Doug Vining Exponential technologies

One of the exponential technologies that are going to radically change the world - in combination with others - is driverless cars. Ford says it's going to do this within five years.
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Posted: 12 May 2016 at 08:58

Doug Vining Electric cars are coming soon

From the Wall Street Journal comes this column that argues we are heading to a tipping point where electric cars suddenly become mainstream. I'm not sure that will be the case in all countries, but certainly in the US and Europe, it's likely that sooner rather than later, all cars will at least have a charging option.

If scenarios for solar power breakthroughs and widespread micro-distribution (the Energy Internet) also pan out, then it's possible we could see this trend expanding world-wide.
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Posted: 31 August 2016 at 11:03

Doug Vining Diesel's days are numbered

Germany is the latest country to announce a future when all cars must be emissions free. The target date is 2030. But as this article in Wired points out, it's damn difficult to make a decent profit on pure electric vehicles. Which means the big auto makers are hedging their bets. Quite likely, when they say "every car will be electric" they mean they'll all use some sort of hybrid technology like the BMW i8 or the X6 with diesel hybrid system. These vehicles have low consumption (and emissions) numbers, but they are far from mainstream like the all electric i3. I'm fairly certain that rechargeable electric cars will - eventually- become the dominant variant in European cities, but it will take longer to catch on in other parts of the world, including the US. In Africa? Probably never.
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Posted: 19 October 2016 at 13:26

Doug Vining The beginning of the end for internal combustion

Via MIT Technology Review:
"Volvo is killing the internal combustion engine. Kind of.
The automaker has announced that from 2019 every car it sells will have an electric motor. It’s not quite the revolution it sounds: while it will launch five new all-electric cars by 2021, for now the bulk of its vehicles will be hybrids. And of those, many will be so-called mild-hybrids, which swap out starters and alternators for electric systems but can’t propel themselves without burning gas. Even so, it’s another sign that the auto industry is clearly moving away from the internal combustion engine."

Volvo, which was once Swedish, then owned by Ford, and is now a brand of China's Geely car company, is cleverly avoiding the Kodak moment. By committing to only hybrid or all electric models now, they associate themselves with innovators like Tesla and keep an image of safety and caring, despite being Chinese owned. But is this the end of internal combustion engines? Not by a long chalk, but it could be a signal that, as electric and hybrid cars become increasingly mainstream, all premium brands will have to incorporate electrics to stay relevant. Watch BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar make similar moves in the future.
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Posted: 6 July 2017 at 10:23

Neil Jacobsohn The beginning of the end for internal combustion

And now Tesla announces plans to build the world's biggest battery storage plant in Australia. This one is aimed mainly at providing power for homes and businesses, but the idea of solar energy, backed by ever-increasongly efficient batteries, is inexorably spelling the end for fossil fuels.
Posted: 7 July 2017 at 11:47

Doug Vining Have we reached peak ICE?

"In China, the world’s biggest car market, growth in the market for combustion engine cars has already stalled, while demand for electric cars is accelerating. In the first 10 months of this year, petrol car sales in China fell to less than 18m from 18.7m in the same period a year ago, according to Jato."

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Posted: 31 December 2018 at 22:37
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