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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.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cheap EVs

Carlos Ghosn, head of the Nissan-Renault alliance, reckons that at 300 kms (188 miles) the range of an EV (electric vehicle) is enough.  What is needed now is for the cost to decline:

At about 188 miles, the range of today's electric cars is enough. It's the price that needs to come down.

So says Carlos Ghosn, an electric-car pioneer among CEOs of mainstream automakers. Ghosn made the statement at a Nissan event in Hong Kong, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

The speech revealed key marketing insights from one of the world's bestselling makers of electric cars.

“We have seen that consumers do not talk anymore about range or autonomy as long as you guarantee more than 300 kilometers (188 miles)," Ghosn said. “You could not have guessed this through studies. You had to have 500,000 (electric) cars on the ground to understand that consumers do not put autonomy on top of their concerns any more when you cross 300 km.”

[Source: Green Car Reports]

It so happens that Honda plans to introduce an EV with 300 km range at a price of $18,000 (2 million yen) in 2020.  It will be produced in China by a JV with the world's largest battery manufacturer, and will presumably initially only be sold  in China.  And the Chinese measurement on an EV's range is more generous than the USA's.  But if a well-regarded brand like Honda can produce an EV with a real range of 150 miles (240 kms) for $18,000, and if it exports this car to global markets, it's hard to see how petrol-driven cars (ICEVs) can compete.  EVs are much quieter than ICEVs; they're much smoother (they don't vibrate and judder); they're significantly cheaper to fuel up; they can be recharged overnight in your garage; maintenance costs are negligible; and they're already cheaper to run (total cost)  than ICEVs.  Up to now, their 'sticker price' has been a negative.  At $18,000 that will no longer be true.  EV sales are going to explode.

In 5 years' time, you will be able to choose from a spread of EVs, some luxurious and expensive with long ranges, other cheaper with mid-ranges, and still others very cheap with low ranges ideal for city use.

(Source: Nikkei Asian Review)

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