NEWS: EVs ‘Crushing It’; Hybrids Making It; LED Streetlights

Posted by Lexie Briggs on Aug 9, 2013 6:06:00 PM

parkinglot2This week Tesla Motors released its Q2 revenue numbers, which, as Greentech Media pointed out, “crushed” the company’s second quarter projections. The company’s Q2 revenue was $405 million, beating out expectations by $22 million and bringing Tesla’s 2013 revenues to $956 million for the year. According to Motor Authority, so far this year Tesla has recorded a net income of $41 million. Share prices of Tesla jumped 14% following the announcement.

But at what point can we expect advanced vehicles to go toe-to-toe against gasoline-powered automobiles? The answer seems to be: soon. Last week, Ford announced a compressed natural gas engine option for America’s best-selling truck, the F-150.

Moreover, the market for advanced vehicles is surging, though it is still relatively small. The Electric Drive Train Association says the electric drive share (which includes hybrid electric vehicles) is 3.86% of the total market. The LA Times covered the increasing number of workplace charging stations for electric vehicles. And according to Ecotality, the use of workplace chargers was up 61% over the first six months of 2013.

The New York Times points out (in the unambiguously titled “A Hankering for Hybrids,”) that though EV sales may be a small portion of the overall automotive market, hybrids are selling in a big way – and considering that these were gasoline-powered engines that required no new infrastructure or changes in driving habits, should pave the way for EVs 10 years later. Hybrid vehicles have “quietly entered the mainstream of the American auto market,” the New York Times points out, with more than 40 models available, from Prius to BMWs.  The Toyota Prius became the top-selling passenger car in California in January, and it is consistently in the top 10 best selling passenger vehicles nationwide. 

In other news, the case for LED’s “taking off” in 2013 grows ever stronger. Cree announced this week that it had developed a $99 LED streetlight, which uses 65% less electricity than a conventional street bulb, the low price and low energy consumption combining for payback in less than a year. Edison International announced that it had acquired SoCore Energy, a vertically integrated solar company based in Chicago.  And Ray Mabus, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, writes in Foreign Policy about the national security implications of adopting advanced energy.

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Topics: News Update