

Many of the easy savings on highly inefficient devices have already been made, but the committee says it has been assured by manufacturers that more can be done.

The authors predict an annual bill reduction of £150 by 2030, driven by a mass switch to LED lights, and full take-up of more efficient condensing gas boilers.

This, they say, would more than compensate for another £100 a year rise from increased renewables deployment.

“What’s interesting, is that people aren’t having to strive to make these savings. They could save much more energy if they consciously set about it.”

said the committee chair Lord Deben

Read more: BBC News

Electric cars are set to arrive far more speedily than anticipated

Carmakers face short-term pain and long term gain

THE high-pitched whirr of an electric car may not stir the soul like the bellow and growl of an internal combustion engine (ICE). But to compensate, electric motors give even the humblest cars explosive acceleration. Electric cars are similarly set for rapid forward thrust.

Improving technology and tightening regulations on emissions from ICEs is about to propel electric vehicles (EVs) from a niche to the mainstream. After more than a century of reliance on fossil fuels, however, the route from petrol power to volts will be a tough one for carmakers to navigate.

The change of gear is recent. One car in a hundred sold today is powered by electricity. The proportion of EVs on the world’s roads is still well below 1%. Most forecasters had reckoned that by 2025 that would rise to around 4%. Those estimates are undergoing a big overhaul as carmakers announce huge expansions in their production of EVs.

Morgan Stanley, a bank, now says that by 2025 EV sales will hit 7m a year and make up 7% of vehicles on the road. Exane BNP Paribas, another bank, reckons that it could be more like 11% (see chart). But as carmakers plan for ever more battery power, even these figures could quickly seem too low.

Ford’s boss is bolder still. In January Mark Fields announced that the

“era of the electric vehicle is dawning”

and he reckons that the number of models of EVs will exceed pure ICE-powered cars within 15 years. Ford has promised 13 new electrified cars in the next five years. Others are making bigger commitments. Volkswagen, the world’s biggest carmaker, said last year that it would begin a product blitz in 2020 and launch 30 new battery-powered models by 2025, when EVs will account for up to a quarter of its sales. Daimler, a German rival, also recently set an ambitious target of up to a fifth of sales by the same date.

Read more: The Economist

Nissan Leaf

Car Tax, the new VED rules explained

An overhaul of UK car tax rules will increase the cost of motoring – but not if you’re buying a Nissan LEAF

On April 1, the system for taxing new cars in the UK, known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is being radically overhauled (click here for details). The revamp will make it more expensive to run certain types of low-emissions cars – but the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car, will remain exempt from tax.

Nissan Leaf

If you’re confused by the changes, or uncertain of what they mean if you’re considering buying a new car, here’s a quick guide.

How car tax works now

The amount of VED you currently pay is based on your car’s CO2 emissions. There are 13 VED bands: vehicles that emit between 0 and 130g/km of CO2 (think electric vehicles and certain hybrids) don’t pay any VED in their first year. After that, vehicles that emit 101-120g/km of CO2 have to pay between £10 and £30. The duty jumps from there, to at least £100 for cars that emit 121g/km of CO2 or more.

What’s changing

From April 1, only vehicles that produce no emissions while driving, such as the Nissan LEAF, will be exempt from VED in year one. Vehicles that produce 1-50 g/km of CO2 pay £10; those that emit 51-75 g/km pay £25. VED then leaps to £100 for vehicles that emit 76-90 g/km. From year two on, CO2-producing vehicles costing less than £40,000 pay an annual rate of £140 – with a £310 premium for cars that cost more than £40,000.

Zero emissions, zero tax

Cars that produce 0g/km of CO2 and cost less than £40,000 will remain exempt from VED for their lifetime. The fully-equipped, five-seat electric Nissan LEAF falls into that category – and it’s also exempt from congestion charges. So as well as fuel costs of as little as 2p a mile, buying a safe and reliable LEAF could save you hundreds of pounds in tax.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the British-built Nissan LEAF remains ahead of the pack – because it uses no combustible fuel at all.

Read more: What Car?

 

‘The shelves looked wonderful, perfect, almost clinical, as though invented in a lab in my absence; but there was no smell.’ (Image: A. Britton/PA)

The Supermarket Food Gamble May Be Up

Brexit, migration and climate pressures mean our ‘too big to fail’ global food chain could unravel

The UK’s clock has been set to Permanent Global Summer Time once more after a temporary blip. Courgettes, spinach and iceberg lettuce are back on the shelves, and the panic over the lack of imported fruit and vegetables has been contained. “As you were, everyone,” appears to be the message.

But why would supermarkets – which are said to have lost sales worth as much as £8m in January thanks to record-breaking, crop-wrecking snow and rainfall in the usually mild winter regions of Spain and Italy – be so keen to fly in substitutes from the US at exorbitant cost?

Why would they sell at a loss rather than let us go without, or put up prices to reflect the changing market? Why indeed would anyone air-freight watery lettuce across the whole of the American continent and the Atlantic when it takes 127 calories of fuel energy to fly just 1 food calorie of that lettuce to the UK from California?

‘The shelves looked wonderful, perfect, almost clinical, as though invented in a lab in my absence; but there was no smell.’ (Image: A. Britton/PA)
‘The shelves looked wonderful, perfect, almost clinical, as though invented in a lab in my absence; but there was no smell.’ (Image: A. Britton/PA)

The answer is that, in the past 40 years, a whole supermarket system has been built on the seductive illusion of this Permanent Global Summer Time. As a result, a cornucopia of perpetual harvest is one of the key selling points that big stores have over rival retailers. If the enticing fresh produce section placed near the front of each store to draw you in starts looking a bit empty, we might not bother to shop there at all.

But when you take into account climate change, the shortages of early 2017 look more like a taste of things to come than just a blip, and that is almost impossible for supermarkets to admit.

Add the impact of this winter’s weather on Mediterranean production, the inflationary pressures from a post-Brexit fall in the value of sterling against the euro, and the threat of tariffs as we exit the single market, and suddenly the model begins to look extraordinarily vulnerable.

Read more: The Guardian

Ten ways the electric car revolution will transform the global economy

The world has begun a rapid switch to electric vehicles. In the first half of this year, worldwide sales were up 57 per cent to 285,000, despite low oil prices, and there are now more than 1m electric cars on the world’s roads for the first time ever.

Last February, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecast that electric vehicles would account for 35 per cent of new car sales by 2040, and perhaps more under certain scenarios.

The reason for this bullishness is not just that battery costs are plummeting – down 65 per cent in the past five years – it is also that electric vehicles outperform internal combustion cars in so many key areas. They drive more smoothly and accelerate better; they can be charged without a trip to the petrol station; they require less maintenance; they help solve air quality problems; and they increase the autonomy of oil-importing countries.

The rapid uptake of electric vehicles has given established car companies a huge shock. Tesla, the upstart technological leader, expected to produce 85,000 vehicles this year, has a market value of $32bn. That’s more than half of the value of General Motors, which makes nearly 120 times as many vehicles.

All of the incumbent car companies are racing to adjust their strategies, putting electric vehicles at their heart. Volkswagen, still reeling from the “Dieselgate” scandal, is intending to invest $11.2bn over the next decade to push electric vehicles to 25 per cent of its sales.

Read the full list of ten: LinkedIn