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Another Elon Musk Bet: Half of All Cars Built In 2032 Will Be Electric

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the but-will-they-fly dept.

Power 359

New submitter cartechboy writes "Ears perked up when Elon Musk made another bold statement he'd be 'willing to bet on.' This time he says that in 20 years, half of all new cars sold would be plug-in electric cars. Believe him? The math looks a little fuzzy, and one research analyst is willing to take Musk up on the bet. 'It expects the U.S. plug-in market to grow at a 32-percent average rate from now through 2020. That takes sales to roughly 200,000 units in 2020. Even if that rate continued for another 12 years, which Hurst considers unlikely, that would only take plug-in cars to roughly one-third of the market in 2032, or about 5 million sales. But Hurst thinks 8 or 10 percent annual growth in plug-in sales is more reasonable, taking the total to 480,000 or 574,000 plug-ins sold in 2032 in the U.S.'"

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359 comments

I wanted to post this (3, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#40682469)

I wanted to make a post from my electric car but I ran out of powe*&^%^@*&^#####

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40682595)

Without fossil fuel, where can we get electricity?

Nuke plants that we have today (2nd to 3rd generation) produce to much radioactive wastes, and no one has built any 4th gen nuke plants yet

Eventually, when the fossil fuel runs out, all future inhabitants on this planet will have to go back to the old ways to move - like walking, or riding a horsey, or something like that

Re:I wanted to post this (5, Informative)

GeLeTo (527660) | about 2 years ago | (#40682651)

The amount of electricity required to travel a certain distance with an EV is roughly the same as the amount of electricity used to refine the gas for a regular vehicle that travels the same distance. According to DOE:
http://gatewayev.org/how-much-electricity-is-used-refine-a-gallon-of-gasoline [gatewayev.org]

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

AssholeMcGee (2521806) | about 2 years ago | (#40683331)

The problem with this statement Musk makes, is the countries electric infrastructure can barely keep up with the demands and it is falling apart, it will take close to 20 years to get the systems to where it has been upgraded and added onto so it is not getting maxed out.. Yes alternate energy come into play to relieve this, but with politics if the republicans win the White house it could be possible they will get rid of this idea, in favor of there butt buddies in the fossil fuel industry (the left also is involved). They would need to develop something better, with alternate energy that blows away what options we have now. I have looked into getting solar cells to help cut my overall power usage, but I see 50/50 reviews from everything I read.. I guess if you are never home and need the fridge to stay on, your home alarm system, and other minor devices it does cut down on use.

Re:I wanted to post this (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40683517)

The problem with this statement Musk makes, is the countries electric infrastructure can barely keep up with the demands and it is falling apart, it will take close to 20 years to get the systems to where it has been upgraded and added onto so it is not getting maxed out.

This is simply not true. The DOE and other groups have studied this over and over again. There is no problem generating enough power to switch over almost all of the US's vehicles to electricity, except a small shortfall in the pacific northwest** if everything was switched. The issue is that power plants spend most of their time sitting idle (in order to be able to meet peak demand), while EVs predominantly charge in off-peak hours. The net result is that EVs increase power plant utilization percentages and are thus a huge boon to grid operators (who unsurprisingly are big supporters of electric vehicles), as they get to sell more power without having to build new plants, and the power that they're selling is a nice even, steady draw.

There is one weakness in the link, but it has nothing to do with generation, or even bulk distribution. It's the final leg of the journey, neighborhood distribution. Several studies have shown that once neighrboods hit 10-20% penetration or so (which is still a long time from now!), you can start having problems with too much load on the local circuits. But this is nothing extraordinary; local circuits are upgraded all the time as neighborhoods grow and power usages change.

** - The pacific northwest, due to its heavy use of hydropower, doesn't have as much idle capacity sitting around at night as other regions. Hydropower doesn't care whether you use it during the night or the day; it's generally energy-per-year-limited, not peak-power-limited.

Re:I wanted to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683391)

Looks suspicious.
Just because the efficiency is said to be 85% doesn't mean that you can calculate the energy "lost" and say that was all electricity.
I don't think that article is the final word on the matter.

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about 2 years ago | (#40682679)

Simple, just use electricity we currently waste on drilling, refining and transportation of oil.

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40682697)

Simple, just use electricity we currently waste on drilling, refining and transportation of oil.

Where is the plastic used to make the bits for the cars going to come from?

What a lot of people don't realise that the petrol their cars run on that they'd so like to get rid of is really just an inconvenient waste product that happens to have found a use.

Re:I wanted to post this (4, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 2 years ago | (#40682767)

Simple, just use electricity we currently waste on drilling, refining and transportation of oil.

Where is the plastic used to make the bits for the cars going to come from?

I don't know, maybe from all the oil we won't be burning?

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

GeLeTo (527660) | about 2 years ago | (#40682789)

...the petrol their cars run on ... is really just an inconvenient waste product that happens to have found a use.

While the market for plastics is huge, it is dwarfed by the gas market.
Once there's no need for gas - production will shift to converting petrol exclusively to plastics, wax, asphalt, lubricants, etc. You can create plastics from many sources - vegetable oil, sugar and ... oil.

Re:I wanted to post this (3, Interesting)

Xenkar (580240) | about 2 years ago | (#40682797)

It is called hemp. You can make all of the plastic, paper, and cloth parts for the car out of it. The only problem is that the DEA currently prevents any industrial farming with it since it is also a CLASS I drug which means "It has no medical benefits" which most people disagree with.

Until we get our DEA problem under control, we'll need to import it from Canada which has police agents who are smart enough to tell the difference between an illicit drug growing operation and an industrial hemp field.

The real "problem" is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682977)

For anything hemp can do, something else can do better. Those things may not be all-in-one solutions like hemp, but if you're focused on one particular industry, such as paper, then you shouldn't be concerned if the plant you're growing can also be used to make plastics or clothes. Your main concern should be maximizing paper.

Re:The real "problem" is (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#40683217)

Hemp can grow like a weed. That's the thing it can do better. In a situation where resources are scarce, that's a valuable property.

Of course, this runs counter to the "I want the best, and I want it now" mentality that we've all grown into, but I get the feeling we are all going to have to give that up at some point soon.

Re:The real "problem" is (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40683459)

Hemp can grow like a weed.

And is but one fiber/oilseed crop with this property. Honestly, hemp's stats aren't that impressive compared to a lot of its competitors. Yeah, it beats some common commercial crops, but there are other plants which beat it in the various properties people boast about for it (productivity, fiber strength, oil production, oil quality, etc).

Re:I wanted to post this (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40683443)

And out come the conspiracy theorist pot fanboys again.

Apart from the US (apparently) hemp is legal for industrial use in most places, it just isn't very good at anything. And the side benefit of free weed isn't seen as particularly usrful either.

I couldn't care less if they legalised marijuana, but the idea that it is illegal primarily in order to prevent use of the wonder-material hemp is just silly.

Re:I wanted to post this (2)

stepho-wrs (2603473) | about 2 years ago | (#40683571)

From wikipedia

Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa is the variety grown for industrial use, while C. sativa subsp. indica generally has poor fiber quality and is primarily used for recreational and medicinal purposes.

So, the type used for making things with is not the type the druggies like.

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 years ago | (#40683619)

..... but the idea that it is illegal primarily in order to prevent use of the wonder-material hemp is just silly.

You must be new here...

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#40682683)

I would imagine riding a horse is far less energy efficient than driving in a car running on biofuel. Animals need constant energy upkeep, and you can't use them for a very large percentage of the time. Furthermore, horse are horribly ineffective, as they eat grass but don't use the cellulose.

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40682747)

I would imagine riding a horse is far less energy efficient than driving in a car running on biofuel

 
Before you want to stake that claim of yours, I would advise you to do a more thorough research on the total energy input in producing biofuel

I do know what I am talking about, in this regard
 

Re:I wanted to post this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682871)

I also know what I talk about an you are a duche.

Re:I wanted to post this (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#40683261)

Which biofuel though?

If you're talking corn ethanol, I totally agree with you. It's probably more efficient to corn-feed a horse (dietary considerations notwithstanding).

Without numbers in front of me, I'd guess that biodiesel is probably more efficient than horses ; the engine alone is more efficient (~ 45%) than horse muscles (~ 25%), plus you don't have the overhead of "idling" a diesel engine 100% of the time to keep it useful.

Producing a horse will consume 10 times it's mass in biofuel just for starters ; the same ratio as for soy and beef. I'm not sure of the energy cost of producing the diesel engine, but I'd also guess it lasts longer, requires less maintenance, needs mucking out less frequently, and freaks out and kicks you in the head less often.

The horse probably has a better smell. And is more companionable.

Re:I wanted to post this (2)

stepho-wrs (2603473) | about 2 years ago | (#40683607)

Horses also produce a lot of pollution.
Hint: bring a shovel.
Large scale use of horses could potentially lead to large scale epidemics from organisms breeding in the faeces.
The smell probably won't be enjoyed either.

Re:I wanted to post this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682895)

I would imagine riding a horse is far less energy efficient than driving in a car running on biofuel. Animals need constant energy upkeep, and you can't use them for a very large percentage of the time. Furthermore, horse are horribly ineffective, as they eat grass but don't use the cellulose.

Your mom didn't have any problems riding my horse-sized dick last night...

Re:I wanted to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683467)

I would imagine riding a horse is far less energy efficient than driving in a car running on biofuel. Animals need constant energy upkeep, and you can't use them for a very large percentage of the time. Furthermore, horse are horribly ineffective, as they eat grass but don't use the cellulose.

Someone should invent a horse that runs on gas. Just for a laugh. I fucking hate horses.

Re:I wanted to post this (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40682725)

That's not the big problem the problem is the batteries. we just haven't had any true battery breakthough in years and lithium batteries just don't take extremes in heat and cold like a lead acid does. The average temp in the south has been over 100F, ever leave a lithium battery in a car in this kind of heat? Say goodbye to more than half your capacity.

Until battery tech can take temp shifts like gas can its gonna be a hard sell, the vast majority that own vehicles don't own temp controlled garages and with the batteries for the things running a minimum of $7500 a piece unless the government wants to eat billions in costs for giving away batteries there simply won't be a used market, nor will those that buy one want to keep the vehicle once the batteries die out of warranty, they'll end up scrapped.

Lithium-Air (5, Informative)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 2 years ago | (#40683315)

Developments in Lithium-Air batteries are rapidly making them viable, and are conservatively estimated to give ten times the power/weight [arstechnica.com] of Li-Ion.

There's also been a number of advances in high-surface-area electrodes that dramatically increase charge and discharge rates. Some of these have already made it to market, such as the MIT spinoff A123 Systems - which coincidentally enough has developed a Lithium Iron electrolyte that handles extreme temperatures [a123systems.com] very well..

There's a great deal of industrial interest in improving battery technology, and claiming that there's been no breakthroughs in years is simply ignorant, I'm afraid. If you're paying attention, the future of batteries looks pretty rosy.

Re:I wanted to post this (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40683565)

That's not the big problem the problem is the batteries.

The one true statement in this paragraph, but not for the reason you think.

we just haven't had any true battery breakthough in years

Remember what cell phones looked like 20 years ago? Remember that giant brick of a battery? Compare that to the battery on your smartphone today. Now look at what your smartphone is wasting power on beyond just maintaining a cell signal.

It's a common but utterly false myth that batteries haven't advanced much. They've been advancing dramatically and show no signs of stopping. Now, increasing power *consumption* on electronics tends to waste a lot of this, but as for storage, it's had a pretty consistent 8% energy density by mass gain per year. Power density has risen even faster.

and lithium batteries just don't take extremes in heat and cold like a lead acid does.

Most automotive-style li-ions are rated for much more extreme temperature curves than lead-acid. I've seen some rated for as low as -50C, although -30C is more common. Ever tried to start a lead-acid vehicle in -50C weather? Yeah, that's what a block heater is for. And guess what? The block heater concept works with EVs, too. And yes, the same applies on the upper end of the temperature spectrum.

The average temp in the south has been over 100F, ever leave a lithium battery in a car in this kind of heat? Say goodbye to more than half your capacity.

Again, automotive-style li-ions (which are a different chemistry than laptop-style li-ions, they're more akin to the li-ions in power tools) don't do this; they're amazingly durable. Something you don't seem to get is that there's not just one chemistry available in each family. Battery manufacturers have an array of tradeoffs they can make in chemistry selection, chemistry details, DOD (depth of discharge), and so forth. This radically alters the ratios between price, energy density, power density, and lifespan. For most consumer electronics, they're thought of as disposable. Hence price and energy density are typically highly optimized at the expense of power density and lifespan. For vehicles, lifespan is fixed at a target (usually something in the 7-10 years to 20% capacity loss range), power density is fixed at whatever the demand is (high for hybrids, medium for plug-in hybrids, low for pure EVs - basically, the more batteries you have, the less power you need per cell), and then the price/energy density tradeoff is adjusted for the vehicle's particular market niche.

for giving away batteries there simply won't be a used market, nor will those that buy one want to keep the vehicle once the batteries die out of warranty, they'll end up scrapped.

Simply not true. Grid operators are dying to get their hands on used batteries from the EV industry which they could snatch up at bargain-basement prices. As if they care that they're only 80% capacity or less; energy density is practically irrelevant when your batteries sit in a warehouse in a fixed location, and 50-80% of the density of a li-ion is still way more than a lead-acid anyway.

Re:I wanted to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683157)

another test. don't mind me.

Re:I wanted to post this (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40683397)

I wanted to make a post from my electric car but I ran out of powe*&^%^@*&^#####

Yes, because no one ever ran out of gas, so your point pretty much demolishes the very idea of an electric car.

What's rather surprising is that no one has ever thought of this before. I expect the all powerful electric car lobby has bribed everyone to sweep this under the carpet.

Re:I wanted to post this (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40683579)

But when I run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, I just push my car to the nearest farmhouse and plug my gas tank into the gas socket to get enough gas to drive to the next refuelling station. Can't do that with electricity!

Both are probably right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682491)

Musk did not say anything about US car production, so it looks like Hurst constructed a straw man here.

Depends on the price of gas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682497)

If gasoline starts getting expensive, people might start seriously considering electric cars. A major drop in price of electric cars (or really the batteries) could also speed up adoption.

Of course, Europe already has expensive gas due to taxes and the roads aren't filled with electric cars. It'll still take some time.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#40682649)

I wouldn't even say it is that dependant on gas prices going up much more than they already are. Electric cars just need to overcome the current hurdles. Namely the issue of charging, max speed and battery life. Currently we have a few paradoxes, People aren't going to invest in an infrastructure for charging electric cars, until enough people have them. Only crazy people are going to buy a car that can't work without an infrastructure. If I can't drive a car more than an hour from my house or risk having to have it towed home, that is a big problem. If I can't have it charged up on the way, that is a huge issue. So first off we need technology that can get a good distance per charge, then we need a universal system to allow for charging it (currently without a set agreed upon charging system, we are kind of at a dead end, as no one is going to invest heavily into an infrastructure, that could be the wrong one when all the cars go the other way).

Re:Depends on the price of gas (3, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40682917)

Battery life is the big killer. Who would buy a second hand electric car? They are only good for land-fill. They are massively less "green" than mechanically injected diesel vehicles which have a life of a million miles or more with a bit of low cost (potentially DIY) maintenance. The future is algae produced diesel, and not gas produced electricity.

It makes more sense to pump diesel to everyone's homes and have them burn it in in a CHP system than to distribute gas or electricity/

Hint: I am European - when I say "gas" I mean a gaseous substance, and not a petroleum based liquid.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

norpy (1277318) | about 2 years ago | (#40683181)

Until you look at the amount of land you will need to grow that much algae.

I don't have the figures handy but they are less energy efficient per m^2 than the current generation photovoltaics, and that is before you take into account refining and tranportation costs.
You also need mass quantities of fresh water and feedstock to sustain them, just pulling hte carbon out of water that naturally absorbs from the atmosphere is not enough for the scale you are proposing.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (2)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40683661)

Not just a little less efficient, but way less efficient. The best yields reported in the literature so far are something like 0.5 gallons per square meter per year - and good luck getting near that in a real-world plant. But even that is 18MJ/m^2/yr. By comparison, Ausra's proposed CLFR plant would produce 177MW per square mile, and their pilot plant had a capacity factor of 27%, so using that number, we get 582MJ/m^2/yr. And to top that all off, your average gasoline car operates at about 20% average efficiency and your average diesel at about 25% efficiency (note the word "average" - don't complain and then write a post where you cite peak efficiency numbers, because that's not what you get in real-world driving). Your average EV gets about 75% generator-to-grid-to-wheels efficiency.

Biological processes are just so lossy. And algæ has lots of problems of its own. Namely, you can either grow it in open ponds or closed ponds. If you grow it in open ponds, you can't keep it species-pure and thus get predatory microbes, insects, etc which you can at least try to control, and competing algæ species which you generally have no chance of controlling. Since biofuel microbes are highly optimized, your production rate drops like a stone. Hence most companies don't pursue this and are instead looking at various forms of closed systems. Closed generally means plastic film, as the cost of thick plastic or glass would be absurd. But when you're dealing with such low yields for a given amount of area (small fractions of a gallon per square meter per year), even plastic film gets expensive, especially when you consider that the UV in sunlight tends to destroy plastic film very effectively (polyethylene-film greenhouses generally replace their film annually, polypropylene greenhouses every 2 years).

And that's hardly the only issue. To get your fuel out, you have algæ interspersed in water. You have a lot more water than algæ, but need to get dry algæ out. There are a lot of different processes out there, but at its most basic level, it's generally a very costly, energy-intensive process. And this says nothing of preventing fouling of your systems by algæ, of maintaining purity in even closed systems, of refining the dried algæ, and so forth. Or the fact that in general, extremely sunny / cloud-free areas typically have water shortages as well, and the most productive algæ are freshwater species who only yield their high figures in very controlled circumstances pertaining to what's in the water.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (4, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | about 2 years ago | (#40683245)

Who would buy a second hand electric car? They are only good for land-fill.

[Citation needed]. I can see that the battery pack will eventually need replacing, and that can be a significant chunk of change (and will be factored into the value of the car), but I see nothing that suggests the rest of the car will be any less robust.

If anything, the EV drive-train is (or can be) far simpler than any liquid-fuel car, since a battery pack, some wiring and four electric motor/generators (one at each wheel) can replace:

- the engine block
- the fuel system
- the gearbox, drive shaft and differential(s)
- most of the axles
- much of the cooling system
- the air intake
- the alternator and starter motor
- the exhaust system
- etc

That's a lot of saved wear & tear.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#40683415)

The way I put it, an electric motor is ten times better than a combustion engine. Having experienced the wonderfulness of a plug in electric lawn mower compared to a crappy gas powered kind, I can say gas power does not compare. The electric is lighter, quieter, simpler, safer, more durable and reliable, and has instant on/off.

But a gas tank is twenty times better than a battery. If we ever get that worked out, the electric car will sweep gas powered cars away. It'll be like the way LCDs vanquished CRTs in 2009.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 2 years ago | (#40683293)

Namely the issue of charging, max speed and battery life.

Current electric cars have comparable performance to equivalent petrol cars and ranges that cover the daily distance the average driver covers (30-50 miles in the US).

Consequently, since for the average person an overnight charge at home is easily sufficient to cover their needs, the importance of charging points outside the home is relatively low.

For the majority of drivers, an electric car is a drop in replacement today for the majority of their journeys.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40683449)

Europe already has expensive gas due to taxes and the roads aren't filled with electric cars. It'll still take some time.

OTOH we have roads filled with diesel cars. Diesel cars are usually more expensive to buy than gas cars. This shows that people *are* capable of looking beyond the initial purchase price.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#40683513)

Really, I think the breakthrough will be better energy density. Even the best batteries only have about 5% of the energy density of something like vegetable oil, and chemical fuels have other advantages such as requiring smaller changes to existing infrastructure, and replacing burned oil is faster than electric recharge.

Fuel cells might be an answer though. Especially if they use a more convenient fuel than hydrogen.

Re:Depends on the price of gas (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40683575)

Of course, Europe already has expensive gas due to taxes and the roads aren't filled with electric cars.

Even though our gas is expensive, unfortunately so are our electric cars. There is still no purely economic argument for changing to an electric car. It's a chicken and egg situation, especially as regards the availability of charging stations.

Get a car that lasts 50+ Years (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682499)

1977 Mercedes-Benz, 300,000+ miles and still going strong.

I expect I will STILL be driving it in 2032 when I has 600,000+ miles on it.

Re:Get a car that lasts 50+ Years (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40682689)

In fact, because of the low loading on the power train and the lack of frictional components like a clutch, there are plenty of examples of the Toyota Prius going around with similar mileages. Over that sort of mileage, the fuel cost saving becomes enormous. One potential problem for the EV industry is that the electric motors are such a proven technology that no real improvements are likely, and battery upgrades should be rather simple. There is going to be very little reason other than a crash to replace an EV. The car is gradually ceasing to be a status symbol anyway, so the net effect could be a dramatic shrinkage of the car industry, with the replacement cycle perhaps extending to 30 years or more.

Peak Oil (1)

mdsharpe (1051460) | about 2 years ago | (#40682511)

I suppose the other 50% will be petrol or diesel powered. Will these fuels be affordable in 2032?

Re:Peak Oil (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about 2 years ago | (#40682737)

With a disruptive technology like this it is *very* unlikely we will see a 50% adoption for an extended period of time. Either EVs will catch on and it will be highly uncool to drive a gas fueled car, or they will not and the market share will settle at single digits. Sure, to go from 0% to 99% you have to pass that 50% but at this level we can expect the highest rate of growth, so I wouldn't bet on the time it will happen.

Re:Peak Oil (1)

Confusador (1783468) | about 2 years ago | (#40682893)

If not, they'll just go to ethanol, or in the worst case methane. Given enough power, it's easy to make a hydrocarbon.

Re:Peak Oil (1)

sula9876 (1194819) | about 2 years ago | (#40683189)

I suppose the other 50% will be petrol or diesel powered. Will these fuels be affordable in 2032?

Yes they will, the prices will go down once "we" start to produce petrol, diesel and kerosene with energy from Thorium and Uranium.

I agree! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682515)

With lesser amount of Petrol left in the world (in next 20+ yrs), where else will you turn to? Its Electric all the way..

All you need is one car. (4, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 years ago | (#40682517)

The first electric car with 200+ mile range and a less than $25,000 price will be the biggest seller in the market overnight.

Just those two items alone would probably cause Musk to be right. And that's what he's betting, that the battery range and price will come down to the point that everyone can afford an electric car and that it will have a range similar to that of a gasoline engine. If the market delivers those specs I think he'll be right, you can drive an electric car for about $0.10 cents a mile, the gas savings alone would so massive everyone and their dog would want one.

What could you do if you didn't have to buy gas anymore?

Re:All you need is one car. (2)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#40682607)

Perhaps, though by 2032 "less than $25,000" would probably mean "less than $250,000", or "less than CNY159,350 [duckduckgo.com]" if China decides to choke more than just rare earth supplies.

Re:All you need is one car. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#40682621)

The first electric car with 200+ mile range and a less than $25,000 price will be the biggest seller in the market overnight.

Just those two items alone would probably cause Musk to be right. And that's what he's betting, that the battery range and price will come down to the point that everyone can afford an electric car and that it will have a range similar to that of a gasoline engine. If the market delivers those specs I think he'll be right, you can drive an electric car for about $0.10 cents a mile, the gas savings alone would so massive everyone and their dog would want one.

What could you do if you didn't have to buy gas anymore?

The Chevy Volt already has a longer all-electric range than the average USA commute distance (and hundreds of miles of gasoline powered range) and "only" costs $30K (after tax rebate). Why wait for a 200 mile electric car when a Volt will get you to work on electricity alone, yet you can still drive it 200 miles to grandma's house (and you don't need to plug it in at her house and let it charge overnight).

I'd be surprised if a $25K 200 mile range electric made a significant difference in sales - sales over the $25K Nissan Leaf (70 mile range, which covers about 85% of round trip commutes in the USA) have only numbered in the thousands.

Electric cars will continue to gain in sales, but not because of a $5K drop in price or even a doubling or tripling of range - they will just become more acceptable - and the operating cost savings will be more apparent when the global economy picks up and gas prices rise again. I doubt the USA will ever build a significant natural gas refueling station network to let it take advantage of cheaper natural gas for transportation, but natural gas works well at creating electricity that can be delivered to cars over existing wires.

Re:All you need is one car. (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 2 years ago | (#40682677)

Why wait for a 200 mile electric car

How can one wait for a car that came out 4 years ago? The Tesla Roadster had a 244 mile range and is all-electric. The Tesla Model S (which began shipping this year) has up to a 300 mile range on the top end battery option.

The pricing is a bit higher for now, but it's coming down very fast and they're aiming for $30,000 on the next generation. That said, the 200-mile all electric car is a few years old now and they work great.

Re:All you need is one car. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682921)

The 230 mile Model S configuration is $70,000, they're not extended range hybrids so you're not driving out of state, and most of us have no way to charge one even if it was given to us for free.

There are huge barriers to overcome before people buying $16k VW's are buying equally practical EV's instead.

Re:All you need is one car. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40683165)

The 230 mile Model S configuration is $70,000, they're not extended range hybrids so you're not driving out of state,

Oh, puhleeze, the OP might live in Rhode Island or the four corners area.

Re:All you need is one car. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682773)

25-50 miles on electric and starting at $40k is a long, long ways off from his spec.

For my part, they're going to have to be much closer to gas car prices, get more like 100 miles on electric, gas-extended so they have some utility beyond just work-and-back, and I need some way to charge one. Right now an electric vehicle wouldn't be an option for me if I had an unlimited car budget.

Consider that somewhere around half of all US citizens park their car somewhere that doesn't have an outlet, less an individually metered one. Sometimes in outdoor public lots, sometimes on streets, sometimes in parking garages, etc.

So the alternative is a car that can be fast-charged at a "pump" in less than two minutes, because nobody is going to sit at a station for 30 minutes. Any battery-swap option that requires physical labor is right-out, and the facility to charge all employee cars at your workplace is going to be ridiculously complicated and expensive.

So solve all that... and it's upgraded to a "maybe".

Re:All you need is one car. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#40682947)

25-50 miles on electric and starting at $40k is a long, long ways off from his spec.

For my part, they're going to have to be much closer to gas car prices, get more like 100 miles on electric, gas-extended so they have some utility beyond just work-and-back, and I need some way to charge one. Right now an electric vehicle wouldn't be an option for me if I had an unlimited car budget.

The Volt costs around $31k [wikipedia.org] after the tax rebate.

So maybe you have a 50 mile (or longer) one-way commute that's longer than 92% of USA commuters [bts.gov] , but 68% of commuters have a one way distance of 15 miles or less, 78% have a commute of 20 miles or less.

So for most commuters, they can already buy a car that will get them to work and back on a single charge.

My commute is only 8 miles each way, I rarely travel more than 20 miles from home on weekends, and when I do, it's often more than 100 miles, so even a 200 mile range car wouldn't get me there and home again without recharging.

My commute isn't a good fit for an electric car (or even a hybrid) because it's too short -- I usually bike it. I drive too little to make it work buying a new car just to get a hybrid or electric car. My 10 year old car only gets 19/28 mpg, but it's hard to justify replacing it. But if I had a longer commute, I'd seriously consider the Chevy Volt since even a 200 mile range electric car means I can't take it everywhere I want to go. Even though the payback period for the Volt is 10 years or more, I expect gas prices to rise in the future, which will probably make the Volt pay itself back in under 10 years.

Battery Electric's future same as the past (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40682527)

Battery powered electric cars were dropped in the past, and will be in the future. Without the vast subsidies propping up the things, they will simply not be built except in limited quantities.

Now if he had stated simply electric, and not plug-in electric, then I might have agreed. The future is electric - it's just not battery powered electric.

But the real truth is hydrocarbons dominate, and will be with us for a LONG time to come as a means of transportation.

Batteries (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40682543)

It's all about Battery technology really. If battery technology improves significantly and the price becomes more affordable then I think electric cars, particularly commuters, will start selling much better. Absent some big improvement they will remain a niche market.

Re:Batteries (1)

nbsr (2343058) | about 2 years ago | (#40682815)

Batteries are already good enough (see Tesla S). It is their price that hinders the market. Luckily batteries are much easier to produce at mass scale than, say, Diesel engines, so the market *will* grow exponentially (more customers -> larger scale of production -> cheaper batteries -> more customers).

Performance of batteries will improve as well but it won't make or break the deal. In a worst case you can just add a cheap 600cc range extender and make the car go 300+ miles on a full charge.

Re:Batteries (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40682957)

This is a common misconception. It is true for hybrids, but for all electric cars, the charging process is a big problem too - huge currents are needed to charge an electric car, and the facilities to provide these huge currents at random locations represent a massive investment. When you move house with your electric car, do you choose a house with a charging point compatible with your new car, or expect to spend $10k on upgrading the house wiring? (and you rent)

Re:Batteries (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#40683169)

Only a completely backwards place would be unable to provide something like 100A 240V single-phase or 32A 240V three-phase. Yes that is only 24kW, so it will still take hours to charge cars with decent batteries, but it should be enough for more than an hour of driving per hour of charging. And yes some people will need a new main panel, and likely new wiring from the main panel to the charging point, but it will cost way less than $10k.

Have any diea what gas will cost in 2032? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682557)

Take a look at this graph and tell me petrol will eb affordable a few decades from now:
http://www.durangobill.com/RolloverPics/RolloverGap.jpg

In addition to that battery technology will likely continue to improve. There's already
batteries on the market that can recharge in minutes, and charging systems to
faccilitate that kidn fo current exists. I'm not talking about some hyped "may lead
to improvements" kind of tech. I'm talking about tech that already exists, but which
is presently too expensive to compete with Oil. Give it another few decades of oil
depletion and improved manufacturing techniques and that balance will shift.

Fuel cell (3, Interesting)

chebucto (992517) | about 2 years ago | (#40682573)

Hydrogen fuel cells will win out because you can refuel them in as much time as it takes to refuel a gas or diesel car.

Electric will be held back by the cost, limited lifespan, weight, and recharge time of the batteries.

Re:Fuel cell (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#40682739)

With hydrogen, you have losses simply from it diffusing through whatever you try to keep it in. Furthermore, there are not good ways to store it in a moving vehicle. High-pressure tanks are to heavy, low-pressure tanks take up too much space, and metal hydrides and liquification is either to heavy or to energy-inefficient. Without some big breakthrough, it is not going to happen. And if we postulate a big breakthrough, that might as well happen with batteries, or alcohols, or any other techniques.

Re:Fuel cell (5, Informative)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 2 years ago | (#40683507)

I worked with fuel cells for about 7 years, and I'm fairly certain they will never be used in cars on any appreciable scale. They were used as an excuse by the auto industry for a while. ("Don't make us do battery cars. Wait for fuel cells!") Now that battery cars are about to become economical, the excuse is no longer needed, so automotive fuel cell programmes will be scrapped. (There are applications where fuel cells do make sense, but cars is not one of them.)

The main arguments agianst fuel cells are:
* Efficiency. Making hydrogen from electricity on an economcial scale has an efficiency of about 50 %. Charging a battery is better than 90 %. Converting hydrogen back to electricity in a fuel cell is again about 50 % efficiency (so 25 % round trip). Discharging a battery is again better than 90 % (so 80 % round trip). * Complexity. A fuel cell needs a supply of moist air to function. This requires a compressior, a humidifier, a water tank, lots of pipes, etc. All of this costs money, adds weight, and introduces potential problems.
* Cost. Fuel cells require platinum catalysts that are expensive.
* Reliability. Fuel cells just aren't as reliable as batteries.
* Lifespan. Again, batteries are better than fuel cells in automotive applications, and since they are also cheaper, they have a much better price/lifespan ratio.

Modern batteries can actually re-charge quite quickly if you have a powerful enough charger. (A car draws much more power than a house, so residential chargers cannot be very powerful.)

I imagine in the future there will be robots at gas stations that switch batteries in your car faster than you could refill a gas tank.

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By 1952 London will be 60 feet deep in horseshit (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#40682591)

Predictions are hard. To borrow someone else's words (from RIM I think), in 1880 people were looking for some better way to move horses through the streets instead of changing to a different game like a car for personal transport. Instead of a better car it could be a move to something like a skilift, more motorbikes, or more likely something else I've never thought of.
Fuel isn't the only problem. Traffic congestion is a nightmare in many places. I doubt we'll see hundreds of millions of electric cars in tightly packed Chinese cities.

Re:By 1952 London will be 60 feet deep in horseshi (1)

mister2au (1707664) | about 2 years ago | (#40682825)

"I doubt we'll see hundreds of millions of electric cars in tightly packed Chinese cities"

Why is that?

With mass urbanisation and huge infrastructure investments Chinese cities are better able to handle traffic congestion than millennium old European cities (London, Rome, Paris, etc) or large North American cities that pre-date motorised vehicles (LA, NY, Vancouver, etc).

Beijing is pretty much a worst case and has 5 million car for 20 million people .. that is right on par for 350 million vehicles for a population around 1.3-1.4 billion

Before thinking Musk is a fool... (5, Interesting)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 2 years ago | (#40682643)

2008 - The Tesla Roadster is a $110,000 (base price) sports car with a 244 mile range.
2012 - The Tesla Model S is a $57,000 - $77,000 (base price) sedan with 160 - 300 mile range.
2015 (estimated) - Tesla Gen III Sedans are targeting $30,000 base price with comparable Model S ranges.

In addition, Tesla is rolling out a "supercharge" network to support changing away from home in convenient locations in target markets. The Model S has also been promised to include a 5-minute battery quick change option. Once that is available at (for instance) gas stations, it'll take as much time to refill your electric as it does to refill your gas car, except it'll cost a whole lot less.

This guy is actually delivering functioning, functional electric cars and building the infrastructure to support them. I wouldn't bet against him; everyone who's done that so far has been proven wrong repeatedly.

Supercharging (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682935)

Why all the efforts for the fast charging?

Wouldn't it be easier to have replaceable battery pack. At the station,
the whole pack could be changed with a forklift in a few seconds.

Additionally, the batteries could be leased, not bought (this would
reduce the initial cost of the car, speeding up adoption). The station
could do maintenance for the packs or send them to be refurbished when
necessary.

When not going long distances, conventional overnight charging at home
should be OK.

Price is really the major issue (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#40683041)

If they can bring that down, the other issues aren't such a big deal. A big reason is that you can refuel an electric in your house, which means that range doesn't need to be nearly as large. Sure if you are the kind of person who does big road trips you'll need more range and the ability to refuel all over, an electric doesn't do that. However most people don't do that, they drive around the city.

160 miles will do nicely for that, provided you can refuel often. If you can do it every night, no problem at all. Very, VERY rare someone would drive more than that on a normal day.

So the big issue is just getting electrics cost competitive with gas cars. At that point, I think the market will take off.

Re:Before thinking Musk is a fool... (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40683103)

It's the costs that could drive sales not counting improvements in technology. Look at it this way with all the fracking electricity prices could be fairly flat for the next 20 to 50 years, inflation aside. Gasoline has to go up for two reasons, arguing is pointless and peak oil is here so the only thing keeping costs down is a slow economy. If we had kept up the demand we had pre real estate collapse we'd already be seeing $4 to $5 a gallon. China is burning more every day as well as much of the third world, hey in India they all want cars and few people drove just ten years ago. The point is in ground reserves are declining and demand is growing. Eventually electrics are going to look very attractive. People can complain about limited range all they want but realistically they only need the range a few times a year, most people. One day they'll be faced with $5 or $50 to $100 to fill up their compact. I can already cram $35 into my 10 gallon car. When money is tight that $5 fill up is going to look really attractive. I can already have an older car converted to a limited range car for under 10K. The under 20K car with 300+ mile range is on the way. I say in less than 5 years and almost certainly by 2020. An under 20K car you can fill up at home for around $250 a year? The family may still own a gas guzzler but I'll bet one member of the family is commuting electric by 2025. Also when the kid goes to college they may ask for a gas car but they'll get a cheap to drive electric which the college will likely provide chargers for. That's when things really change.

Re:Before thinking Musk is a fool... (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40683131)

Does anyone else have a problem with, in today's political climate, praising a capitalist? They will NOT solve our problems, the entire reason they succeed is because government stacks the deck in their favor. If Musk had any self-respect at all he'd write a billion dollar check to the US treasury tomorrow with a big thank-you on it.

Re:Before thinking Musk is a fool... (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40683277)

Supercharging is not recommended on a daily basis. The batteries do not take the heat that comes with supercharging very well. They will be useful for extended trips, but they are no gas stations (atleast they will never be as prevalent as gas stations, even when 50% of the vehicles are electric).

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682667)

I don't know much about charging up an electric car... but would 50% electric cars be really taxing on the electric grid? Especially if battery are developed that can charge a lot faster and hold a lot bigger charge? Won't the grid infrastructure need to be upgraded to support all those vehicles charging up? Seems like more then just building cars.

Wrong Math Model (1)

xusch (684946) | about 2 years ago | (#40682717)

The growth curve won't be steady. It is going to grow fairly slow for some time, until there is a break through and the curve will jump to another level. When the curve will jump and by how much is unknown. It all depends on innovation. Taking an average rate on this kind of curve is only useful when you look back and try to measure the impact of the past innovation. It is not useful for predicting the future.

Re:Wrong Math Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682803)

Exactly. It's all about range, battery technology, and what innovation occurs between now and 2032. If there is a significant breakthrough, *most* cars could be electric by 2032.
   

Elon will win the bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682757)

In _The Innovator's Solution_ a decade ago this exact problem is examined, based on a study that was done for the auto industry. The study identified several factors that are required at a competitive price point for pure electric cars to compete against gas cars in the mass market:

1. 0-60 fast enough to merge onto freeways.
2. 200 mile+ range on one charge.
3. Able to recharge in 15 minutes or less.

Given current trends in battery technology, this should become feasible around 2020. Those trends have held up, and there is no reason to doubt that they will continue to hold up. Therefore somewhere around 2020 I expect to see, without massive subsidies being needed, electric cars whose utility to the average consumer matches gas cars.

It may take a while for the public to wake up and smell the coffee, but 12 years after that I would completely expect to see electric cars dominating the road.

50% is not necessarily a large number (4, Interesting)

erice (13380) | about 2 years ago | (#40682765)

If gasoline powered vehicles become cost prohibitive to operate and electric vehicles are still expensive, total sales may drop as people are economically forced out the market. "Plugin" vehicles (which include plug-in hybrids) could still be 50% of the (smaller) market.

"Second, an oil price shock would have to drive gasoline prices to $8 or $10 a gallon"

Are these guys kidding? If the global economy wasn't in such a precarious state, gas would be over $5/gallon *now*! In 2032, $10/gallon gas will be a fond memory.

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40682845)

Yup. CPI already doubles every 20 years, even when we're not in hyperinflation mode. It's obvious to everyone that gas will cost that much in 20 years.

So either he's being overly sensational or he means $10/gallon in today's dollars. I don't now this guy's reputation, so I can't speculate which one is the case.

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (1)

Mkx (614118) | about 2 years ago | (#40683049)

If the global economy wasn't in such a precarious state, gas would be over $5/gallon *now*! In 2032, $10/gallon gas will be a fond memory.

Talk about US petrol prices. In Europe, petrol price is in vicinity of 1.50€ per litre (likely even more), which is in neighbourhood of $7/gallon.

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683153)

1.64€ per litre here (Finland), which makes it around 7.63 USD per gallon.

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (1)

Flaming Foobar (597181) | about 2 years ago | (#40683537)

1.64€ per litre here (Finland), which makes it around 7.63 USD per gallon.

Gas is heavily taxed in Finland. Almost two thirds of the price is tax, so it's not really comparable

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683275)

Yes, and let't not forget that in Europe most people already pay around 8 USD per gallon today because of high taxes on gas. On top of this there is all sorts of tax breaks and rules in place to subsidize the purchases of low emission cars, so the incentives on this side of the pond is already in place. When the sub $ 40k, 300+ miles electric car arives the market will explode. Just look at the huge sale numbers of the overly expensive, poor quality, not very environment friendly Toyota Prius.

Re:50% is not necessarily a large number (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683601)

Yes, and let't not forget that in Europe most people already pay around 8 USD per gallon today because of high taxes on gas. On top of this there is all sorts of tax breaks and rules in place to subsidize the purchases of low emission cars, so the incentives on this side of the pond is already in place. When the sub $ 40k, 300+ miles electric car arives the market will explode. Just look at the huge sale numbers of the overly expensive, poor quality, not very environment friendly Toyota Prius.

And since most smaller cars are already made in Europe or Asia these markets will drive any evolution of smaller family sized vehicles towards electrics or plugin hybrids. Owning one of these makes a lot of sense over here on the eastern side of the pond. In a few years only people whining about reducing taxes on smaller cars will be SUV owners, most other drivers either are now, or will soon be, seriously sonsidering ways of getting out of paying petrol tax and the obvious way is by buying a pluggable hybrid.

Cars are dual use. (2)

rew (6140) | about 2 years ago | (#40683113)

Most people have their car as a dual-use vehicle. First they commute to work, bring the kids to school and get groceries at shops nearby. This is something an electric car can do just fine. (except for really long commutes). But then they also use that same car to go to friends who live 200 miles away, or go on vacation 500 miles away. Those are things that electric cars are not good at. When it becomes accepted practise that you rent a car for this, that's when things can take off.

Markets are complicated things. If it is accepted that you pay $700 for a fancy phone, that's what people will pay. If it is accepted that you pay for owning and driving a car. that's what people will pay. If the prices to own and operate cars continue to rise slowly, then people will adapt and continue to pay rediculous amounts (according to current standards), even if it starts taking a significant portion of their income.

A sudden increase in say gasoline prices of say a factor of two will make a bunch of people think twice. Some will say F*** it and sell the car. Some will switch to electric. But most will adapt, and simply pay the higher price. A few years later a few percent of the population has changed their behaviour due to the increased pricepoint. But the majority continues the same old way.

The parallel here is cigarettes. Sometimes the government increases the taxes by a few percent causing a significant bump in the price for those things. A few people give it up and a few months later, everything is back to the way it was.

test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683149)

just checking to see if it still takes forever to post a comment.

Where are the bigger electric cars. (2)

yendor (4311) | about 2 years ago | (#40683205)

I can't see how this will work when not a single electric car is aimed at families.
Living in London I am repeatedly told I should be driving a "green" car instead of my big Renault Espace diesel. The complaint I normally get is that diesel is dirty but as far as I can find while that is true for old diesels without modern filters (+10 years old) it isn't the case with the modern diesels.
Also I almost never drive anywhere with less than 6 people in the car and walk whenever the distance is within a mile and there is nothing bulky to transport.

I have done extensive research into available electric cars but they simply aren't big enough to fit more than 3 children or 4 in a pinch when they have grown out of the legally mandated child seats.

Until we see 6 and 7 seater electrics I don't see it as being anything other than a DINK statement to show off the "green credentials".

Re:Where are the bigger electric cars. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683347)

It is currently targeted at sport enthusiast, as the electric motors have a much better torque curve. But you can expect it to trickle down to mom-mobiles pretty soon.

I bet the cars of 2032 will be like the Prius (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40683219)

Sorry Elon, but unlike the Americans, Toyota has been working on fuel efficient cars for the last 20 years, and they are good at cost control. Take the average mid sized, ~25 mpg car. Toyota's "normal" mid sized hybrid cars average 40 mpg. The Prius averages 49 mpg. Eventually, Toyota will switch the Prius to aluminum, and put in its experimental engine that gets several percent more thermal efficiency. Throw in a few more tweaks, and a 60 mpg Prius seems possible. Compare that to 89 mpge Model S, which is already aluminum based.

The biggest change will probably be the big decline in SUVs on the road. That's what Europe did. Europe already has 9 dollar/gallon gasoline, so the internal combustion engine is going nowhere.

Larger picture (1)

pEBDr (1363199) | about 2 years ago | (#40683481)

I find the idea that electric cars would solve the sustainability problems we're seeing naive, at best. Most of the electricity production comes from fossil fuels anyway. Wind and solar won't be able to step in to replace this energy production, we simply don't have enough material to produce that many wind/solar farms. Nuclear, you say? If we were to replace all fossil fuels with nuclear, the uranium would last about 20-50 years, just postponing the problem while adding a shitload of radioactive waste to it.

The only reasonable thing is to step away from the entire automotive regime. This is the only solution that will reclaim the cities to their citizens and stop the killing of 1.3 million people per year (and that's just in direct traffic accidents, not counting indirect deaths through e.g. air pollution).

Technical "progress" in the current system of innovation won't be able to do anything about the fact that the material basis of our existence is quite finite.

(Sorry about not posting sources, I work in this field and generally would - but I'm on vacation!)

PV comparison (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | about 2 years ago | (#40683617)

I'm with Musk on this one. It's really easy to underestimate the growth of emerging technologies.

In the 2000 World Energy Outlook [iea.org], the International Energy Agency forecasted that the installed capacity of PV solar cells in Europe in 2010 would be 1.6 GW (see page 294). To hedge their bet, they also included an "alternative policy scenario" where PV capacity reached 2 GW in 2010, corresponding to an average capacity growth rate over 1997 levels (0.5 GW) of 11.3% per year. So, what really happened? In 2010, there was 28 GW [epia.org] of PV capacity in the EU. And just last year Europe installed another 22 GW [bloomberg.com].

Sometimes, revolutions happen.

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