TODAY’S STUDY: THE SUCCESSES OF PLUG-IN VEHICLES AND WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS DRIVING FOR
EV Everywhere Grand Challenge; Road to Success
January 2014 (U.S. Department of Energy)
EV Everywhere – Early Successes
The top four things you need to know:
-DOE research and development has reduced the cost of electric drive vehicle batteries to $325/kWhr, 50% lower than just four years ago.
-In the first year of the Workplace Charging Challenge, more than 50 U.S. employers joined the Challenge and pledged to provide charging access at more than 150 sites.
-DOE investments in EV Everywhere technology topped $225 million in the last 12 months, addressing key barriers to achieving the Grand Challenge.
-Consumer acceptance is rapidly growing-97,000 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in 2013, nearly doubling 2012 sales.
Electric Vehicles – the state of the industry
EV Everywhere has set a goal for the U.S. automotive industry to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that will be as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. Technology innovation towards this goal will come from the research and development (R&D) work of partners from the national laboratories, industry, and universities. Getting today’s PEVs onto the nation’s roads and into the hands of eager drivers will also require ongoing efforts of state and local governments in partnership with industry to deploy the charging infrastructure for these vehicles and educate the public about them.
The early market for PEVs continues to grow. PEVs reached 100,000 cumulative sales in May 2013, and are on track to pass the 200,000 sales milestone by spring 2014, about 40 months after the introduction of the production models of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. By comparison, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) took 60 months to achieve 200,000 total sales nearly a decade ago.
Why are PEVs selling so quickly? One major reason is that drivers have a wide variety of PEV options to choose from. Fifteen PEV models were available during the 2013 model year, and eight more plug-in cars and SUVs are being launched for the 2014 model year. Today a PEV driver can choose from a variety of PEVs, ranging from a plug-in hybrid mid-size sedan with a 15-mile all-electric range to a full-size liftback EV that can travel up to 265 miles on a single battery charge. Incentives and price reductions have also made PEVs more attractive to many consumers.
Drivers and critics alike continue to praise PEVs for their performance and value. Notable awards and mentions include:
-PEVs have topped the Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey for the last three years: the Chevrolet Volt in 2011 and 2012, and the Tesla Model S in 2013, with a score of 99 out of 100 total points.
-The Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own Awards ranked the 2013 Chevrolet Volt as #6 in its list of vehicles that have the lowest total cost of ownership for five years after the purchase of a new car. Only compact and subcompact cars cost less over this period.
-The Tesla Model S received numerous accolades during 2013, including the World Green Car of the Year, and Car of the Year by both Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine.
-The 2014 Honda Accord, which includes a plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) model, won the 2014 Green Car of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
PEVs have also begun to thrive in certain niches that align with their strengths, such as carsharing and other fleets. Carsharing organizations offering urban dwellers short-term rentals of vehicles parked in their neighborhoods are located in many cities across the U.S. The vehicles in the carsharing fleets generally do not travel far, and many organizations have explicit environmental goals of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Currently, car2go in San Diego, California, has a fleet of all-electric vehicles, and City Carshare, a not-for-profit carsharing organization in San Francisco, California, has put together an extensive fleet which is more than 50% PEVs and HEVs.
The national car-sharing company Zipcar has also piloted PEVs in fleets in some of its larger urban locations, such as Chicago, Illinois. Taxi fleets in New York City and Portland, Oregon, have been running pilot programs for PEVs to explore their feasibility for use during the typical 12-hour shifts.
EV Everywhere consists of three main elements: 1) a technology push of research and development to reduce the cost of PEVS, 2) charging infrastructure development to enable the convenience of fueling PEVs, and 3) activities to help consumer acceptance of PEVs and create a market pull.
Progress in Technology
EV Everywhere’s technology push focuses on cost reductions and performance improvements in the platform technology areas of batteries, electric drive systems including power electronics and electric motors, lightweight materials, efficient climate control, and PEV charging. During 2013, research and development programs in each of these areas demonstrated progress towards the EV Everywhere goals.
EV Everywhere battery goals for 2022: $125/kWh cost, 400 Wh/liter energy density, 250 Wh/kg specific energy, and 2000 W/kg specific power
DOE R&D has reduced the cost of PEV batteries by approximately 50% over the last four years. The modeled cost of PHEV batteries under development has been lowered from over $625/kWh in 2010, to the current cost of $325/kWh of useable energy. Battery developers working with the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) have made significant advances in cost reduction using advanced cathodes, processing improvements, lower-cost cell designs, and pack optimization. Concurrently, the size and weight of PEV batteries have also been reduced by over 60%. Battery energy density has increased from 60 Wh/liter in 2008, to 150 Wh/liter in 2013.
Despite the progress achieved to date, EV Everywhere still has challenging battery goals to accomplish (i.e., $125/kWh, 400 Wh/liter, 250 Wh/kg, and 2000 W/kg in 2022)…
Electric Drive Systems
EV Everywhere electric drive system goals for 2022: $8/kW cost, 1.4 kW/kg specific power, 4.0 kW/L power density, and 94% system efficiency, meaning a 55-kW system cost of $440
In 2013, Delphi Automotive Systems and DOE worked on a high-temperature inverter research and development project that achieved the 2015 DOE $5/kW cost target and exceeded 2015 component targets for specific power and power density…
EV Everywhere materials lightweighting goals for 2022: overall weight reduction goal of almost 30%, which comprises a 35% reduction of the body structure weight, 25% reduction of the chassis and suspension weight, and 5% reduction of the interior weight
In 2013, DOE supported the Automotive Composites Consortium underbody project, which designed, built, analyzed, and tested an automotive lightweight composite underbody capable of carrying the crash loads of a vehicle, while saving about 13 kg mass compared to the optimized high strength steel underbody in the donor vehicle…
Efficient Climate Control Technologies
Climate control systems can have a significant impact on PEV range. Recently, testing completed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrated that zonal climate control can reduce air conditioning needs and improve vehicle range while maintaining driver comfort…
In addition to technology improvements and cost reductions on the PEV itself, DOE is also accelerating the development and deployment of cost-effective, consumer-friendly PEV charging options.
The emerging PEV charging technology of wireless power transfer (WPT) involves transferring power from the electric grid to a PEV’s battery without the use of wires, cords, or plugs. WPT has the potential to greatly increase the convenience of PEV charging so that drivers more readily take advantage of every available opportunity to charge their vehicle…
Creating Market Pull – Workplace Charging Challenge
In support of EV Everywhere, DOE launched the Workplace Charging Challenge in January 2013. This new workplace-focused initiative calls upon U.S. employers in all sectors of the economy to provide PEV charging access at worksites across the country…
A variety of DOE organizations and programs within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy collaborate to carry out the R&D and deployment activities in support of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. These partnerships help to remove technology and institutional barriers, enabling a faster transition of PEVs into the Marketplace…Office of Science… ARPA-E… EERE Vehicle Technologies Office