Big Cleantech Stories

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【Summary】This week's cleantech stories include EV sales reports from China, Europe, Norway, Sweden, and California. Other news includes pressure on Tesla from unions in Sweden, Revel's electric ridesharing growth in NYC, criticism of Ford's EV efforts, advancements in battery technology, the impact of policy on EV charging infrastructure, approval of the largest offshore wind project in the US, and the increasing curtailments of solar and wind power in California.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 06, 2023 5:18 AM PT
Big Cleantech Stories

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Being the beginning of the month, some of the biggest and most interesting cleantech stories of the past week were EV sales reports from top EV markets. There are also a few big wind and solar power stories, as well as a few other EV stories. Read on below for my short summary of the top cleantech stories of the week.

EV Sales Reports

While it's not the leader in terms of the percentage of sales within the market that are electric cars, I have to start with China. China is, by far, the largest EV market in the world. China accounted for more than 60% of the world's plugin vehicle registrations in September! With around 776,000 plugin vehicle sales, 22% more than in September 2022, plugins accounted for 37% of the country's vehicle sales. Full electrics accounted for 25%. These stats show that China is the clear leader among major automotive markets when it comes to EV adoption. Check out the full report (linked above) for model, brand, and automotive group leaders.

Then we've got Europe, the second best large region in the world for EV adoption. In this case, 25% of the region's auto registrations were plugin vehicle registrations, while 17% were full electrics. That may not look great compared to China, but it sure puts the US to shame. The Tesla Model Y is absolutely dominating the model rankings in Europe. That's great news for Tesla, but that also implies Model Y sales can't grow much more from their current sales level. So, how is Tesla going to achieve 50% CAGR? Well, we discuss that regularly on EV Obsession.

Then you've got the leader among leaders in terms of EV adoption, Norway. Norway had more than 91% of new vehicle sales being plugin vehicle sales in October, a nearly 5 percentage point increase compared to last October. And 84.2% of the market is BEVs. Surprise, surprise — the Model Y is leading the charts. Genuine surprise: the Toyota BZ4X was #2!

Another major market for EV adoption isn't far away. I'm talking Sweden, which is up to 60.6% of the market being plugin vehicle sales. Full electrics accounted for 37.6% of new vehicles. In terms of leading models, the Tesla Model Y wasn't #1, or even #2, for once! Instead, Volkswagen and Volvo led the show with the ID.4 and XC40.

We've got one more big EV sales report, though. It's for California. The state has now passed 20% EV adoption, with 21.5% of new car sales in the first 9 months of 2023 being full battery electric cars and 22.3% of the sales in the 3rd quarter being full electrics. Tesla absolutely dominates the charts in its original home state of California.

OK, we're done with the EV sales reports. On to other news & analyses.

Other EV News & Views

Circling back to Sweden, Tesla is facing serious pressure from unions in the Scandinavia country. The possibilities for where this could go, not just in Sweden but globally, are spread far and wide. Keep an eye on this thread.

On the positive side of things, we've got Revel's electric ridesharing growth in New York City. The city that never sleeps is a great place to roll out a big ridesharing project — if you can. Well, it seems Revel can. The company has now purchased 700 Teslas for service in NYC. Read about Kyle Field's experience using the network here.

On a slightly less positive note, we published a scathing op-ed from Jo Borrás that seems to have a lot of sense behind it. Jo argues that Jim Farley has horribly Osborned the company's EV efforts and dealer efforts. In fact, the domino effect created by Farley's move to adopt Tesla's North American Charging Standard has Osborned much of the industry, Jo convincingly argues.

Batteries are constantly moving forward, and the latest step along the path comes from 24M, which has rolled out a new Electrode To Pack system.

If you think policy matters don't matter, look again. Policies drive markets, and that's also the case in the EV charging space. Yes, EV chargers would be built and installed without any supportive policy, but many more chargers will be produced and put into the ground with good policy. The US Department of Energy highlights that thanks in part to US federal policies, more than $500 million has been invested in 40 EV charger factories in more than a dozen US states.

Wind & Solar Power

Speaking of the Biden–Harris administration, they just noted approval of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project, the largest offshore wind project in the States. How big is it? The wind farm will reportedly be able to power 900,000 homes. That's a lot!

As solar and wind power grow in California, so do curtailments, and the latest data from CAISO show record levels of curtailment these days. Is that concerning? No, not really. As noted, when capacity increases, so will the curtailments. And the cheapest and best options for electricity generation are still the cheapest and best options for electricity generation, and those options are wind and solar power.

One way to make more use of that solar and wind power, though: virtual power plants. We get deep into the details of maximizing renewables via virtual power plants with CPower CEO Mike Smith this week. Have a listen!

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