Home' Greymouth Star : October 16th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
lectric vehicles no longer
seem like a futuristic fever
They still remain a rarity
on most city streets, yet
when future auto historians
look back, they may pinpoint 2017 as
the year electric vehicles went from a
promising progressive fad to an industry-
The tipping point, experts say, follows
three developments, each rippling outward
with economic and cultural consequences.
In addition to setting aggressive
production quotas for EV ’s, China plans
to scrap internal combustion engines
entirely as soon as 2030. By taking a lead
role in the shift to plug-ins, the world’s
largest auto market is forcing the rest of
the international community to follow in
The debut of Tesla’s Model 3
The company’s first mass-market vehicle
has ushered in an era of excitement about
EVs because of the car’s slick design and
starting price of around $35,000.
Major automakers announce plans for an
General Motors finished 2016 as the
world’s third-largest automaker, meaning
its decision to create 20 new electric
vehicles by 2023 is bound to have an
impact on the global marketplace. Volvo,
Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, BMW and
Ford have also announced EV plans in
“ You really do feel like this
electrification thing is suddenly very real,”
Jessica Caldwell, executive director of
industry analysis at Edmunds.com .
“There’s a momentum we haven’t really
seen before. It’s coming from other
countries around the world and from big
automakers, and that ’s forcing everyone
else to comply.”
The all-electric future is still years
away, experts say. But as EV momentum
builds, we’ve listed five ways in which EV
adoption is expected to play out:
The future of Big Oil
Not so long ago, minuscule sales of EVs
made it hard for big oil to take the threat
of electric cars seriously. Now, thanks to
growing demand in Asia and Europe,
experts say, that is beginning to change,
even amid predictions that oil demand will
continue growing in the developing world.
The question facing experts is no longer
whether EVs will take over, but when?
A Barclays’ analysis concluded that oil
demand could be slashed by 3.5 million
barrels per day worldwide in 2025. If
electric vehicle penetration reaches 33%,
oil demand could shrink by a whopping
9m barrels per day by 2040, Barclays
concluded. Bloomberg’s New Energy
Finance puts the number at 8 million
barrels by 2040, more than the “current
combined production of Iran and Iraq,”
Urging caution about the impact of
EVs on the oil industry, John Eichberger,
executive director of the Fuels Institute,
said he does not expect to see significant
changes in demand for another 15 years
or so. “ We don’t know how fast EV sales
will pick up, but what we do know is
that no matter how fast they pick up, the
inventory in the market will turn over
more slowly, and this will delay the impact
on liquid gallon demand,” he said.
Eichberger noted that even optimistic
sales growth estimates conclude it will
take until the 2030s for EV sales to reach
as high as 16% of the nation’s market
share. Once that happens, he said, it
will take even longer for people to start
selling their vehicles and buying new ones,
leading to widespread EV adoption.
“It ’s the vehicles on the road that will
determine gasoline demand, not the
vehicles being sold that day,” he said.
Gas stations will change or disappear
Some experts believe electric cars have
sounded the death knell of the American
gas station, but others are not so sure.
Earlier this year, John Abbott, Shell Oil’s
business director, revealed that the energy
giant is already adapting.
“ We have a number of countries where
we’re looking at having battery charging
facilities,” he told the Financial Times. “If
you are sitting charging your vehicle, you
will want to have a coffee or something to
Until charging times drop dramatically
and superchargers become widespread,
wait times for EV charging at gas stations
could turn those stations into “hospitality-
type venues,” according to Guido Jouret,
the ABB’s chief digital officer, who noted
that many gas stations make more money
selling soda and food than they do selling
“The idea is that for hospitality-type
venues — restaurants, gas stations, coffee
shops — electric vehicle charging could
be an attractive way for them to attract
customers the way WiFi was a decade ago,
when it caused a lot of people to hang out
Depending on how electricity is
produced in your region, plug-ins are
from 30% to 80% lower in greenhouse
gas emissions, according to Gina Coplon-
Newfield, the director of the Sierra Club’s
Electric Vehicles Initiative. If GM follows
through on its plan to launch a new fleet
of electric vehicles, Coplon-Newfield said,
the reductions in carbon emissions and
the improved air quality could be “ hugely
“ We’ve seen customers rave about cars
like the Chevy Bolt and Volt,” she said.
“ Right now only a few thousand a month
are being sold, so GM can significantly
ramp up their production, and that ’s going
to have a significant impact on the market
for consumers, the climate and public
If GM’s 2016 U.S. sales — more than
3 million vehicles — were converted to
EV’s, the country would benefit in the
following ways, according to an analysis
provided by the Sierra Club: 6.5m tons of
GHGs reduced annually, 35.6m barrels of
petroleum reduced annually, creating less
of a dependency on foreign oil, 164.5m
pounds of carbon monoxide reduced
The evolving future of auto mechanics
One of the primary reasons that auto
owners visit a mechanic is for an oil
change, which raises a question: What
happens when vehicles no longer rely
on oil? It is not that electric vehicles will
not require maintenance (they still have
brakes, tyres and windshield wipers, after
all), but their engines are far simpler,
“ Basically these things don’t break,”
Tony Seba, a clean energy expert and the
founder of RethinkX, a think tank that
forecasts changes in the transportation
industry. “ They have 20 moving parts,
as opposed to 2000 in the internal
combustion engine, and even those
20 are electromagnetic, which means
they don’t touch and don’t break down
and, therefore, are far cheaper to
Seba pointed out that there are
thousands of department store and dealer
repair locations — as well as about 70,000
mom-and-pop repair shops — that will
be significantly affected by a decline in
Powering the grid
We tend to think of EVs as consumers
of electricity, but some experts believe
they will be more like “mobile energy
storage units,” as Forbes recently noted.
Widespread adoption, experts say, may
allow vehicles to transfer energy back to
the grid when costs and demand are high
and charge the battery when demand has
waned. — New Zealand Herald
4 - Monday, October 16, 2017
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
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Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1793 - Q ueen Marie Antoinette is beheaded
during the French Revolution.
1846 - American dentist
William Morton demonstrates
the effectiveness of ether as an
anaesthetic by administering it to a
patient undergoing jaw surgery.
1946 - Ten Nazi war criminals
condemned during the Nuremberg
trials are hanged.
1959 - Death of George C Marshall, US
Army chief of staff during World War Two and
architect of the European Recovery Programme
which became known as the Marshall Plan.
1962 - The Cuban missile crisis begins when
US President John F Kennedy is informed by
his aides that reconnaissance photographs reveal
the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
1964 - China detonates its first atomic bomb.
1987 - A 58-hour drama in Texas ends as
rescuers free Jessica McClure, a baby trapped in
1998 - British police arrest former Chilean
dictator General Augusto Pinochet.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Oscar Wilde, British writer (1854-1900);
David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of
Israel (1886-1973); Eugene O’Neill,
US playwright and Nobel laureate
(1888-1953); Michael Collins,
Irish leader (1890-1922); Angela
Lansbury, English-born actress
(1925-); Tim Robbins, US actor
(1958-); Flea, Australian- born
musician of Red Hot Chili Peppers
fame (1962-); John Mayer, US singer
(1977-); Casey Stoner, Australian Moto GP
“ To walk into history is to be free at once, to
be at large among people.” - - Elizabeth Bowen,
Irish-born author (1899-1973).
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will
sustain you; He will never let the righteous be
shaken. - - (Psalm 55:22).
A near sleepless
Saturday night in
the pouring rain
was the ‘reward’ for
43 men who combed the mountain peaks
behind Whataroa in search of two men at the
weekend. Found early yesterday morning, the
two climbers were relatively comfortable in
a mountain hut, but not so their bedraggled
rescuers, many of whom were soaked to the
It was all put down as good experience by
the liaison officer of the search sergeant L M
Simmonds. He said that the SAR exercise
had been an outstanding success, covering
mountain and bush work. “ Those taking part
in the exercise took everything in good spirit,”
A 17-year-old youth Terrence Birchfield, of
Shelley Street, was admitted to the Greymouth
Hospital for examination after an accident on
the Taylor ville Road at 2pm yesterday. He was
a passenger in a car being driven by Terence
Aitken, of Marlborough, aged 15, towards
Greymouth. The driver was confronted on
a bend by three sheep, and when he braked
the car veered to the side of the road where it
struck a bank and rolled onto its side.
Mr Birchfield’s condition this morning was
reported as satisfactory.
A car driven by a 17-year-old youth of
Moss Street, Greymouth, Patrick Joseph Coll
was involved in an accident on Omoto Road
at 5.30am yesterday. The car became out of
control, hit a marker post on the side of the
road and veered over to come into collision
with another car being driven by Kevin Twist,
Nobody was injured in the accident but both
vehicles were badly damaged.
uFood for thought
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Telsa’s Model 3 electric car.
Amanda Erickson and Antonio Olivo
In the weeks, months and years
after American Caitlan Coleman and
Canadian Joshua Boyle went missing in
Afghanistan, their families repeated the
same story: They were young adventurers,
drawn off the beaten track.
“They were interested in cultures that
are under-developed,” Caitlan’s mother
Lyn said in 2014. They did not do things
like stay in hotels or visit tourist traps.
They were idealists, and also a little naive.
Soon after the pair married in 2011,
they spent four months in Guatemala.
And in 2012, they jetted off for Russia,
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Family members called it a backpacking
trek. Afghanistan was not a part of the
plan, at least not as far as anyone knew.
But Coleman and Boyle did make their
way to a remote area of Afghanistan
outside Kabul, where they were
kidnapped by the Taliban and later held
by the Haqqani network before being
rescued last week.
Their captors killed Coleman’s infant
daughter and allowed Coleman to be
raped by a guard, her husband said. The
couple and three of their children were
rescued in Pakistan, where their captors
had taken them from Afghanistan. The
operation by the Pakistani military was
tipped off by United States intelligence.
The family arrived in Toronto at the
weekend after the five-year ordeal.
Why did Boyle and Coleman, seven
months pregnant, decide to go to Kabul?
What were they trying to accomplish?
Boyle said he and Coleman went to
Afghanistan to try to help “the most
neglected minority group in the world,
those ordinary villagers who live deep
inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan ...
where no NGO, no aid worker and no
government has ever successfully been
able to bring the necessary help.” Boyle
described himself as a ‘pilgrim’. It is not
clear how he and Coleman intended to
help, or what they were up to when they
Coleman’s friend suggested to USA
Today that she and others had at least a
vague notion that the couple intended
to do some volunteer work. Sarah Flood
said she related to Coleman’s travel plans
because she had just come back from
a service trip to Ukraine. “ The idea of
going to a country and being helpful is
something we absolutely shared,” Flood
told USA Today. She also said that the
trip had been Boyle’s idea, but Coleman
quickly got excited about it.
And then there is the insight of Richard
Cronin, who met Coleman and Boyle
while they were in Central Asia. The pair
befriended Cronin at a hostel in Bishkek.
In a blog post from 2012, Cronin wrote
that Boyle’s excitement about Afghanistan
convinced him to go. “ I hadn’t thought
seriously about travelling to Afghanistan
until I started talking to Josh,” he wrote.
“ We started talking about Lawrence of
Arabia and the explorer Richard Burton.
He asked me if I admired these explorers.
Of course I did. ‘ Wouldn’t you like to be
like one of them?’. He had also said it was
safe provided you did not go to a region
where there were foreign troops and the
Taliban, namely the south. ”
After the 9/11 attacks, Boyle became
consumed by questions of terrorism and
Islam, studying up on the issue and even
learning Arabic. A few years later, he
got involved in an effort to get Omar
Khadr, once the youngest detainee at
Guantanamo Bay, released. Khadr pleaded
guilty to killing a US Special Forces
medic. Boyle briefly married Khadr’s
Boyle’s associations with the family led
some US intelligence officials to speculate
that the visit to Afghanistan may have
been part of a larger effort to link up
with Taliban-affiliated militants. “I can’t
say that he was ever al-Qaeda,” said one
former US intelligence official. “ He was
never a fighter on the battlefield. But my
belief is that he clearly was interested in
getting into it.” Authorities denied that
Boyle had any ties to terror.
His “first concern in life has always been
helping others,” Alex Edwards, a friend of
Boyle’s since 2002, told Philadelphia. “If
things were different, and I was the one
being held hostage, Josh would not rest
until I was free. He’d stage sit-ins. He’d
put up posters. He’d dedicate his life to it.
That ’s just who he is.”
— New Zealand Herald
What were Coleman and Boyle really doing in Afghanistan?
The Boyle family during their captivity by the Taliban.
A horrific breeding season left a penguin
colony strewn with dead babies.
All but two Adelie penguin chicks from
an Antarctic colony of 36,000 birds died
during a catastrophic breeding season,
according to scientists who say Antarctic
waters need greater protection.
The disaster was caused by unusually
extensive sea ice late in the summer, they
said, forcing birds from Terre Adelie in
East Antarctica to roam further for food.
While parents searched for the krill that
make up much of their diet, their offspring
were dying in extraordinary numbers.
Wildlife preser vation group WWF is
demanding increased protection for the
waters around East Antarctica to ensure
penguins do not face the added pressure
from fishing fleets on top of the deadly
effects of climate change.
Rod Downie, head of polar programmes
at WWF said: “Adelie penguins are one of
the hardiest and most amazing animals on
“This devastating event contrasts with
the Disney image that many people might
have of penguins. It’s more like ‘ Tarantino
does Happy Feet ’, with dead penguin
chicks strewn across a beach in Adelie
“The risk of opening up this area to
exploratory krill fisheries, which would
compete with the Adelie penguins
for food as they recover from two
catastrophic breeding failures in four
years, is unthinkable.” The Commission
for the Conser vation of Antarctic Marine
Living Resources, made up of 25 member
states and the EU, will meet tomorrow
to consider a proposal for a new marine
protected area for the waters off East
It would ban krill fishing and help secure
marine wildlife, including Adelie and
emperor penguins, according to WWF.
Adelie penguins are generally faring well
in East Antarctica but declining overall
in the Antarctic peninsula region, where
climate change is already established, the
conser vation group said. In some places,
the species has benefited from climate
change, which has made it easier to access
breeding grounds and the sea for feeding.
In other places, the collapse of ice shelves
and melting glaciers has forced them to
move or die.
Yan Ropert-Coudert, who leads the
programme at Dumont
station adjacent to the
colony, said a protected
area would shield the
colonies from local
human activities such
as tourism or fishing
but would do little
to change the more
is impacted by
that are linked to the
break-up of the Mertz
glacier since 2010,” he said. “A marine
protected area will not remedy these
changes. ” — New Zealand Herald
Only two penguin chicks survive Antarctic breeding season
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