Thursday, January 17, 2013

GAStro 2020, "The Mother Of All Dinners" with my host, John Voelcker

I know John,,,When Pigs Fly....

I posted in the BMW ActiveE Facebook page that I thought the traditional gasoline car would become a niche vehicle, less than 50%, in the USA by 2020.
One of my electric car heroes (yes I think highly of his work)  John Voelcker, responded, err, took the bait, and challenged me to a “GAStro” dinner bet at the winners chosen eatery.

Here’s the good part of the bet….I get 50% of the winnings either way. As a goodwill gesture, I’m throwing in a 2007 Napa Silver Oak Cabernet that has his name on it.  It will be just peaking and a joy to drink in 2020 assuming John shares a glass with me.

Now I freely admit that the bean counters, auto execs, and Journo’s  pretty much think this is a safe bet for John. The same auto execs that are not afraid of Tesla but watch over their shoulder for every move that Tesla makes. Vegas would probably sends me off as a 20-1 underdog,  sort of like the Ravens against the Broncos in last weeks AFC divisional game.

However,  my clan is the clan of dreamers and doers, entrepreneurs and visionaries.   A 20-1 bet is a pretty sure bet to my clan.   I opened my first business when I was 20, 1000 folks told me no and two (my parents) told me yes. Odds were 500 to I,  and a made a few million.  I spent three years of my life going after the site selection of LEGOLAND for Carlsbad Ca.  The odds were 700-1. LEGOLAND is here and the city and county has made tens of millions.  I spent ten years restoring a commercial district when it was cast off as lost and relegated to serve as a petting zoo for old buildings. The odds were 100 to 1. Last year the district had $200 million in sales and property is now north of $10 mil an acre.

The point that I make here is that there are tens of thousands of folks in my clan who share the same dysfunctional wiring. Who simple don’t care what the odds are, they experience and create disruptive technology and can “see-dream” of the future.

But on to some facts and thoughts that bode well for those rooting for my side.

In Europe, my bet is already won with more than 50% of the cars sold being diesels in 2012.  Diesels will make good headway into  the US in the next decade.   They will establish a strong foothold by 2016 and then begin to take off. Look for Volkswagen to lead.

Light and heavy hybrids are projected to make up the majority of several automakers lineup by 2020.  The big reason here is regulatory mileage and strict emissions requirements.  In California the Hybrid uptake is currently at 8-9% I predict in 2020 it will be close to 50% in California and 10-20% across the nation.

While I’m not a big fan of fracking and cracking the earths crust, Natural Gas will emerge as a huge cheap player in the heavy and light vehicle segment. CNG cars and trucks will increase in sales due to the availability, low cost and relatively clean (80%+ cleaner than gasoline) natural gas supplies.

Computational power, energy storage and the reducing cost of Solar PV will combine to offer an alternative to gasoline that is already  less than 10% of the cost of Gasoline in 2013.  Only plug in cars will be able to access that fuel source.  It’s so cheap (I know as I am solar powered) that in 2013 Tesla is giving it away free.  The people of the US discovers this amazing fact around 2015 and the S as in Model S hits the fans.  Plug in Hybrids and electrics take off from there with exponential disruptive growth in 2017.  The energy to drive your car is sold when you buy your car for less than one year of buying gasoline, the energy sits on the roof of your garage or in a virtual net meeting solar PV field miles away.

China and India become gross consumers as the world emerges from its economic slumber. Gasoline goes to $6.00 a gallon.  The plug in electric car now runs at 5% of the cost of gasoline.  The cost of plug ins reach parity with gasoline cars.

Instability in the Mideast in the next seven years.  Thousands of years of history are on my side here.  Once again for the umptennth time our nation rallies to  get of oil.  This time there is a viable option and it works.

Battery densities accelerate from a current average of 8% increase a year to 12% increase a year.  By 2020 the 200 mile battery is common place at $200 per KW of storage.   Cycle life is in the 3000-5000 cycle range or 200K to 300K in miles (just as in my Honda Fit EV today.)

I could go on and on but the post is already too long. All of these don’t need to happen but a few of these will happen.  I’m pretty confident that by 2020 more that 50% of our sales will include hybrids, plug ins, electrics, CNG, diesal, dare I say fuel cell or flux capacitors.

Thanks for reading, thanks for being a good sport John. I look forward to our dinner together and to you picking up the tab.
The pragmatist and the dreamer….an epic battle is on.
What do you say?    What are the odds?

65,000 miles on sunshine power.

No comments:

Post a Comment