Los vehículos eléctricos dominarán las carreteras de EE UU en 2030

El estudio pronostica que las ventas de coches eléctricos concentrarán el 86% del mercado automovilístico estadounidense en el año 2030, de forma que sólo un 14% corresponderá a otros sistemas de propulsión.

Además, el informe cifra en más de 320.000 millones de dólares (unos 230.000 millones de euros) durante los próximos veinte años el coste de implantar una red de postes de recarga en Estados Unidos, si bien el ahorro en costes energéticos alcanzaría 210.000 millones de dólares (151.000 millones de euros).

El estudio recuerda que la compañía Better Place está implantando un sistema de recarga de baterías de coches eléctricos similar a las tarjetas prepago de telefonía móvil.

Según el sistema proyectado por esta empresa, una familia compraría un coche eléctrico, pero la propiedad de la batería sería de Better Place, que podría ofrecer otras baterías alternativas en función de las necesidades de autonomía.

Renault y su socio japonés Nissan están produciendo automóviles eléctricos para el proyecto Better Place, que asegura que el uso de la electricidad será más económico que el de la gasolina.

Sin embargo, el estudio de la Universidad de Berkeley apunta que el coste será similar o ligeramente inferior al de un automóvil de gasolina, dependiendo de factores como la cotización del petróleo.



UC Berkeley Study Finds Separate Battery Ownership Accelerates Mass-Market Adoption of Electric Cars

The University of California, Berkeley, Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology released a new study examining the market size for electric cars with switchable batteries and the economic and environmental benefits of mass-market adoption. The study shows rapid adoption for electric vehicles assuming the ownership of the battery is separated from the vehicle. The study also quantifies how the electrification of the U.S. transportation system will decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil, increase employment, and reduce the environmental impact of transportation emissions.

‘Electric Cars in the United States: A New Model with Forecasts to 2030’ was authored by Thomas Becker, a Berkeley economist who specializes in international and environmental economics. It is the first study to forecast the adoption rates of electric vehicles with pay-per-mile service contracts that finance the cost of the battery. In previous studies, projected adoption rates have generally been based on electric vehicle sales as standalone products. Pay-per-mile service contracts eliminate the additional upfront costs traditionally associated with electric cars. The study predicts that electric vehicles with this type of pricing will account for 64% of light vehicle sales and comprise 24% of the U.S. light-vehicle fleet by 2030. This level of adoption is made possible by the lower purchase price and reduced per-mile driving cost of electric cars with switchable batteries as compared to gasoline-powered cars.

The study also predicts:

• A net gain of up to 350,000 new jobs by 2030 through electric vehicle adoption

• Reduced emissions by as much as 62% from 2005 levels when electric vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, even over a scenario of improved fuel economy for gasoline-powered cars

• Savings of up to $205 billion on healthcare costs associated with emissions from combustion engine vehicles

• A decline in oil imports of up to 3.7 million barrels per day, equivalent to the amount currently imported daily from the Persian Gulf region and Venezuela

"This most recent study is fundamental because it shows that the economics of electric cars with today’s technology favor a paradigm shift in the automotive industry." said Ikhlaq Sidhu, Director of Berkeley’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology and a professor in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department.

"A wide range of economic benefits come with price-competitive electric cars," said Becker. "These vehicles make eliminating the U.S. dependence on foreign oil an achievable goal. Transitioning to electric cars will also create jobs, lower health care costs, and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions."

The University of California study shows that the mass adoption of electric cars is a reachable goal. For electric cars to achieve this wide-scale adoption in the United States, these vehicles must be able to compete with the existing gasoline fueling infrastructure in terms of price, range, and reliability. Becker finds separating the purchase of the battery from the car is the most practical and cost-effective means of addressing these concerns.

First, not having to pay for the battery upfront makes the purchase price of an electric car competitive with that of an internal combustion vehicle. Given current battery prices and the federal tax incentives for the purchase of electric cars, switchable battery vehicles are expected to be $7,500 less expensive than a similar gasoline-powered car when introduced to the market in 2012. The total cost of ownership of these vehicles is expected to be between $0.10 and $0.13 lower on a per-mile basis than gasoline-powered cars, depending on the future price of oil.

Second, electric vehicles with switchable batteries can have a driving range comparable to gasoline-powered vehicles. Just as there is a network of gas stations, the study incorporates the cost of a network of public battery charging spots augmented by battery switching stations into the per-mile service contract price offered by electric car network operators. This business model innovation will ensure that a sufficient density of electric car infrastructure is deployed to extend the range of these vehicles. Through this system, Becker argues that "the overall range of electric cars will eventually rival that of gasoline-powered vehicles."

Lastly, consumers must perceive electric cars to be as reliable as gasoline-powered vehicles. To achieve this, Becker again finds that the best solution lies in separating the ownership of the vehicle from the battery. By placing ownership of the battery in the hands of an electric car network operator, consumer concerns over the lifetime or durability of the battery are eliminated. Switchable batteries also allow the newest innovations in battery technology to reach drivers more quickly.

Overall, the study finds that electric cars with separate battery ownership are not only more affordable than gasoline-powered cars, but that incorporating their financing into a network service contract will overcome the range limitations inherent to fixed-battery electric vehicles.

About the UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology

The Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (CET) is a CITRIS-affiliated academic center and industry partnership within UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. Since its establishment in 2005, the Center’s mission has been to equip engineers and scientists with the skills to lead, innovate, and commercialize technology in the global economy. Through teaching, programs, network building, and research interlaced with strong industry participation, the Center teaches entrepreneurship as it relates to individual venture creation and to innovation within existing entities. More information on the CET here: http://cet.berkeley.edu/


Strong Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles Bodes Well for New Era of Sustainable Transportation

Nearly one in three (30%) U.S. car buyers are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for their next car, according to a recent study on consumer EV sentiment sponsored by Better Place and conducted by Ipsos, a leading global market-research company. While interest in EVs was strong in all five nations surveyed, interest was highest in Israel, where 57% of drivers are interested in purchasing an EV for their next car. Denmark (40%), Australia (39%), Canada (35%; Greater Toronto area only), and the U.S. (30%) followed. And, 28% of Israeli respondents said they would only consider an EV for their next vehicle.

Highlights of the survey of more than 8,000 drivers are.

– Consumers are ready to move beyond gasoline. The multi-national study revealed that, on average, nearly half (48%) of car buyers do not plan to consider “gas-only” automobiles for their next car.

– Electric cars have mainstream appeal. Interest in EVs spans all demographics and driving patterns, dispelling concerns that EVs are niche products. Interest in EVs was widespread among men and women and across income levels. Interest was high across the age spectrum as well, although younger drivers (18-34) were the most interested. Driving patterns had little impact on EV interest. Interest was also similar among those whose car was the secondary car in the household, the primary car in the household, and also among those for whom the car was the only car in the household.

– Interest does vary on the basis of car buyers’ societal concerns. According to the study, most U.S. car buyers are concerned about air pollution or climate change (62%) and even more concerned about the country’s dependence on oil (74%), even more than terrorism (63%). Related to these concerns, U.S. car buyers want the nation to be a global leader in developing renewable energy (78%), reducing worldwide oil consumption (59%), and reducing pollution (55%). Those expressing one or more of these concerns are more likely to say they are interested in purchasing an EV for their next car.

“The survey reflects the future of transportation, which is electric,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place. “There’s a perfect storm of dynamics driving toward mainstream adoption of EVs, including consumer desire for a clean planet, global efforts to decrease oil consumption, transformation in the auto sector and significant investment in technology. The combination of these factors is propelling the dawn of a new automotive era.”

About the Study Methodology:

The study was conducted in March and April 2009, when gas prices were near a 52-week low, and included more than 8,000 respondents from the U.S., Canada (Greater Toronto Area), Australia (Sydney/Central Coast, Melbourne/Geelong, Brisbane/Gold Coast), Denmark, and Israel. The size of the sample exceeds that of most studies of this type, increasing the reliability and precision of the estimates. Ipsos drew a stratified, random sample to reflect the gender, income and age profile of each local market from best-of-class, online-survey panels in each market.

The sample was filtered to include only those individuals involved in the selection of their prior car or expected to be involved in their next car purchase. Participants were given comparable descriptions of electric, hybrid, and gas-only cars in order to assess their interest. Standard data cleaning procedures were employed, and Ipsos and Better Place performed statistical analyses.

About Better Place:

Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia. More information is available at www.betterplace.com

About Ipsos:

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe. Visit www.ipsos.com.