So it is with Great Glee that I stumble across an article trumpeting yet another breakthrough in EV's which leads straight on to thoughts about an Impending Singularity here in Godzone.
Just the facts, ma'am.
- Tiwai Point smelter (Rio Tinto owned) is marginally economic: it's COGS is around $USD16-1800 per unit, while the world price for the stuff hovers around $USD1900. Once transport is factored in, it's hard to make a buck where SALES = COGS, no matter how much volume ya pump through.
- Tiwai is a way of exporting electricity, as the NBR article notes. It is around 1/7th (that's 14.28% for youse metric types) of total NZ generation capacity.
- Now, let's assume that Tiwai (disclosure, I carted fabricated steel stuff there in ma Tonka Toy phase during TP's construction, so I have an interest in the show, plus I'm a Meridian shareholder) closes sometime between 2017 and 2022. That releases a lotta electrons from potline slavery. Hmmm. What to use 'em for?
- EV's, of course. My guess is that, over that same planning horizon, the likes of Zytek, the hundreds of Chinese makers of everything from forklifts to trucks to cars to scooters, the Japanese, not to mention Ford, Toyota, GM and Tesla etc - will have such volumes and width of product lines available, that EV's will be the Cars and Trucks of the new era.
- So we have ourselves a Potential Singularity here: the EV cavalry (vehicles, power supplies, roads) ride into town at just the point where dino juice starts its inevitable price climb/volume degrade.
- Hmmm. I'd been hankering after a small hybrid (Prius C or similar). Mebbe I'll just wait and see: run the existing fleet into the ground....and go pure EV, to heck with hybrids.