This report is aiming to analyze several performance parameters of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) in comparison to ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars in order to evaluate their future competitiveness and the rate of penetration into the private vehicle market. 2017 was a dramatic year for Plug-in EVs and specifically for BEVs – the number of delivered BEVs in US moved into the six digit area with 111,104 sold units. Interestingly, this came in line with a continuing trend of decreasing sales of passenger vehicles in the US. The overall percentage of BEVs from among passenger cars reached 1.83% - a dramatic increase from 1.06% in 2016 (which was the first year when BEVs surpassed 1% of passenger vehicles sales in US). This analysis utilizes the 2017 annual US sales figures of plug-in electric vehicles published by InsideEVs and technical details of relevant 2017 EV models as rated by manufacturers. In summary, as of 2017, mainstream BEVs took another step in advancing on ICE cars in terms of travel range, while continuing to offer superiority in terms of energy efficiency.
Drones have become to be viewed as a truly disruptive element within multiple areas of industry and services over a short period of time. The growth in drone sales is so far exponential, which implies their increasing penetration into existing drone markets of photography, security and recreation and more importantly upcoming drone introduction into additional fields. Israeli startup ecosystem is widely known for its disruptive innovation element and a remarkably dynamic activity, including industry 4.0 solutions such as drones. This 2018 market survey identified 56 civilian drone technology companies from among several thousand Israeli Hi-Tech companies - mostly recently established startups.
The phenomenon of electric bicycles has developed in metropolitan environments during the past decade, becoming a disruptive element in urban transportation. The advent of this transportation tool is largely attributed to the newly available and affordable Li-ion technology battery package, though other battery types such as Pb-acid and NiMH are also utilized. The rapid price reduction of Li-ion cells and batteries led to their integration with electric assistance motors in bicycles, paving the way to the rise of popularity of electric bicycles within cities of moderate climate countries. Electric bicycles are utilized for various transport and delivery applications by a variety of age groups and professions and slowly turning into a mainstream means of urban transport, urging municipalities to properly adjust the infrastructures. This study explores and analyzes the status of electric bicycle mobility in Israel as a case study for a country, where electric bicycles have earned grand popularity.
The Middle East is known for the abundance of hydrocarbon resources and thus oil and gas pipelines have become an integrative part of the landscape. However, from the very beginning, the pipeline business in the Mideast has been a gamble. The outcome from 2018 analysis is that eight inter-state Mideast hydrocarbon pipelines, which had already terminated operation, had been in use for a median lifetime period of 11 years. Furthermore, looking at the fifteen currently operating inter-state hydrocarbon pipelines in the Mideast, it appears that their median operation lifetime to date is 12 years - both figures implying regional stability. Despite stabilization during the past three years, considering the persistent turmoil in the Mideast, there seems to be little certainty yet for long-term pipeline operational stability in the region.
The year 2017 has been characterized by shift of balance in the supply and demand sides - the oil market had experienced a bearish market until early 2016, later taking an upturn and spiking to its biennial record at the end of December 2017. This study aims to provide a careful projection for next year's average oil pricing, utilizing predictive analysis methods. Evidently, predictive analysis cannot provide accurate answers, since we are only speaking of statistical probability, but we can define a high probability range with fair accuracy. Combining predictive analysis models of 10-year and 15-year pricing trends we should expect an average pricing of 60 to 80 USD per oil barrel during 2018. This implies continuation of the positive trend, which makes much sense in light of tighter supply, cold winter in North America and general instability in global geopolitics.
Transportation is forming the economic basis of modern technological civilization, being a combination of personal and public passenger mobility with commercial freight systems. Though we may see notable transitions in terms of propulsion technology and to some degree in transport infrastructures in coming decades, the shift in operation mode may cause a more sudden and radical disruption. Vehicle operation mode shift is most of all referring to integration of smart mobility concepts, such as real-time navigation, ridesharing, carsharing and of course autonomous drive. Due to deficiency of direct data on integration of new technologies, the main tools for measuring smart mobility effect on transportation at this point of time are vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) and sales of new passenger cars per capita, which can be used to analyze the indirect effect of real-time navigation, ridesharing and carsharing.
Regional solar irradiance data is analyzed in order to estimate the normalized output of solar power facilities in the region, considering the strong link between the two variables, as demonstrated in previous comprehensive study on PV facilities in Israel. The solar energy cumulative flux, measured at the IMS station in Bet Dagan (Central Coastal Plane) during 2016, was on average 5,520 Wh/m2 per day, which is 7.6% higher than the 1965-2014 multi-year annual solar flux average. In fact, the 2016 solar energy flux figure is the record highest measurement at Bet Dagan IMS station, which has been operating since 1965. 2017 and 2018 are also expected to show above average solar irradiance in the region. Increased solar irradiance on ground level is driving increased performance figures for PV facilities in the region - a phenomenon which may continue for some time.
Despite the rapid expansion of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production worldwide and parallel expansion of lithium mining, there are a number of questions posed for the mid and long-term prospects of this industry. This survey is bringing you the updated analysis of raw Lithium production worldwide, providing rough estimates for the mid and long-term production trends. It is evident that Li-ion is due to retain its role as the dominant technology for energy storage in the coming years, but critical outlook on global Lithium resources is important in order to prepare for potential disruptions in this market. The recent shifts in production may also contain hints to upcoming Li-ion utilization trends and the competitiveness of alternative battery technologies.
The photovoltaic (PV) technology, which is the mainstream technology to harvest solar energy and transform it into electricity, is forming a growing share of the electricity production segment in Israel and worldwide. Grid-connected solar PV segment was introduced into Israel in summer 2008, with the first government-subsidized feed-in tariff program. Since then, PV installations have been ongoing within the country, producing a constantly growing capacity of grid-connected facilities, despite various delays and challenges. The total capacity of grid-connected PV facilities in Israel was at 859 MWp by late 2016 and is about to reach nearly 1,000 MWp by the end of 2017. The vast majority of renewable sources are PV, so the renewable electricity production figures mostly represent solar PV sources - about 1,110 million kWh in 2015 and about 1,570 million kWh in 2016.
Over the past year, the Israeli electricity market continued to undergo increasing privatization of the electricity generation segment, with growing domination of natural gas as primary energy resource and rapidly increasing, though still minor, role of private renewable energy. By the end of 2016, Israeli national electric generation capacity was at 17.6 GWp, with IEC making up 77.0% of total grid connected production capacity, while private producers made up the remaining 23.0%. While as of 2017 the electricity sector in Israel is undergoing a period of transformation, the Israeli electricity production segment is still dominated by the IEC though its share is steadily declining. The rise of electricity demand per capita seems to have become arrested in recent years and though there is still a certain growth due to demographic expansion, the main drive for introduction of new private generation facilities is mostly reduction of coal-fueled electricity generation by the IEC.