What You Can Get From Government for Getting an Electric Car in California – Part 1

The high price tag makes the cars less appealing to consumers. There are three major incentives in California: the State’s Clean Vehicle Rebate, the Federal Tax Credit and the HOV Lane Access. Besides, the state is promoting hard to get charging infrastructure ready and sufficient for electric cars.  Also, out-of-state buyers may soon stop paying sales tax here (applies to cars manufactured in the state though, like Tesla).

Let us take a look at the Federal Tax Credit in this article. Other incentives and “perks” will be covered in Part 2.

(2016 Nissan LEAF. Credit: Nissan)
(2016 Nissan LEAF. Credit: Nissan)

Federal Tax Credit. The original registered owner (and in case of leasing, the carmaker) can get up to $7,500 of federal tax credit for an all-electric car (EV, like a Nissan LEAF) or a plug-in hybrid electric car (PHEV, like a Chevy Volt).

The actual amount is related to the size of the battery in the car. According to IRS, the calculation looks like this: the base credit is $2,500; if the battery is 5 kWh, you can get $417 on top ($2,917 in total); if the battery is larger than 5 kWh, you can get another $417 for every kWh (partial kWh counts too) exceeding 5 kWh on top of the $2,917.

For example, if the battery is 6kWh (1kWh exceeding the 5 kWh threshold), you can get $3,334 in total ($2,500+$417+$417); If the battery is 10.5 kWh (5.5kWh exceeding the 5 kWh threshold), you can get $5,210 in total ($2,500+$417+$417*5.5). Moreover, if the battery is at 16 kWh or higher, the federal tax credit will be capped at $7,500.

A few notes:

Firstly, there is a list of 28 qualified carmakers, although it covers all major EV/PHEV manufacturers, on IRS website. Noticeably, Honda and Hyundai currently are not on the list. Honda had 2014 Accord PHEV before and Hyundai just launched 2016 Sonata PHEV (Federal tax credit is tbd, according to driveclean.ca.gov)

Secondly, there is a limit for each carmaker on the total number of qualifying cars. In brief, cumulative 200,000 in the US after 12/31/2009. The current sales numbers are roughly just half way. As one of the top-selling EVs, Nissan LEAF had sold about 88 thousand cumulatively in the US as of November last year.

Thirdly, the tax credit applies to only the federal portion of your tax liability, not to your total liability. You can reduce your federal tax liability dollar-for-dollar by using the tax credit. However, your tax liability cannot be reduced to below zero. Therefore, say the tax credit from buying an electric car is greater than your federal tax liability, you will only be able to use a part of the credit to bring the liability to zero.

Tax credits are different than tax deductions. Tax deductions reduce your taxable income. So you can end up paying less tax with tax credits than with same amount of tax deductions.

Fourthly, only the original registered owner of the car is eligible to the federal tax credit. In case of buying a new car, make sure you are the original owner, not the dealer. In case of leasing a new car, the carmaker is the original owner and they get to claim the tax credit. Usually the lease price will be lowered as a result. In case of buying a used car, no tax credit eligibility anymore, even if the original owner did not claim the credit.

In summary, if you take into consideration this Federal Tax Credit and the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate (will be discussed in Part 2), you can end up paying (much) less for an electric car. For example, 2016 Chevy Volt PHEV has an MSRP of $33,995, but you can get $9,000 off ($7,500 federal tax credit and $1,500 state rebate). Then the price will be around $25k. As another example, 2016 Ford Focus all-electric car, MSPR is $29,170, but you are eligible for $7,500 tax credit and another $2,500 state rebate. So the out-of-the-pocket price can be below $20k. There are incentive details on more cars on DriveClean.ca.gov. Also please check out our homepage for date on electo-range and fast charging of electric cars.

Summary on Electric Vehicles at CES 2016

The International Consumer Electronics Show 2016 (CES 2016) took place in Las Vegas from 1/6 to 1/9. The presence of electric vehicles (EVs) have been growing over the past years (not counting the already numerous new in-car products that go into the EVs). This year, GM CEO Mary Barra and VW Passenger Cars CEO Herbert Diess went there and unveiled new EVs from the two companies respectively.

  1. Bolt from GM

It is GM’s first 200-mile all-electric car (the exact EPA range rating is not available yet). The car will be available towards the end of 2016 (model year 2017) and with a MSRP of $37,500 before any incentives.

Mary Barra did not disclose much on the specs during CES 2016, but now we know a few things from the Detroit Auto Show. The battery size is 60 kWh with a specific energy of about 138 Wh/kg. (Please find more data on specific energy on our homepage.) The electric motor can generate 150 kW (or 200 horsepower). The 0-60 mph acceleration probably takes less than 7 seconds.

As for the fast charging, Bolt can use 50 kW CCS charger for a boost of 90 miles worth in 30 minutes.

  1. BUDD-e concept from VW

It is a concept all-electric minivan with an EPA range of 233 miles. BUDD-e is modelled on the 1960s’ classic VW Bulli (also known as the Hippie Bus).

It has a 101 kWh battery. The cell format is yet to be decided; It can be 37 Ah, or the developing 60 Ah, or even something better.

Fast charging definitely will be an option, something like 30 mins to 80% SOC. It will use CCS charging protocol. High-voltage 800V charger is in discussion right now, which makes sense considering the big battery size.

  1. e-Golf Touch from VW

The special feature on this version of e-Golf is that there is a new generation of infotainment system equipped. The system includes a big screen and enables gesture control.

In terms of the performance improvement on 2017 e-Golf, there can a 30% increase in range from the current 83 miles EPA rating. VW will start to use cells with higher capacity than the previous ones (37 Ah vs. 25 Ah) but similar volume.

  1. FFZero1 concept from Faraday Future

The concept electric supercar was one of the hottest topics associated with CES 2016. It is designed to just fit the driver. The acceleration is pretty fast – <3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. There is a helmet for the drive to get water and oxygen. It also features mirrorless architecture.

The car has “aero tunnels” to improve aerodynamics as well as to keep the batteries in operating temperature range. Other than this, very little is known on its battery system.

  1. Focus RS and Fusion from Ford

Focus RS is a much anticipated car, which is expected to feel like driving a GT but with a low price tag. It features a 2.3L EcoBoost engine with start-stop technology – so a microhybrid car.

Another Ford car on display was Fusion. 2017 models include a hybrid and another plug-in hybrid Energi. The electro-range of Energi is expected to remain at 19 miles.

  1. i8 Spyder concept from BMW

This is the convertible version of the plug-in hybrid i8. It features the i Future Interaction concept including the gesture control system AirTouch. BMW also presented the concept of Mirrorless technology on the standard i8.

  1. EHang 184 concept from EHang

It is not a conventional electric vehicle, because it is a human-flying quadcopter drone. However, it is also called “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle”, powered by battery. The drone can fit one person inside and fly 23 minutes with an average speed of 100 km/h (or 62 miles/h). The maximum power is 106 kW and the energy consumption for one trip is 14.4 kWh. (Please read our previous article Nice Concept EHang 184 Human-flying Electric Drone Calls for a Better Battery.)

Top 10 Rankings on EV Battery Manufacturers and Battery Material Suppliers in China – Part 3

China is one of the most important markets for new energy vehicles. This is the Part 3 of the report on 2015 Top 10 Lists on electric car (EV) lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturers and cathode material, anode material, electrolyte and separator suppliers in China, released by CCID Consulting and itdcw.com. (Please also see Part 1 and Part 2)

Electrolyte Suppliers

China produced more than half of the electrolyte in the world in recent years (for example, the percentage was 51.7% in 2012). In 2014, 42 thousand tons were sold. The production was estimated at over 50 thousand tons in 2015.

  1. Capchem

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Planned total capacity will be 45 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $26.2 million (or 0.17 billion yuan), increased by 18.39% as compared with the same period in 2014. The customers include Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Lishen, BYD, BAK and Coslight. The company sells chemicals for capacitors as well. In 2014, R&D expenses were 4.61% of the revenue.

  1. Tinci

Current production capacity is 12 thousand tons/year (including 5 thousand tons at Kaixin, acquired in 2014). Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $11.6 million (or 75 million yuan). Tinci supplies electrolyte products to customers such as Guoxuan, Wanxiang A123, Coslight, BYD and Sony. 5.1% of the revenue from the first half of 2015 was put into R&D. It also makes lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) currently at 1,000 tons/year and plans to expand to 4,000 tons/year soon. The company can see significant growth in profit thanks to the recent price jump of battery raw materials. (Please see our previous article on Lithium-ion Battery Supply Chain Alert! Hot New Energy Vehicle Market in China Drives Demand (and Price) High on Raw Materials)

  1. Smooth Way

Current production capacity is 7 thousand tons/year. Another 5 thousand tons/year are planned. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $13.1 million (or 85 million yuan). ATL is the company’s major customer.

  1. Guotai-Huarong

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $27.7 million (or 0.18 billion yuan). The company was among the first manufacturers in China to mass produce the electrolyte. Its customers include ATL, Lishen, LG and Panasonic. Cathode materials can be its next line of products.

  1. Jinniu

Current production capacity is 5 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2014 is $30.8 million (or 0.2 billion yuan). Jinniu started to develop LiPF6 earlier than other competitors in China and is among the first to commercialize it. Now it is facing competitions from Do-Fluoride and Tinci. In the first half of 2015, it made 700 tons of the salt, all of which are for its own electrolyte. The percentage of R&D investment in revenue is kept high at about 8% in recent year.

The rest of the Top 10 list on electrolyte suppliers includes Kaixin, Shanshan Battery Material, JGHITEC, KUNLUNCHEM and BICR.

Separator Suppliers

Separator production in China accounted for 48% of the global production in 2014.

  1. Mingzhu

Current production capacity is 50 million square meters/year. The capacity will ramp up to 140 million square meters/year by 2017. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $10.8 million (or 70 million yuan). Its customers include BYD and CALB.

  1. Senior

Current production capacity is 80 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $23.1 million (or 0.15 billion yuan). As one of the biggest separator suppliers in China, Senior’s customers include LG Chem, BYD, Lishen, CALB and Guoxuan. It is among a few Chinese companies that supply to major battery manufacturers overseas.

  1. Zhongke

Current production capacity is 100 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $27.7 million (or 0.18 billion yuan). Zhongke is one of the first separator companies in China. Its products (with the brand of Green) are leading the industry in terms of square meters sold. The list of its customers covers the majority of battery makes in China.

  1. BNE

Current production capacity is 72 million square meters/year and the capacity will be expanded into 110 million square meters/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $9.2 million (or 60 million yuan). Its customers include CALB and Coslight. Newly founded in 2010, BNE grows in a fast pace and was evaluated at $138.6 million (or 0.9 billion yuan) in 2014.

  1. HongTu

Current production capacity is 20 million square meters/year and a 45 million-square meter plant is under construction. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $3.1 million (or 20 million yuan). It supplies the separator to companies like Lishen and will enter Samsung and Wanxiang A123 as well.

The rest of the Top 10 list on separator suppliers includes DG, Jinhui, Yuntianhua Niumi (website not available), FSDH (website note available), Huiqiang.

Top 10 Rankings on EV Battery Manufacturers and Battery Material Suppliers in China – Part 2

China is one of the most important markets for new energy vehicles. This is the Part 2 of the report on 2015 Top 10 Lists on electric car (EV) lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturers and cathode material, anode material, electrolyte and separator suppliers in China, released by CCID Consulting and itdcw.com. (Please also see Part 1 and Part 3)

Cathode Material Suppliers

China is a leading county for producing cathode materials for LIB. It produced 23,730 tons in Q2/2015, or a 41.3% increase over the same period of 2014.

  1. Shanshan New Material

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. The production will ramp up to 30 thousand tons/year by 2016. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $157.1 million (or 1.02 billion yuan) and the profit increases by 100% as compared with the same period of 2014. Its customers include ATL, BYD, Lishen and LG Chem. Shanshan Corporation owns Shanshan New Material for cathode, Shanshan Tech for anode and Shanshan Battery Material for electrolyte.

  1. Pulead

Production capacity was 15 thousand tons/year by 2014. Revenue in 2014 is $115.5 million (or 0.75 billion yuan). Peking University is one founding party of the company. Products include lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2, or LCO), lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (LiNixCoyMnzO2 x+y+z=1, or NCM) and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4, or LFP). Customers include ATL, CATL, Lishen and Coslight.

  1. Reshine

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2014 is $223.4 million (or 1.45 billion yuan). Products include LCO, NCM and precursors. Reshine is among the first Chinese cathode manufacturers who entered the global market and supplies the materials to battery makers such as Samsung, LG Chem, SK Innovation and Toshiba.

  1. Jinhe (website not available)

Current production capacity is 9 thousand tons/year for cathode materials and 16 thousand tons/year for precursors. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $49.3 million (or 0.32 billion yuan). It makes NCM and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2, or NCA). The customers include Samsung, LG Chem, ATL, CATL and Lishen.

  1. Easpring

Current production capacity is 9 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $52.4 million (or 0.34 billion yuan). It’s also a first Chinese supplier to export the cathode materials. Its major products are LCO and NCM. In 2014, Easpring started to develop NCA with Korean company GS Energy. Customers include BYD, BAK, Lishen, ATL, Samsung, SK Innovation, LG Chem, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. It produces 6 thousand tons of anode materials a year as well.

The rest of the Top 10 list on cathode material suppliers includes Tungsten , B&M, Kelong, Changyuan Lico and Zhenhua (website not available).

Anode Material Suppliers

China and Japan are two major anode producers. In 2014, China produced 51.6 thousand tons of anode materials, which equals to a 47.43% increase over 2013.

  1. BTR

Current production capacity is 30 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $104.8 million (or 0.68 billion yuan). BTR is the major supplier for Samsung, LG Chem, SK Innovation and Panasonic. It reacts fast on technology upgrade. One example is that the company stays at the front of the commercialization of high-energy silicon anode materials.

  1. Shanshan Tech

Current production capacity is 15 thousand tons/year. Another expansion of 35 thousand tons/year is underway. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $63.2 million (or 0.41 billion yuan). Shanshan Tech is a subsidiary of Shanshan Corporation. It is a leading supplier on artificial graphite and also is developing silicon, soft carbon and lithium titanate (Li4Ti5O12, or LTO). Customers include LG Chem, Sony, ATL and Lishen.

  1. Shinzoom

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $5.1 million (or 32.8 million yuan). Graphite materials are its major products. The company also is developing silicon carbon composites, hard carbon and soft carbon. Customers include BYD and CATL. One of Shinzoom’s investors is Easpring.

  1. Zichen

Current production capacity is 10 thousand tons/year. The company plans to increase the production capacity to 40 thousand tons/year. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $15.4 million (or 0.1 billion yuan). Zichen is ATL’s major supplier. The products are mainly used in high-capacity LIBs.

  1. Sinuo

Current production capacity is 8 thousand tons/year. Revenue in 2015 is $12.3 million (or 80 million yuan). Sinuo is focused on artificial graphite products and trying to supply to major battery manufacturers.

The rest of the Top 10 list on anode material suppliers includes CHNM , Zeto, HGL, Hirong and Kimwan.

Top 10 Rankings on EV Battery Manufacturers and Battery Material Suppliers in China – Part 1

China will soon officially be the world biggest market for new energy vehicles in 2015. 279.2 thousand of such vehicles were manufactured there up to November in 2015 and the number of them sold was comparable to the number manufactured in the past. (Please see our previous article on Lithium-ion Battery Supply Chain Alert! Hot New Energy Vehicle Market in China Drives Demand (and Price) High on Raw Materials) In comparison, the new energy vehicle sales in the US was only 103 thousand during the same period.

CCID Consulting (Controlled by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, MIIT) and itdcw.com jointly released 2015 Top 10 List on electric car (EV) lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturers and cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator suppliers in China recently. The rankings were based on companies overall competitiveness. This is the Part 1 of the report. (Please also see Part 2 and Part 3)

EV Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturers

  1. BYD

Current production capacity is 4.5 GWh and by 2016, the production capacity is expected to reach 10 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $462.4 million (or 3 billion yuan). Its major line of EV battery products are based on lithium iron phosphate cathode material. All of its EV batteries are used in its own vehicles such as the EV model e6 and plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) model Tang and Qin.

  1. CATL

Current production capacity is 1.4 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $146.4 million (or 0.95 billion yuan). CATL is quite competitive in the global market, making it a supplier to BMW. It has already drawn attention from the competitors in Japan and Korea.

  1. Guoxuan

Current production capacity is 1.5 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $115.6 million (or 0.75 billion yuan). It covers a whole value chain from cathode materials to battery packs. The market value is $3.8 billion (or 25 billion yuan). Its batteries are mainly used in buses.

  1. Wanxiang A123

Current production capacity is 1 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $54.0 million (or 0.35 billion yuan). It’s one of the leading companies in China to manufacture pouch EV cells. Wanxiang in 2013 acquired A123’s assets for about $256.6 million, and purchased battery technologies from Leyden in 2014. Also in 2014, Wanxiang sold the grid-scale battery business to NEC for $100 million and acquired the assets of Fisker Automotive for $149.2 million.

  1. Coslight

Current production capacity is 0.5 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $54.0 million (or 0.35 billion yuan). It’s one of the top lead-acid battery producers in China, which helps the company find success in EV LIBs. It is mainly focused on prismatic batteries and also owns considerable share in the stationary energy storage market.

  1. Lishen

Current production capacity is 1 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $87.9 million (or 0.57 billion yuan). It’s a subsidiary of state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC). Lishen is a top cell supplier for consumer electronics. Cylindrical 18650 cells are the primary EV battery products.

  1. BAK

Current production capacity is 0.6 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $7.7 million (or 50 million yuan). BAK is considered as a pioneer of cylindrical EV batteries in China and is listed on NASDAQ.

  1. CALB

Current production capacity is 2 GWh. The company is building a 5 GWh plant and also plans to invest $1.9 billion (or 12.5 billion yuan) on EV batteries. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $61.7 million (or 0.4 billion yuan). CALB is a state-owned company. Most of its customers are bus makers.

  1. Microvast

Current production capacity is 1.5 GWh and another 4 GWh plant is under construction. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $69.4 million (or 0.45 billion yuan). The company is focused on fast charging technologies for buses. Its LpCo cells can be fully charged and discharged in less than 15 mins (Please refer to our Battery Status Tracker for more data).

  1. Wina

Current production capacity is 1 GWh. Revenue in the first half of 2015 is $30.8 million (or 0.2 billion yuan). Its core technology is on prismatic cell and the major application is for buses.