Newsletter vol 8: Car Wars - Rise of the EVs

December 5, 2019
Photo by Szymon Kita on Unsplash

December 5, 2019

Hi there,

Tesla's unveiling of its polarizing Cybertruck and Ford's debut of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E has got us thinking about the impact of electrification on the automobile industry. Environmental concerns and government incentives are encouraging consumers to consider electric vehicles over traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles, and carmakers have taken noticed.

GM, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Volvo have announced plans to shift production to an electric future. This change means fewer jobs for assembly workers as electric drive systems contain far fewer parts than engines. However, electric engineers will be in high demand. While sales of ICE vehicles will continue to dominate for the next decade, EV sales are expected to surpass them in 2038 as gas-powered automobiles fade into extinction. It's been an uphill battle, but electric vehicles are headed for victory in the car wars.  

Stay tuned to our blog for the latest happenings in aerospace, engineering and hiring. We’ll see you in a fortnight.

Kim Taylor
CEO, Cluster

Sales of EVs Will Overtake Gasoline Powered Autos in 2038

Data: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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Gemini 4 Spacewalk. 1965
Source: Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Tesla's Million Mile Battery Could Outlive Us All

  • The average car has a lifespan of 150,000 miles, so if driven annually at 13,500 miles, it'll last about 11 years. In April, Elon Musk announced Teslas would soon be powered by batteries that could exceed one million miles allowing them to, theoretically, outlive their human drivers.
  • In September, a team of battery researchers at Dalhousie University, with support from Tesla, published a paper describing a battery that is "able to power an electric vehicle for over 1 million miles."
  • Recently, Tesla filed a patent for a battery similar to the one described in the paper and many of the Dalhousie researchers are listed as inventors. According to the team, the results from battery tests are "far superior" than other lithium-ion batteries.
  • A typical lithium-ion battery experiences microscopic cracks with each charge, decreasing its lifetime and performance such that it must be replaced after 1,000 to 2,000 discharge cycles. However, the million mile battery sports 95% of its life after 1,000 cycles and about 90% after 4,000.
  • Still, the fabled battery is not yet ready for prime time as its cell chemistry requires a large amount of cobalt. The world's supply of cobalt is running out, making it very expensive. As such, Tesla aims to eliminate cobalt from its batteries entirely.

         more here>>

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year for Car Sales

  • This year hasn't been the best for the automobile industry with global car sales sliding by 3.1 million units – the steepest decline since the Great Recession. The slowdown in auto sales is contributing to a drag on global manufacturing.
  • Global passenger car sales fell to 80.6 million in 2018 from 81.8 million in 2017. It marked the first annual decline since 2009. Worldwide sales in 2019 are expected to fall by another 4% to around 77.5 million new vehicle sales.
  • A culprit in the worldwide decline is falling demand in China, the world’s largest auto market. Sales in the Middle Kingdom fell 11% during the first 10 months of the year. Weak credit growth, a rise in used car sales and new emissions standards are seen as factors in depressing new car sales.
  • Other sore spots include the US where auto sales are expected to decline about 2% decline to 16.9 million vehicles. General Motors, Ford and Honda have all cut production in the wake of flagging sales.
  • The growth of ride-hailing and car-sharing schemes are weighing on auto demand. Market analysts aren't forecasting a rebound in 2020 and are hoping for stabilization at best.

         more here >>

Today’s roundup was written by Lawren Henderson with contributions from Kim Taylor and Justin Parker in Los Angeles.

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Upcoming Events in SoCal


Dec 6: 2019 West Coast Aerospace Forum
Rand Corporation
Santa Monica
Join the Aerospace Corporation for a discussion on building a successful space service at the 5th annual West Coast Aerospace Forum. This year's theme is "An Air and Space Force Designed for the Future." The event offers a chance to engage with the Air Force's most senior leaders and top civilian national security experts in a setting that encourages debate, discussion, and audience interaction. Info

Dec 14:  Introduction to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Training
Entirety Technology
El Segundo
Introduction to Robot Process Automation (RPA) is an instructor-led training program taught over the course of four weekends. RPA is a rapidly-developing, business process automation technology based around AI and software. Entirety Technology has designed this program for CIOs and working professionals exploring automating UI workflows. Info

Check out our calendar for all the latest SoCal events here

Apollo 11's Saturn V rocket awaits departure. New Orleans. 1967
Source: NASA

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