Cleantech Talk #3: Ford vs Chevy Bolt, Tesla Supercharger Milestone, Electric Aston Martin, & Boring Toyota Mirai

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Also published on EV Obsession, Planetsave, and CleanTechnica.

Chris DeMorro and I jumped into our third Cleantech Talk podcast just a couple of hours ago. I think we really hit our stride with this one. It was a lot of fun, and felt like a really long tennis or ping pong rally this time… as I think it should.

Clearly, we had some fun stories to run with this week, which I’ll quickly summarize below the emedded SoundCloud podcast. Just a reminder, aside from listening here on the web, you can download the podcast (in fact, you can do so here, or you can listen on the SoundCloud app on iTunes or Google Play. Also, for those who prefer the iTunes “Podcasts” app, I think we’re inches away from getting the podcast on there.

If you want to read more about the stories we discussed in this episode of Cleantech Talk, below are some links.

1. The unveiling of the Chevy Bolt was one of the biggest electric car stories in history. Rumor is that Ford is going to unveil a Bolt competitor this year, which is both a huge surprise and would indicate that the electric vehicle market is making a monumental step forward this year. Read more about this hot story from Chris’s viewpoint on Gas2 or read my thoughts about it on EV Obsession.

2. Tesla just hit another Supercharger milestone, installing its 2,000th Supercharger. Frankly, Tesla is in another level in basically every corner of the EV ring. We discuss the Supercharger network a bit, as well as other automakers’ approach (historically and today) to EV charging infrastructure.

3. Aston Martin has just unveiled a fully electric concept vehicle that uses in-wheel electric motors and is absolutely hot. Chris and I had a lot of fun chatting about this, but you also need to check out the article linked above. And this was the money quote, in my opinion, from Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: “[Aston Martin DBX] a challenge to the existing status quo in the high luxury GT segment. It envisages a world, perhaps a world not too far away, when luxury GT travel is not only stylish and luxurious but also more practical, more family-friendly and more environmentally responsible.”

4. Chris and I close out by knocking on the Toyota Mirai, Toyota’s boring approach to “new energy vehicles,” and low-performance, high-cost fuel cell vehicles themselves. As many have emphasized by now, fuel cell vehicles don’t have good performance, aren’t green, are extremely expensive, and don’t have infrastructure it actually needs in order to be useful (unlike battery electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles can’t be charged at home). As I argue in the podcast, fuel cell vehicles are simply a delay tactic… or even worse. But listen to Chris and me chat about it. 😀

Again, download the podcast here if you want to listen later.

Check out our previous Cleantech Talk podcasts here:

Cleantech Talk Podcast #1

Cleantech Talk Podcast #2

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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8 thoughts on “Cleantech Talk #3: Ford vs Chevy Bolt, Tesla Supercharger Milestone, Electric Aston Martin, & Boring Toyota Mirai

  • thanks, very nice talk! And good to hear your voices.

    By the way, Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus provides about half of all profits that Toyota is making as a company. And Toyota is allocating their R&D spendings accordingly. This is the reason why we need urgently high profile electric luxury cars for the 1 percenters, because this way we can create very strong forcing function for car companies to invest on the R&D of electric cars.

    + Also we need a demonstration unit what all electric semitrailer truck could do with Tesla S and Audi R8 e-tron high energy density batteries and 500-1000 kW fast charging.

  • As the saying goes, majority of US millionaires own Ford F-150 trucks… It would have been nice to have electric F-150 trucks, but those same millionaires are global climate deniers and are heavily invested in the fossil fuel industries.

  • Very nice. Thanks.
    On the Mirai, what about the requirement of building out a whole new infrastructure of hydrogen stations that cost up to US$5 million each to build and don’t exist yet? Electric charging stations are but a fraction of this cost, are already built out and growing. EVs can be charged in everyone’s homes, which will never happen with hydrogen. Odds are good that Toyota is going to lose a lot of money on their ill-fated hydrogen fuel cell bet.
    Source on cost:

    • Thanks for the link. It was comical how complicated it was for “Car and Driver” to fill up the FC car. They note the cost range of hydrogen refueling stations is $500K to $5M. But that article was 2008.

      So I got curious on the cost of H2 refueling stations now. Not a lot of cost info. A few home stations – here’s one also from 2008: 2000GBP for a home refueling station, but without a market for it at the moment, it seems to have sunk out of sight:–home-hydrogen-fuel-station.html

      Honda also has one but no cost info.

      A list here of some of them seems outdated.

      • Thanks, Michael G. Yes, not a lot of cost info on H2 stations, which is why I had to go back that far in time to find it.
        Thanks for the other links, which I went to and read. I’d read about that Honda home system a decade or longer ago that included the home energy system. Haven’t heard much about it lately. Before the resurgence of EVs (in large part thanks to Tesla), I tracked H2 stations and the technology just had no traction and therefore didn’t increase. In the early 2000s, compressed Nat Gas started to look possible, but it burned fuel, which causes CO2 pollution. I’m so happy that we now have a permanent and thriving EV industry. That is our future, and when coupled with wind and solar, it’s a clean future.

    • Found a little home hydrolyser (converts water to hydrogen and oxygen) for small fuel cells! Only $220 on Amazon. The small fuel cells (which the co. Brunton also makes) are used like portable batteries to recharge cell phones and stuff. So not ready for FC cars, but everything starts small. Not everything that starts small gets big, so time will tell.

    • Yeah, great additional point. I just briefly mentioned the infrastructure. The vehicles are a no-go on so many levels.

      • Yes, am surprised that Toyota wouldn’t see these points that have been discussed on CT for a long time. I keep asking myself if they are seeing something that I’m missing, but so far I keep answering no to that question.

Comments are closed.