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David Fickling @davidfickling
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
If auto manufacturers were serious about *mobility*, they wouldn't be trying to break range anxiety with longer-range EVs but with low-cost deliver-to-door ICE rental
Having longer-range EVs involves difficult chemistry and engineering, is expensive and getting more so in materials terms, is costly to consumers and off-putting whenit doesn't work, and bad for the climate in adding vehicle mass that's mostly useless.
If I was Nissan I would be offering $18,000 EVs with short range for work and shopping. And each one would come with a deal that in urban areas would deliver an ICE to your door at eg. $30/day within an hour of your app booking for whenever you needed a longer-range trip
I haven't modeled how the costs would work with this but $18k is well within the bounds of what's possible (Nissan has cited that figure iirc), and a price point like that for a "proper"-looking car (even with short range) ought to dramatically affect consumer uptake of EVs
One thing that's striking for me is that the cost of EVs hasn't *really* reflected the declining cost of lithium-ion batteries because carmakers have been upgrading range as prices per watt have fallen -- a classic example of Jevons' paradox
EVs could already be noticeably cheaper than ICEs if carmakers were prepared to take a gamble on "mobility", maybe partnering with an Uber/Lime/oBike so that delivery drivers could return to base.
To my knowledge I think only BMW and Fiat have really tried this, and my impression is they haven't dedicated a great deal of attention to it. IMO they should be flooding the concept with capital the way ride/bike/scooter-share companies are
One last note -- of course it doesn't have to be deliver-to-door ICE rental. They could make it a long-range EV instead, assuming they've got one on the market. The point is that they're tackling range anxiety in a very unimaginative, difficult and expensive way
One last last thing. I said it's expensive in materials terms: One reason cobalt prices are spiking RN is because a very high-Co battery chemistry is the best way to get better range at the moment. China has incentives for longer range EVs, so cobalt prices are booming.
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