NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: Big Money Moves To Cars With Plugs

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YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Does Climate Change Make Nuclear A Good Idea?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Who In The World Is Winning With Solar?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Wind Powers Scotland Four Straight Days
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Will China Bust Open The Global EV Market?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, January 12:

  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Mandates, Part 1 - Cleaner Air and Water
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Mandates, Part 2 - More Jobs
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Mandates, Part 3 - Better Health, Less Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Mandates, Part 4 - The Great Deal
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rates That Will Grow Energy Efficiency
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Big Utilities Like Solar’s Future
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How To Grow The U.S. Electron Superhighway
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The State OF The U.S. Energy Transition, Part 1
  • QUICK NEWS, January 10: Business Shows The Right Climate Path To Trump; New Energy Dominated 2016 U.S. Power Build; Tech Giants Leading In New Energy
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Should States Or The Feds Regulate Electricity Delivery?
  • QUICK NEWS, January 9: The Whole Climate Story In One Image; The Solar Deal Keeps Getting Better; U.S. Wind To Double By 2023
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: What The Bible Actually Says About Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: Google Shows The Way On New Energy
  • Weekend Video: The Secret To New Energy Success
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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

    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, January 16, 2017:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The State OF The U.S. Energy Transition, Part 2
  • QUICK NEWS, January 16: What Would Dr. King Do About Climate Change?; U.S. To Export Natural Gas; Where Corporates Are Boosting New Energy

    Monday, December 19, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: Big Money Moves To Cars With Plugs

    Investors Get Ready for the Coming Electric Car Revolution After many false starts, a new era for the automobile is looming into view

    Stephen Wilmot, December 13, 2016 (Wall Street Journal)

    The car of the future will be electric, connected and, eventually, self-driving. But where does that leave the car industry of the future? In a series of articles this month, Heard on the Street takes a look at how investors should approach the biggest technological disruption the car industry has faced in decades.

    Battery-powered electric cars outsold gasoline ones at the dawn of the automotive age. In a decade or so they may well do so again. Investors need to watch out they don’t get caught on the wrong side of history.

    Precisely when electric cars leave their current luxury or green-tech niches and—after many false starts—enter the mainstream depends above all on relative cost. On that front, electric vehicles have momentum.

    The plummeting cost of batteries is key. The growth of mobile computing has driven massive investment in the area, improving the range of electric cars while reducing their cost. Mercedes-maker Daimler thinks the production cost of engine and battery technology might reach parity in 2025. But the tipping point for consumers, who also factor in subsidies and running costs, will be earlier.

    Tightening environmental standards are making compliant internal combustion engines ever more expensive, particularly in Europe. Aggressive electric vehicle subsidies in China—the world’s largest car market by unit sales—have created built-in demand. Low gas prices—especially in the U.S.--are no longer electrification kryptonite, though a deregulating Trump administration could extend the life of traditional cars.

    The industry now has a model to follow, too: Silicon Valley disrupter Tesla has shown that there is consumer demand for well-designed electric cars, spurring nearly all the industry’s incumbents, from Detroit to Germany and Japan, to invest heavily.

    General Motors is now releasing its all-electric Chevrolet Bolt at an after-tax price of roughly $30,000. That is less than the average new-car sale price in America, though high for a compact. Tesla’s much-hyped Model 3 is expected late next year at a slightly lower price.

    Retaining relevance—and profits—in the electric era will be a challenge for traditional car makers. Accumulated expertise in engine technology has for decades protected stable market positions. Electric motors are simpler and cheaper to produce. As engine expertise fades into irrelevance, keeping new competitors at bay—notably from East Asia, where most consumer electronics are now made and the battery makers are based—will become harder.

    That won’t stop them trying. Germany’s big-three manufacturers—VW, Daimler and BMW—have all unveiled new electric-vehicle strategies this year. Even Toyota, the world’s largest car maker by unit volume, signaled last month it would reverse its longstanding strategy of favoring hydrogen fuel-cell technology over batteries. The next few years will witness a flurry of launches to rival the Bolt and Model 3.

    Branding will have to adapt as well as production. One example: BMW has always made much of its distinctive kidney-shaped grills, which electrification makes obsolete. The old leaders will have to find new ways to blend brand, design and technology.

    For investors, risks and opportunities look immense. Shares in nearly all car makers, bar Tesla, are currently very cheap, both relative to their trading history and the wider market. There are short-term worries about toppy car sales as well as longer-term concerns about the cost of retooling assembly lines for electric technology and the risk of disruption. Yet in time the companies that survive the rapids of industrial change could be seen—and valued—more like tech companies.

    The future of the car will be electric. The rewards for those who back the winners will be huge.

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