Batteries have indeed come quite a way in the past hundred years, there is no question about that. Of course, that does not mean that we now have what it would take to bring about the wholesale adoption of EVs by the majority of people. The lack of enthusiasm is probably what has been saving us from the disasterous discovery that an adequate infrastructure to charge all of the battery power packs just does not exist. Probably, if you were only allowed to recharge your new EV on Thursdays from 1AM to 5AM you might not be completely satisfied with the situation. Clearly, the simple solution to the problem is to develop a battery that runs on gasoline, or perhaps diesel fuel, since it is safer. That would solve our problems, perhaps, if it had no "carbon signature", and ho unhealthy byproducts. Of course there are a whole bunch of physics relationships that will need to be changed for that to happen. So while it "sounds like a great idea, it does have a few obstacles in the path.
I think that while range is a major factor, the idle time spent in charging is a bigger factor. If there was an ICE vehicle with a two gallon tank (for instance) then commuting and shorter trips would be a pain, frequent fuel stops, but they would be possible. With an EV and a 1-20 (depends on whose data you listen to) hour stop to charge it is just impractical as anything other than a secondary mode of transportation.
You have a negative attitude. All we need is for government to mandate technological innovation and BANG it happens. The problem is finding the right date when we need to institute the technology as manditory.
Hi Jerry: The reason I keep saying that batteries cost $800 - $1,000/kWh is that I'm quoting the cost of building the entire battery pack, with sensors, cooling systems, battery management and cost-over-life issues included. It's essentially the difference between cell cost and pack cost. Please see this earlier article:
Interesting article Charles. Serveral p[oints. It's not how much an EV will do but will it do the job and for 90% of US trips, the answer is yes even using lead batteries.
The Older 90's EV examples have 5 different battery types. They also except the EV1 were just ICE's converted to EV., lead/NiFE, Nicad, lithium anf NiMh depending on which version as some had 2 different batteries.
Edison battery, NiFE was good but required a lot of watering and self discharge rates were not great, dead in a couple weeks. But some made then are still working at 100 yrs old!!!
Next why do you keep saying Lithium cost $800-1000 when you can buy EV size from multiople caompanies for under $500/kwhr retail? And small cells like Tesla, Toyota uses under $250/kwhr in 10kwhr amounts?
Fact is EV's need to be built differently than ICE's are to make the most of battery capacity. They need to be lightweight, aero and built for the job they are suspose to do. If built that way EV's can do 90% of US trips even with lead batteries which are 3x's the weight of lithiums/kwhr. Secret is have 40-50% of the weight of the vehicle in lead batteries. So by having a much lighter body/chassis by using composites, you need less battery, EV drive, thus cost. This same vehicle could easily hit 350+ miles with lithium batteries.
Now for the added weight of 60-90lbs a small gas generator can give most EV's unlimited range either with a built in space or on a trailer hitch. I expect these to be big aftermarket items as more EV's hit the road.
So it's not really battery advances that is stopping EV's but big auto which doesn't really want them because they are so simple they will rarely break down and require few after sale parts income as no oil filters, tune ups, etc need to be done.
Next the disinformation campaign by big oil PR firms with names like friends of the good earth putting out lies like batteries polluting, not true, but say nothing of the fact 200million lead batteries in ICE's don't have a problem. And of course Chevron buying the NiMH battery patents forcing Toyota to stop making it's 125 mile range RAV4EV, EV-1.
But while most bow to big oil, oil dictators and terrorists it supports with huge cash offerings at the pump, I laugh all the way to the bank paying just $.005/mile for fuel, $.01/mile for battery. Admittedly mine is very light, eff but it could be made in mass production for under $10k with 60-80 mile range and 80mph top speed using lead batteries. And using tech from before 1970, most from 1910.
Predicting technological advancements is nearly impossible. Speaking from my knowledge of the defense industry, investment into directed research is not necessarily related to breakthroughs in the area of interest.
Many have become accustomed to the fast pace of innovation in the commercial electronics industry, but that is not the case with all fields:
Firearms have seen very little improvement over the last century, despite much research and the constant, critical need by some around the world.
The basic power generator has not seen much improvement despite ever increasing electrical demand.
Patience is a virtue - R&D should always be performed, but must be tempered against budget realities. No one can predict what will spark the next breakthrough or where it will come from.We can only work with what we have and be ready to take advantage of whatever comes our way.
I know you are busy but check out the latest EV times - 6.8!
Also regarding replacement batteries: Remember we are all waiting for the Li-Ion GLUT and the more EVs on the roads means more EV batteries in junkyards!
For those who think EV /battery progress is too slow...What might have been if the Post Office had continued using EV delivery vans in 1975 and demand for improved batteries to service them had remained on the table? 36 years MORE R&D momentum!
For heaven's sake, yes, let's keep pouring petrochemicals into the tank because they are faster, cheaper, and more energy dense. Too bad they are not renewable (Unless we go to biofuels, which aren't efficient, but carbon neutral).
Let's not start develpment and testing of EVs until the last drop of oil has been sucked out of the ground or tar sands processed at increasing cost due to availibility. We can learn to ride bikes while the billionaires breeze past us in their cars. We can learn to scale down our travel expectations until a 100 mile range sounds like nirvana.
EVs should be expected to spring fully developed and cost effective from day one of their existence. Anything else is a waste.
Why the same should have been said about personal computers, I wasted too much money over the years spending $5000 for a computer I can buy today for $50 (equivalent processing power).
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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