Automotive Market Opportunity
According to industry sources, there were 806 million vehicles worldwide (cars and light trucks) on the road in 2007, burning over 260 billion U.S. gallons of fuel per year. The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) estimates 2009 global production at 62 million vehicles. These numbers are expected to increase rapidly, driven by strong development in China and India.
In the U.S., the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) estimates that there are 254 million registered vehicles including 136 million passenger cars, 101 million vans, pickups and SUVs, 6.8 million of small commercial trucks and 3 million large commercial trucks, and buses together consuming a total of 171 billion gallons of fuel. The average U.S. passenger car travels 32 miles each day.
Despite major improvements in emission rates over the last two decades, transportation continues to be the primary source of pollutants that affect air quality including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds.
In addition, the carbon dioxide (CO2) created by combustion of petroleum in the transportation sector is responsible for about 26 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted in the United States, which, in turn, accounts for about one-quarter of all anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases in the world.
With the 2003 introduction of the first mass-produced hybrid-electric vehicle (Toyota Prius) the exciting future potential of electric vehicles (EVs) became clear. Over the entire production cycle, EVs are more efficient versus their internal combustion engine counterparts and offer other additional benefits including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced noise, and improved energy security.
A key component of an EV is a massive battery system that stores the electrical power used for propulsion. EV batteries must provide enough energy for the average daily commute (at least 32 miles) and be rechargeable.
EV batteries, however, are expensive, costing about half of the cost of a typical EV, and heavy. The bigger the battery capacity the more expensive and heavy the system, which negatively impacts driving range – the distance a consumer can travel on a full battery. While excitement grows for EVs, key charging stations remain scarce and are also expensive.
GPEC's SM-OPV™ PowerPaint™ technology can be applied directly to a car's body and function both as paint (with many colors) and as a charger for the cars expensive and heavy battery system. With a "smart" car paint that functions as a battery charger, EV batteries will be charged during a commute and/or while parked.
GPEC's proprietary SM-OPV™ PowerPaint™ generation capability reduces the needed, and costly, battery capacity for an EV and extends travel distance/time. A GPEC SM-OPV™ PowerPaint™ skin on an EV could provide up to 25% of the power needed for an average commute (32 miles per day), according to GPEC researchers.
Longer-term, utilizing SM-OPV™ PowerPaint™, EVs could function as storage systems supplying power to the Grid during peak demand periods – relieving supply and energy transport constraints. As a car's paint comprises multiple layers and represents a significant cost, the addition of GPEC's SM-OPV™ PowerPaint™ technology will be complementary to the overall economics of EVs.