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Captain Hybrid

Battery Lab Could Help GM Reach EV Vision

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naperlou
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The future is still to be determined
naperlou   10/2/2013 9:30:51 AM
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Cap'n, as you have pointed out, the future of pure EVs is not looking great.  The battery technology is not progressing as fast as needed to make this viable.  Even some of the EV proponents are admitting that these are second, commuter cars (so, why are we subsudizing $80K Teslas?). 

Researching batteries is a very important endeavor.  I think that batteries will be a part of the automobile system for the foreseeable future.  It is important for companies like GM to test and characterize these systems for themselves.  This is too important to leacve to suppliers.

NadineJ
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cooperation needed
NadineJ   10/2/2013 11:06:11 AM
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I can't help but wonder how much farther along the technology would be if manufacturers worked together or if an outside company took over to develop the technology for the entire industry.

tekochip
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Re: The future is still to be determined
tekochip   10/2/2013 11:21:26 AM
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It's all about the battery.  The rest of the technology has reached the point where the efficiencies and power output make the system viable.  There just needs to be a power source. 

Mr. Fusion?

Rob Spiegel
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Testing the work of others
Rob Spiegel   10/2/2013 4:24:07 PM
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Nice article, Chuck. What I find interesting here is the commitment GM is giving to thew work of others. With the size of this lab, it would initially seem this is for development. But no, it's a testing lab. That's impressive.

naperlou
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Re: The future is still to be determined
naperlou   10/2/2013 5:07:12 PM
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tekochip, I recall reading about nuclear batteries a long time ago.  They were based on radioactive decay.  I am not sure that fusion will fit in a car (once they make it work).

Maybe this is the solution.

Charles Murray
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Re: cooperation needed
Charles Murray   10/2/2013 8:19:16 PM
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Back in about 1990, Nadine, the Big Three formed the United States Advanced Battery Consortium, which has had some positive effect. The Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency also has a program going, which was formed more recently. As you say, though, it's been slow. Battery development is hard. See links below.

http://www.uscar.org/guest/view_team.php?teams_id=12 

http://www.arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/RANGE_ProjectDescriptions_082013.pdf

Charles Murray
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Re: Testing the work of others
Charles Murray   10/2/2013 8:27:23 PM
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You're right, Rob. GM is smart to do it this way. They're letting the battery companies develop the cells and they're developing the cooling packs.  Cell development would be a huge economic drain for GM, which already has to committ funds to development of e-assist vehicles, hybrids, plug-ins (like the Volt), and EVs (like the Spark).

Elizabeth M
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Re: The future is still to be determined
Elizabeth M   10/3/2013 4:03:31 AM
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Well this is a good step forward in terms of pouring investment money into solving the EV battery problem, but as you point out, Lou (and as we mentioned in comments in another story), this problem is far from being solved. But you're right, it's good that the manufacturers are seeing the need to work on this technology themselves and not leave it up to other researchers to solve.

BrainiacV
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Re: The future is still to be determined
BrainiacV   10/3/2013 9:21:44 AM
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Based on what I've read, we're running out of Plutonium 238 used in power sources like the Voyager spacecraft. It was a byproduct of weapons grade production and we're not making them like we used to.

I guess we'll have to go with vacuum energy, I remember reading somewhere they are thinking lasers can be used to separate the spontaneous particle and antiparticles apart.  Not sure it that would work or fit in a car. :-)

Jerry dycus
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Gold
Re: Testing the work of others
Jerry dycus   10/3/2013 9:31:10 AM
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GM is smart little others build the cells as they never have been able to make viable EV batteries.  But then they likely didn't want EV's to succeed.

 

Yet they could double range at the same or less cost just by cutting vehicle, thus battery, motor, suspension, etc weight, costs by 50%.

How is easy and they know it and refuse to make medium tech composite unibody cars that would make EV's very competitive with present battery tech.

Examples are GM UltraLite, Toyota 1/X, Lovin's Hypercar though all in cost effective composites instead of costly CF to make them be too expensive as they don't want them to succeed.

But they want to crawl as slow as they can, not leap into the future.

 

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