Siemens Exits the Charging Station Business – but is that surprising?
About the market

Siemens Exits the Charging Station Business – but is that surprising?

According to Deutsche Welle and The Wall Street Journal; Siemens are leaving the Charging Station Business as “demand and market development turned out weaker than expected”. But they are going to continue to produce charging equipment for home/private use.

It’s interesting that the journalists pick up on the idea that it’s the lack of charging stations which is preventing the uptake of EVs, and now there are going to be fewer suppliers of charging stations. The old circular problem: EVs don’t sell because you can’t charge them, and without EVs on the road there is no demand for charging stations and no market.

But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. For sure; Siemens can’t sell charging station equipment because there aren’t enough big projects: the station networks are not being built, the integrators are not getting the funding for the projects, there isn’t enough policy to support large projects, there isn’t enough standardization from the OEM vehicle manufacturers etc… etc…

Is that a direct result of low demand for EVs? do we have to have lots of people buying EVs for there to be a demand for charging stations?

I think not: too simple a statement. It’s becoming clear from the many live (more…)

Carbon composites bring many advantages for EVs, but at what cost?
Charging standards

Carbon composites bring many advantages for EVs, but at what cost?

The BMW i3 electric car made a bit of a splash at the Frankfurt Auto Show last week, because it is highly innovative in a number of ways. One of the headline innovations is the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger compartment – a first use of carbon composite materials in the core structure of the body shell for a mass-market production vehicle.

But it comes at a cost. Using the UK pricing as an example, the i3 starts a £29,950 ($47,807 USD, €35,810 EUR) for the base model, although it will be eligible for Government subsidies such as the £5,000 ($7,981 USD, €5,978 EUR) grant in the UK.

Even with the subsidy that will make it £7,440 ($11,876 USD, €8,896 EUR) more expensive than the entry level 1-series, and a staggering £13,081 ($20,880 USD, 15,641 EUR) more than the similarly sized BMW mini, for a car with less than a 100 mile (161km) range.

How much of that price difference is down to the composites used in the body?

It’s hard to do more than speculate with the data I have, but I’m going to attempt some un-educated guesswork: Carbon fibre costs between 20 and 80 USD/Kg depending on quality. Carbon Fibre composites (more…)