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What Can Be Done To Ramp Up EV Sales?

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What Can Be Done To Ramp Up EV Sales?

Sales of plug-in light-duty electric vehicles in the U.S. have been in decline over the last two years, according to data published in January by Platts Analytics Future Energy Outlooks.

Last year’s sales totaled 296,000 units, down from 331,000 in sales in 2019 and 361,000 sales in 2018.

The prognosis for the EV market was mostly bright during Thursday's panel discussion on the future of the sector at the Benzinga Cleantech Small Cap Conference.

The panelists said several key concerns surrounding EV technology need to be addressed in order for a sales uptick to occur.

The Big Polluters: Brendan Riley, president and director of GreenPower Motor Company (NASDAQ: GP), said certain types of vehicles should receive priority targeting for the transition from fossil fuels to electric power simply because they are creating a greater share of environmental havoc.

“If you look at the statistics of what vehicles produced, zero percent of the vehicles on the road produced over 70% of the emissions — and 77% in some places,” he said.

“If you look at commercial vehicles, trucks, buses and taxis, you lump those together and that's only 10% of the vehicles on the road. They create over two-thirds of the emission. Realistically, you should be attacking those first.”

Riley added the vehicles he cited are “the types of fleets we can also electrify very quickly because they tend to know how much they drive, when they drive, where they drive and where they park at night.”

See Also: Tesla Settles Lawsuit With Ex-Employee Over Autopilot Code

Bringing Down Costs: One problem that has been holding up the wider public embrace of EVs is pricing, Riley said.

EVs are 50% to 80% more expensive than traditional vehicles, with battery costs contributing to the XL-large price tag, he said.

Zarko Meseldzija, chief technical officer at American Manganese Inc. (OTCQB: AMYZF), said the EV industry is working to bring down the costs of the lithium ion batteries used to power EVs.

“We're seeing a lot more higher nickel batteries and higher manganese batteries trying to get rid of most of the cobalt,” said Meseldzija.

“I think there's going to be a variety of lithium ion batteries that fit into the application demands — a supercar EV is not going to be the same as your everyday EV. There are going to be different battery technologies that we have to be aware of and the materials that are needed to go there.”

Charging Speeds: Michael Mo, co-founder and CEO at KULR Technology Group, Inc. (OTCQB: KULR), said that faster charging times would benefit the EV sector, but the technology isn’t quite there.

“Some of the inherent challenge about fast charging is overheating,” he said. “Both the battery and the charging station can overheat. Even the cable can overheat when you charge too fast. And when you overheat, you will reduce the reliability and longevity of the battery.”

Mo predicted the question of increased charging speeds “is eventually going to be resolved,” adding that more compact batteries with higher capacity levels will also speed progress.

“I think that we're going to carry smaller batteries that have higher energy density per kilowatt hours,” he said, forecasting an ability to “charge 80% of the battery in five minutes — I think that's going to make the system more sustainable.”

See Also: Volvo Plans For All-Electric Vehicles By 2030

(Illustration by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay.)

 

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