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Captain Hybrid

EV Batteries: Solid Concept, but Not Ready for Prime Time

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Beth Stackpole
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Patience is the key
Beth Stackpole   4/6/2012 8:06:31 AM
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As with any innovation of the size and scope of EV technology, patience and time is what it's all about. There's no doubt that EV technology in some shape and form will eventually take root, but just because these first real generations aren't flying out of the show rooms doesn't mean that over time, with engineering refinements and an eye to cost reduction, they won't.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Patience is the key
TJ McDermott   4/6/2012 10:03:50 AM
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The end of the article said we'd see $397 / kwh by 2020.  Wasn't there a Design News article or comment on one within the last two weeks that said $400 / kwh was already achieved in Sweden or Norway?

Jerry dycus
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Re: Patience is the key
Jerry dycus   4/6/2012 4:59:15 PM
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  Yes TJ.  It's likely a friend of mine you are talking about leading the Li battery charge there. He was so fed up with bad, high priced  battery suppliers he built his own factory there.   It took him a yr to learn and another to build a producton line/factory.

 DN, Charles  seems to seek out those with the highest price quotes they can find yet I buy Li batteries RETAIL  for $250/kwhr for same small Panasonic cells Tesla uses and $450kwhr for bigger ones by multiple others.  So much for $400 in 2020.

  EV's are expensive because they make them that way.  My EV 2seat sportwagon using lead batteries get 100+ mile range and do 100mph though not at the same time, and could be made profitably at $15k in 10 unit lots and for $10k in 10k lots.

 It does it because it's light, aero which cuts the price by 50%.  For another $5k it can be lithium and about 125 mile range.  It's the same materials and labor as 3 golf carts gives a idea.

 I like alum/air batteries where you get 1000+ miles and change out the battery when it gets low and the tech is already done, here.  Getting Alum  to play nicely in a rechargable one, like with Zinc and silver, are great but few cycles. They grow dendrites? that short out the plates is the big problem.   Let's hope but plan on what we have.

 

Charles Murray
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Re: Patience is the key
Charles Murray   4/10/2012 8:08:30 PM
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TJ: I don't recall a company from Norway or Sweden getting down to $400/kWh. Envia of California predicted that it could get below $200 in the next few years, but that was a prediction. As far as I know, most of the automakers are still in the $800 to $1,000/kWh range for the entire pack (as opposed to the cells alone).

naperlou
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Re: Patience is the key
naperlou   4/6/2012 12:42:43 PM
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Beth, you are right on there.  These vehicles are following the standard new technology adoption curve.  The first purchasers were the early adopters.  Now that the technology is going more mainstream, at least in expectations, a whole different type of person is looking at them.  They have different expectations and the manufacturers need to take those into account.  In some places that is called jumping the chasm.

jmiller
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Re: Patience is the key
jmiller   4/7/2012 2:49:03 PM
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I agree that patience is necessary before we put a fork in this and call it done.  However, I also believe by putting something out there and learning, the industry will go faster and farther in the next 3 years than it would have had they not jumped in with both feet.  Occasionally you have to start doing something so you can find out what's wrong.  I know most people, and engineers especially would like to introduce the perfect product.  However, sometimes you have to pick something and go with it.  That's the only way to start getting an idea of what's really going to happen.

mmunroe
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Re: Patience is the key
mmunroe   4/9/2012 10:06:34 AM
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We are on our second Prius since 2005. (first 2005 second 2010) We have had no problems to speak of and certainly no problems with the EV battery. I remember during congressional testimony when the automakers said it would not be possible to advance their EV offering. The resale on the Prius is great too.

 

Jon Titus
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New battery technology?
Jon Titus   4/6/2012 11:28:14 AM
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The car makers might look at rechargeable aluminum-ion batteries that, according to Oak Ridge National Labs, offer a higher energy density than rechargeable lithium-ion batteries: 1060 Wh/kg vs. 406 Wh/kg respectively. ORNL has an information sheet at: http://www.ornl.gov/adm/partnerships/factsheets/10-G01216_ID2383.pdf.  I'm surprised we haven't heard more about this type of battery chemistry.

naperlou
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Re: New battery technology?
naperlou   4/6/2012 12:39:47 PM
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Jon, who knows.  There are lots of things in the lab that don't work in application.  Argonne National Labs is near me and so I talk to neighbors that work there on a number of energy technologies.  One was working in fuel cells a few years back.  That is another one I have heard about again recently.  No EV power system will be as easy to use as petrol for transportation.  They will all be hybrids of some type (the Leaf and the Tesla are the only pure EVs I know of).  I prefer the Volt approach.  IN the long run it will be more reliable, I would think.

GlennA
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stale gasoline ?
GlennA   4/9/2012 10:04:28 AM
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I like the idea of the ICE extending the range of the Volt, but I also wonder about stale gasoline.  If a Volt doesn't use the ICE for 6 months because it is driven purely within the electric range, will the ICE start ?  Will the gasoline have gone stale ?  I wonder if propane would be a better back-up fuel.  Does anyone know if there is a built-in function on the Volt that it runs the ICE occasionally, or on some regular schedule,  just to be sure it will start when needed ?

DrGamma
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Re: stale gasoline ?
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:00:28 AM
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I have a Volt. It keeps track of gas use and burns it up to prevent it from getting stale. Love the car btw.

Emmsys
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Re: stale gasoline ?
Emmsys   4/9/2012 1:46:04 PM
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The Chevy Volt avoids stale gas by running the gas engine once in a while and is programmed to use up all of the gas periodically. I can't remember the specifics but GM/Chevy already thought of that. Despite so many people wanting the Volt to fail, there is an incredible amount of engineering that went in that car. I personally think it is one of the most advanced cars on the road today. 

tcvaughn
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Re: New battery technology?
tcvaughn   4/9/2012 11:15:54 AM
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The energy density issue is not going to be solved by doubling or tripling using aluminum-ion or other battery technologies.  The energy density of gasoline is two orders of magnitude greater than lithium-ion.  The energy in the 432 pound battery in the Chevy Volt is equivalent to eight-tenths of a gallon of gasoline, weighing less than five pounds.  Although I am sure that battery technology will gradually improve, it is going to take something of a quantum leap before all-electric or hybrid automobiles will be truly competitive with gasoline power.  Until then, they will remain playthings for wealthy car-buyers laden with carbon-guilt.

Jon Titus
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Re: New battery technology?
Jon Titus   4/9/2012 11:32:55 AM
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I didn't say that a battery of any type would displace gasoline, just that a different battery chemistry might increase energy density. If someone wants to buy a vehicle that includes a large bank of batteries, that's fine.  They should aim for the highest energy density available when balanced against cost. For me, a gasoline-powered vehicle is just fine.

DrGamma
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Re: New battery technology?
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:36:58 AM
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Spoken like a true oil industry representative. Stay stuck with the past. These cars are used differently and do not require the same energy density as gasolie to be useful. As in my post on this site, I have used 400 less gallons of gasoline from imported oil in just 4 months driving my Volt. That alone is worth it to me.

tluxon
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Re: New battery technology?
tluxon   4/9/2012 6:17:30 PM
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A couple things come to mind:

1) How much "imported oil" was used to generate the electricty your car supplemented gasoline with?  If that electricity fuel had been applied directly to your car's engine instead of into storage (your battery), how many additional miles would it have given you?

I realize everybody has a different answer to this because there are numerous ways to charge up a battery.  The point is that it takes fuel of some sort to store energy in a battery and there is no lossless process to do that.

2) You single out "imported oil" - but there are numerous other quite portable and distributable ways to power a liquid or gas-powered engine.  If we were willing to toss aside Kissenger's agreement with the Middle East to buy their oil if they would use our money, we'd find that there are many alternatives that don't hold us hostage to their oil.

Rigby5
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Re: New battery technology?
Rigby5   4/9/2012 6:35:22 PM
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It is true batteriers are not efficient, but in general we do not import fuel for electricity.  And external combustion for electricity is much more efficient and clean than internal combustion could ever be.  We could easily make external combustion electricity production far cleaner.

Pete Ostapchuk
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Re: New battery technology?
Pete Ostapchuk   4/9/2012 7:51:00 PM
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Rigby,

    What's not efficent about a battery? You get out most of what you put in. Electric cars don't have all that heat that needs to be disipated as in an internal combustion engine. You would be hard pressed to heat your electric car in an Indiana winter. You can charge a battery with a solar panel. Filling your gas tank at home is a little more difficult. When your battery no longer fuctions, you can recycle it. One problem I see is trying to find enough raw materials to make enough batteries to power the devices that are now run on oil. That problem will only get worse with time and population growth. 

    Can we make better use of grass clippings and all the leaves that are gathered in the Fall? Many landfills are already a viable source of fuel. 

    Electric vehicles with high Voltage batteries running into the water as a result of an accident needs to be addresed. I saw all the cars in Japan being swept away by the Tsunami. We have flash floods in America too. 

   We are getting close to seeing how many people it takes to destroy the planet.

        Pete  O.

Rigby5
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Re: New battery technology?
Rigby5   4/9/2012 8:51:54 PM
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I have not run the numbers on battery efficiency, but even if you get out close to that you put in, it is the conversion of kinetic to electricity and back from electricity to kenetic that is going to be wasteful.  Electrical devices are never very efficient.  But you have a point that internal combustion is not that efficient either.  It is just that people do not realize how much energy the sun, plants, and bacteria have concentrated in oil, over 100s of million years.  Internal combustion just seems efficient because of the black gold we get for nearly free.

atemp
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Re: New battery technology?
atemp   4/9/2012 9:43:58 PM
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>What's not efficent about a battery? You get out most of what you put in.

Not really. 80% cycle efficiency is good but not great. 1/5th of energy lost.

Electronics power conversion good, typically >95%. No prob there.

Improve mileage maybe 20%-30% by lowering aerodynamic drag, making car even more unsafe and uglier than even a Prius. Great--till everybody drives more miles so total gas consumption does not drop. Tax revenue drops, so tax rates must be raised by politicos.


Use lighter materials -- tissue paper cars kill more people.


> You would be hard pressed to heat your electric car in an Indiana winter.

You bet. Advertised range takes huge hit. Sometimes that "waste" heat is useful, no?


>When your battery no longer fuctions, you can recycle it.

Where? At how much cost? Energy needed to recycle? Centralized or distributed? How often? Toxic waste? ...<crickets chirp>...

>...make better use of grass clippings and ... leaves that are gathered in the Fall? Many landfills are already a viable source of fuel.

Don't make me laugh. Do the numbers on biomass to synfuel conversion, and capturing methane from landfills (not sustainable) and you'll see how pathetically little useful energy can be got from those sources.

>We are getting close to seeing how many people it takes to destroy the planet.

More greenie angst; this is just so sad. If all the illogical, math-impaired enviros would just jump into those biomass digesters, it would address the humans-bad, overpopulation, and energy shortage issues--briefly, anyway.




PresidentDon
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Re: New battery technology?
PresidentDon   4/10/2012 4:54:52 AM
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I've yet to see any listing of range of operation using the Air Conditioner, or Heater, or windshield wipers or other electronic equipment. Plastic cases for the batteries? that melt when overheated! I'm not sold, indeed there are many living in rural towns that these cars may be perfect for them, But in the frozen north, -20 degrees or the southern states with 90 + degree weather, the electric only car is a joke. The car uses X amount of energy, whether from gas generator or electrical charging, no one seems to realize the physics of this operation.

The reliability of the electronic parts to control charging, and to regulate the output of each cell, is still to be improved before I'd pay one dime. I want a car that I can drive across country in 48 hours if needed. Since it will be an even colder day below this earth before I'll ever go through the TSA experiance at our airports, bus stations, train station, let alone the upcoming road blocks expected to be enacted in the near future.

With Microsoft Maps in my notebook so I can find alternate paths, I need transportation that will get me there, with no dead battery or charging station. How can we trust this technology, when the electronics in our current cars fail all the time now. When I see Tantalum capacitors in the equipment, I might believe they want this circuitry to last. Till then!

Pete Ostapchuk
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Re: New battery technology?
Pete Ostapchuk   4/10/2012 9:28:57 AM
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Atemp,

    Sounds like someone is having a bad day. Landfills are a fact of life. Ours have rows of Cat engines spinning generators. In the past, they would just burn off the gas. 

    Now I'm told that recycling things like batteries is a bad idea!?!   Pete O.

Rigby5
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Re: New battery technology?
Rigby5   4/10/2012 5:12:04 PM
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Lowering aerodynamic drag does not make cars uglier or less safe.

The Prius is ugly not because of aerodynamics.  Airplanes are aerodynamic, and not ugly.  And lighter is safer, not less safe.  If you hit a brick wall, it is the weight behind you that crushes you. A heavier car kills you and does not help.  Only if a light car hits a heavy car does weight matter, but then clearly the solution is to remove all the dangerous heavy cars.  Plastic and aluminum make much safer vehicles, like airplanes.

It is not necessary to use batteries to run car heaters.  It would not be heavy or expensive to use car heaters on something like alcohol.  Lots of vehicles have fuel oil powered heaters, like old aircooled VWs, campers, etc.

Batteries are cheaper and safer to recycle than making new batteries or running gasoline cars.

But I agree biofuel would require more surface area and sunlight than exist.

Jerry dycus
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Re: New battery technology?
Jerry dycus   4/9/2012 4:27:02 PM
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  TC your number are correct but forgot a little detail. ICE cars only get 7% eff or about say 30mpg.  A similar built as an EV  would get 150wthr/mile so gets 160 mile range.

  The only one getting that now is the I-MEV though the EV1 got 175wthrs/mile from the batteries we are talking about.  The Impact got 100wthrs/mile which was the prototype for the EV-1 before GM added 1000 lbs, $50k each and ruined it.

All my composite body EV's get under 100wthrs/mile which with a 24kwhr pack would be over 240 mile range.  Of course you don't want to run the battery dead so lets say 20kwhrs.

Nor do you mention the 3kwhrs needed to refine a gal of gaoline which in my Harley size EV trike would give me  60 miles of driving.   We don't need better batteries, we need better EV designs.

A simple 2 seat composite EVusing lead batteries getting 60 mile range and 80 mph with a 5kw gasoline generator for unlimited range shouldn't cost more than $10k with a nice profit.  Gives you a vehicle that can be paid for in just the fuel savings alone using it when needed.  Since it has unlimited range from the generator for about 50% of the drivers could be their only car and cost 25% of an ICE to run including new battery packs every 5 yrs.

As far as 20 yrs for oil used to burn in cars, yes that is about right. There will still be oil, it wil just cost too much to burn.  Why is 3 billion new oil users want their share and most of the easy oil is gone.  Fact is the good oil, sweet, is almost gone already with what's left sour being expensive to extract and refine.

Now add the fact that 1kw of PV panels gives the composite  EV example above costs just $1k giving 5kwhrs/day,  sunelec.com     For my design that means 50 miles/day for 25 yrs!!  Now just how is oil or any other vehicle going to beat that?

So keep beating that dead horse and pay oil companies, dictators and terrorist $1,000's/yr while giving oil companies huge subsidies.  

At least switch to something decent like E85 or biodiesel which don't support the above much and makes jobs here instead of you making them for terrorists.

And please don't spout the ethanol lies big oil has been spreading. We sell it to Brazil without subsidies shows this clearly.    If you want to do an EROI for it do the same for oil using correct, recent data that the decades old data big oil uses and account for all the other products like DDG higher qaulity animal feed, corn oil, etc that almost pays for the feedstock plus the plants are 50% more eff now mean ethanol is a smart fuel.

And on the food issue increased production/acre and all the byproducts which are better for humans or animals than raw animal feed corn they use so actually an increase in food supplies as more acres were openned. We still have millions of farm acres idle, even paying not to grow on them.

Nancy Golden
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safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 10:01:51 AM
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I want to go back to the volatility issue here. I am wondering what the testing criteria is for these vehicles in case of an accident. I see these little EVs (Smart Cars) out on the road and I cringe because of A. Their vulnerability and B. Their potential to have a fire because of an impact. The average consumer may be unaware of the risks because marketing will naturally focus on the benefits. The Volt incident, while unfortunate, has gone a long way in raising public awareness which is a good thing.

DanielJoseph
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Re: safety-safety-safety
DanielJoseph   4/9/2012 10:45:23 AM
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Electric vehicles have an advantage over gasoline vehicles in that during an accident, the lithium ion battery is not going to throw a highly flamable fuel that spreads to the occupant compartment. 

More than one person dies every single day from a vehicle fire and roughly a quarter a million vehicles catch fire every year in the US alone.  Obviously there is a scale issue here as there are more than 270 million vehicles in the US, so about 0.1% are involved in a fire annually. 

Certianly I agree that accidents are an area to keep an eye on for EVs.  That is when catostrophic things go wrong.  To date, I am not aware of a single EV fire resulting from a moving accident.  At least one got caught in a house fire, but that was shown to be an issue with the house wiring.

I have a Chevy Volt.  Fantastic vehicle.  I charge it in my garage with all doors closed.  Maybe that sounds strange, but folks charge their laptop, ipad, iphone, etc. in their bed these days with no ill effects.  There are no fumes from the charging process.  I would support a different headline.  EV batteries; getting better all the time.

Nancy Golden
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Re: safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 10:57:44 AM
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I see your point, DanielJoseph, just not sure I agree. I think batteries are among the least understood of common every day products that are used by consumers. Frankly, I am not asking for a comparison of gasoline vehicles – every vehicle should stand to the bar of safety on its own merit – and the results simply aren't in yet regarding EVs – there is not enough data to reflect any sort of scale. I am not against EVs by any means and I am glad you are having great success with yours, but as with any new technology it takes time for the larger picture to emerge and in the real world sometimes marketing gets ahead of itself. I choose to stick with my original headline...

DanielJoseph
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Re: safety-safety-safety
DanielJoseph   4/9/2012 11:18:29 AM
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Your logic is puzzling me.  A mode of transportation that replaces another mode of transportation has to be compared to the status quo - in terms of fires, at least, as this is what we are discussing.  You can't simply dismiss the fact that main propellent found as the cause of death for so many americans is absent or significantly reduced in all EVs.  There is no liquid propellent found in an EV battery.  There is no battery acid (as with traditional batteries).  To say we have to create new standards without regard to previous standards is a cost death nail.   I am saying EVs will save lives of folks in accidents that would have started a fire if they had been in a gasoline vehicle.

Maybe you are saying there is some other gotcha waiting to be discovered...

My opinion is that the surprises will have more to do with reliability, long term life, end-of-life disposal or reycling processes, etc.   Safety will be a huge benefit of EVs over traditional vehicles.

Nancy Golden
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Re: safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 11:47:37 AM
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"To say we have to create new standards without regard to previous standards is a cost death nail."

That is where priorites can differ...engineers in the battery industry that I am acquainted with are very concerned about safety issues and in that industry (as in any other)  it is often a battle of priorities. Battery technology is different, so their standards are going to reflect those differences. I am not calling for different safety bars - but safety bars that are reflective of and make sense for the technology being used.

You make valid arguements but I personally don't think that safety is adequately proven, because nobody has shown me that it is. I am hearing about doubling the density - how does that affect volatility? The scenarios for manufacturing decisions and safety are endless and I understand the need to define reasonable limits. I have a horse (which is the ultimate gas saver!) but of course every time I ride, I put myself at the mercy of a 1200 lb. prey animal with a mind of its own. But there are habits that I have formed that give me the best chance for a safe ride. While we can't control everything, we can be as thorough as possible in our design which includes extensive safety testing. 

I have reached the limits of my knowledge on this subject, but as a consumer, this is what I personally am concerned with.

Jerry dycus
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Re: safety-safety-safety
Jerry dycus   4/9/2012 3:43:09 PM
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  Nancy, why would you think EV's are not as safe as ICE's?  There is no basis for assuming so because other than gasoline, the materials, design and the way they are built is the same.

Plus all cars have batteries easily capable of starting fire yet few do and that'd due mostly to abuse.  And far more batteries in ICE's than in EV's.  So where is the safety problem?  And is it worse than ICE's?

Personally I'd rather have my batteries safety wise than hualling so much gasoline not to mention paying for the gas/

DrGamma
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The Volt and other EV's
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:13:19 AM
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I have driven a Chevy Volt in the Chicago area for the past 4-5 months. During this time I have used at least 400 less gallons of gasoline than with my previous car (most miles were electric.) That's less imported oil than I have used for that time period in Decades!

Feels great to me to do this, but the multi trillion dollar per year oil industry would not be so happy if there were a lot more people adopting this technology. I am sure they are spending a lot of money on the PR to criticise these and other vehicles that would dent their income stream.

 

 

Rigby5
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No Choice
Rigby5   4/9/2012 12:08:18 PM
The main point forgotten is that we have no choice but batteries.  We have less than 20 years of oil left, and it is foolish to waste it on cars.  Alternative biofuels compete with food so also are not viable.  The only sure thing is electricity, whether hydro, nuclear, solar, etc.  And that means batteries.  So stop trying to sell batteries as an alternative power for normal cars.  The whole world has to switch to understanding batteries are all that matter, and the car has to change in order to fit that.  So cars have to be light, aerodynamic, plastics or aluminum.  Batteries have to be in a standard module for rapid replacement instead of slow recharge. Everything else has to change as necessary, in order for batteries to work.  There is no other option. 

tluxon
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Re: No Choice
tluxon   4/9/2012 1:22:47 PM
Sounds like the response of a salesman or politician, not an engineer.  Batteries are one of the least efficient known ways to store energy.  Perhaps that will change someday, but the drop-dead date for liquid and gas fuel energies is a long way off.

Think "Can do" instead of "Can't do" - it'll open more doors...

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/9/2012 4:47:46 PM
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No, the end of oil is not long off.  We should already have been saving it for food production and distribution.  It is tractors and combines that can not run on batteries, but cars most certainly can right now.  Your stubborn and illogical attitude will cause mass starvation in the future.

Jon Titus
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Re: No Choice
Jon Titus   4/9/2012 1:26:20 PM
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Hmmm.  We always have choices, Rigby5.  I'd like to know where the "We have less than 20 years of oil left..." came from. There's a lot of information out there, but how much has any credibility?

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/9/2012 4:52:45 PM
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As a matter of fact we don't have a lot of choices when it comes to energy.  The only sourece is fusion.  It happens in the sun.  Nuclear is remnants of old stellar fusion.  Solar is new fusion.  Oil is fossilized fusion.  When the oil deposits are gone, there is no other reasonable source of energy other than something that produces electricity.  And batteries beat hydrogen as the storage media so far.  So unless we want future starvation, we need to adapt to batteriers as soon as possible.  We can't wait until all the oil is gone.  We need oil for food production.

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/9/2012 1:37:53 PM
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Rigby,

You have a bad case of it.

 

MIROX
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Re: No Choice
MIROX   4/9/2012 1:45:57 PM
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There always is a BIG choice and that is to align your wants with your needs!

For in city (that is "big" city of anything of one million + popluation) you will find just about anything you can ever want and need in less than 5 mile radius.

But ultimately you want things like housing, job, or that special store that has stuff on sale that is 40+ miles away - but most people do not add the cost of driving the extra un-necessary miles to the cost of the "sale item" or the 2 or more hours of going to/from work as their true cost in terms of time and money.

For in city driving small EV with as little motor as 15 Hp is quite OK, but the same size (one or two cylinder) gasoline engine in the same application would deliver over 70 MPG - yet it is impossible to find a "small car" in USA, even "mini cars" sport engines of 100+ HP and are close to 2,000 lbs in curb weight.

Vehicle for two or even four people with lead acid batteries at under $300 per Kw/h are available today - except people do not seem to be interested in buying them, Think!, Aptera, Zenn and others are already out of business.

OKA NEV ZEV (www.okaauto.com) is still available at about $8,000 per copy.

But then as many articles point out you many need another car for the 5% or less of your other long distance needs, and as long as you have a parking space for it, not really a problem to have extra car, truck or SUV that would be used only about 750 to 1,500 miles annually. And there always is Rent-a-Car in every city.

The consumers however choose to have a vehicle 100% of the time that they only have real reason to have 5% of the time and as long as fuel is as inexpensive as it is in USA the 300 hp 5,000 lbs vehicles will be popular.

As many researches point out fuel has to be from $8.00 to $12.00 per gallon to make EV or even Volt, cost effective.

When cost of travel gets to be "expensive" suddenly there will be lot of other choices, such as public transport, bikes, and even walking a mile or two !

Or even a "minicar" !

 

PresidentDon
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Re: No Choice
PresidentDon   4/10/2012 5:15:30 AM
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WE still have compressed Hydrogen, or compressed Methane as possible fuel sources, that would still run the current engine designs. OR what I'd work on is a 12" cube 12 KW nuclear box good for 100,000 years that would never need recharging. We made one for a test probe to the moon, can we manufacture such an item to use in our cars? Worth a try.

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/10/2012 5:15:35 PM
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Remember that hydrogen or methane is not a fuel source.  It takes more energy to create than you get out of it.  They are just storage media, similar to batteries, only using an internal combustion engine instead of an electric motor.  And it is not clear that is a good distinction.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: No Choice
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/11/2012 3:03:38 PM
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Rigby5:  Do you REALLY believe that there is only 20 years of oil left in Mother Earth?  IF you do, I really feel sorry for you.  On the contrary, there have been numerous nonpolitical, unbiased scientific studies showing vast reserves of fossil fuels in many areas of the Earth.  While it IS true that some of this reserve is difficult to extract, there are other spots where it is far easier.  However, our society has taken up the cause of turning this industry & energy source as a political football, dating back to the first oil embargo of 1973!

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 3:57:52 PM
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No, of course there will always be some oil left, because it will be too expensive or too hard to find.

That is not the point.

The point is that we are well over 15 years beyond peak production, and what is left is rapidly decreasing in supply, while rapidly increasing in demand and cost.  It is clear that in about 20 years, oil will no longer be viable for individual transportation.  What little is left will have to be rationed for food production and distribution.  Any politician that does not enforce that, would be lynched in food riots reminiscent of the movie "Soylent Green".
It takes over 100 million years to concentrate solar energy into oil, so it it totally unrenewable, and there is only a small fraction of it left.
There are no real "choices" involved.  Its batteries or bicycles for most people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GrowingGap.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/11/2012 5:06:58 PM
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Rigby,

 

"It takes over 100 million years to concentrate solar energy into oil..."

What is the factual basis for that statement? (I don't want theories, I want proven facts.)




Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 7:27:13 PM
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It is well established fact that fossil plant remains have to be digested by bacteria and perculated for over 100 million years before it is ready to be drilled.  Deposits newer than that generally can not be refined or have any marketable value.

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter08.html

{ ... There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. All three were formed many hundreds of millions of years ago before the time of the dinosaurs – hence the name fossil fuels. The age they were formed is called the Carboniferous Period. It was part of the Paleozoic Era. "Carboniferous" gets its name from carbon, the basic element in coal and other fossil fuels.

The Carboniferous Period occurred from about 360 to 286 million years ago. At the time, the land was covered with swamps filled with huge trees, ferns and other large leafy plants, similar to the picture above. The water and seas were filled with algae – the green stuff that forms on a stagnant pool of water. Algae is actually millions of very small plants. ... }

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/11/2012 10:33:52 PM
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Rigby5,

I have a problem calling something so likely to be inaccurate (100 million years to make oil) "a well established fact".

I don't care how much evidence points to some theory about what happened to seaweed 300 million years ago, there will always be plenty of room for doubt, just by the nature of the timespan.

I respect that you believe the theories you are presenting, but that doesn't make them factual.  I think that allowing "well established theories" to migrate to "facts" is becoming a real problem with "science", especially when legislation results from it.

The past history of oil discovery should not be considered an absolute predictor of future discoveries either.  Look at the past rises and falls in the chart you referenced.  I acknowledge an apparent downward trend in new discoveries, but  it is not possible to state with certainty that there will not be major discoveries in the future.

I will also posit that there could be a lot about the carbon cycle that we don't yet understand, that could change the eventual outcome of of man's battle with "fossil" fuels.


Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/12/2012 1:21:56 AM
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ttemple : I don't understand your post.  The science of how oil formed, how to find it, when the plants grew, how long the process takes, is all well proven and established fact.  There is no room for doubt.  Not only can we carbon date, but we find fossil evidence as well, that establishes exactly when the plants were alive.  That is the whole point.  The oil was living plants at one time.  It is very easy to date.

We know there will not be more really large unexpected discoveries, because we know the ancient swamps we are looking for.  We know most of the world can not possibly have any.  And the untapped ones are anticipated, but just were not economically accessible in the past, such as the deep water well.  I is not like looking for gold, that could be just about anywhere.  We can tell where the swamps used to be.

There is nothing about the carbon cycle that will help use with energy.  The only thing the knowing more about the carbon cycle will do is allow us to better understand why global warming seems to have slowed down.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/11/2012 4:11:13 PM
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From reports I've seen, taking into account the current trends on population growth, oil reserves should last 120 years. However, within 60 years, the cost is estimated to hit $250 a barrel, We don't have to go very much higher than we are now before alternatives such as natural gas and electricity become more and more attractive. A large-scale turn to alternatives would stretch the time before oil runs out.

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 7:45:20 PM
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Rob Spiegel : Your post is more accurate than mine, and I thank you for adding that.
It is true that we are actually speculating as to when the cost of oil will make it prohibitive.  The common estimates are 43 years if consumption remains constant.
The estimate I gave of 20 years is based on extrapolation of greatly increasing demands from the 3rd world countries catching up to our consumption levels.
But your estimate of 60 years is possible if we somehow reduce consumption enough.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2012 11:40:53 AM
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Yes, I do think it comes down to the cost of oil. The cost will make usage prohibitive long before supplies run out. There will be a lot of dollars to be made from alternative fuels in coming years, so we can probably expect some serious developments of alternatives that are more than just efforts from those on the environmental side.

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/12/2012 3:19:28 PM
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It is important to consider the actual source of energy when discussing "alternative fuels".  With oil, that is not really the source but the concentrated carrier media.  It is really hundreds of millions of year of condensed solar fusion energy.  Bio fuels are the same source, only not as concentrated or from such a long period of time, so therefore we know there is just not enough sunlight hitting the earth for us to be able to achieve sufficient quantity.  Coal and nuclear are also actually ancient fusion artifacts, but could give us many centuries more, if only we have the right tranportable media.  Batteries seem the best way to do that, since only compressed hydrogen seems even close.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2012 3:48:17 PM
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We could see some additional sources of energy as technology moves forward. Perhaps solar energy gleaned from satellites. The solar energy stored on earth may not be the best source ultimately.

Charles Murray
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Re: No Choice
Charles Murray   4/12/2012 6:46:07 PM
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I agree, Rob. Solar faces challenges. It needs to be more efficient and we have to figure out better ways to store intermittent forms of power.

Charles Murray
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Re: No Choice
Charles Murray   4/17/2012 7:17:31 PM
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Speaking of solar, Rob, we will have a story about energy storage for solar and wind in a couple of days.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/18/2012 12:11:05 PM
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That should be interesting, Chuck. Hope the new storage you're covering is an improvement on the lake on a hill. Though I have to admit, the lake on a hill is a heck of a way to store energy.

Charles Murray
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Re: No Choice
Charles Murray   4/23/2012 8:46:17 PM
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For pure energy storage capacity, it would still take an awful lot of batteries to beat the lake on the hill, Rob.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2012 1:04:06 PM
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The more I read about batteries, the better the lake on the hill sounds. Until alternative energy sources such as wind and solar can produce energy to meet real-time demand, the lake on the hill may be our best bet. There's nothing wrong with a bunch of lakes dotting our landscape. 

Charles Murray
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Re: No Choice
Charles Murray   4/24/2012 8:21:51 PM
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There's an article about grid storage on our site tomorrow morning, Rob. Unfortunately, the people who did the study didn't include pumped hydro because they didn't see it as an emerging technology.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2012 10:15:31 AM
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Hmmm. It will be interesting to see what kind of storage is available these days. With alternative energy, grid storage has certainly become an major issue.

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/12/2012 5:02:15 PM
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Rigby5:

"so therefore we know there is just not enough sunlight hitting the earth for us to be able to achieve sufficient quantity"

Not enough sunlight for what?




ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/13/2012 8:40:57 AM
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Rigby5,

Have you looked up how much solar energy hits the earth?  You finally hit on a topic where some facts can be ascertained, and conclude that there is not enough sunlight hitting the earth. (and you are probably a "climate change" proponent???)

Here is what one site says about the amount of solar energy hitting the earth:

"With these assumptions, figuring out how much solar energy hits the entire planet is relatively simple. 12.2 trillion watt-hours converts to 12,211 gigawatt-hours, and based on 8,760 hours per year, and 197 million square miles of earth's surface (including the oceans), the earth receives about 274 million gigawatt-years of solar energy, which translates to an astonishing 8.2 million "quads" of Btu energy per year.

In case you haven't heard, a "quad Btu" refers to one quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy, a common term used by energy economists. The entire human race currently uses about 400 quads of energy (in all forms) per year. Put another way, the solar energy hitting the earth exceeds the total energy consumed by humanity by a factor of over 20,000 times."

That is from http://www.ecoworld.com/energy-fuels/how-much-solar-energy-hits-earth.html, so you would probably agree with it completely.  (I don't agree with it completely, because I can spot some obvious flaws in their logic and assumptions)  Nonetheless, there is thousands of times more energy hitting the earth than we could possibly use, if we figured out how to use it.

It bothers me very much that you regurgitate beliefs, speculations, and theories as fact.  As for backing your dating with carbon dating,  Wikipedia's article on carbon dating states that carbon dating is "good" for 58,000 to 62,000 years back.  It also admits that the dating is off by 1000 years in the first 6000 years, and they extrapolate a correction factor.  So, it is off by as much as 1/6 in the first 6000, and only good to 60,000.  I presume they are attempting to extrapolate the same compensation out to 60,000 years, which in my estimation is potentially completely bogus.  Anybody that has done much actual data collection and analysis knows what kind of trouble you get into when you attempt to extrapolate past actual data.

So, lets say carbon dating is good for 60kyears.  It is apparently known to be off by at least 15% in the first 6 or 7 thousand years, and corrected by some assumptions.  Then that correction is extrapolated out, etc. etc. etc.  What are you doing for the next 99,940,000 years to get you to 100,000,000 years?  How can you observe a process that you say takes hundreds of millions of years?  You could at best watch the process for maybe 10's of years by now, if you started several decades ago.  Then you would have to make a measurement and extrapolate it out for a hundred million years.  Sorry, I don't buy it as "fact".

It is easy to shoot holes in many of the over 100 dating methods that have been used over the years.  Naturally, there is great disagreement between many of the dating systems.  There is simply no way to prove events that are stated to be 100's of millions of years old, to the point of calling them factual.

If you would frame your arguments as based upon your beliefs or assumptions I would be much more tolerant of your sermons, but you don't.  If I came on this forum and tried to evangelize everyone, I would probably be thrown off.  In essence, that is what you are doing.  You are spewing a bunch of speculative information that you believe, and presenting it as authoritative fact, when it is not.

I am not saying that your information is for certain wrong.  I am saying that the information you present can't be proven as fact, and it can't be proven to not be fact.  Thus, it shouldn't be presented as fact.  It is probably more accurately described as dogma.

If I had your belief system, and wanted to sound credible, I would preface my statements with some background, such as "I believe that ....,", or "Some scientists theorize....".  Then I wouldn't have a problem with anything you are saying.

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/13/2012 2:03:26 PM
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ttemple : Your post is nonesense and does not belong in a technical society.
There is no question oil requires over 100 million years to occur naturally.  It is what all geologist know as a fact.  I am aware there are crackpots who claim the Earth is only 6,000 years old, and that oil spontaneously oozes up from the center of the Earth, but no one here should take that seriously.

Yes, carbon 14 dating is limited, but there are lots of other proven dating techniques, so you are still wrong.  Such as potassium-40 decays to argon-40; uranium-238 decays to lead-206 via other elements like radium; uranium-235 decays to lead-207; rubidium-87 decays to strontium-87, etc.  Dating is fairly well understood, reliable, and has been cross referenced for validation.

And no, there is not sufficient solar energy hitting the Earth for us to power cars as we do now.  Not only is it impossible to capture solar energy over water, fields, etc., but to even consider trying to capture a fraction would cause massive death and destruction.  Sunlight is the source of all food chains, which we must not disrupt.  Solar collectors can only put in totally barren locations, and our yields and transmission losses make that totally impractical.  Solar is worth pursuing, but not for transportation.  It can never produce sufficient yield.

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/13/2012 4:15:49 PM
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Rigby5,

I am "still wrong" about what?  I looked back through my posts, and I don't see that I have made any claims (other than maybe "you have a bad case of it").  You are making all the claims, I have simply challenged your assertion that some of your claims are "well known facts".  I don't even see where I have said that your claims are wrong.  I just don't think that characterizing your claims as "facts" is accurate.

If you said "most geologists believe that it takes 100 million years for oil to form", I wouldn't have a problem with it.  You might even say that "all geologists accept as fact that...".  I wouldn't believe that "all" geologists agree on it, but you could say it.  To say that "all geologists know as fact" is a overreaching in two ways.  One, I doubt if "all" geologists believe it, and two, they can't "know" it.

Nobody knows with certainty what happened 100 million years ago, or what takes 100 million years to happen.  We can make intelligent guesses based upon what appears to have happened, but that doesn't make our best guesses facts.  It is still just our best guess based upon the evidence.

I'm sorry that you either don't understand, or won't acknowledge the distinction between facts and theories.

 

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/13/2012 6:59:20 PM
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ttemple :

I have read a number of textbooks referencing that it takes over 100 million years for oil to natually ferment.  If you feel the scientific community is in error on this accepted fact, then I suggest you publish your miraculous findings.  Unitl then or you show anyone else published who agrees with you, your view has no merit.  It would be criminal for someone to try to delude the public into believing oil did not naturally take over 100 million years.

ttemple
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Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/16/2012 6:44:15 AM
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Rigby5,

That is a wonderful suggestion - make it a crime to not believe what you believe.  Come to think of it, they used to do that...  The earth was flat, and we bled the sick.  Perhaps you would suggest burning me at the stake.

Rigby5
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Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/16/2012 9:56:06 PM
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Except that you are the one claiming all the geologists are wrong, just like the people who claimed the round Earth scientists were wrong.  And what is criminal about this is that instead of trying to deal with the real problem of finite oil resources, people like you want to delude others into not preparing for this approaching severe threat.  It was the religious fanatics who thought the Earth was flat, the earth is young, and there are infinite and renewable oil resources. 

We either have to get really busy with batteries or hydrogen, because nothing else will likely work in about 20 to 60 years.

Emmsys
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EVs, plug-in hybrids and the Volt are still misunderstood
Emmsys   4/9/2012 2:09:44 PM
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Hi,

 

I think people need to be better informed about the goals of the current crop of EVs, extended-range vehicles and plug-in hybrids. I hear so many people complaining that the Volt barely gets 40mpg on the highway if you drive across the US. That example completely misses the point of the Chevy Volt. Driving across the US in the Volt is at least possible (and much faster than in a Nissan Leaf where you need to charge it often). However, the Volt really shines in city driving and short distances in general where it can potentially run 100% on batteries alone. That is what should be marketed first, then mention that you can still gas up for the long road trips.

The same goes for EVs like the Nissan Leaf. Saying that it is useless for long distance travelling is like saying a Ferrari 458 Italia is useless because it can't carry 10000lbs of cargo like a pick-up truck can. 

I think the average person is not ready for these types of vehicles moreso than the battery technology. My friend's wife has such acute "range anxiety" that she has NEVER driven their Nissan Leaf. My wife agrees with her and would never want to even step in the Leaf for fear of running out of battery power. 

If people understood the purpose of these technologies then they would understand the advantages and the limitations of the current generation of EVs and Volts. 

On a side note, my friend with the Leaf just went through his first Quebec winter. Some interesting tidbits include:

-The LED headlights can't melt any ice formations.

-The car's climate control (and front/rear heated seats) cannot handle temperatures below -19degrees C. He says the car's interior is lukewarm but never warm. He recommends heated floors.

-The range drops approximately 35-40% during the winter when everything is running (climate control, heated seats etc.). i.e he gets around 70km on a charge.

-He admits that he does quick back-of-the-hand calculations to see if he's got enough juice in the batteries for round trips on cold days. 

-It is a very solid, well-built car.

 

In my opinion, I'd prefer the Volt as my first step into the EV/range-extended market. However a decent equipped Volt was quoted $52000 here in Montreal, Quebec. INSANE. And people wonder why the Volt isn't selling well?

 

 

William K.
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E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
William K.   4/9/2012 2:48:46 PM
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Like JT, I would like to see any credible source describe the reasoning behind the assertion that we have only 20 years of oil left. FRom where I stand that asserttion smells like a lie, not even an error. We do have a shortage of cheap oil, but a huge supply of expensive oil. That is quite clear.

For those who fear running out of charge we do have vehicles like the volt with the built in engine driven charger, which it is a perfect vehicle for stop and go city driving, which is a whole lot of what is done in many areas. So the electric car with the engine generator would indeed be the perfect choice, if it didn't cost so very much. It would take me years to get the payback in reduced fuel purchases to cover the extra initial cost.

But what I see as the real barriers aside from the high price are battery replacement costs and maintenance costs. The batteries will of course only be available from the dealer and in southeastern Mighigan the difference between a dealer and a robber is that the dealer doesn't use a gun. It is certain that replacement batteries will cost from $5000 to $10,000, and spending that much on a car 5 years old will be difficult to justify, since the rest of the car will still have five years of wear on it already. And I just know tyhat the environmental folks are going to do something nasty and expensive as far as regulations about used batteries. 

As for the small engined low powered cars that we don't choose to buy, perhaps the problem is that it does take a certain amount of power to drive safely on quite a few roads. If the 10 or 15HP cars were restricted to roads with 35MPH or lower speed limits that might work, but a vehicle with such poor accelaeration does not belong on aany expressway. Would it even be possible to limit the roads that some class of vehicles could drive on?

atemp
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Re: E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
atemp   4/9/2012 3:19:32 PM
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WilliamK and JT wondered, whence 20 years till oil runs out?: This figure is pulled out of the backsides of greenies who can't do math. Might just as well say, well I have 20 fingers and toes, so that number sounds good. Finite oil is just a conjecture, taken as sacrament by the earth-good, humans-bad crowd.

A four-figure price tag for battery replacement will only work once the Sheeple have been softened up by years of $5-$10/gal gasoline, and have become used to socialist "redistribution" of money to subsidize the whole scam. Whether voting that O-guy out of presidency would counter this trend is unknown, but it seems like a good start.

Of course other high-energy density synfuels are worth looking into, but get precious little attention; after the maize-ethanol scam, can't say I blame investors staying away. As a career EE, it pains me a bit to conclude that even the best batteries are losers in the energy-density, service longevity, and efficiency criteria. Batteries are loved, but again only by loser greenies who were too high in math class to pay attention.

Rigby5
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Re: E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
Rigby5   4/9/2012 5:01:26 PM
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That is ridiculous.  We have only seriously been using oil for 50 years or so, and it is clear our consumption rate is over 100 times what it used to be, and radidly rising.  Anyone who thinks we have more than 20 years of oil left has not done any math at all.  None of the large oil producers are projecting much being left beyond then.  And long before then the price will be prohibitive.

To blindly believe a synthetic replacement is possible is to believe in perpetual motion.  We do NOT make gasoline.  It was made by the sun and organic processes.  Neither of which can we utilize.  All we do is refine gasoline, but we do not and can not make it without putting in more energy than we get out.  That is true of all synthetic fuels.  There are possible organic alternatives, but they will compete for field and sun space, against food, so are not viable either.

Batteries are our only alternative, and we are running out of time.

Jon Titus
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Re: E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
Jon Titus   4/9/2012 5:34:58 PM
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I just want to know the source of this information: "Anyone who thinks we have more than 20 years of oil left has not done any math at all.  None of the large oil producers are projecting much being left beyond then." Please cite a source and then we can discuss.  Without attribution we're left only with someone's guess, which isn't worth talking about.

Rigby5
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Re: E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
Rigby5   4/9/2012 6:28:05 PM
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Here is what seems to be a reasonable link.

http://education.wallstreetsurvivor.com/Collapse-Fractional-Banking-System

I have not read it carefully, but it seems to show not only that we are way past peak production, but that use rate is rapidly climbing.  You also have to remember that when countries like Canada say they have over 100 years of oil left, that is tar sands that no one wants because it is so expensive to extract.  The thing to remember is not that there will be no oil in 20 years, but that the production rate will no where near to match the consumption rate.  There will be a trickle of oil available forever, but it won't help us very much.  We know this is true, or else we would not be spending billions on things like the Deep Water Horizon disaster.  Easy oil is history.  And it takes over 100 million years to make more oil naturally.

Flyby
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Re: E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
Flyby   4/9/2012 6:16:37 PM
Electric motor cars have a lot of advantages and may well be the future motive power for our vehicles. Imagine a car that gets better than 100MPG, has four wheel drive (one electric motor at eat wheel), weighs less than today's cars, has no need for a large expensive battery, burns any liquid fuel and has the same or greater range as today's vehicles.

My question is: from where will we get the electricity: From coal fired power plants (how much is left and how much pollution is acceptable?); from onboard efficient generators (the railroads do this very efficiently with diesel generators), from highly efficient, safe, burn anything steam engines; from small compact turbines; from fuel cells; from solar panels; from wind power; from nuclear power plants?

 

William K.
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E.V. Batteries: concept and reality
William K.   4/9/2012 4:10:16 PM
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I am inclined to agree with the assertion that battery safety is a non-issue, really. The only problem that I see is that working on the systems could be hazardous to those unfamiliar with 300+ volt DC procedures. I have worked on DC battery systems able to deliver 3000+ amps long enough to do damage, and it is indeed a bit tense. The big difference is that it is entirely possible to spill some gasoline and not have any problems, but spilling amps is always a big problem.

But for poeple driving or riding in vehicles there is no reason to believe that there would be any difference in safety. A crash that was violent enough to cause an electrical problem in an EV would probably burst the fuel tank on an ICE vehicle, which would be the least of the concerns for the passengers in any case.

So the safety concern thing is really all about irrational fears, and there is no help for that.

bwilson4web
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Warmed over, Prius skeptic arguments
bwilson4web   4/10/2012 10:10:58 AM
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With 120,000 Prius miles since 2005, the same skeptic claims are heard today against EVs as were voiced seven years ago. Batteries are too expensive; too hazardous; too small; too heavy; bad handling; plenty of oil; too quiet; e.t.c. So I upgraded my traction battery on the older Prius, $1,700, about as much as a transmission rebuild or four sets of rims and performance tires, from an independent traction battery rebuilder who used salvage modules. 

The old traction battery modules measured 5.5 Ahr versus new 6.5 Ahr. Like replacing OEM tires with performance tires, the original battery was still good (and I kept the modules.) I just wanted the improved modules and the price was right.

The newer battery modules have half the internal resistance and better thermal characteristics. Accidents are the greatest risk, ~2% of the fleet per year, and I have no doubt these modules will be recycled into another rebuilt traction battery. With no moving parts and improved internals, Prius hyrid batteries have an easy life and no known end-of-life limits . . . they are that good.

Averaging 52 MPG for those 120,000 miles, 85% city, we burned 2,300 gallons. Our previous sedan got 30 MPG or 4,000 gallons over the same distance. Avoiding 1,700 gallons netted $4,250 (at $2.50/gal Gas Buddies past 7 years) after tax dollars. But gas prices are rear-loaded, today just under $4/gal up from $2.25/gal at the beginning.

So our Prius experiment continues and two years ago, we bought a second one. It has more power and payload yet gets the same 52 MPG using NiMH battery chemistry. Prius continues now with four models and one using LiON, the plug-in.

Bob Wilson

 

 

 

atemp
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Re: Warmed over, Prius skeptic arguments
atemp   4/10/2012 6:49:08 PM
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Well, lessee. Just over 1million priuses sold, 97% of which are still on the road, out of 203 million cars currently on road in USA. Some doofus suggested that the US gummint force replacement of 99.5% "heavy" (normal) cars so tissue-paper car drivers can feel cozy and safe. The gas hybrid model may be scalable, but it still won't solve any problem long-term. In the steady state, it won't cost any less to drive due to market forces and gummint meddling.

warren@fourward.com
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EV Batteries
warren@fourward.com   5/18/2012 8:37:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Unfortunately, the government has gotten involved instead of letting the market determine what the public wants.  The $7,500 tax credit skews the market, and we might never find out what will really work.  It is time to let nature take its course.

EV batteries are expensive, dangerous, poisonous on a large scale, and not very efficient.  Why would you go this route, unless someone was paying you to go in that direction.  What does the government know about consumer affairs, other than taxing and spending?  What about fuel cells?  How about more efficient hybrids where the market determines how far the battery should take you before the gasoline kicks in?  Is there something else we aren't considering because Government Motors has taken us down a rabbit hole? How about 75 miles per gallon gasoline-fueled cars?

We may never know...

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More Blogs from Captain Hybrid
If you’ve charted the course of the electric car market over many years, then you know that we’ve always been two years away from a metamorphosis … or five years … or more.
Tesla's "affordable electric car" now has a name and a price. The Model 3 will sell for $35,000.
From plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles to CNG trucks and hydrogen-powered cars, we offer a peek at the growing category of alternative fuel vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp. made its case for a hydrogen-powered future last week by revealing the exterior of a fuel cell sedan that will go on sale in 2015.
At least eight states have launched EV mandates. Auto industry analysts wonder whether automakers can meet their requirements.
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