The demand for electric cars begins to be out of control
Begins to observe a demand for electric cars that are beginning to be overtaken by the offer. Not only do we talk about the availability of units to buy, but also that there is an infrastructure properly sized for that population of electricity.
In recent years the sales of these passenger cars without a combustion engine are growing. In 2017 more than one million units were sold, whereas before it took several years for that amount. It was a year-on-year increase of 57% compared to 2016, and half were placed in China.
Manufacturers were accustomed to low demands and little room for growth so that the purchases of components have not been foreseen as for meeting a growing demand. Even Tesla fell short with its forecasts in the case of Model 3.
Pretend to buy some models electric today is an odyssey, arm yourself with patience and wait a few months. I would like all manufacturers to have that “problem”. Meanwhile, internal combustion models have difficulties to survive in the market, especially if they are a little special and of low demand.
Tesla is totally overwhelmed by the demand for the Model 3, which has a waiting list of almost half million people, which means having accepted almost 500 million dollars in reserves. General Motors also has problems to meet the demand of the Chevrolet Volt and its equivalent Opel Ampera-e.
Although Opel is already a brand of the PSA Group, General Motors has to serve the orders of the electric for the European market. Almost all the production effort is being made for the American market, giving the ridiculous situation that some impatient people prefer to import the Chevrolet and then have problems with the type of plug (the standards are different), in addition to additional homologation costs. Opel no longer accepts orders from the Ampera-e, and this is not the first time it has happened. The same for the Volkswagen Golf GTE and Passat GTE, which are not pure electric, but plug-in hybrids. You can not ask for one in the United Kingdom or Germany, and the problem may spread to more markets soon. The factories are not meeting the demand.
BMW sees the problems coming from afar and will put 300 million euros in its Leipzig factory, which manufactures the compact models (Series 1 and Series 2) in addition to the i3 and i8. The factory will host 500 new robots to streamline the painting process and production processes, although no more workers will be hired, the current workforce is 5,300 people.
BMW probably prefers that its factory can meet a higher demand for electricity since the models of internal combustion do not have so great growth expectations. The movement is “sold” as a way to expand the flexibility of the plant in the future. By 2020 the annual capacity will have increased from 250,000 current units to 350,000 units.
And once those cars are on the streets, will they have enough recharging points? If the network does not grow with the growth of demand in mind, there will be problems when more than two “thirsty” electric ones meet at the same loading point at the same time.
For example, in the UK it will take six times more loaders in 2020 of those that are now, which are about 16,500. For another two years, another 83,500 recharging points will be needed, according to Emu Analytics. Right now some 150,000 electric are discharged in the country, it is expected that in 2020 it will be one million. While the autonomies are not very high, there will be dependence on said recharging network.
And the problem could be even higher if the gasoline was more expensive (that encourages to change technology) or if they were already ready for sale. models that manufacturers promise for months or a few years. At least the electrical network does not need to be just resized, it already supports millions of electric vehicles charging at the same time, and not only do I refer to Spain.