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AN ELECTRIC CAR PARADE PART 1

NICOLAUS OTTO IS likely spinning in his grave, crankshaft in hand. Here we are, 145 years beyond patenting the Otto four-stroke, and demise of the internal combustion engine is threatened. Automakers around the world have set goals, many within this decade, to shift manufacturing solely to electric vehicles.

Nicolaus August Otto, 1832–1891, German inventor who perfected the concept of the internal-combustion engine.

Here in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow are tidbits about proposed EV timetables collected from a variety of sources.

Mercedes-Benz. The first Benz Patent Motorwagen was sold in 1888, thus making today’s Daimler AG the world’s oldest automaker. On July 22, 2021, Jack Ewing writes in The New York Times,“Mercedes-Benz Will Shift its Focus to Electric Vehicles by 2025.” What’s more, the company is prepared to sell nothing but electric cars by 2030, albeit with the condition that the transition will depend on the market.

“Increasingly,” Ewing writes, “they have little choice. The European Union will effectively ban new cars with internal combustion engines in 2035, while Britain, Norway and other countries have also set expiration dates for vehicles that run on fossil fuels.”

Ewing notes, “In 2025, the company will introduce three new electric vehicle platforms—collections of components and technology that can be shared among different models—and will no longer develop platforms for internal combustion engines. The platform shift is significant because it allows Mercedes to exploit some of the design potential of battery powered vehicles, such as more interior space. Electric motors are smaller than internal combustion engines and do not require large transmissions.”

Apparently, efficiency and packaging of batteries have mitigated their inherent tradeoff of occupying more space and weight than a traditional gasoline tank. 

Renault. Another of the world’s older automakers, Renault, is keen on BEVs. Gilles Guillaume, Reuters, said on June 30, 2021, that Renault’s “… all-electric vehicles would account for up to 90 percent of its models by 2030.” This shift to BEVs, battery electrics, revises a previous plan of the company’s reliance on HEVs, hybrid electric vehicles. 

These days, the company is an alliance of the historic (1899) French firm, plus Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi. Hitherto, its U.S. offerings have included several HEVs from these latter two, together with the Nissan Leaf BEV.

Nissan Leaf BEV.

GM. Neal E. Boudette and Coral Davenport reported in The New York Times, January 28, 2021, that “GM Will Sell Only Zero-emission Vehicles by 2035.” What’s more, GM says this is part of its plan to achieve the company’s carbon neutrality by 2040.

Chevrolet Bolt BEV.

The NYT article continued, “The announcement is likely to put pressure on automakers around the world to make similar commitments. It could also embolden President Biden and other elected officials to push for even more aggressive policies to fight climate change.”

Ford, in Europe and Here. Matt Burns, at Tech Crunch, February 17, 2021, wrote “Ford To Go All Electric in Europe by 2030. This has been accelerated by tightening EU regulations on CO2 and several European countries simply outlawing internal combustion.

Ford Mustange E BEV.

Here in the U.S., Bob Woods, CNBC, June 14, 2021, offered “GM, Ford Are All-in on EVs. Here’s How Their Dealers Feel About It.”

“Ford,” he wrote, “which previously committed $22 billion to EV development, just announced that 40 percent of its vehicles would be electrified by 2030…. In preparation for this onslaught of new models, franchise car dealers … are gearing up.”

For dealers, becoming EV-certified is a non-trivial transition. Woods noted that Ford dealers were “spending nearly $50,000 for the certification. Other manufacturers are asking for upwards of $300,000 for the designation.”

Tomorrow in Part 2, we’ll visit a recently convoluted Chrysler, a government-subsidized Chinese market, and an outlier by the name of Toyota. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2021 

5 comments on “AN ELECTRIC CAR PARADE PART 1

  1. Bill.
    July 24, 2021

    Is anyone thinking about where the electricity for charging BEVs will come from?

    The American power grid is a shaky enough barrow already, and maybe someone should think about this.

    Bill

    • simanaitissays
      July 24, 2021

      Obviously a crucial infrastructural challenge that many are considering. Here’s an aspect in its favor: It’s much more efficient to control emissions of electric power generation than those of millions of individual cars.

    • Likewise in the UK.

  2. This isn’t going to work it will become a farce, all I ask is the availability of enough petrol to keep me going in my proper cars until I die!

  3. simanaitissays
    July 24, 2021

    Another mitigating aspect to consider is fleet turnover. Even if EVs were to jump in new car sales, it would take years, if not decades, before fossil-fuel cars and their infrastructure are gone. Specialists call this a mixed fleet, which, of course, presents other challenges (complexities of taxation, maintenance and repair, and the like).

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