In what would have to translate as good news for the EV industry, a new report from Pike Research has come up with some rather startling figures for the lithium-ion battery market, predicting that revenue for Li-ion transport batteries will grow over 700 per cent from $US2 billion annually in 2011 to greater than $US14.6 billion by 2017, while their installed cost is expected to fall by more than 33 per cent over the same period. “Battery chemistries that prioritise energy capacity over power density can satisfy both the PHEV and EV battery segments, enabling vendors to offer products to multiple vendors for multiple models,” said Pike Research director John Gartner. “Reducing the installed price of EV batteries to $523 per kilowatt hour in 2017 will be a critical step towards making PEVs cost-competitive with petroleum-powered vehicles.”
As the Pike Pulse Report points out, Li-ion batteries already dominate the market for plug-in hybrid EVs and battery electric vehicles, and are slowly becoming selected for use in hybrid electric vehicles and stop-start vehicles. “As these vehicle segments grow to hundreds of thousands and then millions of vehicles sold per year, Li-ion production will enter volume production, lowering their cost and making the technology cost-competitive with alternative technologies,” says the “Electric Vehicle Batteries” report’s abstract.
The report also outlines the critical role governments will play in establishing the EV market, the challenges manufacturers will face, the status of R&D in the sector and the key market drivers for the electrification of vehicles. It points out that, while the Li-ion auto battery sector is currently led by Japanese and Korean companies that originally got into production for the consumer electronics and computing markets, “these veteran companies are being challenged by companies mostly from China and North America that are slowly gaining customers, mostly in their domestic markets.” It also warns that the market is entering a “mature phase” that will see some smaller companies fail or be acquired.
US Navy charges ahead on EVs
One organisation that appears to be in lockstep with Pike Research’s enthusiastic predictions on EV proliferation is the US Navy, which this week announced its purchase of $60,000 worth of EV charging stations from Portland, Oregon-based engineering firm OpConnect, via OpConnect’s distributor, EV infrastructure group Go EV. The Navy plans to install OpConnect’s dual Level I & II units – capable of charging four vehicles at the same time – at its facilities in Washington DC, Maryland and California, as part of its pilot program for EV readiness at Navy bases. The charging stations will be powered by OpConnect’s EV Charging Network and consumer access to the system can be gained via custom, credit, fleet or debit cards. “The system’s over-the-wire firmware upgrade capability allows the units to be field configured remotely, providing for a very flexible, extensible solution for large customers with complex needs,” says OpConnect.
Notably, the entire US Armed Forces has been an early and enthusiastic adopter of many clean technologies. So it’s not all that surprising to discover that OpConnect, as CleanTechnica points out, “notably, is a veteran-owned business.” In fact, it turns out both OpConnect and Go EV have a military heritage: “As veteran-owned businesses, we take pleasure in supplying our product and services to our military. Naval stations have some unique requirements for durability and network security and I am glad that our charging stations met them,” said Dexter Turner, OpConnect’s President.
Think regional on emissions trading
The Climate Institute has released a new discussion paper urging the Australian government to prioritise the development of a regional emissions trading coalition – rather than focusing on existing markets in the EU and New Zealand – that would boost the carbon pollution reduction actions and commitments of our neighbouring countries. “Maximising global ambition and action should be our greatest priority,” said the Institute’s deputy CEO, Erwin Jackson, on the release of the paper, Emissions Trading Coalitions – Leveraging Emissions Trading to Achieve Greater Levels of Global Mitigation Ambition, on Thursday. “This report highlights that Australia now has a clear strategic choice on how it interacts with international carbon markets. Australia has a unique opportunity to strengthen ties with other countries in the Asia Pacific region who are acting to reducing emissions domestically and internationally.”
With emissions trading schemes now under way or under development in Australia, New Zealand, China, South Korea, California, Mexico and Chile, the report suggests that regional emission trading coalitions would allow countries like Indonesia – which has committed to reducing emissions and setting ambitious pollution reduction targets – to sell credits to countries with emission trading schemes if Indonesia exceeds the targets they have committed internationally. “By giving developing countries export opportunities from large scale emission reductions, emission trading coalitions can provide stronger incentives for developed countries to pledge and exceed their own emissions reduction targets,” said Jackson. “This has the dual benefit of allowing countries with emission trading schemes access to lower cost markets and would provide opportunities for them to take on stronger emission targets.”