The Envia batteries tested by ARPA-E were 45-Ah units. Kapadia said that a 100-mile electric sedan would need approximately 120 of the cells. A full battery pack for such a vehicle could be air-cooled or liquid-cooled, he said.
Envia, which has an interdisciplinary team of 13 PhDs in areas of material science and electrochemistry, has done all the battery's design work itself, starting in 2007.
"We've never used off-the-shelf components for our batteries," Kapadia said. "A battery is just as good as its components, and all of the components are ours."
For a close look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller. In the trip sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is taking the fire-engine-red Volt to innovation hubs across America, interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students as he blogs his way across the country.
These last few years I've been using an electric bicycle for my daily commute and converted my lawn mower to solar (the idea of a green lawn mower just seemed obvious). The efficiency of motors and motor controllers have advanced to the point of being very well-suited for transportation but energy storage is still lagging. The promise of doubling the capacity of the current battery systems would place the energy storage at the same technological level as the power plant and make e-vehicles practical. I couldn't help but notice the very cautious tone of the article, though. There are lots of questions for the future; can the cell produce high drain and deep cycle life without damage, and can the manufacturing process sustain high production levels. This is a company to watch in the future.
Love to hear these tales of startups with a new low-cost, high-energy density battery story to tell. Given all the research and R&D dollars being poured into electric car battery research, my guess is we have to be nearing the point where a lot of the early disappointments either have evolved or are being replaced with new startups and technologies that are much closer to the mark of advancing the cause. Afterall, each failure or disappointment points up valuable lessons learned that can then be applied to the next round of developments that get battery density and cost closer to where we want to go.
This is good to hear. The technology is badly needed in our society. My sole question is: can our grid handle a large percentage of cars going electric? All around the USA I see a steady increase in the cost of electricity. Am I the only one that is itching to invest in solar and electric generation in general? Another application this can be put into is off the grid Energy storage. Off the grid Inverters are cheaper. Emergency power might act as secondary storage for the grid too. I honestly see the future grid requiring Grid-tie solar or wind systems to come with a certain rating of battery power. Eventually the grid will become too erratic for our slow turning turbines to match.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.