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A new study from Deloitte Consulting predicts that market acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) will be much more limited than projections from companies like Nissan and Tesla Motors. Nissan and alliance partner Renault are betting big that electric cars will be huge and for Tesla that is the only option.

Deloitte blames the continued high cost of batteries and limited driving range for what it projects will be about 2-5 percent market penetration by the end of the decade. The consulting firm is projecting that batteries will drop to about $600 per kilowatt-hour which would still put the 24 kWh pack in the Nissan Leaf at $14,400. Some reports put the battery pack's price at just $9,000 today.

Perhaps more troubling for the companies that are moving fastest toward EVs is the question of customer preference. When asked who they would buy an EV from, 17 percent said Toyota and 15 went for Honda. Chevrolet, Nissan and Tesla were the top choice of only 8, 4 and 2 percent of respondents, respectively. Interestingly, while they come out on top of this list, Toyota and Honda are the most skeptical of the big automakers when it comes to battery electric vehicles.

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 64 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder who pays Deloitte Consulting bills? Big oil has a way of influencing a few things :cough: Iraq.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I just wish to point out how often useless and misleading information is being parroted, including the editor of the subject article.
      Before I go into details, have a look at:
      http://alliancerenewableenergy.com/Thunder-Sky-LiFeYPO4-Batteries_c3.htm

      The kW prices of the cells, irregardles of size, are the same. For the sake of simplicity I've chosen the 100 Ah type for the following calculation.
      Spec. details:
      Max. permissible voltage = 4.2V
      Min. permissible voltage = 2.5V
      Price / cell = $107.50
      That allows a usable voltage range of 4.2V - 2.5V = 1.7 V. 100 Ah / 100A x 1.7V = 0.17kW
      1kW : 0.17kW = 5.88 100Ah cells x $107.50 = ca. $632.10 .
      Why do people insist on talking batteries to a nonsensical high price? As everyone can see, batteries can be had for roughly $600.00 / kw, now and not in two or five or ten years from now. Why aren't people fair enough to quote fair prices available on the international market instead of always orienting themselves on the most expensive options?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You did the calculation wrong, you have to use the nominal voltage of the cell UNDER LOAD (about 3.2v when half discharged) to work out the kwh capacity of the cell.. but in any case the correct calculation supports your statement anyways :)

        The cost of the thundersky cells is under $350/kwh.. the caveat will be the quality of the cells... probably no warranty. Note the chemistry is very different from the LIMN spinel that Nissan and GM are using.

        You can get some data sheets here:

        http://evcomponents.com/cscart/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29845
      • 4 Years Ago
      hermperez:
      No, I performed the calculation correctly. I know that the nominal voltage is 3.6V but the range from 0 to 2.5 is taboo. If you discharge a cell below the min. 2.5 V as specified, then you can scrap it. I also know, that it is common practice to calculate with the nominal voltage but that is incorrect. The implication is that the alledged capacity is so and so high but in reality it can never be made use of. My calculation was purposely based on the actual usable voltage range and energy capacity.
        • 3 Months Ago
        No, you did it wrong.. to calculate the energy content of a battery you have to use the average voltage as it discharges multiplied by the current.. and at some standard load (hopefully hwy cruise for a car). In other words you integrate the area under the graph of cell voltage vs Ah discharged from the battery.. for the LIFE cells that Thundersky uses its a good approximation to use a nominal voltage of 3.2v..

        True they can be 4.2v just of the charger but that decays very quickly, and they still have some energy at 2.5v but by then the cell is almost empty.In actuality the LIFE cells have a very flat discharge curve, which is very nice. LIMN and LICO are much steeper and even harder to calculate.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Deloitte is not impartial.
      They has a lot of bussiness involving oil&gas.... they're forming part of these king of egoist world where only Money and Power is important

      http://www.psg.deloitte.com/ResourcesDoingBusiness.asp

      http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GX/global/industries/energy-resources/oil-gas/petroleum-services/index.htm

      Bad people.

      Best,
      Manolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are wrong.

      They are over-estimating the cost of batteries. And they are under-estimating the cost of gasoline.

      It is that simple.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are we talking 2-5% of new cars sold, or 2-5% of cars on the road? I'm thinking they might make up 2% of cars on the road, but much more than that of cars sold in 2020, especially for commuters. Ten years is a long time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lots of EREVS on the way, too, so range is not a big scare factor anymore.
        (some call them REEVs)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Studies are only as good as their assumptions; in this case they started out with a huge error in the price of batteries, i.e.,$14,000 instead of $9,000. If your most important beginning assumption is 40% off, then one wonders how many more assumptions are wrong or in error. When your assumptions are this far off, a study becomes nothing more than an opinion...a guess!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep, they're looking too far down the road. There's no way they can know, and
        I think they are way off the mark. It will be substantially a bigger piece of the pie
        than these prognosticators envision. The battery chemistry is almost on the
        shelf. The only roadblock after that is cost, which has already come within
        range of the middle-class buyer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A little tidbit from the latest WSJ report:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...stryCollection

      "Nissan will spend less than $18,000 on the battery, which would mean less than $750 per kilowatt hour, said Mark Perry, the chief product planner for Nissan North America. That is below an estimate of the cost of such batteries of $1,000 per kilowatt hour put out by PriceWaterhouse Coopers."
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can get batteries for cheaper on ebay than 1000$ per kWh...
        • 4 Years Ago
        and the report from London (Times) is a month old..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Full link (subscription needed for full text)

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704635204575242382820806878.html?mod=WSJ_auto_IndustryCollection

        --------------- Full text (shhh.... don't tell Rupert)

        Nissan Says Leaf Electric Will Be Profitable With U.S. Plant

        By MIKE RAMSEY

        FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Nissan Motor Co. may initially lose money on its Leaf electric car before generating profits after it opens a U.S. plant in 2013 to produce the vehicle in volume, according to a senior U.S. executive at the company.

        "Over the course of the vehicle life, it is profitable—in year three," Brian Carolin, Nissan's U.S. sales and marketing chief, said in an interview.

        The battery-powered car is supposed to go on sale in December priced at $32,780 and is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Nissan's finance unit plans to lease the Leaf for $349 a month for three years. Nissan believes the car will be able to go about 100 miles before needing a recharge.

        The Leaf will be built in Japan only at first, and exported to the U.S. and Europe. The Japanese plant will have a 50,000-vehicle capacity. Mr. Carolin would like to get 20,000 cars from the plant for the U.S. market in 2011 and 2012.

        Nissan will open a renovated portion of its Smyrna, Tenn., plant in December 2012 with a capacity to make 150,000 Leafs annually. At higher volumes, the car will be profitable, he said.

        By comparison, General Motors Co. expects to build between 8,000 and 10,000 Chevrolet Volt electric cars next year. The Volt is an electric car with a gas engine that recharges the battery when its charge gets low.

        Nissan said has already taken about 9,000 reservations from potential U.S. buyers of the Leaf from people who put in a refundable $99 down payment.

        Carlos Tavares, chief executive for the Americas for Nissan, said the only way for an electric car to be profitable is for it to be a mass-market, high-volume vehicle. Nissan must price the vehicle close to other cars it competes against and the only way to get the price low enough is to build it in higher volumes, Mr. Tavares said.

        Nissan says the total cost of ownership, including fuel costs, is lower than the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius.

        Much of the cost of building the vehicle is in the 600-pound, 24-kilowatt, lithium-ion battery pack. Nissan developed its own battery technology and is building a plant next to the Smyrna assembly plant.

        Nissan will spend less than $18,000 on the battery, which would mean less than $750 per kilowatt hour, said Mark Perry, the chief product planner for Nissan North America. That is below an estimate of the cost of such batteries of $1,000 per kilowatt hour put out by PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

        The battery plant will be able to make 200,000 packs annually and Nissan is seeking to sell excess packs to other companies, Mr. Carolin said.

        --------------------

        It is not a direct quotation... but it is pretty damning.
        We will see shortly if Nissan disavows this statement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Organizations like WSJ can influence the outcome. Stocks are speculative. If enough "studies" say an idea will fail, it will discourage investment and hinder the company's stocks. That in turn will reduce the money available to develop and market the idea.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The WSJ is well known for being Anti-EV and pro oil (and it's also owned by Murdoch....as in Fox "News", etc etc etc)

        So they will always give the worst case numbers for anything EV related.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Glock, as discussed at length under previous articles, you cannot reasonably compare market share of hybrids compared to EVs for several reasons:

        Except for the 3rd generation Prius and the reincarnation of the Insight, all hybrids have been overpriced and loaded with "standard" features that are optional on all other models for a given manufacturer.

        Hybrids are just ICE vehicles with better mileage - no plugs, no range issues, nothing "different" that requires a shift in behavior.

        The Leaf is a whole different ballgame - there's nothing like it on the market. There are range issues to consider, which limits the market for them, and on the flipside, they are largely independent of the oil industry and have obscenely low maintenance. In the mass-market segments of automobiles, there is no comparison.

        The natural assumption for any technology is 10% adoption takes an "x" number of years, then it takes another "x" number of years to get to 50%, then another "x" number of years to get to 90%, and it trails off from there, asymptotically approaching 100%.

        However, since we have no basis for what "x" might be, any projection is a flat-out guess. We'll just have to wait and see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Glock,
        Dude, read what I said, not what you inferred.

        This has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with their point of view. And it certainly has nothing to do with whether or not we're stuck with oil or how many EV's are on the road. I didn't mention that at all.

        I'm talking about whether or not they are slanting stories and cherry picking "facts". If there is a story about EV's out, a sight like ABG is likely to report and stress the positive side of the vehicle but still manages to mention the downside in most cases.
        The WSJ and Fox News will take the same story and emphasize the negative aspect of the EV and often will leave off totally the positive aspects.

        Those are simply facts based on reading the stories about EV's from those different sources.

        Are you going to sit here and tell us that Fox News or the WSJ would not put a more negative slant on a story about EVs than a site like ABG or even ABC/CBS/NBC news would? I just want to see how much you value your credibility vs your personal politics here. LOL

        As for your "ad hominem" ...wow, did we learn a new word today? Your mother must be so proud. How long did it take before you found a way to work it into a conversation? Did you save the posting and send it to all your friends? ROFLMAO.

        • 4 Years Ago
        By the way Glock, Keith Olbermann and the whole MSNBC crew are raving liberals. They are totally against big oil.

        Those are facts, just as Fox "News" is pro big oil.

        But it's funny that I don't ever have anyone attack me or my views when I make a statement about Olbermann and his fans. At least they seem to know they are liberal and can live with that fact.

        Why do you feel the need to attack someone for pointing out that the WSJ and Fox is pro-big oil and anti EV?

        Something to think about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So what did Nissan's Mark Perry actually say?.. what did he mean?.. did the reporter make up the quote?

        Now I ask the same question regarding the month old Times article.

        Will you really be able to buy a LEAF in some places for around $20k?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oil is the next big money scheme. Billionaires will be made out of whats going to happen with oil prices and its impact on different markets in the next few years. It should most definitely not be a shock to anyone that certain publications like the WSJ and Forbes continue to downplay the potential impact of EVs, to the benefit of the oil industry and speculators who are heavily invested in allowing the oil crisis to unfold at full impact. A high market share of EVs, or even the belief thats a probability, would be detrimental to these speculators.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The WSJ is well known for being Anti-EV and pro oil "

        We live in a world heavily dependent on oil and EV cars are not going to magically appear on the scene to cure everything overnight. We already have years of data showing hybrids also held a relatively low percentage of the market share in the 2000's so the forecasts for EV's penetration by the WSJ is not unrealistic.

        So don't blame WSJ and I suggest you look up the term "ad hominem" before attacking media sources YOU don't agree with.
        • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Bill Gates said of technology, we often overestimate what can change in 1 year and often underestimate what can happen in 10 years. Just look at computers... (which of course is his field, but I think there are tech parallels).

      At the convergence of technology and the rising cost of oil over the next decade, I find it hard to believe that EV's won't be a more significant part of our daily lives, if not by choice then by necessity.

      Experts at Deloitte? Not so much, I agree with the previous posters. Nobody's got a lock on the future, it's all just predictive equations and MBA's regurgitating babble. Sorry to knock the MBA's, but I've known far too many "smartest guys in the room" to know that most of us really don't know sh*t... (myself included).
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      They guessing! It's a wild ass guess! ! would bet 10-1 they're wrong and I don't have a clue what the real number will be in 2020. If cars get 100 mpg by 2020, that would greatly effect the number. If gas was $20.00/gallon, that would greatly effect the number. If you want to make a fool out of yourself just start predicting the future!
      Besides, some people are predicting the end of the world before then.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "So explain to me why energy companies would object to selling more electricity for EV cars and attempt to discredit them? In the end they are still making money from it."

      Because people will quickly learn that a few solar panels on the garage generate more than enough energy for the average commuter, and they can't put a meter on sunshine.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Yeah, you have to be a vampire to go with the solar option. Most people would most likely charge their EV overnight (my assumption).
        • 3 Months Ago
        @mythicalprogrammer
        "Yeah, you have to be a vampire to go with the solar option. Most people would most likely charge their EV overnight (my assumption)."

        Most people with grid-tied solar are trying to *offset* their electricity use, not live as off-the-grid survivalists. In the USA at least there's more electricity demand in the day thus more peaker plants running, so supplying solar electricity during the day and consuming at night to recharge is the greenest way to go ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_meter#Smart_meters and following sections).

        I hope home charging stations and/or the car charging smartphone apps let you delay recharge to the most environmentally friendly time. Returning home at 6 as the sun goes down but everyone's A/C is still running full-blast and immediately sucking the amps might not be best.
      IamXD
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL Deloitte consulting. I worked for them for a while after business school... Talk about adding ZERO value. Their people are borderline idiots - I read the first line of the article and when I reached Deloite I stopped.
        • 3 Months Ago
        @IamXD
        Wow!
        'I worked for them after business school... their people are borderline idiots!...'

        You left? ;-)
        IamXD
        • 3 Months Ago
        @IamXD
        LOL - good catch

        Stayed about six mind numbing months.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Report: http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/us_auto_GainingTraction051410.pdf

      Assumptions include:
      - gas prices remain $3 (or equivalent with inflation).
      - no new battery tech, price drop based solely on increasing production.
      - consumer demand < 50k units by 2015
      - consumers will only buy from their favorite brand, Toyota, Honda, and Ford will sell 44% of units so out of 50k for 2015 Nissan will only get 4% or 2k sales.

      Conclusion, (mine, not theirs) Nissan will be bankrupt building 500k cars and selling only 2k. And don't forget thats working up to 2k cars/year from 0 now. Doesn't quite fit the 8k orders already in hand.
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