In our first article Tony Seba makes the case that multiple technologies are converging that will massively disrupt the auto industry, use of space, transportation, energy, climate, … – all a big part of how we now live and work. He calls it “Clean Disruption”.
Our discussion will review his model. Are the assumptions valid? Is the logic consistent and complete? What other scenarios are possible? Timing? US vs ROW? Politics and regulation? Business threats and opportunities?
UK and France will ban ICE (internal combustion engine) autos by 2040:
Forbes: Volvo will stop designing ICE only cars by 2019. (They are not going all electric as some reported.)
Forbes: What if everyone installed solar?
When you reduce the number of moving parts in an engine from 2000 to 20, increase the efficiency and useful life of each auto, and eliminate truck drivers, then that is going to result in unemployment on a massive scale in the socio-economic classes that have already suffered from the widening income gap experienced over the past 30 years, and contributed to the election of Trump. Are our politicians capable of recognizing the consequences and bold enough to take action to offset the disappearing jobs? Given our current ineptitude in gaining consensus in Congress and the absence of forward vision from the White House I do not feel confident of the corrective means being devised and applied. Add to that the possible turmoil created by falling demand for oil from the Middle East, and we begin to approach the conditions for a perfect storm. Bryan Hooper.
What should the price be to sell electrons back price to the utility? It can’t be the retail cost of electricity because all the fixed costs remain. Fixed costs include the power station and transmission lines. The variable cost is just the cost of fuel. But for nuclear that variable fuel cost is zero.
So with residential roof top solar, a battery and a maybe back up generator – do you need to be on the power grid at all? If you are off the grid you can’t sell excess power, but do you owe the utility anything? (Note that you pay for sewers whether you are hooked up to them or not.) Do people dropping off lead to a death spiral as fixed costs of a universal power grid are spread over a shrinking customer base?
Will electric cars break the grid?
From Bloomberg Businessweek:
Dyson plans to build an electric car (or at least a street legal riding vacuum):
From Paul Williams: http://brook.gs/2fAZBmc
On the rapidly emerging technologies to improve electric storage: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2015/09/15/five-emerging-battery-technologies-for-electric-vehicles/