TESLA Semi Truck arriving in September 2017

by John Brian Shannon

TESLA CEO Elon Musk announced at the TEDx forum in Vancouver (April 28th) that the TESLA Semi Truck will arrive in September 2017.

That’s great news from a vehicle emissions perspective as more than half of all road-based transportation emissions are caused by transport trucks and their diesel engines.

In major cities — where stop and go driving demands frequent acceleration, diesel trucks contribute significantly to the smoky, particulate-laden smog layer that is a common sight.

From a human health perspective, the unburned hydrocarbons (a.k.a. particulate matter) caused by diesel truck engines are the single worst pollutant for human health and contribute significantly to the high rates of respiratory disease and healthcare costs extant in the world’s major population centres.

It’s a different story out on the highway. Once they get up to speed, diesel trucks compare favourably to newer cars with the latest emission control equipment installed — on the per pound of cargo transported emissions metric.

If cities with populations of 1 million or more created a law that vehicles over 10,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) must be zero emission vehicles (C40 Cities Initiative, I’m talking to you!) respiratory healthcare spending would drop by half, thereby saving governments billions of dollars per year.

Even if one-tenth of the savings were spent on subsidies for TESLA Supercharger installations, hundreds of billions of dollars would be saved annually in every country.

And national productivity would increase due to fewer sick days for workers in cities that presently experience high pollution levels.

It’s already a done deal!

The mainstream media haven’t realized it yet, but big — very big — changes are coming to road-based transportation systems, and it’s not only TESLA in North America, but Daimler in Europe (part of the Mercedes Benz group) also has big plans for electric semi trucks to hit the roads in 2020.

Cleaner air in cities, much quieter semi trucks, and lower healthcare spending; What’s not to like?

Electric vs Hydrogen: Which will power our cars?

by John Brian Shannon

As the world begins to transition away from conventionally sourced petroleum to power our transportation network (cars, trucks, trains, ships, and even aircraft) two main contenders have won favour from investors and the public — Electric powered Vehicles (EV’s) and Hydrogen powered Vehicles (HEV).

Both show great promise, but at this point in time they report different results. There is no doubt that the EV has charged well ahead of its nemesis the HEV, but Toyota and Hyundai are making rapid progress on their Hydrogen powered vehicle programmes.

Electric Vehicles are called EV, while Hydrogen powered vehicles are called HEV (Hydrogen Electric Vehicle) — as both use electricity to power the vehicle, but source the onboard electricity via different methods.

Both EV’s and HEV’s produce electrical power to power an electric motor, which is what drives the car. EV’s get their electricity from the batteries in the car, while Hydrogen powered vehicles get their electricity from passing Hydrogen and Oxygen through a fuel cell (while also utilizing a much smaller battery pack) to power the vehicle.

The battle between the two is going to ‘sharpen’ over the next few years, making for a fascinating story for technology buffs and for those interested in a cleaner environment.

This Electric vs Hydrogen infographic is a ‘snapshot in time’ detailing the (today) differences between Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen powered vehicles.

Electric vs Hydrogen
Electric vs Hydrogen by carleasingmadesimple.com

China cuts Electric Vehicle subsidy, Tesla stocks soar

by Nicholas Brown

The Tesla Model S electric vehicle – now available in China.

Tesla Model S

China’s generous electric vehicle subsidy was rumoured for months to face huge cuts — but the Finance Ministry has lowered the subsidy by only half of what was originally planned (a 5% drop in 2014, and a 10% drop in 2015).

Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers within and outside of the country had been holding their breath ever since the first hints of a possible subsidy cut trickled out into the press.

However, since the latest announcement electric vehicle manufacturers have been celebrating — including Tesla Motors (TSLA) whose stock values have suddenly surged to a record high of $196 per share. Last year, 35,000 to 60,000 yuan ($5,780 to $9,900 USD) per electric vehicle were paid out in subsidies as the frenetic push continues for cleaner air within China’s smog-choked cities.

China has been on a manufacturing roll in recent years. Even companies that are not based in China choose to manufacture their products in the world’s most dynamic economy. Tesla Motors recently entered the Chinese automotive industry despite legal challenges — and Tesla brass expect the Chinese electric vehicle industry to be as large as, or even larger than that of the U.S.

That doesn’t surprise me, as China has the world’s largest population (1.35 billion in 2012, according to Google), and the world’s largest car market.

Apart from that, Tesla’s stock value could come crashing back down as it did in November of 2013. A 40% decrease occurred in a matter of months, possibly caused by reports of (only) three Tesla Model S fires.

However, every cloud has a silver lining — the fires, along with subsequent NHTSA test results, have showed that Tesla vehicles are quite safe. The NHTSA has since rated the vehicle and Tesla was awarded the highest safety rating ever by the NHTSA in 2013.

Information from CleanTechnica.com show the German’s agree with the U.S. National Highways and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Responding to potential concerns, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) decided to investigate the matter and check for manufacturing defects. Tesla complied, providing data and additional information related to the three Tesla fires noted above.

KBA conducted its investigation and came to the same conclusion as Tesla, writing:

“According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found. Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.”

I would also expect the electric vehicle industry to show strong growth as millions more of China’s citizens begin to enjoy disposable income levels on par with other emerging nations. In the China of 2014, hundreds of millions of people need economical cars today and (literally) millions of others are waiting for the opportunity to buy a luxury car. In some cases, due to the long waiting lists the delivery date for a luxury imported car can take longer than one year in China.

According to the Wall Street Journal, even Rolls-Royce sells more cars in China than they do in most countries, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars per vehicle. China and the U.S. are the most significant markets (as of January 2014) for Rolls-Royce.

Tesla is due to report their fourth quarter results on February 19.

Source: CNN Money

Editor: John Brian Shannon