Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. While I do make mistakes, I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct (old habits die hard!) Also, don't ask me why I called it "Volewica". It's too late, now.

BTW, clicking on most charts will produce the original-sized, i.e., bigger version.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

We need electric cars. Now.

Smog in London, 2011

This Guardian piece about rising levels of lethal air pollution only emphasises the huge need the world has for electric vehicles (EVs).

They're still more expensive to buy than ICE (internal combustions engined) vehicles, because batteries are still costly.  And even though battery costs are falling by 20%+ per annum, they will remain expensive for another 5 years.  But every country could subsidise EVs and fund the subsidies via an annually rising tax on petrol and diesel.  Replacing our existing fleets of cars, lorries and buses with their electric equivalents would also reduce CO2 emissions, if the electricity which powered them came from renewables. That's a global gain, though still a good thing, and local politicians might not really care.  But the local gain is clean air and fewer deaths.

EVs might be pricey to buy, but they are very cheap to run.  For example, even with horribly expensive Australian electricity (26 cents per kWh) a week's driving a Tesla S with the 85 kWh battery (total range 426 km) would cost just $22.  In fact, you could if you wanted use Tesla superchargers for free, but there's really no point.  The superchargers are really designed for long distance travel.  Plus, the only servicing needed is to rotate the tyres and fill the windscreen washer reservoir.  Cheap.

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