2017 Marks The Beginning Of The Gas To Electric Transition

OCT 25 2017 BY EVANNEX 39

China’s taking the lead in plug-in vehicle production may spur the rest of the world to act more quickly (BYD Song PHEV pictured)


Mark your calendars. This year could start the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine. Heck, The Economist gave the internal combustion engine an obituary this year in a recent cover story. And, according to Peter Holley at the Washington Post, “when future auto historians look back, they may pinpoint 2017 as the year electric vehicles went from a promising progressive fad to an industry-wide inevitability.”

Holley points out a number of signposts surfacing this year that pose a threat to the diesel and gas-powered automobile. The internal combustion engine (ICE) may be on … ummm, thin ice. So, as we look at the events unfolding this year, what indicators are contributing to this tectonic shift in the auto sector?

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman.


A view of the all-glass roof on the Tesla Model 3 (Instagram: mchoffa)

1. Tesla Model 3 ushers in the age of electric vehicles

Of course at the top of our list is the “the debut of Tesla’s Model 3” this year. Holley writes, “The company’s first mass-market vehicle has ushered in an era of excitement about EVs because of the car’s slick design and starting price of around $35,000.” But don’t let that lower price point fool you, Tesla is poised to achieve healthy margins for the Model 3 too.

2. Gas stations are installing electric vehicle chargers

Gas stations have been taking some unlikely cues from Tesla. And, “some experts believe electric cars have sounded the death knell of the American gas station.” John Abbott, Shell Oil’s business director admits, “We’re looking at having battery charging facilities.”  Last week, Shell signed an agreement to buy the electric vehicle charging company, NewMotion, which, “operates more than 30,000 private electric charge points for homes and businesses in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the U.K.”

3. Auto mechanics have less work to do

Electric cars require far less maintenance than gas-powered cars.

“One of the primary reasons that auto owners visit a mechanic is for an oil change, which raises a question: What happens when vehicles no longer rely on oil? It’s not that electric vehicles won’t require maintenance (they still have brakes, tires and windshield wipers, after all), but their engines are far simpler, experts say.” Tony Seba, a clean energy expert, notes that electric vehicles, “have 20 moving parts, as opposed to 2,000 in the internal combustion engine… [and] are far cheaper to maintain.”


Thousands of parts make up the cumbersome, complicated internal combustion engine gas-powered car (Image: Daum Blog)

4. China is going electric

China has proved a massive market opportunity for OEMs. China’s also the world leader in electric vehicle sales by a wide margin. It’s reported that, “in addition to setting aggressive production quotas for EVs, China plans to scrap internal combustion engines entirely as soon as 2030. By taking a lead role in the shift to plug-ins, the world’s largest auto market is forcing the rest of the international community to follow in its footsteps.” And, other countries are following China’s lead.

Above: China takes the lead in electric vehicles (Youtube: Wall Street Journal)

5. Big Auto announces electrifying plans

Jessica Caldwell, analyst at Edmunds admits, “You really do feel like this electrification thing is suddenly very real… There’s a momentum we haven’t really seen before. It’s coming from other countries around the world and from big automakers, and that’s forcing everyone else to comply.”

Although, to be fair, it’s conceivable some of Big Auto’s EV announcements could just be feel-good window dressing for their brands. After all, legacy automakers are using some crafty wordplay hyping electrified cars instead of all-electric cars.


Announcements from automakers (and countries) committing themselves to an electric vehicle future (Image: Teslarati)

6. Environmental impact of fossil fuel powered cars

With tales of cartels and collusion surrounding Germany’s dirty diesel programs, public perception is starting to shift. And the research is conclusive, electric vehicles are cleaner.

Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative explains, “Depending on how electricity is produced in your region, plug-ins are from 30 percent to 80 percent lower in greenhouse gas emissions.”

She notes if companies like GM step up with plans to launch EV fleets, reductions in carbon emissions and improvements in air quality could be “hugely beneficial.”


Source: Washington Post

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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39 Comments on "2017 Marks The Beginning Of The Gas To Electric Transition"

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Please fix title: “2017 Marks The Beginning Of The Electric To Gas Transition”. It’s backwards.

I thought it was April Fools Day for a minute.

Let’s you know what they really think 🙂

Is it wrong I laughed?

…anywhoo, fixed. Unless the site is taking things in a completely other direction.

/stay tuned

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I’m so Bass Ackwards I didn’t notice….

Headline may be correct. I was hopeful about EV before 2017, but with all the damn waiting at DCFC for free charging Bolts, 2017 marked Electric to gas transition.

Before 2017, I thought long range EV like Bolt would have fewer DCFC use, but when anyone can provide free charging (in case of Bolt, ride sharing company), future looks grim for EV.

While we all agree with the spirit of this and other articles on this site, it would be nice if these articles were as objective as possible.
Let’s see the parts picture for an electric car, and make sure the battery cells are separate since the ICE diagram shows valves, rockers etc as separate items. What’s the resultant part count comparison?

I’ll predict ICE sales = BEV sales in 2030 (leave PHEVs and EREVs out as they have both sets of parts) and sales of vehicles with an ICE irrelevant (say <5%) not in my lifetime (2050+)

Parts shown in ICE are mostly mechanical moving parts.

These are prone to failure.

I’d assumed that everyone on this site knew that an ICE is much more mechanically complex and prone to failure than an EV. I guess that’s not 100% true. :-/

Core ICE failures have an extremely low failure rate.

Exhaust, fuel delivery and electrical are a different story but the mechanical components are not the problem.

Avoiding automatic transmissions certainly has appeal since they do fail too much and are very expensive to replace/repair.

Heat death is very common.
Compression slop and loss is also common.
Bad timing is common.

If your heat engine’s cooling fails, the next stop is likely the junk yard. Too much blow by on your rings == poor milage and you’re a gross polluter.

I’m sure none of this is news to anyone.

Is your point that ICE powered vehicles are insanely robust given their mechanical complexity? If so, I wholeheartedly agree!

The fact that these Rube Goldberg contraptions can drive 20k miles let alone 200k before they are not economical to fix is practically a minor miracle.

EVs are playing this game on super easy mode.

“…but the mechanical components are not the problem.”

Let’s see:

Transmission repair/replacement…
Valve job…
Ring job…
Blown head gasket replacement…
Fan belt replacement…
Timing chain adjustment…
Oil pump replacement…
Fuel pump replacement…

These are things no BEV will ever need.

Yes, the moving mechanical parts in a gasmobile certainly ARE a major problem.

And yet, ICE failures are MUCH MUCH MUCH higher and expensive than are electric items.

Yes, objectivity would be very nice. Doing more than just reprinting the Tesla stock pumping shill, EVANNEX would really be a welcome change. Oh surprise, surprise, the #1 thing that supposedly made the YUGE shift to EVs in 2017 is the Tesla Model 3!! (complete with photo just incase anyone here forgot what it looked like) Who would have seen that coming from these guys??! Where is this revolutionary car that changed the automotive world forever in 2017??! I look around the streets here in Northern California no less and I see zero Model 3s. I have yet to come across one even though there are reportedly a few dozen around. The Model 3 has yet to do change Jack or squat. In all practicality, it’s still a prototype. Then I see no mention of the Chevy Bolt, The $35,000, 200 mile + range BEV that ACTUALLY DID COME OUT THIS YEAR! And yes, if you go to a competitive Chevy dealer and opt to buy the basic LT version of the Bolt, I guarantee you can get it for $35,000 and unlike Tesla, you’ll have choice of colors! I swear, these op-ed articles might as well be written by… Read more »

#3. Can we please have a picture of a disassembled EV car for comparison?

And yes, it would be nice if people who use writing as a tool for their professional job, would actually proofread what they write. Is it that hard?

They were supposed to hire a proofreader. I don’t know what happened.

This sort of logic error is very hard for a proof reader to spot. There’s nothing wrong with the grammar and it makes sense. Of course, the error should never have been made in the first place.

It appears to be the headline writer’s here fault. The Evannex story doesn’t have the error.

Truthfully, it is my fault. I will fall on the sword.

Generally I check over all the headlines and content as a “last line” of defence, but I have been as ‘sick as a dog’ the past 48 hours or so…and have only been doing the bare minimum necessary before returning to my sofa and/or bed.

…so we are a man down

F150 – you may be right — but once China made their announcement of no more ICE in 2030 — the ultimate turning point was reached.

Traditional car companies will see the costs of maintaining ICE production to be cost prohibitive in less than 10 years – and the cost of an ICE will go way higher than a comparable BEV…..then game over. Same will happen to fuel costs — as demand drops – the huge economies of scale begin to disappear and the cost of gas will actually go way up (and governments will tax the cr@p out of it anyway to make people move even faster)

Again – you may be 100% correct and this may take decades…..but as has been seen recent history with smartphones, flat screen TVs, LED lighting and many other disruptive technologies — once that pivot happens, the older technology will die quickly.

Actually, car makers will likely see demand for ICE plummet, esp luxury cars, over the next 2 years.
Nobody wants to be buy a new car, that costs say 50K and within 2 years have it be worth less than 10K.
And even those that would normally buy a 20K car, will instead choose to buy a used luxury ICE vehicle until EVs drop in price.

So this article means that we will have to abandon our electric cars, to end up driving gas-guzzling vehicles?

..because a transition electric to gas, means exactly this.

I guess that you stayed up late (too late) or woke up early (too early) to watch live the Tokyo Motor Show… You need more rest.

comment image

I see tires, struts, doors, seats… I hope my electric car has some of these.

Maybe EVANNEX was visited by the three ghosts, of fuel, air and spark.

I’ve been in the EV industry for 18 years. I am actually amazed at how far it has come in such a short time period (Thanks Elon!).

IMHO, EVs have progressed at an amazing rate. Progress had been static for decades with flooded lead making up 50% of vehicle weight to go an optimistic 50 miles on a charge with a clik-clack DC drive.

If you had told me back then that in less than 20 years a large premium BEV 4-door sedan would go 0-60 in less than 3 seconds and get 300+ MPC AND be in high demand I wouldn’t have believed you.

That prototype EV known as the Impact really did have an impact, didn’t it? 🙂

A bit simplistic to say that more parts means less reliability. The Prius, and old volt’s CVT as a for instance is less complicated than a typical automatic, but they are typically more reliable than some electrics, and the rest of the car has a ‘complex’ ICE as well as the electric complications due to having 2 dynamos and ancillary equipment, such as 3 radiators, 3 electric water pumps, 1 ICE driven water pump, and 1 ice oil pump and 1 electric oil pump, as well as the perfunctory electric gasoline pump.

The worst example of complications is probably the new Caddy CT6. But that has 3 cvt’s and a 3 hp electric oil pump (and crappy overall efficiency since no one can get more than 22 mile All electric range).

My point is something can be complex and reliable, or crappy, and something can be simple and ‘elegant’, or simple and in the shop all the time trying to get the thing to work.

But more ev’s seem to be sold all the time. To pick an arbitrary starting year, (2017) is the author’s artistic license, since opinion pieces have no right or wrong.

All that notwithstanding, fewer mechanical parts ALWAYS has less to go wrong.

For all practical purposes, if you can trade mechanical complexity for software or “logical” complexity you’ll always be better off.

A magnetic field won’t fail. If your material does not vibrate or cycle, it will last much longer.

None of this is not controversial, right?

The point is, it doesn’t mean anything.

My Roadster was just about the simplest car made, (zero options so no extra gadgets), and it was the least reliable car I’ve ever owned, including $300 clunkers.

I did a cashless trade for a much more complicated (some would say overly) ELR, which has been relatively trouble free other than some very minor items.

So complication doesn’t make unreliability, as there are far more important factors – such as the ultimate desire of the company.

One autoweek commenter (now don’t shoot the messenger here – I’m just repeating what I thought was a noteworthy thought) said:

“Musk is no Preston Tucker: He’s worried about SpaceX and Powerwalls. His heart isn’t in it (autos)”.

While 2017 can be remembered as the year
* Plugin sales crossed 1 million in a year.
* Cumulative plugin sales crossed 3 million.
* Countries announced plans to phase out petro-mobiles, stilllll the petro-mobiles are selling in millions and setting new highs.

So both the petro-mobile and plugin sales will increase in the years to come. It will be a long battle before plugins hit the parity.

While that is hard to figure, China is the hottest car market in the world and it is up but their EV targets are aggressive so I would expect ICE has 2-3 years left of growth before peaking. In the US, maybe 5 years. I have no idea about India but it will probably have a similar peak and get dwarfed by the rest of the world anyway.

So we are less than 5 years to Peak ICE sales – so “years” yes but not very many

Wait a minute, Shell buying charging network in Europe can mean that Shell might shut it down slowly. Fossil fuel industry will not go without a fight.

If I’m not mistaken, the CEO of Shell is very concerned about global warming and the consequences of his industry.

I think we are likely to see continued 50% annual growth (perhaps higher for the next few years):

2017 1.0 million new electric cars..
2018 1.5
2019 2.3
2020 3.4
2021 5.1
2022 7.6
2023 11.4
2024 17.1
2025 25.6
2026 38.4
2027 57.7
2028 86.5 = more new electric cars than the market needs due to transport as a service

All cars are electric by somewhere between 2025 and 2030. Things are now moving very very fast.

Me thinks you are dreaming. Might get to 20% 25% new vehicles by 2030 and that’s a big might. PS I drive a phev and am not anti EV but this is being wildly oversold. We don’t even know if the market for low/mid price EVs can survive the end of tax credits.

Once you go EV, you never go back (well rarely). Given 5+ year lead times and the banning of ICEs in major countries, the manufacturers will stop planning new ones. China expects to be nearly ICE free by 2030. If you are GM in 2025, are you spending $1B on a new ICE model?

And it isn’t just China, major US and European cities won’t allow ICEs by 2030. CA will probably not allow their sale either. Once we are close to cost parity, the governments that care about AGW and pollution will issue a stop date.

You know the base Leaf with incentives is at parity. In fact, in cheap electric markets, the TCO is probably cheapest new car.

Incentives will fade. But Trump backlash in next 2 election cycles will renew interest in science and AGW – IMO.

I know I through in incentives. But incentives are not going away in the majority of the world. A trump blimp in a declining US market does not rule the world. Blue states are keeping incentives going

I own a CAD. ELR and a Volt. 38 miles on electricity, then switches to gas. My average MPG is 150 miles per gallon.

For the USA peak internal combustion engine (only) likely occurred in 2016.

All growth going forward is contained within electrified vehicle increases.

Another effect of The Transition: Walk into an auto parts store (Auto Zone, etc.), look around, guesstimate how much of their product (measured in floor space, dollar sales, etc.) on display has zero relevance to a BEV. Oil filters, oil, mufflers, tailpipes, emissions gear — the list goes on. Sure, BEVs need tires and the occasional tree-shaped air freshener, but the future does not look bright for those stores…

If EV’s gain a large market-share, I am sure there will be room for aftermarket parts.

New motor controllers, new batteries, new motors, wiring harness, 12v batteries, numerous other small parts inside(headlight bulbs, interior pieces).

Who knows, one day we might see an aftermarket Nissan Leaf battery, that fits in the same space as the 24kWh but upgrades it to 30, 40, or even 50kWh. There is no thermal-controlling system, so it would probably be possible to put in new cells in the same case as the old ones, and hook it up to the car. QuickChargePower has a ChaDeMO aftermarket kit for Gen1 Tesla Roadster and the RAV4 EV, it is possible, we could see an aftermarket ChaDeMO kit for old EV’s with no fast-charge capability(S/SV Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, etc…)