Just have a think, ICE cars EVs and power generation

The crux?

Yeah, read it. But also keep in mind, The cheapest Tesla is the model Y, which is around 48k USD. That is 900k, before any luxury taxes, and before shipping. A BYD dolphin is 31k USD. Competing will be hard.

Pretty sure there will be a bunch of them grabbed off the floor if they were sold here. :slight_smile:

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True, but would it be enough to actually go to the effort of establishing the brand here? Have dealerships or at least an agreement with someone to provide a parts supply? Options for accident repair? That is the question.

That can be said for every single EV coming into SA. :slight_smile:

I disagree. BMW, VW and GWM have existing structures that they can benefit from. BMW and VW manufacture locally, so can offset import credits.

Without those benefits, given the relative “luxury” bracket Tesla competes in, does it make sense to establish the brand here?

You could ask the same of BYD of course. They also have nothing at the moment.

think @plonkster 's eMW might start feeling a bit insecure…


January 2025. They really aren’t in a hurry, are they? And 43k USD before taxes. It will probably compete in price with the Volvo XC40 recharge.

Edit: I may have overestimated the price. The Volvo is a 55k USD car. And Toyota has the benefit of manufacturing here, so scores some export credits. 12kUSD is what, about 200k ZAR? So the XC40 recharge is around 1.2 million, and this will likely come in just shy of a million.

Herewith a heads-up on EV sales world wide by The Economist:
Electric-vehicle sales have reached an inflection point. EVs took off at whirlwind speed thanks to early adopters and generous government handouts, but how quickly will they spread to the mass market? Progress is slow. An affordability squeeze, high electricity prices and lingering concerns about charging infrastructure are souring the mood. But the biggest problem is price. After factoring in limited supply and high manufacturing costs associated with the lithium-ion batteries used in EVs, the upfront cost of a battery-powered car is up to 40% higher than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) car. With the exception of China, where EVs have reached price parity with ICE cars, most consumers are still reluctant to make the switch.

Although global sales of EVs are still rising, it’s the slowing pace of growth in Western markets that’s causing apprehension. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the British government’s fiscal watchdog, now expects EVs to account for 38% of new car sales in 2027, instead of its previous forecast of 67%. EV sales are also stagnating in America, where the number of EVs hitting the streets increased by 1.3% in the final quarter of 2023, a markedly slower rate than the 15% between April and June

The impact of the slowdown has been swift. Shares in Tesla, a pioneer in the EV market, have plunged by more than a quarter this year. Hertz, a car-rental company, announced it would sell about 20,000 EVs—roughly a third of its global EV fleet—because of weaker demand. Meanwhile, last month Vertu Motors, a British car dealer, warned that the number of once-hot EVs sitting in showrooms had overtaken demand from drivers.

Carmakers are shifting gear. Many are reconsidering how quickly motorists might trade in their petrol and diesel cars for EVs. They have pumped multibillion-dollar investments into building extra factories and developing new models, and the costs of misjudging EV demand are high. With a few notable exceptions, carmakers are adjusting short-term production targets or delaying new EV models. GM has ditched plans to deliver 400,000 EVs by mid-2024; Ford is postponing about $12bn in investment in EV manufacturing; Volkswagen is delaying a decision on a fourth battery factory.

In Britain, carmakers are calling for tax breaks. Unlike other countries, Britain has phased out handouts for individual EV buyers, including a £5,000 ($6,330) grant that was whittled down and later axed in 2022. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a trade group, argues that the industry needs more purchase incentives to boost EV uptake. It estimates that slashing VAT for three years would put 270,000 more EVs on the road.

Price wars are more probable than handouts. In Britain, the average discount on new EVs reached 10.6% at the end of 2023, up from 4.8% at the start of the year, according to Auto Trader, an online car dealer, and above the 7.3% discount on a regular car. The second-hand EV market offered even more bargains. On average the retail price of three- to five-year-old EVs fell by an average of 38% in December. An influx of Chinese brands will mean even cheaper EVs.

Falling costs should lure more motorists. Regulation will go further. Britain is one of several countries phasing out CO2-emitting cars, although slower than it first intended. The government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, instead of 2030. Britain has also set targets for zero-emission sales. New laws requiring 22% of carmakers’ sales to be electric came into force this year; that target is set to reach 100% by 2035. By then, EVs are expected to make up nearly half of global car sales globally, according to projections by Goldman Sachs. EVs are moving in the right direction but there is still a long road ahead.

Thanks for reading this edition of the Climate Issue.

This explains how it came to be that I saw a charging station in the teeming metropolis of Petrus Steyn (it was not notable for the length of the queue of cars needing a recharge). Somebody came along, spoke to the garage owners, and offered them a deal along these lines. Assuming the space is there, it is a very low risk proposition to the owners.

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Mr Bean is apparently being blamed for a slow-down in UK EV sales…

many news outlets latched onto a quote in which Atkinson described EVs as “soulless”, it was actually part of a longer sentence that read “Electric vehicles may be a bit soulless, but they’re wonderful mechanisms: fast, quiet and, until recently, very cheap to run”.

Naaaah… he kinda deserves that. He wrote this piece for the Guardian in June last year, in which he repeated just about every anti-EV statement for truth, resulting in a rebuttal in the same publication about a week later.

Not that “Geoff buys cars” is a particularly high profile YouTuber (112k subscribers though?), but at the time I remember the algorithm pushing his videos fairly hard, and definitely made a big thing about this. I’m sure there were far more brush fires similar to this that was started by Mr. Atkinson’s article.

This from my man in CA:
Its been a bad year for EV’s. The freezing temps means you can’t charge till the battery warms up.
If its not plugged in it can take hours if you can get near a charger.
China sold the most.

Saw this today: Tesla’s biggest rival launching R550,000 electric car in South Africa (mybroadband.co.za)

R550k is priced a lot better than previous offerings…

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Saw that one too. My gut feeling is that if they miss the estimate by the same amount as the Ora Cat did (aiming for 600k, landing at 680k), this one will land around 620k. Good progress…

Size wise the Dolphin is about on par with an Urban Cruiser, which costs around 360k to 380k new. So even at 550k it’s still a bit of an extra premium. But I also think that comparing it to an Urban Cruiser aka Suzuki Brezza is a little unfair, comfort and spec wise it probably shoots a bit higher. In terms of space the Dolphin is smaller than the Corolla Cross, but in terms of features and performance it is probably quite close. A Corolla Cross, in top spec XR trim and hybrid drive train, is at least 550k. So again… good progress.

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I don’t really want to start a new thread, but I would like feedback from anyone on the topic of EVs with hydrogen fuel cells rather than batteries. It seems that there is feverish yet furtive activity going on, without much public awareness. I read that a small fleet of BMWs had recently been imported as a pilot project. Also, the fact that one can re-fuel the vehicle in a few minutes from a sort of hosepipe like an ICE car is in my opinion a major advantage. Any updates on this technology would be great to hear.

You need electrical energy to make hydrogen. We can’t even keep the lights on! :frowning:

I saw the Hydrogen iX5 and it is quite an exciting car!

I think what is happening here is that automakers understand they can’t have all their eggs in one basket, so research into alternatives continue. At the same time, the jubilant response I saw on social media, with some outlets outright proclaiming that “BMW has solved the problem of hydrogen and is dropping EVs!” is also so far from the truth that it makes looks a certain red beret wearing party leader look honest.

(As if hydrogen has only one problem! As if BEVs have only one problem? :slight_smile: ).

Anyway, let me start at the top.

What we have to remember, is that this entire exercise is about getting away from fossil fuels. For the most part, that means we’re electrifying everything.

With this in mind, the only way to get hydrogen into the picture, is so-called green hydrogen, which uses electricity to make hydrogen out of water, using electrolysis. This is a process that is presently about 72% efficient.

There are other ways of doing it, the cheapest one being to split it out of another hydrocarbon, such as natural gas, through a process called hot steam reforming. When you do this, you end up with a bunch of CO2, and that means the hydrogen is not clean and considered “grey hydrogen”. You can employ carbon capturing technology, but that isn’t 100% efficient either, so it is only slightly cleaner. That is called “blue hydrogen”. So with the aforementioned commitment to renewables, that means green hydrogen is the only one that will do.

Once you have your clean hydrogen, you then need to turn that into motion somehow. You can burn it in an internal combustion engine, but that is inefficient, and makes Nox.

You can also react that hydrogen with CO2 from the atmosphere, which makes a synthetic fuel (eFuel), and is carbon neutral, but that is even LESS efficient than just burning the hydrogen directly.

Or you can, as you mentioned, use a fuel cell. This turns the hydrogen back into electricity, at an efficiency that is somewhere between 40% and 60% efficient. You then use that electricity to drive an electric drive train. In other words, the car is still electric. All you did was replace the battery with a fuel cell. Well, part of it…

Fuel cells have another issue. They are not particularly power dense. So for the vehicle to have some semblance of acceleration and performance, the car needs a battery. A much smaller battery, but something a bit like a hybrid petrol car already has. The fuel cell then essentially charges the battery, and your car is (again) essentially electric.

The round trip efficiency is about half of 72%, or 36%… best case, because I ignored a heap of other costs in the middle such as compressing the gas, transporting it, etc etc.

BUT… I still think a case can be made for hydrogen, for some applications. It is one of just two ways the IPCC listed which will get us to net-zero by 2050. An inefficient but clean process is preferable over dirty efficient ones. If we have enough renewable generation (like 3 to 4 times more, to make up for the inefficiency) it might not matter. And, over time it may be cleaner to do that than to mine the materials we need for batteries.

There is a company in Pretoria, Hydrox holdings, who reportedly patented a way to make hydrogen generation up to 95% efficient. They do this by using a membraneless method. This is an incredibly exciting development, especially if they can get it up to scale.

Right now Hydrogen costs about R500/kg. Hydrox says they can get it down to R120/kg with present tech, and even more with the new tech. That might make hydrogen an option for some applications.

In the end – I realise I am rambling a bit – we need to keep the end goal in mind. The end goal is moving away from fossil fuels. Hydrogen is one of the ways, and therefore I think we should support it. And the ICE-boys who thinks hydrogen will save their cars… will sadly have to realise that if hydrogen wins, then oil goes the way of the dinosaur anyway, and it is all downhill for them anyway.

So, getting back to BMW. What they did was take the tanks and the fuel cell from a Toyota Mirai, installed that into a previous gen X5 body, with the electric drive train of their own iX5, and then they put a high performance battery in there (so that they could tout this as the fastest hydrogen fuel cell car!), and then they took 5 of those cars to the New York Climate week. It’s a bit of a publicity stunt in my opinion, but it does show what is possible, and I think that is cool.

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