May
14

“Is Cheap Gas Pulling The Plug On Electric Cars?” A Response

 
This letter by Tony Posawatz, President and CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC and GM veteran of 30 years, is cross-posted from CleanTechnica. While gas prices may have some short-term impact on electric vehicle (EV) sales, the April 22 article “Is cheap gas pulling the plug on electric cars?” takes an unfortunately short-sighted view of the future of American mobility. The recent increase in gas-guzzler sales is noteworthy, but history tells us this period of cheap fuel will not last forever. Volatility in the global oil market—responsible for rapid swings in gasoline prices—has returned to levels not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis. Prices will go up again; the only question is how soon. Electricity prices, by comparison, are stable, taking advantage of diverse, domestic energy sources. EV drivers are insulated from oil price spikes and enjoy lower maintenance costs than their gas-powered driving friends—two distinct advantages of EV ownership, even at today’s low fuel prices. Consumer studies show EV drivers are very satisfied with their cars, more so than conventional vehicle owners. The second generation of EVs is coming soon with battery prices dropping an average of 14 percent annually in recent years, increasing range and affordability. And consumers have more choice—Americans can pick one of 24 EV and plug-in hybrid models spanning every product segment, up from 16 a year ago. Consumers know high prices at the pump will inevitably return. Fortunately, new trends and pioneering technologies are transforming American mobility, freeing it from the unpredictable global oil market. These innovative alternatives put healthy pressure on oil demand, creating the competition that drives our country, and EVs are here to compete for the long-term. Tony Posawatz is President and CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC. Posawatz is a leader in automotive innovation, spending 30 years at General Motors, 18 of which he served as Vehicle Line Executive Director, including leading work on the Chevrolet Volt.
May
12

Iran Deal Spurs Regional Rivalries

 

We are already beginning to see sweeping implications stemming from the proposed nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran in the Middle East and around the globe. Specifically, Iran’s regional rivals are starting to see the ten year delay on the country’s nuclear program as their window of opportunity to catch up with their own weapons programs. Saudi Arabia, likely the ...

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May
8

Study: Flying Outpaces Driving in Fuel Efficiency

 

Driving is more energy-intense than flying, a University of Michigan study concluded last week, revealing surprising trends about energy consumption in the United States. Lead researcher Michael Sivak of the University’s Transportation Research Institute found transporting one person one mile by aircraft used 2,465 British thermal units (Btus) in 2012 compared with driving, which used 4,211 Btus. Btus are a ...

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May
8

Tough Challenges for China’s Bloated Oil Industry

 

Talks about merging China’s oil companies into a mega-NOC that can compete with the likes of ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have hit roadblocks. A few potential mergers are being explored, which would ostensibly help China’s four state-owned oil companies weather the current low price storm, has been met with skepticism from economists who say China needs more competition to ...

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May
5

Going Local with Energy Security: Indianapolis

 

“The politics of energy is warping diplomacy around the world,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, quoting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a presentation he gave today at the 2015 Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Dallas. Mayor Ballard warned attendees “not to be fooled by recent increases in domestic oil production,” and laid out in stark terms our ...

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