Sunday, December 6, 2015

NYC, Porsche, Cold Weather and Electric Vehicles

  • Last week, when announcing “NYC Clean Fleet”, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “A cleaner, greener fleet is yet another step toward our ambitious but necessary sustainability goals, including an 80 percent reduction in all emissions by 2050.” Note: the plan includes replacing about 2,000 fossil fuel sedans with plug-in electric vehicles, which would mean EVs would make up half of the City’s non-emergency sedans (police and fire vehicles are currently not part of the plan).
  • In addition, when Porsche announced plans to bring its Mission E electric concept car into production by 2020, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board said, “With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand. Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car." Note: The vehicle should have more than 600 horsepower, a range of over 500 km (310 mile) and reach 80% of full-charge in 15 minutes.  
  • Finally, the Bloomberg BusinessWeek article “Electric Cars Can’t Take the Cold” noted that electric vehicles perform better in temperate areas such as California, but “the batteries used by the greener cars generate electricity from chemical reactions that work less efficiently as temperatures drop. In tests conducted by the American Automobile Association, an electric car that ran for 105 miles at 75F went only 43 miles at 20F—a 60% reduction in range.
MY TAKE
  • Regarding New York City – It is likely that many innovations in alternative energy and transportation systems will occur before the city’s 2050 target date – which will change how it will meet its “sustainability” objectives.
  • Regarding Porsche – Given that significant torque can be achieved with electric vehicles, it is likely that Porsche’s Mission E offering will be well received in the high-performance auto market.
  • Regarding cold batteries – Many electric vehicle owners are likely aware of the impact cold weather can have on mileage, however prospective purchasers may be surprised by this news.  Note: mileage for gas/electric hybrids can drop by about 31% below 20 degrees – for conventional gas vehicles, the mileage drop is about 12%. 

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