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Saying the advantages of electrics and plug-in hybrids are overstated because most energy is generated by fossil fuels is dishonest.
In Europe more and more energy comes from renewable energy. And this is in Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy (not so much on eastern countries, where FCA also barely has any presence at all). In France most energy is nuclear and guess what? That doesn't polute.
And lets not even mention China which is investing massively in renewable energy and cutting back on coal because of their air quality issues.

Even in the US, all new energy installs are wind, solar or natural gas (which is much more energy efficient than coal and even oil). Economically, fossil fuels as sources for energy generation aren't making sense in plenty of markets already and in the next ten years it will stop making sense at all.

Also, LG Chem, Panasonic and many other battery manufacturers are drastically increasing their battery production capacity AND battery density. The only weak link is the network to recharge electric cars.
And next year, we'll have the Model 3, the new Nissan Leaf (which looks like it will look much more atractive and have the same range as the Model 3), the new Renault Zoe (Nissan Leaf sibling for Europe). BMW already stated that they'll release a Model 3 competitor in 2019, the VW Group and Mercedes as well, Jaguar will launch an electric crossover the (E-Pace) that looks amazing, Volvo has some amazing plug-in hybrids and will launch more electric vehicles.

FCA has the plug-in Pacifica. It is a brilliant vehicle but they need more.
 

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The reasons for FCA, my guesses...

1) Technology - not wanting to be the only company that can't do it
2) Marketing - not wanting to be seen as obsolete
3) Regulatory - CAFE may survive and FCA is tired of buying credits
4) Time - efforts initiated before CAFE was slated to be re-opened (which may not be legal and may not happen)
 

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Everything will be a mild Hybrid within 10 years... the question is how to move all those batteries around at only 333KG a clip.

Oil is going to be a primary energy source for a long time. 400 years or so, the idea that all hydrocarbon fuels are produced from fossils is what is gong die. Wind has a long way to go it payback currently is infinity as the energy to produce it cannot be made in the life time of the equipment. More and more we need to use a total energy equation not just a produced energy formula.
 

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FCA has the plug-in Pacifica. It is a brilliant vehicle but they need more.
RD will be offer a hybrid option based on Pacifica tech. RD is RA, reborn. So that's two.

Wrangler hybrid is 3. Wouldn't be surprised to see either Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer to have a hybrid option, so there's four. 1500 refresh come 2023 or 2024 will have have a hybrid, so there's five. I could see Grand Cherokee getting a hybrid option around the same timeframe.

By mid next decade, all of FCA's high volume/profitable vehicles will have a hybrid option. Eight years for 5 or 6 hybrid implementations wouldn't be too shabby.
 

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Toronto fourth largest north american city, IMO doesn't have electrical infrastructure robust enough to withstand everybody coming home and plugging in their car. I wonder how many cities could. I wonder also if the smaller cities might have an advantage with less complexity for upgrading. Although SM was going in a different direction with his grid comments, grids will have drastically different demands going forward.
 

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It's probably a moot point now since electrification seems to be the consensus technology moving forward, but I still think there should have been a heavier push early on for CNG.

The point in the last post was spot on. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of millions upon millions ALL depending on the grid to simultaneously recharge their cars overninght......this with much of the electrical grid having been constructed in the early to mid 20th. Century.

This just leaves me with a really uneasy feeling.
 

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It's probably a moot point now since electrification seems to be the consensus technology moving forward, but I still think there should have been a heavier push early on for CNG.

The point in the last post was spot on. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of millions upon millions ALL depending on the grid to simultaneously recharge their cars overninght......this with much of the electrical grid having been constructed in the early to mid 20th. Century.

This just leaves me with a really uneasy feeling.
We've needed to upgrade/modernize our electrical grid for decades. If ev's are what finally pushes us to sweep out the dust bunnies then so be it.
 

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We've needed to upgrade/modernize our electrical grid for decades. If ev's are what finally pushes us to sweep out the dust bunnies then so be it.
Indeed. Our power grids are vulnerable to atmospheric conditions, aging equipment, lack of maintenance and funding, and even hacking. They are in dire need of upkeep and upgrade. But we all know the fed/state/local governments tend to be reactive and not proactive....
 

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According the plan Cerberus ran Chrysler LLC gave the US Government back in 2009 for their long term restructuring (this is when Cerberus still wanted control of Chrysler and an alliance with Fiat), they put forth this feature plan which included a ton of HEV, EV and Hybrids in the lineup, including a production version of the Dodge Curcuit EV, midsized sedan HEV, Grand Cherokee HEV, compact CUV HEV and Ram 1500 HEV.




FYI, you will also notice the lifestyle truck I talk much about is on this list.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The most interesting bit in the quotational report in the thread starting post is where marchionne says the autonomous+ev stuff will be all over in a decade to 15 years and that therefore: autofirms like fca are best advised to focus on performance (+brand authenticity?), IF they are not to get commoditized away by competition from the software firms and suppliers.

IF he is right and imo he very much is: fca's brands are superbly positioned to thrive in and through the digital+phev+extreme-brand-commoditization ongoing tumult (as yet only financial, wait till (2022+?) this really starts affecting demand patterns, makes some current factories redundant, chinese manufacturers arrive en masse in ev+digitalised form, municipalities and/or whole countries in europe and the emerging markets enforce this stuff....and there's a blood letting recession in sales etc in say the usa, with large transport infrastructure changes and investments happening too around the world, esp in europe, china and other emerging markets?)

i.e., Nevermind Tesla and whichever Chinese-financed ev+digital tech centric car brand REALLY starts corroding away the German+Japanese+Korean brands' pre-eminence in sales and esp profitability in many countries and segments/price-points.

Alfa+Dodge+Maserati+Ferrari, Jeep, Ram: high usp, high character/authenticity/identity/etc....BRAND 'value' and 'specific values' too....

with FIAT and FIAT Pro being high quality yet vfm mild-h/p/h/ev+ride-sharing+autonomous driving albeit very commoditized in europe (but in a sense FIAT and FIAT Pro have always been the quintessential 'commodity' lower cost-high-value brand in europe) with....

it seems Chrysler as a plush-premium full scale phev+techy aspirational brand via, at first now already the Pacifica (including via WAYMO), including potentially in China+-Europe at some soon enough point?

Mild hybrids across the board, e-rear-axles for Jeep, etc.

With FIAT and JEEP latam-type models providing emerging-market, lower-cost but high-enough-margin simpler, non-ev, none-too-digital/autonomous etc models too.

FCA's peculiar and geographically-specific MULTI-brand-edness, all of them in their ways historic, old, full of heritage-identity/etc, esp now given what they're doing with both Alfa (global) and Dodge (n america), with maserati+jeep being fully global) imo makes it well-positioned to weather these technological and regulatory (esp in china+europe) sweeping potential-changes, even as protectionism and currency-valuation issues will also be in the dogged, difficult-for-auto-industry mix.

GM, however? FORD? Renault-Nissan? Hyundai-Kia? Honda? et al seem destined to remain in high-investment-ever-lower-margin type pressure, given these trends and given their somewhat/very 'commoditized' and vague/generic-identity brands globally.
 

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It's probably a moot point now since electrification seems to be the consensus technology moving forward, but I still think there should have been a heavier push early on for CNG.

The point in the last post was spot on. I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea of millions upon millions ALL depending on the grid to simultaneously recharge their cars overninght......this with much of the electrical grid having been constructed in the early to mid 20th. Century.

This just leaves me with a really uneasy feeling.
In Europe in a few countries, consumers really like engines that take CNG because it is much cheaper than gas. Italy is one of those markets and Fiat has great options in that regard. In Brasil they use a lot of ethanol instead of gas and it is also more energy efficient.

As for the grid, You'll need heavy public investment for it to be modernized but that's not a bad thing. A few states are ahead of others in that regard. But look at it this way, if you have disposable income to invest somewhere you can research the companies that are going to be hot in this area and make small bets in a few of them and maybe get a nice payout in a few years. ;)

If you want to follow a bit more of this market you could read electrek. They're big Tesla [person who likes a particular brand]s but if you ignore those posts (I do...) they usually post a "Electrek Green Energy Brief" which sums up interesting news about that sector. You'll get to know a new and booming economical sector. It's fun to read about some of this stuff and can give some interesting investment ideas if you're willing to risk.

For example, just today you had this bit of news.

Q1 2017 saw utility-scale energy project build 2,235MW of gas, 102MW of nuclear, 1,479MW of wind and 939MW of solar. 47% of new capacity was gas, 2% nuclear, 31% wind and 20% solar – actual generation from this hardware will be (and this number is rough as future generation capacity factors are estimations) – 58% gas, 5% nuclear, 26% wind and 11% solar. No new coal, and at least 42% of the electricity that comes from the first quarter 2017 will be clean electricity for a long time.
Or this one:
Increased competition from cheap natural gas is responsible for 49 percent of the decline in domestic U.S. coal consumption. Lower-than-expected demand is responsible for 26 percent, and the growth in renewable energy is responsible for 18 percent. The Role of Environmental Regulations – of the ten regulations listed (in the report linked to) they are directly responsible for a roughly 3.5 percent decline in US coal. – The report’s final conclusion is that if we did get rid of all regulations regarding coal, it would help some. However, in order to bring coal back to the way it was – we’d have to heavily increase the price of natural gas and hack back at renewables.
Natural gas is the main culprit in coal's death in the US. Not renewables... :p
EGEB: Blackout parties, 11% of new generation in Q1 solar, Tesla Utilities, more (at https://electrek.co/2017/05/15/egeb-blackout-parties-11-of-new-generation-in-q1-solar-tesla-utilities-more/ )
 

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In Europe in a few countries, consumers really like engines that take CNG because it is much cheaper than gas. Italy is one of those markets and Fiat has great options in that regard. In Brasil they use a lot of ethanol instead of gas and it is also more energy efficient.

As for the grid, You'll need heavy public investment for it to be modernized but that's not a bad thing. A few states are ahead of others in that regard. But look at it this way, if you have disposable income to invest somewhere you can research the companies that are going to be hot in this area and make small bets in a few of them and maybe get a nice payout in a few years. ;)

If you want to follow a bit more of this market you could read electrek. They're big Tesla [person who likes a particular brand]s but if you ignore those posts (I do...) they usually post a "Electrek Green Energy Brief" which sums up interesting news about that sector. You'll get to know a new and booming economical sector. It's fun to read about some of this stuff and can give some interesting investment ideas if you're willing to risk.
Brazil has screwed up their ethanol strategy.

First, they had shortages due to poor harvests, then the government tried to freeze prices to slow inflation, which resulted in shortages and now they are faced with cheap oil that is less expensive than ethanol.

This is what happens when you try to fight market/natural forces with government mandates.

CNG is a good alternative and Brazil is very big on propane currently.
 
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Our power grids are vulnerable to atmospheric conditions, aging equipment, lack of maintenance and funding, and even hacking. They are in dire need of upkeep and upgrade. But we all know the fed/state/local governments tend to be reactive and not proactive....
I don’t know who runs your power utilities, but everywhere I’ve lived it’s been private companies. Some are better than others about maintaining their sections. My local utility is one of the best in the country. They were nearly taken over by one of the worst but the state “overstepped their boundaries” and rejected the deal — which is why my lights are on now.

Brazil has screwed up their ethanol strategy.
Yes.

This is what happens when you try to fight market/natural forces with government mandates.
Uh-huh. Go back and read The Wealth of Nations.

CNG is a good alternative and Brazil is very big on propane currently.
CNG is fine for buses. I can’t imagine everyone using it. What’s more, the natural gas infrastructure is worse than the electrical one. We are in dire need of new natural gas pipelines — and repairs to the old ones. (But there’s no profit in maintenance and repair.)

I’m not a huge electric-car proponent but the writing’s on the wall now.

As for Toronto, there’s enough money floating around there to upgrade the power supply and then some; just put a $5 tax on each condo built ;)

Natural gas is the main culprit in coal's death in the US. Not renewables...
That’s mainly true. I expect, though, that renewables will start a progression of cost reduction now that they are entering the mainstream. Like airbags, computers, and, well, cars, there comes a point when you hit critical mass and the costs start plunging.

As for the grid, You'll need heavy public investment for it to be modernized but that's not a bad thing
Yup. I understand we’re planning a trillion dollar infrastructure investment. It doesn’t all have to be roads.

Our local utility asked for a few billion in grid upgrades. The governor turned them down. They are doing it anyway. Sandy revealed a lot of weaknesses. Over the past few years, I have seen every single substation upgraded — doubled in size in most cases. New poles everywhere. Extra wiring. I believe they are also planning to make more areas self-sufficient, as in, if town x goes down, town y stays up. Due to a state requirement they've also invested in solar but I can't tell if they're serious about it; I think they chose the priciest, least efficient way to do it, but they probably have their reasons. Like most everything else, it’s hard to judge if you don’t have all the facts.
 

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Brazil has screwed up their ethanol strategy.

First, they had shortages due to poor harvests, then the government tried to freeze prices to slow inflation, which resulted in shortages and now they are faced with cheap oil that is less expensive than ethanol.

This is what happens when you try to fight market/natural forces with government mandates.

CNG is a good alternative and Brazil is very big on propane currently.
Well, they first invested strongly on ethanol because of the oil crisis in the seventies. It's not something recent you know?

By the way, which state do you live in Dave Z.? By what you're saying it seems to be in Louisiana or Florida?...
 

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I don’t know who runs your power utilities, but everywhere I’ve lived it’s been private companies. Some are better than others about maintaining their sections. My local utility is one of the best in the country. They were nearly taken over by one of the worst but the state “overstepped their boundaries” and rejected the deal — which is why my lights are on now.
Yes, Delmarva Power is a private company but like all power suppliers in Delaware they're governed by state and federal regulations. The state mandates that all suppliers be certified before being allowed to provide power. State and Federal grants and tax breaks are used for research on energy sources, transmission, and infrastructure...not just by power suppliers, but also by local Universities. State regulators are also involved with finding solutions to how to deal with distributed generators (solar customers who don't necessarily rely on the grid for power, but may be transmitting power back to the grid).

Then there's the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which regulates interstate transmission of electricity, oil, and natural gas. In addition to other functions, they also regulate pricing of electrical transmission.

And then there's the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) that's comprised of all the governmental agencies involved in regulating power transmission in all 50 states.

I'm not sure if any independent power companies receive subsidies directly, but they do sometimes receive assistance for upgrading and maintaining systems for poorer areas from the government.

The federal government has been studying vulnerabilities in the power grid from disaster as well as terrorist attack, and there's recommendations that they have made...but not sure how far they've gotten in determining who pays for the upgrades and in other logistical concerns.

So yes, most power providers are privately owned from what I see...however, it seems as though everyone has their little fingers in the process (and some fingers are dirtier than others).
 
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A Jeep hybrid? It's possible
Performance — the off-road kind — is equally important for the Jeep brand.

Manley continues to say a hybrid Jeep would be possible but is careful not to make a clear commitment on the models under consideration or the possible timing.

The key for Jeep, Manley said, is marrying the fuel economy benefits of a hybrid with the power and immediate torque that you can get from hybrid powertrains.

"There is no doubt in my mind that for Jeep, electrification not only gives our customers better MPGe, but also does have a capability story as well," Manley said. "So you can imagine that if you have portfolio vehicles like FCA has ... Jeep is clearly a target. And even a Wrangler."

The automaker is planning to launch the 2018 Jeep Wrangler next year. The automaker also is planning to revive the Jeep Wagoneer nameplate.

"So for sure (hybrid) is part of the product plan and we are excited about it," Manley said.

Is Fiat Chrysler obsessed with horsepower? Execs say no (at http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/chrysler/2017/05/14/fiat-chrysler-horsepower/320425001/ )
 

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There is a lot of regulation. Some of it, the utilities asked for. Much of it is because of problems in the past that we would still have today if it was unregulated.

Think about Internet providers for a moment... they are willingly avoiding each other’s territory now.

A Jeep hybrid is downright inevitable with the particulate-reduction issues on diesels and GDI engines. It ends up being the cheapest solution to boosting economy on the city cycle, which is more important than an equal mpg increase on the highway cycle.

No reason not to do a hybrid Wrangler. You do get extra torque at the very low end, and while there are compromises, most Wranglers never go off-road, just like most CJs in the AMC days never went off-road. The Rubicons will stay naturally aspirated and gasoline powered for some time to come, I expect...

Why would Jeep not do a hybrid Renegade, Grand Cherokee, Compass, or Cherokee?
 

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There is a lot of regulation. Some of it, the utilities asked for. Much of it is because of problems in the past that we would still have today if it was unregulated.

Think about Internet providers for a moment... they are willingly avoiding each other’s territory now.

A Jeep hybrid is downright inevitable with the particulate-reduction issues on diesels and GDI engines. It ends up being the cheapest solution to boosting economy on the city cycle, which is more important than an equal mpg increase on the highway cycle.

No reason not to do a hybrid Wrangler. You do get extra torque at the very low end, and while there are compromises, most Wranglers never go off-road, just like most CJs in the AMC days never went off-road. The Rubicons will stay naturally aspirated and gasoline powered for some time to come, I expect...

Why would Jeep not do a hybrid Renegade, Grand Cherokee, Compass, or Cherokee?
For the most part, I have no problem with regulations. A laissez-faire mentality rarely works IMO when expecting massive corporations to do the right thing. I deal with Delmarva Power personally because we have them...interesting bunch they are. We called them because we smelled gas outside. The "gentleman" that showed up (after an hour!) was about as friendly as a rattlesnake and went about his work with the speed of a giant sloth. Really...giant sloth. Thank God it didn't end up being a true emergency, we would've all been dead.
 
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