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   Technology StocksThe Electric Car, or MPG "what me worry?"

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From: Eric3/28/2023 2:08:04 PM
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Hyundai Considers Own U.S. Charging Network; U.S. & Japan Reach Battery Deal - Autoline Daily 3535

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From: Eric3/28/2023 5:52:41 PM
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DALL·E generated image of a very large crude carrier steaming toward the sunset, digital art


Oil Tankers Already Sailing Into The Sunset Of Peak Oil Demand

The number of new VLCCs to be delivered in 2024? Zero. The number to be delivered in 2025? One.


Michael Barnard

Published26 seconds ago


A global shipping logistics contact, Steven De Jaeger of Remant Transport Architects, reached out to share a very interesting data point and article with me. It seems no one is ordering new oil tankers these days.

“The numbers are stunning. The ratio of crude tanker capacity on order to crude tanker capacity in service is now down to an all-time low of 2.7%, according to Clarksons Securities.

“For very large crude carriers (VLCCs; tankers that carry 2 million barrels of crude), it’s a mere 1.7%. VLCCs are vital for transport of crude exports from the U.S. Gulf and the Middle East. There will be 910 VLCCs of all ages on the water by the end of this year. The number of new VLCCs to be delivered in 2024? Zero. The number to be delivered in 2025? One.

“The situation is almost as severe on the product tanker side. The orderbook-to-fleet ratio for product tankers is down to just 6.1%.”

The claims made in the article are interesting, but there are a lot of what appear to be excuses surrounding the primary cause, which is that peak oil demand is coming likely later this decade and so buying a 25-year lifespan capital asset is likely to lead to it being stranded. In the case of oil tankers, literally stranded, not just fiscally as will be the case with the Trans Mountain Pipeline tripling.

For context, Norwegian oil giant Equinor, fossil-fuel heavy consultancy McKinsey, and the International Energy Agency have all published scenarios that include peak oil demand between 2025 and 2030, with a combination of COVID-19 and the European energy crisis accelerating the shift away from a high-carbon economy. Peak coal was 2013, with a return to those levels briefly in the 2022 energy crisis. Peak natural gas I project as likely around 2035.

Global Shipping in Megatonnes of Freight, chart by author

In my maritime shipping projections of tonnage, energy requirements, refueling with batteries and biofuels, and related carbon curves, this results in a return to roughly 2017 levels by 2030, about 3,000 megatonnes of oil and gas, then a decline by a third each decade through 2050, followed by a slower decline to roughly 200 megatonnes in 2090 and 2100. 40% of bulk shipping is coal, oil, and gas, and that’s mostly going away. Another 15% is raw iron ore and that’s going to diminish with more scrapping and more local processing. As always, through a glass darkly, big error bars, etc.

This isn’t exactly a difficult projection to make, although the oil and gas industry doesn’t want to talk about it, the IEA has challenges with it, the US EIA has similar challenges with it, and the maritime shipping industry has been pretending it’s not going to occur. Many are pretending that peak oil demand will result in a decades-long plateau, but that’s wishful thinking. Why?

80% of fuel demand is for ground transportation, and that’s all going to electrify. That’s low-hanging fruit. As I published recently, India is at 83% heavy rail electrification with a target of 100% within years. China is at 72% and climbing. Europe is at 60% and climbing. China’s 600,000 electric buses and 500,000 electric trucks make it clear that all but niches of off-road will be electric. Pipelines will see dwindling crude, gas, and diesel loads, with bankruptcies and consolidation, done strategically and well in some jurisdictions, and badly with fuel shortages in others.

Western countries’ new car sales are dropping, not rising. In a recent review of the statistics, I saw only one country, Germany, with any rise at all year over year, and that was 1%. Asian purchases are rising, especially in China, but China is already buying well over 60% of plug-in vehicles annually. Electric airplanes and electric ships will eat into fuel requirements for those segments steadily over the next 30 years, and biofuels will eat most of the rest.

One of the excuses made in the article for the empty order book is that dual-fuel ships are expensive and no one knows what will end up being the replacement. I am of the opinion that batteries and biodiesel that’s plug compatible with today’s engines will dominate. Maersk and the global methanol industry are betting on green methanol, which I think is a pretty poor idea for cost comparisons to biofuels, dual bunkering logistics in ports, 2.2x tank sizes in ships, and higher health concerns. Green ammonia is other organizations’ preference, but that has mostly worse challenges than methanol and much higher health risks.

The Global Center for Maritime Decarbonization is running big projects to test safe ammonia bunkering, on-ship carbon capture and biofuel sourcing and bunkering. As I said to Lynn Loo, CEO of the organization recently, it’s great that the work is being done, as concrete results showing that ammonia and shipboard carbon capture aren’t viable will shut down those faint hope pathways more effectively than people like me pointing out the obvious, and sourcing and validating biofuels requires back tracing supplies that needs to be operationalized.

So there’s truth to the shipping industry’s complaint about lack of certainty. But the real issue is stranded assets. No one is willing to sign long-term contracts for crude deliveries to guarantee paying off the ships in seven or eight years of service because everyone is staring at the cliff’s edge.

Big ships these days are $60-$120 million. They have lifespans of 20-25 years. There are already 910 very large crude carriers (VLCC) plying the waters and canals carrying crude, and many of them could be extended for a few years of extra life. And new ships are going to get more expensive.

Regardless of potentially $15 million more, over 10%, for dual-fuel engines and on board fuel storage, an unlikely requirement in my opinion, there’s a different issue at work. In the past several days I’ve published a new decarbonization projection, global steel demand, supply technologies, and carbon emissions through 2100. There’s a good news story there, including a massive rise of scrapping of steel we’ve already made to 75% globally, along with proven technologies for decarbonization. Scrap steel with electric arc furnace minimills powered by renewable electricity won’t be more expensive, but new steel from direct reduction using green hydrogen, biomethane, and renewable electricity likely will be.

And big ships use a lot of steel. A VLCC uses about 40,000 tons of steel, and there are 910 of them. That’s 36.4 million tons of future scrap steel right there, or about 40% of the steel the US uses in a year. Less than US pipelines it turns out, which have four years of steel for the country if scrapped. And that’s just one category of ship. Ships have become more expensive to build in recent years, and a rise in the cost of steel is a large factor in that.

Steel prices going up. Oil futures at risk. No idea what fuel combinations to buy engines and tanks for. Risky bets on fuels costing $15 million per ship. It’s a bit of a perfect storm, and it’s sinking the order books of maritime shipping industry, at least for this category of ship. The major shipyards of the world are full of container and LNG ships, and a growing number of electric retrofits and new builds, so it’s not hurting them yet, but it will be.

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From: Eric3/29/2023 7:51:12 AM
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Lucid to lay off 1,300 employees for $24-$30M restructuring plan

Credit: Lucid Group

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From: Eric3/29/2023 8:05:07 AM
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Wall Street Expects Record Quarter For Tesla With 420,000 Deliveries

For the entire calendar year, Wall Street analysts forecast Tesla deliveries to come in around 1.8 million.

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From: Eric3/29/2023 8:13:53 AM
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Tesla Mostly Debt-Free After 20 Years, Sets New Precedent For Industry

Tesla has proven automakers don't need to carry a ton of debt to be successful. Will others follow suit or wait to be bailed out?

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From: Eric3/29/2023 8:42:37 AM
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Electric vehicles: Batteries on wheels can make grid smaller, says network owner

Giles Parkinson 29 March 2023 6

The owner of the electricity network in the Australian Capital Territory, which has already reached “net 100 per cent” renewables, says the growth of electric vehicles and “vehicle to grid” technology will mean that large amounts of wind and solar can be supported with less infrastructure.

EvoEnergy, which owns and operates about 50,000 power poles and more than 5,000 kms of overhead and underground cables in the ACT, has been hosting a landmark trial of V2G technology over the past two years, featuring 51 Nissan Leaf EVs.

The trial is significant because V2G technology is seen as a potential key component of a future grid where wind and solar is providing the bulk, if not all, of the electricity supply, and demand needs are being managed by short and long duration storage.

While much of the public debate around storage is focused on stationary batteries, pumped hydro and other forms of long duration storage, many believe that EVs, effectively batteries on wheels, can be a key player because the potential resource is huge.

“You can be in a circumstance where where there is a shortfall, and so you’ve got quite a big demand happening at a particular time,” says Peter Billing, the general manager of EvoEnergy.

“If you can draw in, you know, EVs, vehicle to grid vehicles or batteries to tap into to take the edge of that peak, then we don’t need to build as much infrastructure.”

The idea of EVs acting as a grid back-up would have seemed bizarre just a decade ago, and it probably still is for some. But Billing says that network owners are now moving forward, to see how they can embrace the new technologies, including rooftop solar, battery storage, demand management and EVs.

“I think that 10 years ago, networks were kind of thinking ‘what’s happening to our network,” Billing told RenewEconomy. “Whereas now we just see (these assets) as part of the network. What we are doing is still learning, though.”

Billing says the beauty of bi-directional charging will be its ability to turn EVs into an asset rather than a liability, feeding power back into the grid rather than drawing down at peak times.

A lot of this will depend on how tariffs and other incentives are created. For instance, in Canberra in winter the peak demand often happens during daytime hours. And if it has been cloudy, it might make more sense to encourage EV owners to charge their vehicles overnight, when there is often a lot of wind energy.

“So in winter we might be promoting people to be charging at night when the peak might be lower than it would be during the day,” Billing says.

“So with all these technologies evolving evolving over over the next few years, the proliferation of batteries, general storage and vehicle to grid, what does that equation look like. What does the grid need to look like to be able to manage that?”

Billing says it is entirely possible that – as new rooftop solar systems are required to have smart inverters capable of being “orchestrated” by the market operator (i.e, switched off if there is too much rooftop solar output), he says V2G may also become a requirement.

That is many years down the track, considering that V2G is now only possible with older style charging infrastructure known as Chademo, and the V2G standards for CCS charging infrastructure prevalent is yet to be finalised.

It will also require EV makers to introduce that technology on their cars, and for the costs of V2G charging hardware to dramatically reduce so there is a clear and obvious return on investment for both the household and the network or market operators.

Todd Eagles, the head of strategic energy deployments at ActewAGL, the local energy utility, says V2G have proved in their trials that can act like a “swiss army knife” for the grid.

“There is functionality to serve the national energy market, to helps support DNSPs (local network owners), all the way down through to the consumer,” Eagles said.

“The opportunity really is unlocking what priorities are going to be in place in terms of whether it’s a frequency service, a demand response service, or arbitrage from solar in the middle of the day to that evening.

“Doing frequency control is the most difficult thing that we could have selected for this project. But that gives us the ability to send the right signal to the charging market and the vehicle market, and to policy makers across Australia that the capability exists there.

“And because it is like a Swiss Army knife of a Swiss army knife it can be used at every layer across the the energy ecosystem.”

ACT energy minister Shane Rattenbury says the Realising Electric Vehicles to Grid Services (REVS) trial – which used 51 Nissan Leafs – with all but one part of the local government fleet – shows that EVs can play a vital tole in supporting our energy grid and in boosting energy security.

“In the future, we hope this can extend to Canberrans’ privately owned electric vehicles, providing EV owners with the opportunity to send energy stored in their car’s on-board battery back into their own homes or the electricity grid,” he said in a statement.

“South Australia has proven it is possible after becoming the first jurisdiction in Australia to approve a network connection of V2G services in a residential setting.”

See also: V2G charging costs to plummet

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From: Eric3/29/2023 10:23:01 AM
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EnerVenue announces non-lithium battery gigafactory in Kentucky

With generous incentives from Shelby County and the state of Kentucky, EnerVenue plans to invest in a one-million square-foot facility to produce metal-hydrogen batteries.

March 28, 2023 Anne Fischer

battery Manufacturing

A rack of EnerVenue nickel-hydrogen Energy Storage Vessels.

Image: EnerVenue


EnerVenue, a nickel-hydrogen battery development company, announced that it will open a one million square foot gigafactory on a 73-acre site in Shelby County, Kentucky, where it will design, manufacture and test its nickel-hydrogen Energy Storage Vessels.

The first phase of the project will provide 450 full-time jobs and is aiming for 1 GWh of annual production. EnerVenue says it expects to invest in excess of $1 billion to expand to more than 20 GWh per year across its domestic manufacturing sites in subsequent phases. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in Fremont, Calif.

“Locating EnerVenue’s gigafactory in Kentucky is a win for the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “Our leadership has prioritized bringing high-quality jobs to the region and this is yet another example of those efforts paying dividends.”

Shelby County offered EnerVenue a generous 25-year incentive package that includes property and wage tax rebates totaling $20 million. The state of Kentucky also offered EnerVenue more than $10.3 million in tax incentives for the first phase of the company’s ramp up. The tax rebates are intended to support growth in the county and incentivize future development as the gigafactory expands and adds additional jobs.

“As customer interest in EnerVenue’s storage technology soars, we’re excited to significantly scale battery production with our new state-of-the-art gigafactory in Shelby County,” said Jorg Heinemann, chief executive officer of EnerVenue. “Following a nationwide vetting process, Kentucky emerged as the ideal fit to build our new facility. The state and county governments were committed to bringing manufacturing and clean energy jobs to the region, and we look forward to working with them as we build out operations.”

EnerVenue, established in 2020, uses a nickel-hydrogen technology originally developed for aerospace applications. In 2017, Stanford researchers redesigned the nickel-hydogen vessel, moving it toward commercialization by improving performance and reducing cost. EnerVenue claims costs per kilowatt-hour for its nickel-hydrogen batteries as low as one penny, and capital expenditure costs are better than lithium-ion battery cells. The company raised $125 million in a December 2021 Series A equity offering from Schlumberger, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Stanford University, and advised by Barclays. The funding round follows an earlier $12 million seed round that year.

What further sets nickel-hydrogen apart from lithium-ion is that the EnerVenue batteries excel in extreme heat and extreme cold. The company said its batteries operate best in ambient temperatures from -40 F to 140 F. The battery purportedly comes with no risk of fire or thermal runaway and includes no toxic materials, so it is also recyclable.

The company claims that its batteries have a more than 30-year lifespan, can go through more than 30,000 cycles without experiencing degradation and offer exceptional overcharge, over-discharge, and deep-cycle capabilities. In October 2022 the company announced Capacity Assurance, which offers a 20-year/20,000-cycle warranty extension at no less than 88% capacity. While the batteries are designed to last 30 years, EnerVenue says that the extended warranty covers a project while it’s in its most critical payback phase and is offered with no hidden exclusions and simple operating terms.

EnerVenue reports that it has more than 7 GWh of customer commitments, including from Pine Gate Renewables, Nicon Industries’ Green Energy Renewable Solutions, and Schlumberger New Energy, among others.

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From: Eric3/29/2023 1:19:52 PM
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JD Power: Suitable EVs Available This Year For 50% Of US Car Buyers

If car buyers want an EV, a majority should be able to find something that suits their needs, budget, and brand choice this year.

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From: Eric3/29/2023 2:52:54 PM
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How one country set aside nearly $500M for electric vehicle subsidies, but not for cars

Micah Toll | Mar 29 2023 - 6:22 am PT


The age of electric vehicles is upon us, and has been for years now. Electric cars have received most of the attention, but in many countries, it is actually electric two-wheelers like e-motorcycles and e-bikes that are silently revolutionizing the way people commute.

As people become increasingly aware of the economic, environmental, and health benefits of e-motorcycles, especially in countries that are dominated by two-wheeled transportation, more individuals and governments have begun embracing them as an alternative to traditional combustion cars and motorcycles.

Indonesia is one such country, and its government has already made significant strides in urging its citizens toward electric motorcycle adoption.

Motorcycle use in Indonesia is exceptionally prevalent, making it an indispensable mode of transportation for millions of people. In fact, while there are only around 20 million cars in the country, Indonesia is home to around 125 million motorcycles.

As the world’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia’s dense urban areas and underdeveloped public transportation systems have led to a surge in motorcycle ownership and usage. Motorcycles serve as a cost-effective, convenient, and time-saving alternative to cars, which often struggle to navigate through traffic-congested streets. In recent years, the rise of motorcycle taxi services, known as “ojek,” has further cemented the importance of motorcycles in Indonesia’s daily life. These motorcycle taxis provide essential transportation services to countless individuals while also offering employment opportunities for many drivers. Overall, motorcycles have become deeply ingrained in Indonesian culture, shaping both the urban landscape and the everyday lives of its citizens.

But with the masses of motorcycles thronging Indonesian streets has also come huge emissions problems. And so Indonesia has recently pushed hard to convert its massive 125 million fleet of motorcycles toward electrification.

A fleet of Zero electric motorcycles used by Indonesian police

Late last year the country announced a plan to put 2 million electric motorcycles on the road in the next three years. To help expedite that massive movement toward emissions-free motorcycles, Indonesia has now announced 7 trillion rupiahs (approximately US $460M) in subsidies for electric motorcycle purchases through the end of next year.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati expected the subsidies to cover sales of around 800,000 new electric motorcycles as well as the conversion of 200,000 combustion engine motorcycles to electric drive.

The move is designed to jump-start the adoption of electric motorcycles, especially in light of the rather small number currently in the country. According to the Association of the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry, there were just over 30,000 electric motorbike owners in the country as of October 2022.

That puts electric motorcycles at a fraction of a percent of total motorcycles, though the Indonesian government has been promoting electrification of motorcycles on many fronts.

This new subsidy marks the government’s strongest push yet, but it follows other efforts, such as the approval of a pilot partnering with Gogoro’s swappable battery electric scooters, as well as using fleets of electric motorcycles from Zero Motorcycles, Energica, Gogoro, and NIU during the recent G20 summit.

Electric motorcycles may only make up a tiny fraction of overall motorcycles in Indonesia today, but with nearly a half billion US dollars in subsidies, that figure is sure to grow considerably.

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From: Eric3/30/2023 7:54:08 AM
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33% Plugin Vehicle Market Share In China — February 2023 Sales Report

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