As EV demand rises, this is what the future will look like for gas cars, according to new data analysis by RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute).
RMI, who worked in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund, writes in a report released today called “X-change: Cars, The end of the ICE age” that the market share of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars is going to fall to a level of 14-38% of sales by 2030.
RMI says that gas car sales peaked in 2017 and have been falling at 5% a year since then. By the end of this decade, gas car sales will fall to between 14 million and 38 million cars a year.
But it’s not just about just new gas car purchases – it’s also about what happens to gas cars already on the road, because the gas car stock is a function of gross sales and the scrappage of existing cars.
RMI assumes the life of a car to be around 15 years. Over the past decade, RMI writes, the number of gas cars scrapped annually has been between 40 and 50 million. But using historical data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), RMI estimates that the gas car scrappage rate will climb to between 60 and 70 million annually by 2030, based on the number of gas car sales 15 years ago, which was at around 80 million. (Scrappage is another recycling challenge that is going to need to be urgently addressed.)
RMI gives the example that in 2022, there were sales of 64 million gas cars and scrappage of 42 million. So the net growth was 22 million. But by 2025, more gas cars will be scrapped than sold, meaning the overall fleet of gas cars will peak that year, and then will be in freefall by 2030. RMI’s research shows that by 2030, the gas fleet is likely to be falling at a rate of 40 to 70 million per year, or 3-7%.
And, the researchers say, since gas cars account for around 25% of global oil demand (and made up more than 33% of oil demand growth between 2010 and 2019), demand for oil is also going to freefall in the future, thanks to EV adoption and efficiency.
And here’s the exciting bombshell from this report: By the 2040s, RMI says that the oil demand from the car sector will fall to zero.
Kingsmill Bond, senior principal at RMI, said:
Electric vehicles are on track to dominate global car sales by 2030, signaling the endgame for the largest sector of oil demand.
And where cars lead, so the rest of transport will follow: Exponential change is spreading to two-wheelers across the Global South and to trucks in China.
This is good news for cutting emissions and improving public health. But it also shifts money from the hands of petrostates into the pockets of consumers.
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US grid-scale energy storage installations soared in Q2 2023
The US battery energy storage market added 5,597 megawatt hours (MWh) in the second quarter of 2023, a new quarterly record.
The grid-scale segment of the industry drove the market with a record-breaking 5,109 MWh in Q2, beating the previous record in Q4 2021 by 5%, according to Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association’s (ACP) latest US Energy Storage Monitor report.
The grid-scale segment achieved 172% growth quarter-over-quarter. California was No. 1 among states with the most grid-scale energy storage installations, with 738 MW and a 49% share of installed capacity.
Wood Mackenzie projects the grid-scale segment to be the main driver of the market in its five-year forecast from 2023-27, accounting for 83% of total installations, or 55 gigawatts (GW).
ACP’s VP of research and analytics, John Hensley, said:
The energy storage market is on pace for a record year, as utilities and larger power users increasingly turn to storage to enhance the grid and improve reliability.
The market is on pace to nearly double annual installations despite supply chain challenges and interconnection delays, and will continue to grow quickly in coming years.
Community, commercial, and industrial (CCI) installations, at 107 MWh, were higher than any quarter in 2022 but couldn’t keep pace with the huge spike in Q1 installations, resulting in a 53% quarterly decline. However, the segment is still up 25% year-over-year.
Residential storage saw its second-straight quarter of decline at 381.2 MWh, behind Q1’s 388.2 MWh. California saw the biggest decline, decreasing 17% quarter-over-quarter and 37% year-over-year.
Vanessa Witte, senior analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s energy storage team, said, “We still project strong growth for the residential segment in our five-year outlook, reaching a total of 8 GW in 2027. However, the CCI segment continues to fail to meet growth projections and we have downgraded its five-year growth forecast by 28% to 3 GW.”
On Friday, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $325 million for 15 projects across 17 states and one tribal nation to accelerate the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. The DOE has set a goal to reduce the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030.
Photo: Jupiter Power; Graphs: US Energy Storage Monitor Q3 2023 | American Clean Power Association, Wood Mackenzie
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Tesla releases update on Optimus robot with video looking like CGI
Tesla has released an update with progress on its Optimus humanoid robot with a video that almost looks like CGI.
Optimus, also known as Tesla Bot, has not been taken seriously by many outside of the more hardcore Tesla fans, and for good reasons.
When it was first announced, it seemed to be a half-baked idea from CEO Elon Musk with a dancer disguised as a robot for visual aid. It also didn’t help that the demo at Tesla AI Day last year was less than impressive.
At the time, Tesla had a very early prototype that didn’t look like much. It was barely able to walk around and wave at the crowd. That was about it.
But we did note that the project was gaining credibility with the latest update at Tesla’s 2023 shareholders meeting earlier this year.
At the time, Tesla showed several more prototypes that all looked more advanced and started to perform actually useful tasks.
Tesla has now released a new update on Optimus with a video showcasing the ability of the robot to sort objects autonomously:
Like the latest versions of Full Self-Driving, Tesla also notes that Optimus is now being trained with neural nets end-to-end.
The video shows that Tesla is again making progress with the Tesla bot, which looks more refined in this update. The mechanics look more stable with a prototype balancing on one foot.
The video even looks CGI at times, but everything points to Tesla actually having those working prototypes around its offices.
In a previous update on Optimus, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that the “Optimus stuff is extremely underrated.” The CEO said that the demand could be as high as 10 to 20 billion units.
He went as far as “confidently predicting” that Optimus will account for “a majority of Tesla’s long-term value.”
There’s no clear timeline for bringing the product to market, but Tesla is expected to first use it in its own operations.
Quick Charge Podcast: September 23, 2023
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