Ingenieur Vol. 75 ingenieur July 2018-FA - Page 77

What Others Say About Future Energy JACK EWING BOAO What needs to happen before electric cars take over Asian Energy and Resources Partnership The electric car future is still missing some pieces, such as insufficient recharging stations and they cost more than diesel or gasoline powered vehicles. New sources of lithium have to be found, a raw material now found primarily in China and Chile, that could become as important to the automobile industry as oil is now. Faster than anyone expected, electric cars are becoming as economical and practical as cars with conventional engines. Prices for lithium-ion batteries are plummeting, while technical advances are increasing driving ranges and cutting recharging times. Once the trend gets going, it can happen very fast, said Guido Jouret, Chief Digital Officer at ABB, an electronic company based in Zurich. But, the electric- car future is still missing some pieces. Some crucial raw materials are scarce. There are not enough places to recharge. Battery-powered cars still cost thousands of dollars more than many gasoline vehicles. More charging stations will need to be built, and they’ll need to charge faster. The average range of a gasoline-powered car: 475 miles. Average range of an electric vehicle: 190 miles. Electric cars cost less to operate – about one cent per mile compare with 10 cents per mile for a gasoline powered car. By Samniang Saenram The key points of US-China Clean Energy Forum: a. The era of low price volatility is over, and the industry must develop new forms of energy to fight against price volatility and carbon emissions. b. Technological innovation, breakthroughs, and small advancements will drive the future of the energy industry. c. Natural gas and solar power are expected to rise in demand and be more viable as alternatives in the next decade. d. A practical framework is urged for global energy co-operation. Impact of low oil prices and change of industry landscape Although there were different views on how low oil prices will drop and how long these prices will remain for, a consensus reached among the roundtable attendees was that low oil prices have hampered enthusiasm for nuclear and renewable energy. One thing to bear in mind is that the era of low price volatility is over and the ups and downs in oil prices will be the new norm.  The only way to fight against price volatility is to develop new sources of energy, which will also help to reduce carbon emissions. In regard to this topic, panellists also shared their thoughts on the prospects of the development of natural gas and solar power in China. 75