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Power

Electric Car Battery Prices Fell By 80% In the Last 7 Years, Says Study (electrek.co) 212

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Electrek: A new study published this month by McKinsey and Company looks into how automakers can move past producing EVs as compliance cars and "drive electrified vehicle sales and profitability." Unsurprisingly, it describes battery economics as an important barrier to profitability and though the research firm sees a path to automakers making a profit selling electric vehicles as battery costs fall, it doesn't see that happening for "the next two to three product cycles" -- or between 2025 and 2030. That's despite battery costs falling from ~1,000 per kWh in 2010 to ~$227 per kWh in 2016, according to McKinsey. The company wrote in the report: "Despite that drop, battery costs continue to make EVs more costly than comparable ICE-powered variants. Current projections put EV battery pack prices below $190/kWh by the end of the decade, and suggest the potential for pack prices to fall below $100/kWh by 2030." Automakers capable of staying ahead of that cost trend will be able to achieve higher margins and possible profits on electric vehicle sales sooner. Tesla is among the automakers staying ahead of the trend. While McKinsey projects that battery pack prices will be below $190/kWh by the end of the decade, Tesla claims to be below $190/kWh since early 2016. That's how the automaker manages to achieve close to 30% gross margin on its flagship electric sedan, the Model S. Tesla aims to reduce the price of its batteries by another 30% ahead of the Model 3 with the new 2170 cells in production at the Gigafactory in Nevada. It should enable a $35,000 price tag for a vehicle with a range of over 200 miles, but McKinsey sees $100/kWh as the target for "true price parity with ICE vehicles (without incentives)": "Given current system costs and pricing ability within certain segments, companies that offer EVs face the near-term prospect of losing money with each sale. Under a range of scenarios for future battery cost reductions, cars in the C/D segment in the US might not reach true price parity with ICE vehicles (without incentives) until between 2025 and 2030, when battery pack costs fall below $100/kWh, creating financial headwinds for automakers for the next two to three product cycles." UPDATE 2/3/17: We have changed the source to Electrek and quoted McKinsey and Company -- the company that conducted the study.

Comment Re:What in the blue hell are you talking about (Score 1) 834

I get the "joke", but just a note, Sao Paulo (largest city in S. America) is mostly Italian...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ão_Paulo#Immigration

I was surprised that a NY-area American like me fit right in (until I opened my mouth)!

Comment Re:mountains of diamonds (Score 1) 365

Okay, I see you are able to be reasonable about this. So I have a few questions/observations.

The Native Americans and the Jews have also been victims of the most horrible forms of colonialism, institutional and interpersonal racism, or both. Why are they not topping the charts for violent crime like the blacks?

Native Americans https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...

Jews http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/04...

The 2nd is much more illustrative of the mechanisms, and finishes with a simple enough point: sub-sets of society who are marginalized long enough (living in reservations, jewish ghettos, US inner-city ghettos) will end up with increased crime rates (including violent crime). Also note that while what you said is logically correct (your "or both" above helps), the Jews haven't in recent memory been "colonized", as until recently they did not claim any land. Crime records for Jews in (e.g.) biblical Egypt would indeed be interesting to see...

Comment Re:RTFA this time (Score 1) 264

The people on one of my relative's block have an interesting solution to that:

Everyone who's "prepping" all have the same style/caliber of weapon. This way they can all use each others caches if/when they become available.

...I took it upon myself not to point out that this also implies there are lots of people with guns around who know where "things of value" will be found...

Comment Re: Wrong as per usual Warming Alarmists (Score 1) 240

Just a thought, but instead of spending the time telling the GP to pound sand, shouldn't you have asked your city why they're lying about their published weather data? At the least, ask them to install a weather station in your neighborhood, due to extreme local variation from the available measurements?

Comment Re:Becasue... the children! (Score 1) 190

As a frequent hiker, I couldn't leave this one alone. The linked paper is about sterilization in health-care, but it quickly comes to (emphasis mine):

Chemical Disinfectants

Alcohol

Overview. In the healthcare setting, "alcohol" refers to two water-soluble chemical compounds—ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol—that have generally underrated germicidal characteristics 482. FDA has not cleared any liquid chemical sterilant or high-level disinfectant with alcohol as the main active ingredient. These alcohols are rapidly bactericidal rather than bacteriostatic against vegetative forms of bacteria; they also are tuberculocidal, fungicidal, and virucidal but do not destroy bacterial spores. Their -cidal activity drops sharply when diluted below 50% concentration, and the optimum bactericidal concentration is 60%–90% solutions in water (volume/volume)

http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/disi...

Keep in mind that alcohol is a disinfectant however it is not an effective sterilizing agent as some things can survive. Alcohol is not very effective against bacterial spores. Sterilization implies that there is no living organism left whereas disinfection eliminates or reduces the harmful organisms present.

Comment Re:The water wars are coming (Score 1) 151

I see your point, but it makes me think... how do you propose to "fix the canals"? Cement the bottom better, or close-over the top? I ask, because I truly don't know the sources of the loss, but....

...if the loss is mostly into the air (evaporation), I agree, that sucks (unless the rain stays somewhat local). I wonder though how many acres of land are "accidentally" watered by seepage/waste/runoff/spillover/outward-gradual-soil-moistening. I'd imagine lots of creatures are making new homes along the shore in previously scrappy (from your description) land. Granted (to play devil's advocate against myself), my gut tells me that (a) it's likely opportunists (weeds and annoying creatures) moving in along the canal, (b) some nice native creatures are being pushed out of their "desert paradise" and (c) it's probably still more net harm than good... I just think it's worth thinking about the upsides of "inefficient water transport" ;-)

Sorry, just in that kind of mood today.

Comment Re:Read Slashdot (Score 1) 479

It seems I'm somewhat agreeing with the other replies to your post here, with a "we had useful PhD's at my highly-specialized niche company". We build bespoke data management systems within the financial realm, and one of our best tool/product builders was a PhD (Physics, I think). He was of course "a bit goofy", but very easy to work with, willing to put in long hours and wear a suit if needed on-site. Sad to have lost him, frankly, but the new owners have a hard time seeing salaries that high...
Crime

Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps 664

theodp (442580) writes "Thankfully, no one's gone full-Charles-Bronson yet, but the NY Times reports that victims of smartphone theft are using GPS to take the law into their own hands, paying visits to thieves' homes and demanding the return of their stolen phones. "The emergence of this kind of do-it-yourself justice," writes Ian Lovett, "has stirred worries among law enforcement officials that people are putting themselves in danger, taking disproportionate risks for the sake of an easily replaced item." And while hitting "Find My iPhone" can take you to a thief's doorstep, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith urges resisting the impulse to do so. "It's just a phone," he said. "it's not worth losing your life over. Let police officers take care of it. We have backup, guns, radio, jackets — all that stuff civilians don't have.""
Transportation

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price? 398

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Ask most people why they won't consider an electric car, and they talk about range anxiety. And I can easily imagine why 84 miles of range isn't enough. Now it sounds like Nissan is listening, as well as watching Tesla's success. The company plans to boost the Leaf electric car's driving range with options for larger battery packs. Not long ago Nissan surveyed Tesla Model S owners, and they probably heard loud and clear that longer driving range is very, very important. So it looks like the Leaf might get up to 150 miles of range, possibly by the 2016 model year. The range increase will come from a larger battery pack, possibly 36 or 42 kWh, and more energy-dense cells. Either way, clearly Nissan is looking to expand the appeal of the world's best-selling electric car, and increasing its driving range is pretty clearly a key to doing so. I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it."

Comment Re:Untested? (Score 1) 357

I can guarantee you, from years of overseas consulting, that this is not a US phenomenon.

Just this month, we found out at a non-US client recently that a new build of our server made it from Dev to Prod *untested* by the bank who was implementing it. A sub-beta-build, at that (spot/hot-fix). It treated a certain type of function call differently (almost unarguably better) than before, however we have to defend why the old version "worked"; while on the new server, this causes a "bug" due to a consultant's *cough cough sorry* poor coding.

I'm all for trashing on the US (though shooting fish in a barrel is generally not recognized as sportsmanlike), as I think it's only being intellectually honest to treat all downward-sloping-gradients equally; but please don't believe that we're exceptional in this regard.

Comment Re: Bullshit we won't notice (Score 1) 466

Most of the non-bottom-of-the-barrel airlines offer this, for United at least it's called economy plus.

I've flown US->Brazil 6 times in the last year. I've kept an eye open for business class at an affordable price each time, but the difference tends to be $1400 vs $6000 (sometimes 8). Economy plus is an extra ~$115 each way, and gets you 'up to' 5" extra legroom. As an added bonus, you generally get to board early, so the overhead bins will be nice and empty.

Still, I feel your pain. Try to shop around and see if you can find a similar-priced flight on an airline with this option. For me at least, the difference between having that metal bar from the top of the magazine rack (WHY do you need to put a damn metal bar in there! my knees protest verily!) and suffering for days, vs paying the extra $115 or so and getting room to shift my legs freely, is making flying tolerable again.

Best of luck.

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