Renewable Energy – No Turning Back Now (June 16, 2016)

by FI Fighter on June 16, 2016

in Clean Energy, Links, Lithium

Just a small update today in the renewable energy world. Last night, I caught hold of this headline.

Germany Zero Emissions

Germany EV

From Digital Trends.

Hammer, dropped. Dismayed that CO2 emissions from motor transport have not dropped in the country since 1990, Germany is taking what some will consider an extreme measure. Others will think it’s about time. As of 2030, all new cars registered in Germany must be emissions free, according to The Globe and Mail. Just to be sure that’s clear, zero emissions will be the rule for all new cars allowed on German roads starting in 2030.

Cutting transportation emissions is a key factor in achieving Germany’s pledge to reduce CO2 levels by 80 to 95 percent by 2050. Because cars last a long time, 20 years on average in Germany, unless more new cars cut emissions soon, catching up will take too long. Basically, the message is that gasoline- and diesel-powered cars will not be sold in Germany in the future, and eventually those emissions-spewing machines will stop adding to the CO2 levels.

Mercedes-Benz EV Progress

And from Mercedes-Benz, most recently.

310 miles range.

5 minutes to recharge.

Say, what!?!

Mercedes EV New

From News.com.au.

Battery electric cars will able to run for 500 kilometres between five-minute recharges — and outperform any petrol-powered car on the road — in less than five years.

 

Mercedes has developed a skateboard-style mechanical platform wrapped around a 400-kilogram lithium-ion battery pack, with electric motors at both ends, all-wheel drive, inductive charging and a huge suite of Apps and technologies that will eventually allow the car to drive itself.

We are going to change the world,” says Jurgen Schenk, the director of E-Drive System Integration at Daimler.

“It’s the beginning of a new vehicle architecture. We think it will be a transformation.

 

“The first car will be on sale this decade. It will be followed by a wide range of vehicles, more and more.”

Talking specifics on the production version of the future car, he confirms it will be built with right-hand drive and will likely be sold in Australia. It will also be engineered so it can be built in any of Benz’s existing factories, although battery production needs to be ramped up to satisfy demand. It is thought the range would start from around $70,000.

But Schenk is not predicting the end of internal-combustion engines and also says the world needs more plug-in hybrid vehicles — a breed that Benz is pushing strongly for the near future — on the road to fully-electric motoring.

 

“The internal combustion engines are earning the money we need for the transformation.”

“The planet will turn into an electric planet. We don’t know how fast the transformation is coming.”

 

From The Motley Fool.

What we know about the new electric Mercedes

It’s designed specifically for battery-electric propulsion: Officially, the car that will be shown in Paris will be a concept — meaning that there may be features or aspects of its styling that won’t make it to production. But the architecture of the show car won’t be fanciful; it will be a genuine prototype. Like Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicles, it will be designed from the start for battery-electric propulsion, not modified from a gasoline-powered model.

Its range will be competitive with Tesla’s Model S and Model X: Daimler promises that the new Mercedes electrics will have ranges of “at least” 500 kilometers (311 miles) as tested by the European Union. As U.S. tests are somewhat stricter, that probably translates into an EPA-rated range of 260 to 270 miles or thereabouts — right in line with Teslas equipped with the 90 kilowatt-hour battery. 

There are (at least) four all-electric Mercedes planned: The new architecture is expected to form the basis of four new Mercedes models: Two sedans (midsize and large), and two SUVs (also midsize and large). The large SUV is said to be larger than any SUV in Mercedes’ current lineup.

The show car will probably be a sedan: The midsize sedan is expected to be the first of the four Mercedes-Benz electrics to come to market (possibly in 2018). The show car will probably be a close-to-final version of that sedan. There have been hints that its styling will follow that of the concept car pictured above: Distinctive and different from the company’s gas- and diesel-powered models, but still immediately identifiable as a Mercedes-Benz.

It will use battery packs from a Daimler subsidiary: Daimler set up its own battery company, called Deutsche Accumotive, in 2009. Deutsche Accumotive already has one battery-pack factory up and running in the German city of Kamenz, with another set to begin construction this fall. Like Tesla’s Gigafactory, the Deutsche Accumotive facility also makes batteries for stationary storage units for residential and industrial use. 

But: Deutsche Accumotive builds battery packs and related control systems. It doesn’t make the individual lithium-ion battery cells that go into them. Where will Daimler get its battery cells, and how many will it be able to get? That’s not currently clear. 

It won’t use proprietary fast-charging technology: Daimler said that all Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles from 2018 on will use direct current (DC) charging based on the existing Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, common in Europe. “Depending on the vehicle and battery system, this enables a charging capacity of up to 150 kW at fast charging stations,” Daimler said in a statement.

For comparison, Tesla’s Superchargers currently deliver “up to 120 kW,” according to the company’s website, though it’s expected that Tesla will push that number higher over time.

From Oncars.

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The Breakthrough in Renewable Energy Documentary

Lastly, here’s a great documentary that I think any clean energy enthusiast should watch… And for the all skeptics out there, it’s still probably worth your time to tune in.

Solar is getting cheap… dirt cheap…

“Well, it’s their plan. The Chinese Communist Party has a 100 year plan. They set a plan where they would drive their economic growth with low cost, coal-fired power. To get wealthy. And then they would use their wealth to clean it up, with clean energy. And so, whereas the Chinese seemed like they were terrible people, they were actually implementing a plan knowingly, that unfortunately, they would be damaging the environment. But they backed that they would make such wealth they could then clean it up.” 

 

If it’s good enough for China, the 800 lb global gorilla?

 

It’s plenty good enough for me…

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roadmap2RetireNo Gravatar June 16, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Thats huge news! Germany going for a mandate like this will be a huge catalyst for the car manufacturers to get their act together.

Also noticed this today: VW is also going full steam ahead on the EVs.
http://fortune.com/2016/06/16/volkswagen-2025-electric-future/

Its about time this planet turns electric!

R2R

Reply

2 FI FighterNo Gravatar June 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

R2R,

Yup, I’m really excited for the future as well. It’s gonna be a monumental shift in the way we live.

And there’s gonna be lots of opportunities for investors to make a lot of coin. 🙂

Take care!

Reply

3 JC @ Passive-Income-PursuitNo Gravatar June 17, 2016 at 2:50 pm

That’s big news for the renewable space and should really spur on the change. This is a trend I’ve wanted to get behind but I’ve never been able to figure out the best investment route. What’s your favorite? The car makers or parts suppliers specifically the batteries? Do most of these companies do the batteries in house or are they outsourced to third parties? Of course the basic materials such as lithium or whatever else goes into the battery making sounds like a good area too.

Reply

4 FI FighterNo Gravatar June 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm

JC,

Yes, the renewables space is picking up some serious steam and I’m having trouble keeping up with all the new activity that’s popping up daily.

In regards to playing the sector, that’s a very straightforward proposition for me. I’m simply going to invest in lithium, graphite, and perhaps cobalt mining stocks. Plain and simple, I don’t see a better way to play this sector than with the miners who provide leverage to products that will likely keep on increasing in price.

Lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide are both trading for 2x to 3x multiples of where they were last year. Since lithium only accounts for 2-5% of the costs of a given lithium-ion battery, such drastic rises in the price of carbonate/hydroxide and even spodumene concentrate have almost little to no bearing on the overall cost of the battery.

I don’t like battery manufacturers b/c those businesses have very low profit margins; the only way the EV will take off is if it becomes more affordable (i.e. lower battery prices).

Rather, I prefer the miners which are high margin businesses who are increasing their NPVs, IRRS, etc. many fold with the rise in the underlying commodity prices. Also importantly, I like to target companies that have signed binding offtake agreements with Chinese converter companies to lock in these sales contracts (e.g. Galaxy Resources, Altura Mining, etc).

With clean energy, I want to invest primarily in what the Chinese need as opposed to what they already have and can source themselves internally… But I do have some potential Tesla plays in motion as well… hopefully.

Cheers!

Reply

5 FabSavingsNo Gravatar June 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Thanks for this post on renewable energy. This is very exciting stuff.
Watching the documentary you shared above and another documentary called “Renewable Energy – NEW+ Science Documentary” really motivates me to learn more about renewable energy, batteries, electrical cars etc…

Since end of last year, I have added a few small dollars into CAFD, BEP and NEE. But I am really keen on investing more in the domain. Lots to learn…

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